Joseph Leahy

Reporter

Leahy anchors St. Louis Public Radio's weekday afternoon newscasts and produces news on local and regional issues. He previously produced and reported news for WERS 88.9 FM in Boston and is a former correspondent for the Boston Globe’s online news section, "Your Town." He holds a master's degree in print and multimedia journalism from Emerson College in Boston.  

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Joseph grew up migrating almost annually with his family between two disparate homes: rural Missouri and sprawling Los Angeles. He attended the University of California before transferring to the University of Missouri to complete a bachelor's degree in English.

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State Exercise
8:53 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Missouri Honors General And His Jumping Jacks

John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing was a general officer in the United States Army who led the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Show-Me State is designating the jumping jack as its official exercise in honor of the U.S. Army's second highest-ranked general.

Gen. John Pershing, who was from Laclede, Missouri, is credited with inventing the exercise while training cadets at West Point before WWI.

Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 669 bill Thursday, which was sponsored by State Rep. Pat Conway of St. Joseph.

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Academic Performance Measures
4:29 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

UM System Expands Academic Tracking Platform To Boost Retention And Graduation Rates

University of Missouri System Seal
Credit University of Missouri System

The University of Missouri is expanding an early alert system that tracks academic performance to all four of its campuses this fall.

The system, developed by the company Starfish Retention Solutions, is designed to improve retention and graduation rates by better connecting students, faculty and staff.  

The expansion follows the success of a pilot program at the university's Columbia campus that gives advisors real-time grading information on students and tracks performance trends among classes and subjects. 

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Mississippi River Flooding
4:43 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Rising River Threatens Areas North Of St. Louis

Flooding near Clarksville in 2008
Credit St. Louis Beacon file photo

The National Weather Service is forecasting major flooding along stretches of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis early next week. A map on its site is regularly updated with river stages.

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Fair St. Louis
8:10 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Fair St. Louis Organizers Tout Plan For New Venue

Fair St. Louis Foundation Executive Director Lori Thaman addresses reporters during a press conference Monday.
Credit Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Final plans for Fair St. Louis are taking shape as the event moves to Forest Park this weekend for the first time in its 34-year history.

The park has been a busy scene this week as work crews prepare stages, concession stands, canopy tents, and generators for the event that organizers expect to draw 35,000 to 50,000 visitors each day. The weekend’s July Fourth celebrations will include a parade, 20 free concerts, nightly fireworks displays and other entertainment.

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Bioscience
5:41 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Study: Missouri Spends Lion's Share Of Research Funds On Bioscience

Credit breahn / Flickr

Missouri spends a greater share of its academic research money on biosciences than any other state in the nation, according to the latest study from Battelle and the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The study finds that, in 2012, the state’s research universities devoted 85 percent, or about $895 million dollars, to academic bioscience research, compared with 61 percent for the national average.

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St. Louis Parking
5:48 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Parking Study To Pave The Way For System Overhaul

A smart meter operated by Duncan Solutions accepts coin and credit card payments near the corner of Euclid and Maryland Avenues.
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Treasurer’s Office announced last week it has selected the Boston-based consulting group Desmen Associates to examine all aspects of the city’s parking division. According to Treasurer Tishaura Jones, the study is meant to be the basis for overhauling the system, which the office has overseen since 1951, but in recent years been bogged down by inefficiency, misconduct and outdated technology.

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Unionized Labor
3:59 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Supermarket Union Approves Contract, Maintains Benefits

Credit UFCW Local 655

Union workers at area Schnucks, Dierbergs, and Shop'n Save ratified a three-year contract with the supermarkets late Wednesday night. Members of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 voted 1,641 to 662 to approve the contract at the Family Arena in St. Charles following a meeting of employees from the three companies.

The contract, which covers roughly 9,000 members working at 104 stores and pharmacies in the area, allows for a $0.60 wage increase over the life of the contract and includes no overall reduction in benefits.

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Korean Ferry Disaster
4:21 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Ferry Disaster Hits Close To Home For St. Louis Korean Community

Demonstrators from St. Louis' Korean community handed out fliers on Lagoon Dr. of Forrest Park on Sunday.
Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Dozens of Korean protestors demonstrated in Forest Park Sunday, wearing black to mourn the victims of last month's ferry disaster in South Korea, which killed more than 300 students and others.

They also called for an investigation into the  South Korean government's mishandled rescue attempts. Their anger and frustration, which has been growing among the Korean communities worldwide, came shortly before South Korea's president announced she will disband the country's Coast Guard over its response to the tragedy.

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Veteran Services
1:51 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Missouri Senators Question VA Over St. Louis Mental Health Services

John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis.

Missouri’s U.S. Senators are seeking answers from the Department of Veterans Affairs  about reports of lax mental health services in St. Louis’s VA hospital system.

The inquiry stems from allegations by the system’s former Chief of Psychiatry, Dr. Jose Mathews, regarding an “artificial backlog” of patient care created by staff who treat veterans for only a fraction of the workday.

According to the Associated Press, Mathews claims in a federal whistleblower complaint filed last year that he was demoted after his efforts to make employees work harder and more efficiently.

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On Chess
3:31 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

National Chess Championship Kicks Off in St. Louis For Sixth Year In A Row

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

Grand Master chess players from across the country have assembled in St. Louis’ Central West End for the 2014 U.S. Chess Championship.

Round 1 of the two-week tournament kicked off Thursday afternoon at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis.

A local favorite to follow this year is Grand Master Ray Robson, 19, who is a member of Webster University's chess team that won the 2013 national collegiate chess championship, said CCSCSL Executive Director Tony Rich.  

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