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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Beyond November
5:40 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Eight's a crowd: which Dem will make the Mo. Lt. Gov. race?

All eight candidates in the Democratic primary for Mo. Lt. Governor, listed top to bottom, left to right: Judy Baker, Bill Haas, Fred Kratky, Sarah Lampe, Susan Montee, Becky Plattner, Jackie Townes McGee, Dennis Weisenburger.
(Campaign Photos/Provided)

Missouri’s Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor is by far the most crowded race in the state this election cycle. The eight candidates running represent a range of experience from across the state.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, splitting the ballot eight ways means a winner could emerge with less than 20 percent of the vote.

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FEMA Funding
5:50 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Bridgeton still waiting on 'Good Friday Tornado' funding

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder listens to public input about Missouri’s response to the 2011 ‘Good Friday Tornado’ at an interim committee hearing Aug. 1, 2012.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder is asking the State Emergency Management Agency to explain why the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton has not received $500,000 in FEMA funds to help it recover from the 2011 Good Friday tornado.

Kinder chairs an interim legislative committee on disaster preparedness, response and recovery, which agreed today to give SEMA 48 hours to respond.  

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Business
1:49 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Wells Fargo Advisors: 400 new jobs coming to St. Louis

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon (center) and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (right) joined Wells Fargo Advisors president and CEO Danny Ludeman at the company's headquarters in downtown St. Louis.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Financial services firm Wells Fargo Advisors is investing $33 million to expand its operations in the St. Louis area. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay joined the company’s president and CEO Danny Ludeman Friday for the announcement at the company’s downtown headquarters.

Ludeman says the plan will create 400 local jobs.

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Morning round-up
9:39 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, July 27, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Good morning. Here are your starting headlines today:

Valley Park mayor resigns

The embattled mayor of Valley Park has resigned. Nathan Grellner stepped down as the top official in the St. Louis County town on Thursday, submitting a written letter of resignation. Grellner has been under fire for questionable spending with a city credit card, for missing nearly every meeting since February, and for his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence in a neighboring town in June.

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Homeless
6:03 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

St. Louis officials urge homeless to stay hydrated, seek shelter

The heat wave is to blame in three more St. Louis-area deaths.
(flickr/Jack W. Reid)

As this year’s heat wave wears on, St. Louis city officials are stepping up their efforts to keep the death toll among the area’s homeless population from rising.

Department of Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff  says people living on the streets can be at greater risk for heat-related illness and death. 

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Homelessness
5:39 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Rice: Belleville not dealing with homeless, closing shelters

Rev. Larry Rice spoke with reporters outside the Belleville Municipal Building Tuesday.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Rev. Larry Rice directed about 20 homeless persons to a mall in Fairview Heights on Tuesday to underscore the lack of shelters in St. Clair County.

Rice says many homeless persons seeking refuge from the triple-digit temperatures wind up across the river at his shelter downtown. 

“Belleville represents what we see in so many municipalities," Rice said. "Where people just aren’t dealing with the homeless. They’re closing shelters. We saw a shelter close here – the Salvation Army – in 2009. They made no other arrangements for the homeless.”

Saint Louis Zoo
11:20 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Zoo: Seals in transport died due to 'multiple factors,' stress of trip

via Flickr/Derringdos

St. Louis Zoo officials say the deaths of three harbor seals in transit from Canada to St. Louis last month were due to exertional myopathy, or a disease of the muscles. The disease was likely brought on by the stress of travel.

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Heatwave
3:12 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Local church leaders tackle hot spell from the pulpit

Rev. C. Jessel Strong, president of the Clergy Coalition of Greater St. Louis, (right) called for area congregations to assist elderly and disabled residents during this year's heat wave.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Some St. Louis church leaders are taking to the pulpit in an effort save lives as the death toll from this year’s heat wave continues to grow. Persistent high temperatures that began late last month have been blamed for 23 deaths in the St. Louis area so far.

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Firefighter Pensions
5:20 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Board of Aldermen greenlights firefighter pension reform

Alderman Stephen Conway argues Friday for passing a comprehensive overhaul of the St. Louis's firefighter retirement system.

Mayor Francis Slay scored a decisive victory Friday in his months-long battle to rein in firefighter pension costs. In a 17 to 10 vote, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved major reforms to the department’s retirement system, cutting benefits, raising payments, and preventing full retirement until age 55.

Slay’s office estimates the changes will save the city $8 million a year in pension costs that have more than quadrupled in the last five years.

Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says the reforms are necessary and protect taxpayers. 

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Capital Punishment
5:55 am
Fri July 13, 2012

Missouri's new execution drug: no silver bullet

(Propofol: Wikimedia commons, Gurney: via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis, Needle: Flickr via prashant_zi)

Missouri is the first state in the nation to change its protocol for executing prisoners from a three-drug cocktail to the single drug Propofol. The switch is due to a shortage of a key drug, which has stalled lethal injections across the country.

Other states may eventually follow Missouri’s lead, but as St. Louis Public Radio’s Joseph Leahy reports, the drug known recently for killing pop star Michael Jackson is no silver bullet either.

"I just thought it was a good idea"

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