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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Office of Rep. Jay Hoffman.

The Illinois House is considering whether to ban law enforcement agencies in the state from requiring officers to meet traffic ticket quotas.

The measure which passed the Senate last week would prevent departments from using ticket quotas in officer performance evaluations.

Democratic Rep. Jay Hoffman of Swansea is sponsoring the legislation.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) says he will work to extend production of EA-18 G Growlers at Boeing’s defense facility in north St. Louis County.

Kirk, who toured the assembly line and met with company leaders Monday, told reporters he will try to convince Congress to approve and appropriate funds for 22 more of the radar-jamming aircraft.

Building the fighters, he said, supports about 5,000 jobs in the St. Louis area and is critical to the Navy for future conflicts.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is joining President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats in an election-year push to bridge the pay gap between men and women.

Speaking on the Senate Floor Tuesday, Durbin called on his Republican colleagues to help pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

“It says that women cannot be discriminated in the workplace simply because they are women,” he said.

Flickr/Jeremy Noble

Missouri lawmakers are weighing what role bicycles should play in the future of transportation spending. 

A proposed constitutional amendment would raise the state sales tax by a penny to bridge any anticipated shortfalls over the next ten years. Most of the money would be for roads and bridges, but 10 percent could be earmarked by local governments for alternative forms of transportation including bicycle, air, rail, and pedestrian projects.

File photo

Missouri's efforts since the recession to be more business-friendly have cost the state about $1.7 billion in corporate tax revenues.

That's according to a report co-published Monday by the Center for Effective Government, National People's Action and GrassRoots Organizing.

Researchers found that corporations are paying Missouri about 26 percent less in income taxes than they did at the beginning of the recession six years ago.

Flickr/Jeremy Noble

St. Louis could be the next U.S. city to host an urban bike-sharing program. Great Rivers Greenway is conducting a feasibility study to determine how successful such a program would be in the area.

“We want to look at the destinations where our residents are traveling to on a daily basis, whether that’s [to] work or shopping areas, or dining areas,” said Assistant Project Manager Elizabeth Simons. 

The Defense Department has chosen one of Boeing’s aircraft concepts as a candidate for its Vertical Takeoff and Landing X-plane program.

The company's St. Louis-based defense branch is competing to develop an aircraft that takes off and lands vertically, hovers and efficiently flies at speeds up to 400 knots, said Garrett Kasper, a communications representative for advanced Boeing military aircraft.

CityArchRiver2015

The Walnut Street Bridge downtown near the Gateway Arch reopens Friday afternoon along with a new permanent traffic configuration.

MoDOT has been working over the past two months to replace the span with a wider, two-way bridge over I-44 as part of the CityArchRiver2015 redevelopment project.

On both sides of the highway, Memorial Drive will be permanently rerouted to make way for the new park that will bridge the Arch Grounds to the rest of downtown, said MoDOT engineer Deanna Venker.

Interstate 64 in St. Louis will be closed in both directions between Kingshighway and Forest Park Avenue starting at 8 p.m. tonight (Friday). That includes eastbound highway ramps from McCausland Avenue to Papin Street and westbound ramps from Grand Avenue to Pine Street.

Missouri Department of Transportation engineer Deanna Venker said road crews will be working through the weekend on building a new interchange at Tower Grove and Boyle avenues.

via Flickr/Michael R. Allen

Lambert Airport is now screening luggage checked at Terminal 1 with a new automated baggage system.

The $50.7 million assembly of ramps, conveyor belts and X-rays replaces the bomb detection machines that were installed in ticketing areas after the 9/11 terrorists attacks.

Watch below for a bag’s-eye-view of the bomb-detecting security system:

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