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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Kingshighway flood
6:12 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

Busted water main by Barnes-Jewish Hospital blocks roads, affects hospital power

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 11:29 a.m. July 5:

A Barnes-Jewish Hospital release says that no surgeries were canceled today, even though power is still intermittent to Queeny Tower. Full power to the building is anticipated to return today.

Most of the patients who were moved to other areas of the hospital are also expected to return to their original rooms Friday. 

Original story:

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Heat wave
5:16 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Heat prompts city house calls to vulnerable residents

St. Louis mayor Francis Slay visits with a city resident on July 3, 2012. The mayor helped in going door-to-door to check on vulnerable residents who had not responded to calls from his office.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis city officials are going door to door to check on some of the city’s most vulnerable residents as high temperatures persist across the region.

About 60 city staff members are following up with nearly one thousand residents who haven’t responded to robo-calls from the Mayor’s office.The elderly and disabled residents are listed on the city’s Functional Needs Registry.

The house-to-house effort even included Mayor Francis Slay, who was out knocking on doors Tuesday.

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No Child Left Behind waiver
9:36 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Missouri gets approval to leave No Child Left Behind, behind

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

The US Department of Education is waiving all No Child Left Behind requirements for Missouri schools.

The federal law requires students to meet proficiency standards in reading and math by 2014. Missouri applied  for a waiver after roughly 18 percent of districts in the state failed to meet yearly academic goals.

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Lethal Injection
3:32 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

21 Mo. death-row inmates sue over new execution drug

This gurney is used to perform executions at a facility in Terre Haute, Ind. by lethal injection. 21 Missouri death-row inmates have sued the director of the state's Corrections Department over the decision to use a new drug in executions.

21 death-row prisoners are suing the director of Missouri’s Corrections Department over its new lethal injection drug.

Director George Lombardi announced last month that Missouri would be the first in the nation to replace its three-drug protocol in favor of using the anesthetic Propofol for capital punishment.

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Sports
5:59 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Committee greenlights revised Ballpark Village proposal

A screen capture of a new artist rending of Ballpark Village - with Anheuser-Busch in as an "anchor partner."
(via Official Cardinals Twitter account)

The Cardinals are one step closer to making Ballpark Village a reality. A St. Louis Board of Aldermen committee voted Wednesday to move forward with revised development and financing plans.

Cardinals president Bill DeWitt III made his case for the city’s support before the Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee.

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Fake Goods in Pagedale
5:03 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Fake goods bring federal charges for St. Louis County woman

A vehicle for federal law enforcement officials outside the Frison Flea Market in Pagedale. The officials charged a St. Louis County woman for allegedly trafficking counterfeit goods there and at other stores.
(Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio)

A St. Louis County woman is facing federal charges for allegedly trafficking counterfeit goods at a flea market and other stores in St. Louis and Ferguson.

Soukey Fox was arrested early this morning in a raid at Frison Flea Market in Pagedale.  Federal law enforcement officials could be seen loading boxes into moving trucks behind the market.

Many customers say the place is known for selling cheap merchandise. Noah Hardy and Jazmine Wells say they were turned away this morning.      

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Economy
5:54 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Study: St. Louis needs more immigrants to fuel local economy

via Flickr/KellyB.

St. Louis needs more immigrants. That’s the gist of a new report from St. Louis University.

Professor Jack Strauss presented the findings of his study Tuesday to city and county leaders, including St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, at a regional economic development conference.

At about 4.5 percent, Strauss says St. Louis has the lowest rate of immigration among the nation’s largest 20 cities.

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Homeless Camps
5:26 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Rice sues city for condemning homeless camp

Rev. Larry Rice is asking a US District Court of Missouri to review St. Louis' condemnation of his homeless camp, formerly located in the St. Louis neighborhood of Botanical Heights.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Reverend Larry Rice is suing the city of St. Louis and Public Safety Director Eddie Roth for condemning a homeless camp he tried to set up last month near Interstate 44. 

The federal lawsuit filed Friday claims Roth failed to give a hearing prior to closing down the vacant lot on Vandeventer and interfered the group’s religious freedom.

“They went and condemned that vacant ground," Rice said. "And in a matter of hours they told us we had to get off the property and if we didn’t that we’d be arrested – of which I was arrested. And there was no violation.”

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MO Statehouse
4:18 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Missouri no-call list extends to cellphones

Gov. Jay Nixon signed the expansion of the state's no-call list into law at the South County Senior Resource Center in St. Louis Thursday.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri cellphone users can now register their numbers on the state’s no-call list under a bill signed by Governor Jay Nixon Thursday.

The law prohibits telemarketers from calling or texting those who sign up and gives the attorney general’s office the power to punish violators.  

Attorney General Chris Koster says the law expands Missouri’s no-call list enacted 12 years ago for land lines.   

“12 years ago the no-call list saved the dinner hour in this state," Koster said. "Today’s action extends that protection to a new technological era.”

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Firefighters /Police Officers
6:17 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Slay ties firefighter pension reform to police cuts

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says firefighter pension costs have gone up by more than 500 percent in the last 10 years.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says cutting the fire department’s pension costs will enable the city to take 30 police jobs off the chopping block.

The Board of Police Commissioners voted Monday to hold onto 30 of the 80 police positions this year’s budget eliminates through attrition, but only if a pension reform bill is passed by the Board of Alderman.

Slay says the bill, which requires firefighters to pay more into the system and prevents full retirement benefits until age 55, would save the city more than $8 million.

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