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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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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Politics
5:54 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

St. Louis firefighter pension reform bill stalls in committee

A vote on Alderman Craig Schmid's firefighter pension reform bill was postponed in the Public Safety Committee Thursday.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

The bulk of Mayor Francis Slay’s firefighter pension reform bill stalled today in the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s Public Safety Committee.

The committee passed a provision barring trustees of the Firemen’s Retirement System from suing the city over the design or benefits of the pension plan. But the committee postponed voting on major reforms that would make firefighters to pay more into the system and prevent retirement until age 55.

Alderman Larry Arnowitz says he’s certain if reform passes, firefighters will fight the changes in court.

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London Olympics
6:08 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Gymnasts come to St. Louis for shot at Olympic team dream

A gymnast practices a floor routine before the start of the Visa National Championships at Chaifetz Arena. 50 gymnasts are competing for a shot at the U.S. Olympic team.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The road to the Olympics in London passes through St. Louis this week.

Starting tomorrow, some of the world's top gymnasts will be competing at the Chaifetz Arena for a spot on Team USA.

St. Louis Sports Commission President Frank Viverito says about 50 athletes will be vying to make the cut, including gold-medalist Nastia Liukin and St. Louis native Sarah Finnegan.

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Election 2012
6:51 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Martin vows to do more for veterans as attorney general

St. Louis attorney Ed Martin announced his plan Monday to use the attorney general’s office to help active duty and veteran Missourians.
St. Louis Public Radio

A Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general says the office must do more to help veterans and those serving in the military.

St. Louis attorney Ed Martin is calling out incumbent Chris Koster for not making veteran’s mental health care a top priority.

“We have coming a tsunami of men and women," he said, "who are facing serious mental health PTSD issues and to not acknowledge it is to be making a terrible mistake and disrespecting our priorities.”

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