Julie Bierach

Reporter/ Newscaster

Julie Bierach is the morning newscaster/news producer at St. Louis Public Radio. She was born and raised in St. Louis and graduated from Southeast Missouri State University. She started her career in Cape Girardeau, Mo. as a student announcer.

Bierach returned to St. Louis Public Radio in November 2010 after working in public relations at the Missouri Botanical Garden. She was previously the station’s science and technology reporter.

Bierach worked in Tucson, Arizona at Arizona Public Media where she was the host of the station’s weekly news magazine, Arizona Spotlight. While in Tucson, she reported on a variety of topics facing the desert southwest, including illegal immigration. Her reports have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered and Day to Day.

Ways to Connect

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 5:50 p.m. Monday with information from latest city briefing

(via Flickr/evmaiden)

Updated 1:56 p.m.

Kirkwood High School has posted a statement on their website regarding today's events. It reads:

Dr. Havener's Message About Tuesday's Event

KHS Parents/Guardians 

(Missouri Department of Corrections)

Update 7:52 a.m 11/20/13:

Missouri carried out the execution of Joseph Paul Franklin a little after 6 a.m. He was put to death after courts overturned Tuesday's stays of execution.

Yesterday, two federal judges issued stays of execution.

The judges took issue with how the state was getting its lethal injection drug from a secret source not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and questioned whether the inmate was mentally competent to be executed.

The state of Missouri, led by Attorney General Chris Koster, appealed quickly.

(Julie Bierach/St. Louis Public Radio)

Ask any mother about the happiest moment of their life and they will most likely tell you ‘the birth of their child.' But for some women, the moments that follow childbirth are not happy at all.

For 20 years, women struggling with a variety of emotional issues after childbirth could reach out to the St. Louis nonprofit organization Mother To Mother for free. But at the end of the year, the organization is closing because of financial troubles.

(New Mississippi River Bridge Project Facebook page)

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River is slated to open early next year.

As part of St. Louis Public Radio's series of reports on the region's aging infrastructure called "How We Move," Julie Bierach spoke with Jerry Blair with the East-West Gateway Council about how the $667 million bridge will impact travel in the St. Louis region.

She began by asking him when they started planning for a new bridge.

(Bill Greenblatt, UPI)

 Updated 3:35 p.m.

The government shutdown will affect thousands of federal employees in the St. Louis area. But most of them were expected to show up for work today.

Steve Hollis is the president of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 3354 at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He says workers are being told just to sit and wait.

(via Google Maps screen capture)

In 2009, KIPP Inspire Academy opened its doors in St. Louis. Since then, the charter school has grown from a single class of 80 5th graders to a school of 330 students in grades 5th through 8th, many of them behind by two years in reading and math.

St. Louis Public Radio's Julie Bierach recently spoke with KIPP's Executive Director Kelly Garrett about the school's education model that puts just as much emphasis on character as it does on reading and writing.
 

St. Elizabeth Academy

After 130 years, St. Elizabeth Academy, a private Catholic all-girls high school in St. Louis City will close this month.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, dedicated long-time teachers are in tears, while some alumni are racing against the clock in their pursuit to continue the school’s legacy.

Don’t Step On the Seal

(via Wikimedia Commons/FEMA Photo Library)

The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Watch for St. Louis City and several Missouri counties, including Iron, Jefferson, Madison, St. Charles, St. Francois, St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve and Washington. The Tornado Watch is in effect until 11 a.m.

The Missouri House has voted to name part of a bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Louis for former U.S. House member William L. Clay.
 
The designation would honor the Democratic congressman who represented St. Louis in the House for 16 terms. He was first elected in 1968.
 
The Missouri House bill would put Clay's name on the Missouri portion of the Poplar Street Bridge, which carries Interstates 55, 64 and 70 between downtown St. Louis and southwestern Illinois. Private donations would pay for signs with Clay's name.
 

KellyB. | Flickr

A new report says Missouri's unemployment rate edged lower in January while the state recorded a net loss  of 4,700 jobs.

Tuesday's report from the Department of Economic Development says the state's jobless rate stood at 6.5 percent in January, down one-tenth of a point from December.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector reported the largest decline in jobs with a drop of 2,700 positions. The manufacturing sector lost 1,400 jobs, and the information sector lost 1,200 jobs.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Citing data released by Express Scripts Holding Co., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that for the first time in more than 20 years, there was a decrease last year in U.S. spending on traditional prescription drugs.

Bloomsberries | Flickr

  Updated 11:40 a.m.

An Illinois man has been found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2008 killings of a St. Louis-area Steak 'n Shake restaurant cook and waitress.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Richard Bresnahan announced the verdict Monday for 23-year-old Oundr'e Akins of Cahokia, Ill. Because Akins agreed to a trial before a judge instead of a jury, the death penalty option was waived. When sentenced March 21, Akins faces the only option of life in prison without parole.

Earlier story:

George Allen walks out of the Cole County Courthouse on November 14, 2012. A state appeals court today vacated his 1983 rape and murder convictions.

George Allen served 30 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Last year,  a judge told Allen that he had been wrongfully convicted and set him free. It’s been several months since Allen left prison, and to some who fought so hard to get him out; his release is bittersweet and not enough.

The crime was brutal. In February 1982, St. Louis court reporter Mary Bell was found dead in her LaSalle neighborhood apartment. She had been raped and stabbed.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 1 p.m.

St. Louis prosecutors have filed several felony charges against a 44-year-old man accused of shooting the two officers.

Rico A. Martin faces two counts of first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, two counts of armed criminal action, being a felon in possession of a firearm, and felony drug charges.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last updated at 11:57 a.m. 2/22. Will be updated as more information becomes available.

Quick links: 

(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill became the Chairman of the new Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight today.

Since 2009, the Democratic Senator, has led the Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, a temporary subcommittee that passed reforms to wartime contracting.

In a statement, McCaskill's says the new subcommittee will focus on government waste, fraud and abuse in every federal agency and department.

Free gun locks will be given out Friday at City Hall in St. Louis
M Glasgow | Flickr

During his State of the Union address last night, President Barack Obama emphasized the need for more background checks for gun buyers, saying that that the majority of Americans favor the proposal as a way to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals.

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

On the heels of outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Benghazi attack Wednesday morning, Missouri’s U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she will be speaking to Senator John Kerry about embassy security prior to his confirmation hearings.

During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, McCaskill said that she feels very strongly that the U.S. should not have contracted security in places where we are in conflict. She said the military should guard those embassies.

Mo. Dept. of Transportation

Updated at 4:27 p.m.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (D) has sent a letter to Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D) asking him to join in the effort to name the under-construction Mississippi River Bridge north of downtown St. Louis after Stan Musial.  A section of the letter reads:

The Missouri Department of Transportation will soon begin what they’re calling “significant” improvements to state roads in the St. Louis metro area.

MoDOT’s St. Louis District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the extensive improvements to the interstate system will help relieve some of the problem areas during morning and evening commutes.

The complete list of projects includes:

via Wikimedia Commons

The flu season has started early across the US. Doctors have been treating a large number of cases at area hospitals since October. Pediatricians at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital in St. Louis are treating a high number of patients diagnosed with the flu.

St. Louis Public Radio's Julie Bierach spoke with Dr. Ken Haller, a pediatrician at Cardinal Glennon. He says to be prepared for a second peak of flu cases.

Follow Julie Bierach on Twitter: @jbierach

(Jennifer Fuller/WSIU)

A winter storm is hitting southern Illinois, leaving roads covered in snow and ice and prompting officials to urge residents to stay home if they can.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

To most of us, having a good year is quantified by getting a raise, a new job or perhaps the birth of a child. But not to a University City woman, who got what she's been wanting since the mid 1980's.

As part of St. Louis Public Radio's series "A Good Year," Julie Bierach spoke to Lonzetta Taylor, whose son's murder conviction was overturned after 30 years.

s_falkow | Flickr

Updated to correct spelling of Patti Hageman's name

A St. Louis taxi driver has filed a religious discrimination lawsuit against the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission, the City of St. Louis and Whelan Security.

Raja Naeem filed the lawsuit this morning following his Dec. 7 arrest at Lambert Airport.

Every weekday, Clark Porter, a tall man with a sturdy build, walks into the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse in St. Louis to work with tough ex-offenders. On the outside, he wears a suit and tie. But on the inside, he has more in common with the former felons than most.

Back in 1986, a skinny 17-year-old Porter went on trial there as an adult for robbing a post office at gunpoint. His sentence: 35 years.

(via Washington University in St. Louis/Shyam Kavuri, Ph. D.)

The findings of new breast cancer research from Washington University could result in effective treatment for 4,000 additional patients in the United States each year. Scientists made the discovery after analyzing DNA sequencing data from 1,500 patients.

The research appears in the latest edition of Cancer Discovery.

So what does this research mean?

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

The nearly 600 federal trailers that housed Joplin residents since the May 2011 tornado are slowly emptying, with only about 80 of the trailers still occupied.

Those who remain in the trailers will soon have to start paying rent in January.

The Joplin Globe reports many of those still in the trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency have disabilities and are unable to work.

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says she's frustrated with the House of Representatives for not taking up three pieces of legislation that she calls "bipartisan" and "vitally important."

The Democratic Senator says she doesn't understand why members of the House won't take up legislation on:

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois legislators are scheduled to go back to Springfield this week to tackle any bills the governor vetoed this year.

Of the major legislation the governor vetoed - one big issue that's had all sorts of trouble getting support is gambling expansion. The measure Governor Pat Quinn vetoed would allow for several new casinos in the state - including one in Chicago. But Quinn has said the bill is flawed - with, quote, "loopholes for mobsters" - but a sponsor of the measure says he's close to having enough votes to override the governor's opposition.

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