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

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.

via Flickr | s_falkow

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.

Flickr/jdnx

A local organization trying to build successful companies in St. Louis is now accepting applications for round two of its startup competition. During the first round, Arch Grants awarded fifteen lucky startups $50,000.

What's on TV?

Twenty-six-year-old Sergi Turabelidze started his company, Iveria, out of necessity. He’s from Georgia (the country), and when family came to visit, they just couldn’t find anything to watch on TV.

Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation say they will do what they can to alleviate traffic at major shopping malls on Black Friday.

Linda Wilson Horn with MoDOT says engineers will monitor traffic signals at malls located along state roads.

“From our transportation management center in Chesterfield we have remote computer communication with our traffic signals," said Wilson Horn. "If they see a situation they can try to provide a little more green time for certain movement to try to help a situation.

SLPR news

Weather permitting, all lanes and ramps on eastbound I-64 between Jefferson Avenue and the Poplar

Street Bridge will be closed starting at 8 p.m. tonight through 5 a.m. on Monday.

The Missouri Department of Transportation says crews will be working on the section of the double deck structure just over I-55 and the depressed lanes of I-70 downtown.

Deanna Venker with MoDOT says they’re worried about the weather forecast for Sunday evening, which could affect the Monday evening rush.

Three days after the closure of the westbound lanes of the I-70 Blanchette Bridge, officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation say traffic continues to move smoothly.

However, they are concerned that motorists are falling back into old habits.

Linda Wilson Horn with MoDOT says they’ve seen a steady increase in drivers traveling I-70.

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

Will be updated.

Early indications are that Missouri officials' prediction of a strong turnout for the election might be accurate.

The Missouri Secretary of State's Office is reporting there were long lines shortly after polls opened at 6 a.m. today. The office is also receiving many phone calls from people checking their registration or verifying their polling places.

The Kappa House, a polling place in midtown St. Louis, had a steady stream of voters late this morning. 19-year-old Treniece Stockard was one of them. Among her concerns? Student loans.

(Flickr/The Birkes)

Updated 3:18 p.m. Oct. 31:

The Red Cross of the Greater St. Louis Region says it has increased its support staff headed to help with disaster assistance.

They say they have now brought their number of regional volunteers to 26 and response vehicles to five.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. to include the deployment of Missouri Task Force One's Red team to provide disaster assistance.

Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

For the past year, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch and community organizations have held nearly two dozen town hall meetings to raise awareness of the heroin epidemic. Deaths from heroin overdoses continue to decline, but officials say they are seeing an uptick in some age groups.

Through September of this year there have been 45 heroin deaths in St. Louis County, that’s compared to 55 last year.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach sat down with Chief Fitch to talk about their efforts to go after heroin suppliers.

St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville says 26 patients received a dose of a drug produced by a Massachusetts pharmacy linked to a multi-state outbreak of fungal meningitis.

The Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control have linked cases of fungal meningitis from the use of contaminated steroids by the New England Compounding Company.

The patients received a dose of a cardioplegia solution produced by the pharmacy since May of this year.

Beginning at 8 p.m. this evening, three eastbound lanes on the Blanchette Bridge will be closed.

The lanes will be re-opened by 5 a.m. on Sunday. At least two eastbound lanes will stay open to traffic throughout the weekend.

Linda Wilson Horn with the Missouri Department of Transportation says they do expect backups as motorists coming from St. Charles County try to get across the bridge.

“We are restriping the bridge to get ready for what will be a major impact starting two weekends from now," said Wilson Horn.

Julie Bierach/St. Louis Public Radio

Since 2004, a music education professor at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill. has been collecting and documenting the indigenous music of the native Kichwa people of the Ecuadorian rain forest. With globalization, much of Ecuador’s culture is changing rapidly and much of the indigenous music is in danger of being lost. Philip Wilhelm is on a mission to integrate the music back into the schools in Ecuador.

Wilhelm sat down with St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach to explain what is so unique about the music and why it should be saved.

Follow Julie Bierach on Twitter: @jbierach

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