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


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

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Appellate Judicial Commission has announced the nominees to fill a vacancy on the Missouri Supreme Court. The nominees are Mike Manners, Stan Wallach and Paul Wilson.

According to a press release, Manners is a circuit judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit in Jackson County. He earned his law degree in 1976 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. He lives in Lee's Summit.

Wallach is a St. Louis attorney at the Wallach Law Firm. He earned his law degree in 1992 from the University of Chicago Law School. He lives in Kirkwood, Mo.

(via Washington University in St. Louis)

Clark Porter is a social worker at the Federal Probation Office in St. Louis. Once upon a time, he was a violent felon. But he turned his life around and is now helping ex-offenders on probation do the same.

In the second of a two-part series, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports on a program Porter and a colleague created that’s keeping many ex-offenders out of prison.

(via Washington University in St. Louis)

There are thousands of people on federal probation in the St. Louis area. And officials are always looking for ways to keep them from going back to prison, by creating new programs and hiring new people.

In the first of a two-part series on the federal probation office in the Eastern District, St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports that the office has an unlikely secret weapon.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 1:50 with comments from Mayor Slay.

The long-rumored Democratic rumble for mayor of St. Louis is on. 

Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed officially threw his hat into the ring today in a press conference at Sqwires in Lafayette Square, part of his ward before he ran for board president.

This campaign is a "mission of change," Reed told his supporters, calling Slay an ineffective leader more interested in photo ops and managing the media than with bringing people together to solve the city's problems.

Lafayette Square, he said, was improved through cooperation. Ineffective leadership has stifled similar efforts citywide.

"We can accept those things that divide us, or we can work toward a common purpose to improve our communities," Reed said. "We can continue to develop reactionary policies, or we can bring the brightest minds together to develop long-term strategies to turn St. Louis into a world-class destination."

Here are some highlights from Reed's announcement:

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

A manufacturer of the anesthetic blamed for Michael Jackson's overdose death says it won't allow the drug to be sold for use in executions.
Drug maker Fresenius Kabi USA is one of two domestic suppliers of propofol, which has been singled out as a lethal injection alternative amid a drug shortage that's forced several states to revise their execution protocols. Missouri this year said it would become the first state to use propofol as an execution drug.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Updated at 8:35 a.m. with information from the Associated Press:

The Missouri Highway Patrol confirms that one driver is dead and another injured in the multi-vehicle crash on I-44 near Six Flags St. Louis.  The accident occurred in dense fog.

The accident happened about 5 a.m. this morning and closed the westbound lanes of I-44.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Gingrich in St. Louis to support Todd Akin

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will be in suburban St. Louis on Monday at a fundraiser and news conference in support of Todd Akin's Senate campaign. The men are scheduled to appear at a $500-per-person, or $750-per-couple, fundraiser. They'll also speak at a late-morning news conference in Kirkwood.

A judge is considering evidence in the death penalty case of Reginald Clemons after four days of testimony this week.

During a press conference Friday morning, Clemons’s parents stood alongside representatives from the ACLU, and the NAACP, to condemn what they call a broken justice system that’s responsible for sending their son to death row.

Clemons was convicted for the 1991 rape and murder of 20-year-old Julie Kerry and 19-year-old Robin Kerry.

Bishop Reynolds Thomas is Clemons father. He says the justice system is corrupt.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Judge tosses lawsuit against Joyce Meyers Ministries

A southwestern Illinois judge has tossed a lawsuit against a televangelist filed by the family of a woman who was strangled along with her two sons.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that St. Clair County Associate Judge Richard Aguirre this week signed the order dismissing the lawsuit against Missouri-based Joyce Meyer Ministries. But he said it can be refiled within 30 days - something an attorney for the family says they will do.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Three people killed on Grand Bridge following early morning police chase

The Grand Bridge was closed for several hours early Thursday morning as the result of a vehicle crash that left three people dead and another person critically injured.

The crash happened as the car was fleeing police.

Entrance to Normandy High School campus
Google Maps screen capture

The superintendent of Normandy Public Schools says he’s extremely disappointed with the Missouri Board of Education’s decision to strip the district of its accreditation.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Kirk releases pension video

Sen. Mark Kirk has released a video calling for "decisive bipartisan action" to prevent further reductions in Illinois' credit ratings.  The Republican senator does not spell out what action he thinks is necessary. State officials are deadlocked over how to lower pension costs, which are a major factor in the state's declining credit ratings.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Clemons hearing today in St. Louis courtroom

The effort to free Reginald Clemons from Missouri's death row goes to a St. Louis courtroom starting today.

Clemons was one of four men convicted in the 1991 killings of two St. Louis-area sisters, 20-year-old Julie Kerry and 19-year-old Robin Kerry. Both girls, along with their visiting male cousin, were thrown from an abandoned Mississippi River bridge. The cousin, Thomas Cummins, survived.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Unofficial recount results confirms Koenen victory

A recount has confirmed that Glenn Koenen won a Democratic primary for a suburban St. Louis congressional seat and will face Republican Ann Wagner in the November election.

Unofficial results of the recount released Thursday by the secretary of state's office show Koenen's margin of victory declined by two votes compared to the original count from the August 7th primary. But he still finished 46 votes ahead of Harold Whitfield in a four-person primary that drew a total of nearly 28,000 votes.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

New report: "vast improvements" at John Cochran VA Medical Center

A new government report says the John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has made "vast improvements" after an earlier report noted problems.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Last of escapees captured

The last of five men who escaped from the Pike County Jail last weekend is back in custody. Pike County Sheriff Stephen Korte says 40-year-old William John Thomas Wilkerson of Florissant was captured overnight in St. Louis County. Korte says Wilkerson was caught after someone called police to report a suspicious person at an apartment complex. He was arrested without incident.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Search ongoing for man who shot police officers overnight

St. Louis police are searching for a suspect who shot an officer in the arm. The 30-year-old officer was was not seriously injured. He returned fire and authorities aren't sure if the suspect was injured.

It happened about 1:30 a.m. Friday when the officer approached a man suspected in a recent robbery. Police say that as the officer neared the man, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired several rounds.

KC Bishop found guilty of shielding priest

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Criminal case against Kansas City Bishop to reach swift end today

The criminal case against the highest-ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be charged with shielding an abusive priest is poised to reach a surprisingly fast end. Jackson County, Mo., prosecutors and attorneys for Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn have agreed to have a judge hear their case today, weeks ahead of a scheduled jury trial date.

Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph are each charged with a misdemeanor count of failing to report suspected child abuse.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

St. Louis County attitude survey results presented

Last night members of the St. Louis County Council heard the results of a survey that measured how the attitudes of residents have changed over the past five years. Many don't think the county is going in the right direction but don't place the blame on their county government.

Five years ago, a little over 60 percent of people thought the county was going in the right direction; today that number is 44 percent.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Legal fight between Quinn and Union continues

The legal fight between Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and the union that represents prisons workers continues this week.

Quinn had wanted the prisons closed by last Friday. Instead that day an arbitrator said the administration violated its contract with the prison workers' union by moving to close the facilities before they'd finished what's called "impact bargaining."

Union spokesman Anders Lindall says impact bargaining doesn't only affect employees facing layoffs.