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

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Review your route: I-64 work has begun

Several ramps on the stretch of I-64 that runs through downtown closed for roadwork this morning.

The ramps from 10th Street and 14th Street will be closed around the clock, as will the ramp from Broadway.

Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman Andrew Gates says there will also be ramp closures for motorists heading into downtown.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Good morning. Here are your starting headlines today:

Valley Park mayor resigns

The embattled mayor of Valley Park has resigned. Nathan Grellner stepped down as the top official in the St. Louis County town on Thursday, submitting a written letter of resignation. Grellner has been under fire for questionable spending with a city credit card, for missing nearly every meeting since February, and for his arrest on suspicion of driving under the influence in a neighboring town in June.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Nixon announces emergency assistance for farmers

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in Springfield Tuesday to announce emergency assistance to farmers who need access to water. At the Springfield Livestock Market, Nixon outlined a plan to make more state dollars available faster to farmers. An existing cost-share program is expanding. The state will pay 90 percent of the cost of deepening or drilling wells; previously, the state had covered 75 percent of the cost.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Ill. Gov. calls for stricter gun laws

Days after the Colorado theater shooting, Governor Pat Quinn is calling for stricter gun laws in Illinois. Gun-rights advocates have long argued that public safety would be improved if people were allowed to carry concealed firearms. Illinois is the only state without any form of concealed carry for the general public. And Quinn says he'd oppose any attempt to permit concealed carry.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Missouri bishops urge voters to approve proposed public prayer amendment

The proposed amendment will appear on Missouri's Aug. 7 statewide ballot. It asserts the right in Missouri to pray in public places as long as doing so does not disturb the peace. It also says that students may express their religious beliefs and cannot be compelled to participate in assignments that violate those beliefs. 

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

McCaskill to launch TV ads ahead of Aug. 7 primary

For months, Missouri's Republican U.S. Senate candidates have been campaigning by criticizing Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. McCaskill has returned the fire during campaign events. Now McCaskill says she is launching TV ads individually targeting her potential Republican competitors - Congressman Todd Akin, former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman and businessman John Brunner.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt is applauding the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s move to designate all of Missouri’s 114 counties a disaster area.

Speaking to reporters today, Blunt said the state’s ongoing drought highlights the need for good farm policy and he would like the House to pass a final farm bill by the end of September.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Missouri payrolls decline

Missouri officials say state payrolls declined by 4,000 jobs in June while unemployment simultaneously decreased 7.1 percent. Department of Economic Development officials say much of the decline in Missouri non-farm payrolls came in the local government sector, which shed 3,100 jobs in June.

The state unemployment rate has declined or held steady each month since June 2011. The jobless rate last month is the lowest in Missouri since December 2008.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Illinois to offer programs for those affected by drought

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will offer an array of debt restructuring and loan programs to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. He visited a family farm in the southern Illinois area Monday, where much of the corn crop is wilting.

Quinn says the state has also launched a website to help.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Quinn to announce plan to address Illinois' drought

Gov. Pat Quinn plans  a visit to a southern Illinois farm today. The Illinois Farm Bureau says that so far, it's the sixth driest year on record. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering. Farm officials say southern Illinois is experiencing the worst of it.  Quinn is expected to detail whatever government relief may be available to drought-affected growers and ranchers.

via Clay campaign

Updated 4:35 p.m. with Carnahan response

Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay continues to hurl a number of criticisms at Congressman Russ Carnahan, as they vie for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Congressional District.

During a press conference Friday at the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Training Center in south St. Louis, the Democratic incumbent accused Carnahan of selling out workers by voting for the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Nixon to take action on bills today

Mo. Governor Jay Nixon is wrapping up his action on bills passed this year by state lawmakers. He is expected today to approve the few remaining bills. The deadline to sign or veto legislation is tomorrow.

Among legislation awaiting action from the governor, is a bill that reduces the disparity in prison sentences between people convicted of crack and powder cocaine crimes. 

(Courtesy Mendel Rosenberg)

Our own Julie Bierach shares this first-person account from Mendel Rosenberg of his experiences during the Holocaust. Rosenberg, along with three other concentration camp survivors, will share their testimonials at the St. Louis Yom HaShoah Commemoration this Sunday at Congregation Temple Israel at 4 p.m. Yom HaShoah is also known as Holocaust Remembrance Day, and is recognized around the world.


My name is Mendel Rosenberg. I’m a Holocaust survivor and I live here in St. Louis.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Cochran VA Medical Center continues to have problems according to federal report

A new federal report says the Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis continues to have problems with sterilization in its dental clinic. The report comes two years after the hospital notified more than 1,800 veterans that they may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis or other viruses because of unclean conditions in the dental clinic.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Public meeting to be held on City-Arch-River Project

Members of the public will have another chance to weigh in on one of the most controversial parts of the City-Arch-River 2015 project - what to do about the portion of Interstate 70 that runs through downtown.

The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold a public meeting on its plans for the depressed section of the interstate at St. Louis City Hall on Tuesday.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Good morning! Here are a couple of the stories we've followed this morning to get you started:

Relatives of teen killed by police want answers

Relatives of a 15-year-old boy shot and killed by St. Louis County police are disputing police claims that the teen had a gun when he was shot. The shooting happened Tuesday night in the Glasgow Village area of north St. Louis County.

(via Flickr/Cast a Line)

Republican presidential contenders to speak at NRA meeting in St. Louis

Thousands of gun enthusiasts will get a chance to hear from three of the four Republican presidential contenders next week when the National Rifle Association hosts its annual meeting and exhibit in St. Louis.

An NRA spokesman says more than 60,000 people have already registered for the convention that runs April 13-15 at the America's Center convention center, but that number is expected to grow with late registrations.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Nixon heading to Brazil

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be heading to Brazil on a trade mission later this month.

Nixon planned to announce more details of the trip during news conferences today in Springfield and Independence.

Last year, Missouri businesses sold $323 million worth of products to Brazil, which ranked as the state's 10th largest export market. Nixon's trip to the South American nation comes about six months after he led a trade delegation to China. Missouri's international exports totaled $14.1 billion in 2011, an all-time high.


Lambert Concourse reopens today

City officials are celebrating the reopening of the C Concourse at Lambert St. Louis International Airport today.

The concourse has been closed since April 22 of last year when a tornado hit causing significant damage.

The concourse is new and improved according to director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge with brighter ceilings, new lighting and new restrooms among the improvements. Hamm-Niebruegge recalls the evening the tornado hit.

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Army Corps. seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed on behalf of southeast Mo. farmers

More than 140 southeast Missouri farmers are seeking damage caused by last year's intentional breach of the Birds Point levee at the height of spring flooding.

The Southeast Missourian reports that government attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled to begin April 10 in Washington.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Mo. legislation allows some sex offenders to be removed from state registry

Missouri House members have endorsed legislation allowing some sex offenders to be removed from the state registry.

Several offenses, such as promoting obscenity, no longer would require registration. In other cases, people could petition a state trial judge to be removed from the state registry.

Jane Cunningham official website

St. Louis County Senator will not seek re-election

Jane Cunningham had initially filed to run for the 7th District seat, even though the new Senate map places that district in the Kansas City area.

The Republican from Chesterfield had hoped that the new map would be overturned and that the district she represents would not be moved to the other side of the state.  But that didn’t happen.  Cunningham says she most likely won’t run for a different office, but admits she hasn’t made up her mind yet:


Corps plans to hire private companies to restore Birds Point

The corps set off explosions at three spots on the levee last May to relieve pressure on the floodwall in Cairo, Ill.  

The Southeast Missourian reports the corps will be looking in the next two weeks for three firms to bid on the projects.

The corps halted its floodway repairs in December after spending $20 million to shore up the levee to 55 feet of flood protection at each of the blasting spots.

Flickr/Sky-y Photography

The National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for St. Francois County in southeast Missouri and southeastern Washington County in east central Missouri. The warning is in effect until 5:15 a.m CST.

The storm is capable of producing quarter size hail.






(via Flickr/Senator Roy Blunt)

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is one of the Republicans blaming President Obama for gas prices that have reached close to $4 per gallon, saying his rejection of the Keystone pipeline hurt the economy.

Obama is defending his energy policies in Oklahoma today, pointing to plans to fast-track an oil pipeline from Oklahoma to Texas that emerged after he delayed the larger Keystone XL pipeline earlier this year.

Even so, Blunt says the president continues to obstruct progress.

(New Orleans Saints Press Kit)

Gregg Williams apologizes

Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is apologizing to the NFL, to St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams organization and football fans in general for running a bounty pool while he was in New Orleans.

Williams was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday by the NFL, and the Rams say he'll be eligible for reinstatement after the season.


Mo. Senate considers legislation to beef up security at the Capitol

The bill would increase the number of security cameras at the State Capitol and allow the Governor's Office of Administration to hire private, armed security guards if needed. 

It's sponsored by Democrat Robin Wright-Jones of St. Louis.  She filed the bill shortly after someone placed rifle target stickers outside her office and the offices of several other Democratic Senators and one House Republican:

Courtesy: Jason Plummer congressional campaign

Republican lumber businessman Jason Plummer of O’Fallon and Democratic former regional schools superintendent Brad Harriman of O’Fallon are the winners of Illinois’ primary in the 12th congressional district.

They will face off Nov. 6 in the general election to replace Illinois Congressman Jerry Costello. The longtime democratic congressman announced last October that he won’t seek another term in the Southern Illinois district after more than two decades.

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Several Jefferson County fire departments responded to a blaze early Tuesday morning at the Doe Run Company’s primary smelter in Herculaneum.

Company officials say there were no injuries and they are now assessing damage.

Joseph Leahy, SLPR news

East St. Louis lays off more employees

A tight budget has forced East St. Louis to lay off seven more employees, leaving the city's police officers without a support staff.  

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the latest layoffs include Police Chief Michael Floore's secretary, the department's director of community programs and a records room employee responsible for logging all of the city's tows.

The city also cut employees in the mayor's office, the city clerk's office and the city treasurer's office.