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.

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Morning round-up
9:09 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Morning headlines: Ill. lawmakers approve tax increase, Mo. House to consider drug testing for welfare recipients, surveillance cameras close to being installed in 21st Ward

The Illinois General Assembly has passed a 67 percent income tax increase
(via Flickr/mhowry)
  • Democratic Illinois lawmakers have approved a 67% income-tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state's crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday morning to pass the politically risky plan before  new General Assembly was sworn in at noon. The increase now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He supports the plan to temporarily raise the personal tax rate to 5% from the current 3% rate. Corporate taxes also would climb.
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Morning round-up
9:13 am
Tue January 11, 2011

Morning headlines: Snow hinders morning commute, Ryan to ask Obama for clemency, St. Louis police officer dragged by suspect

Missouri Department of Transportation snow plows had a job to do this morning with snow covering many area roads. (Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)
  • The winter storm system that blanketed the region with snow overnight caused problems on area roads this morning. A few inches of snow were on the ground in St. Louis and suburbs, but that was enough to cause a large number of traffic accidents, mostly fender –benders. Most schools in the regions are closed. The Missouri Department of Transportation is warning motorists to exercise caution on overpasses and ramps. Drifting snow will continue to cause low visibility.

  • Attorney for George Ryan says they'll ask President Barack Obama to grant clemency to the imprisoned former Illinois governor after an appeals court refused to release Ryan on bail to spend more time with his terminally ill wife. Ryan's attorney, former Gov. James Thompson, told The Associated Press Monday that the request would be submitted to the White House within days. It will ask Obama to commute Ryan's sentence to his three years already served.

  • A St. Louis police officer is recovering after being dragged by a suspect's car during a traffic stop. Authorities say the officer pulled over the suspect because he believed he saw drugs in the car. They say the suspect rolled up his window, trapping the officer's arm in his car and dragging him a short distance. The officer's injuries were not serious. The suspect was arrested after crashing following a police chase.

Snow in St. Louis
1:41 pm
Mon January 10, 2011

Snow headed for St. Louis again, MoDOT asking motorists to minimize travel

Snow plows stand at the ready for the Missouri Department of Transportation. The National Weather Service is predicting another snowfall of 3-6 inches for the St. Louis area beginning this afternoon. (Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Don't put your boots or ice scraper away, snow is coming again to St. Louis -- and soon.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has prepared area roadways for the 3 to 6 inches of snow that is forecasted for the St. Louis metropolitan area.

MoDOT crews began treating roads last night with a salt brine mix. Bruce Pettus, maintenance superintendent for MoDOT, says as the snow begins to fall, conditions will begin to deteriorate during rush hour traffic, making it difficult for crews to clear the roads.

"That's why we're asking the motorists to minimize travel, maybe leave a little early from work. And make that commute before we get accumulating snow. And then this evening, do the same thing, minimize travel. We're gonna have all of our forces on the road, but it'll just allow us more space to work."

Pettus says MoDOT will have over 200 trucks on the road once the snow begins to accumulate.

Morning round-up
9:16 am
Mon January 10, 2011

Morning headlines: Snow on the way, St. Stanislaus Kostka trial begins, Mo. Baptist Convention executive director resigns

The St. Stanislaus church in St. Louis. A trial to decide the fate of the church starts today. (via Wikimedia Commons/Mateusz Szymkiewicz)
  • The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the St. Louis region from noon today to noon tomorrow. Snow accumulations of 3-to-6 inches are expected. Meteorologist Laura Kanofsky says the snow could cause problems on the road. The snow should reach the St. Louis metro area by late afternoon or early evening.

"Because the snow is going to be lighter and fluffier, it's going to blow around a lot easier. And so with some winds picking up behind the system as it departs, some blowing and drifting snow could cause some areas of low visibility."

  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the trial to decide the fate of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church is beginning today. The trial in St. Louis Circuit Court is expected to last about three weeks. The church and archdiocese have been in conflict since 2004, when the parish board refused a demand by former Archbishop Raymond Burke to follow the same legal and financial rules as other parishes. When the board appointed its own pastor, Burke stripped the church of its standing as a Roman Catholic parish.
  • The Missouri Baptist Convention says its executive director has resigned due to what it calls "immoral behavior with a woman." The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Sunday that the Rev. David Tolliver had led the 600,000-member state arm of the Southern Baptist Convention since February 2009. The organization said in a news release Friday that his departure is immediate. Jay Hughes, one of the organization's leaders will fill in as executive director until a permanent replacement is named.

Morning round-up
9:26 am
Fri January 7, 2011

Morning headlines: Former CIA agent jailed, Mo. legislators want to limit minimum wage, Early voting summary approved, Boone bridge closed this weekend

The seal of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. An ex-agent of the agency has been charged with allegedly leaking classified information to a New York Times reporter. (via Flickr/ Jonathan Narvey)
  • A former CIA agent is jailed after allegedly leaking classified information about Iran to a New York Times reporter. Jeffrey Sterling, 43, of O'Fallon, Mo. is charged in a ten count indictment. The federal indictment charges Sterling with unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. The indictment did not specify what he leaked, but The Associated Press reports the leaks were to Pulitizer Prize winning journalist James Risen for his 2008 book State of War. The book details information about the CIA's covert spy war in Iran.
  • Some Missouri legislators want to limit the growth of the state's minimum wage. A 2006 law approved by Missouri voters requires the state's minimum wage to be adjusted annually with inflation. But if the federal minimum wage is higher, then that is used instead. Republic House member Jerry Nolte, of Gladstone, has filed legislation prohibiting the Missouri minimum wage from rising above the federal one. The bill has the backing of several other Republicans, as well as a coalition of business groups. Nolte says it's important for Missouri businesses to keep wages comparable to those of most neighboring states. Missouri currently follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The state labor department says Missouri's wage this year would otherwise be $7.00 per hour.
  • People who want a state ballot initiative that could lead to early voting have a green light from the  state to start gathering signatures. The Missouri secretary of state's office approved a summary of the initiative petition yesterday. Supporters must collect between 91,800 and 99,600 signatures, and the question would appear on the 2012 ballot. The proposal would change Missouri law to let voters cast ballots in person before federal general elections.
  • The Missouri Department of Transportation says the westbound lanes of the Daniel Boone bridge will close for maintenance from about 8 or 9 p.m. tonight until around 5 a.m. Monday. The bridge carries Interstate 64 traffic over the Missouri River. Drivers are encouraged to use one of three other bridges that cross the river in the St. Louis area - on Interstate 70, Route 364 or Highway 370. The work is preventative maintenance on the Boone bridge, which carries about 75,000 cars daily.

ACLU on execution Drug Supply
3:27 pm
Thu January 6, 2011

ACLU says Mo. running out of execution drug

Mo. deathrow inmate Richard Clay. The ACLU says that the state is running out of one of the drugs used in executions. Clay is scheduled to be executed next week. (Missouri Department of Corrections)

The ACLU of Eastern Missouri says it has learned that the state is running out of its supply of one of the three drugs used in executions.

The ACLU says the state has 50 units of sodium thiopental, but it expires March 1.

The state is preparing for the execution of Richard Clay next week.

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Morning round-up
8:45 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Morning headlines: Initial autopsy results in Martin death investigation, Ryan awaiting appeals court decision, Mo. lottery changes drawings

Adrienne Martin (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, an initial autopsy of 27 year-old Adrienne Martin did not reveal any signs of disease. St. Louis County medical examiner Dr. Mary Case, also said that Martin's cremation won't hurt the investigation of her death. Martin was found dead Dec. 19 in the Huntleigh home of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV. Case says tissue samples were taken from Martin's organs to help determine the cause of her death.
  • An Illinois appeals court will decide whether imprisoned former Gov. George Ryan will be able to visit his ailing wife. Lura Lynn Ryan is in intensive care suffering complications from chemotherapy. The ex-governor's attorneys asked the court to release him yesterday in an emergency motion.
  • The Missouri lottery is moving its evening drawings back more than two hours so more people will have time buy tickets. Sales currently end at 6:45 p.m. for the daily drawings for Pick 3, Pick 4, Show Me Cash, and for Missouri lotto on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Starting Monday, sales for the drawings will end at 8:59 p.m., and the Lottery says numbers will be drawn between then and 9:15 p.m.

Roy Blunt
5:36 pm
Wed January 5, 2011

Blunt sworn in as Missouri's junior U.S. Senator

A photo of now U.S. Senator Roy Blunt's swearing-in ceremony today in Washington, D.C. Pictured above from left: Andy Blunt (Son); Senator Blunt, Charlie Blunt (Son), Abigail Blunt (Wife), Vice President Biden. (via Office of Sen. Roy Blunt)

With the departure of Kit Bond, Missouri has both a new senior senator, Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill, and a new junior senator, Republican Roy Blunt. 

Blunt took his oath with vice president Joe Biden today to make it official.

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Morning round-up
9:12 am
Wed January 5, 2011

Morning headlines: You Tube video of St. Louis police officer, redrawing Il political lines, Army's chief views tornado damage

St. Louis police are investigating a You Tube video that show an officer beating a man with his nightstick at a convenience store. (SLPR)
(St. Louis Public Radio file photo)
  • St. Louis police are investigating after a You Tube video surfaced showing a city officer beating a man with his nightstick. The officer is on administrative duty pending the completion of the department's investigation. The video was shot at a convenience store, through an uninvolved vehicle's window. The convenience store owner says the off-duty officer was working security when a young man came in and caused a disturbance. He says the video doesn't show the man grabbing at the officer's ankles and that he believes the officer did nothing wrong. You Tube removed the video Tuesday afternoon.
  • Illinois legislators will begin the process to redraw the state's political lines in the spring. On Tuesday, lawmakers passed changes to the redistricting process, making public input mandatory. If the governor signs the measure, four public hearing will be required by law. There, voters can tell legislators what they want the map to look like before one is drafted. However, critics say the hearing should also be mandatory after a proposed new legislative map is released. Woodstock Democratic Representative Jack Franks says the reforms aren't a panacea to the politically charged process. The changes will also provide increased protections for monitories, ensuring that districts are drawn so minority voters aren't split into too many districts.
  • The U.S. Army's chief of staff is pledging to get financial help from Congress for soldiers and families affected by last week's tornado at Missouri Fort Leonard Wood. General George Casey Jr. toured the sprawling southern Missouri post on Tuesday, four days after an EF-3tornado destroyed about 30 homes and left more than 60 others needing repairs. Thousands of people were off the post when the tornado struck on New Year's Eve. Casey noted that only a few people were injured. He said most people at the post had a 15-minute warning through sirens and a public address system. He also praised the support from neighboring communities that have donated thousands of items of food, clothing, toys and bedding.

Kit Bond
2:27 pm
Tue January 4, 2011

Kit Bond to join Thompson Coburn lawfirm

Kit Bond with U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill in May 2010. Bond announced his move to St. Louis lawfirm Thompson Coburn today, his next step after retiring from the U.S. Senate. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

As we told you about earlier, Kit Bond is joining the St. Louis-based law firm Thompson Coburn after his retirement from the U.S. Senate.

But what will he be doing, exactly? And why Thompson Coburn?

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