Marissanne Lewis-Thompson | St. Louis Public Radio

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson

Afternoon Newscaster

Marissanne Lewis-Thompson joined St. Louis Public Radio October 2017 as the afternoon newscaster and as a general assignment reporter. She previously spent time as a feature reporter at KRCU in Cape Girardeau, where she covered a wide variety of stories including historic floods, the Bootheel, education and homelessness. In May 2015, she graduated from the University of Missouri with a Bachelor of Journalism degree in Convergence Journalism. She's a proud Kansas City, Missouri native, where she grew up watching a ton of documentaries on PBS, which inspired her to tell stories. In her free time, she enjoys binge watching documentaries and anime. She may or may not have a problem.

Ways to Connect

Daniel Drake creates pancake art using a grill from Dancakes' griddle kit.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis native has turned pancakes into an artform.

Daniel Drake co-founded the business called, what else? Dancakes.

Wielding a squeeze bottle filled with colorful batter, Drake can draw just about anything from cartoon and anime characters to portraits of celebrities and the average Joe. For the last five years, Drake’s self-taught talent for edible art has allowed him to travel all over the world.

Ray Schultz, a Missouri Department of Conservation volunteer, is riding an Action Track Chair.
The Missouri Department of Conservation

Special motorized chairs are making it possible for people with physical disabilities to enjoy Missouri’s state parks.

Action Track Chairs, offered by the Missouri Department of Conservation, have special wheels and controls that enable users to navigate rugged trails and waterways.

Guy Vogt, the assistant outdoor education center manager at August A. Busch shooting range in Defiance, said with the fall hunting season in full swing, the chairs are equipped to do a lot.

LA Johnson | NPR

A year after the Las Vegas shooting that left dozens dead and hundreds injured, Manchester United Methodist Church held its own public discussion on gun violence throughout the St. Louis region.

What some expected to be a heated debate turned out to be a peaceful discussion on how Moms Demand Action and the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri are working to curb gun violence.

Joshua Williams is serving an eight-year prison sentence for actions during a 2014 protest in Berkeley.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Joshua Williams always stood out in a crowd. Even during the tense and chaotic 2014 Ferguson protests, Williams could easily be spotted in the signature red hoodie that he rarely went without.

Williams was 18 years old at the time, the same age as Michael Brown when he was shot and killed by police — and old enough to leave home against his mother’s wishes to join the front lines to protest Brown’s death.

Kara Smith | St. Louis County

St. Louis County Library members will have a chance to get an up-close-and-personal look at volcanoes, under the ocean and even outer space.

The library district is now offering free virtual-reality programs starting this fall using high-tech headsets and the virtual-reality teaching tool Google Expeditions.

Kristen Sorth, the director of the St. Louis County Library District, said the program opens the mind to possibilities, especially for kids.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

After nearly eight years, members of the Women Initiate Legal Lifelines to Other Women — or the WILLOW Project — have made a significant gain in the case of a woman convicted of helping in the 1994 murder of two elderly women in Missouri and Iowa.

The Missouri Parole Board granted Angel Stewart parole this month after spending 25 years behind bars. She’s still serving a life sentence in Iowa without the possibility of parole, although she and those helping her maintain she was not a part of the women’s murders.

Provided | VICE on HBO

A documentary from the HBO series "Vice" features two Missouri plants that have been affected by President Donald Trump’s trade policies and tariffs.

For one plant, the tariffs have been a lifeline; for the other, it’s driving a nail into the business. “Trump’s Trade War” explores the reality in both those plants and others across the U.S.

Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis aldermen on the Streets, Traffic and Refuse Committee held a hearing Tuesday to discuss the ongoing issues surrounding uncollected residential trash in the city.

For weeks, residents have voiced their frustrations on social media and to their aldermen that the trash in their dumpsters has gone uncollected for weeks at a time.

Jamie Wilson, the director of the city’s Department of Streets, said he’s well aware of the issue. He pointed to a combination of an aging fleet of trucks — not enough which are operable to meet demand — and an overworked staff.

Michael Bauermeister works on a piece in his studio in early July. July, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Along Augusta Bottom Road, in rural St. Charles County, sits the town of Nona. A century-old general store is about all that’s left, and Michael Bauermeister, its owner.

More than three decades ago Bauermeister converted the building into his woodshop. He and his wife, Gloria, brought their two young sons here in 1987. Michael set up the shop on the main floor, and he and his family lived in the 900-square foot apartment above.

Flickr | SuperFantastic

All public housing in Missouri is now smoke-free.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the policy change in November 2016, mandating the facilities prohibit smoking by July 30 of this year.

The deadline went into effect on Monday for all public-housing facilities in Missouri. Cheryl Lovell, the executive director for the St. Louis Housing Authority, said the news has been met with mixed reactions from residents living in public housing in St. Louis.

Preclarus Mastery Academy, which was housed inside Third Baptist Church, has 200 students enrolled in the 2017-2018 school year.
Provided | Preclarus Mastery Academy

St. Louis parents will have one less charter school to choose from in the coming school  year. Preclarus Mastery Academy officially closed its doors June 30. That’s seven years after the charter school opened in the Grand Center Arts District at 620 N. Grand Blvd.

The school’s sponsor, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said continued poor academic performance and several shake ups in leadership led to the closing. Bill Mendelsohn, the executive director of UMSL’s Charter School Office, said Preclarus had been on the path to closure for some time.

Bird electric scooters.  July 2018
Provided | Bird

Updated July 19 at 11 p.m. with a comment from Bird — Some St. Louisans might have noticed motorized scooters around the city on Thursday morning. Bird, a low-cost, electric vehicle sharing company, launched the scooter share program this week.

The problem is the company didn’t notify anyone in the city.

According to city officials, Bird dropped off scooters at several locations in St. Louis without the approval or knowledge of the city.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and then-St. Louis interim Police Chief Larry O'Toole address reporters on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A former candidate in the running to become the police chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department last year has alleged employment discrimination by the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Larry O'Toole filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and another with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging employment discrimination.

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair pose for a portrait at EyeSee Me.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

At a bookstore in University City, young people of color can crack open a book and see themselves as doctors, superheroes, historical figures and even princesses.

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair are the co-owners of the EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore. Jeffrey said he knew there was a need for the store long before they opened their doors in 2015. As they were homeschooling their children, Jeffrey said it was a challenge to find books and educational resources that were reflective of their children and their own experiences.

Junior poolplayers from the United and Canada will descend on St. Louis this week for the annual junior poolplayer championships.  2018
Provided | The American Poolplayers Association

The newest generation of poolplayers will make their way to St. Louis this week for the fifth annual Junior Poolplayer Championships. The competition, which is hosted by the American Poolplayers Association, is a multi-day tournament of competitors between age 7- and 18-years-old from all over the United States and Canada.

Nearly 400 youth are set to compete in this year’s tournament, which will take place at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel from Thursday through Sunday. 

Among the projects available for loans through GreenHELP is installing solar energy panels.
Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

St. Louis is giving residents an incentive to make energy efficient home improvements: A new, low-interest loan program called GreenHELP.

The program aims to help homeowners make their houses more eco-friendly, which will also provide savings on utility bills. The loans are offered through the office of city of St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green.

Musical instruments will be available to check out at four St. Louis County libraries starting June 25, 2018.
Kara Smith | St. Louis County Library

A program at the St. Louis County Library will allow residents to check out an assortment of musical instruments starting Monday.

The program is the first of its kind in the St. Louis region, said library district director Kristen Sorth. Lending musical instruments would be beneficial to many in the area, she said.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

ArchCity Defenders and community radio station KDHX are rolling out a three-month film series on racial justice.

First in the series, "Marvin Booker was Murdered" by filmmaker Wade Gardner, will be screened on Thursday evening at The Stage KDHX. 

Missouri Department of Conservation

The Ballwin Police Department is urging residents to be cautious after a black bear was spotted Sunday in a St. Louis County neighborhood.

According to a post on Facebook by the police department, a resident saw a large bear running between the Castle Pines Subdivision and Oak Run Lane.

Ronald Jones greets a client's son at his funeral home 2161 E Fair Ave. (May 16, 2018)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Growing up, there were three people in the community Ronald Jones says people respected: the preacher, the barkeeper and the undertaker.

 

After spending nearly every day in church as a child, Jones decided being a preacher wasn’t an option. Then there was the barkeeper, but Jones says he was turned off by the taste of rotgut whiskey.

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