Mary Delach Leonard

Work/Life Reporter

Mary Delach Leonard is a veteran journalist who joined St. Louis Public Radio in December 2013 when it merged with the St. Louis Beacon. She had been a reporter for the Beacon since April 2008 -- after a 17-year career at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where she was a reporter and an editor in the features section. Her work has been cited for awards by such organizations as the Missouri Associated Press Managing Editors, the Missouri Press Association and the Illinois Press Association. In 2010, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis honored her with a Spirit of Justice Award in recognition of her work on the housing crisis. Leonard began her newspaper career at the Belleville News-Democrat (in Illinois) after earning a degree in mass communications from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, where she now serves as an adjunct faculty member. She is partial to pomeranians and Cardinals.

Ways to Connect

The 2014 postseason ended Thursday night for the Cardinals, with a 6-3 loss to the Giants, who will now face America’s darlings -- the unstoppable Kansas City Royals -- in the World Series. 

The Royals, a wild card winner in the American League, are undefeated in the postseason. They swept the Baltimore Orioles to get to the World Series for the first time since they won it in 1985, against the Cardinals.

It’s down-to-the-last-out time again for the Cardinals after losing Game Four of the National League Championship Series, 6-4, Wednesday night. The Cards are perched on the brink of elimination, trailing the Giants 3-1  in the best-of-seven series.

File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Engineers will be literally hanging around the Gateway Arch this week examining stains on the monument’s stainless steel exterior surface.

The engineers plan to descend from the hatch at the top of the 630-foot-tall Arch and use a rope system to descend down the north leg to an area about 425 feet above the ground where they will collect samples that could  help determine the best way to clean the monument.

After a stomach-churning 5-4 victory Sunday, the Cardinals head to San Francisco, tied 1-1 with the Giants in the National League Championship Series.

Kolten Wong clinched Game Two for the Cards with a walk-off solo home run in the ninth.

It had been a back-and-forth contest with plenty of fireworks for Cards fans. Matt Carpenter, Oscar Taveras and Matt Adams each hit solo home runs before Wong’s lead-off homer in the ninth.

After a 3-0 loss Saturday to the Giants in Game One of the National League Championship Series, the Cardinals have a sure-fire weapon to brighten spirits at Busch Stadium Sunday night: The Budweiser Clydesdales are coming.

Weather permitting, the Best Horsies in Baseball will take a pre-game trot around the warning track before Game Two of the best-of-seven series.The game starts at 7:07 p.m. Scheduled to pitch are righthanders Lance Lynn for the Cards and Jake Peavy for the Giants.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Welcome back, San Francisco. The postseason just doesn’t seem the same when you’re not here.

While some in the baseball world are squawking about how the Cards or the Giants have represented the National League in the World Series since 2010, we're good with it.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Here We Go Again!

That was the message on the scoreboard at Busch Stadium Tuesday night after the Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 to win the division series.

File photo / Mary Delach Leonard / St. Louis Beacon

Red October finally gets underway in St. Louis on Monday with Cardinals fans welcoming home the 2014 National League Central Division champs, now tied 1-1 with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the postseason division series.

File Photo | St. Louis Cardinals

Be careful, Cardinal Nation. Tickets for playoff games sold on the secondary market could be scams, according to the St. Louis Better Business Bureau.

The Internet has become the go-to place for sports fans looking to buy or sell tickets, notes the BBB, but it is also a breeding ground for scammers. There have been cases of counterfeit tickets sold for local entertainment events, including a Bruno Mars concert at Scottrade Center and the English Premier League soccer match at Busch Stadium in May 2013.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The century-old Goldenrod Showboat is still in limbo, waiting along an empty stretch of the Illinois River like a forgotten star from yesteryear yearning for one more curtain call.

The Goldenrod is moored out of sight -- hidden by weeds and brush in a remote spot along Highway 100, north of Kampsville, Ill. But she’s not been forgotten. A small band of diehard fans say they are determined to rescue and return the vessel to the St. Louis riverfront where she spent half her life.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

A narrow hallway in the parish center at St. Stephen’s and The Vine Church in Ferguson is crammed full of good intentions: cans of corn and green beans, tuna and soup, bottles of water, boxes of macaroni and cheese.

Donations have been pouring into the little volunteer food pantry housed at the Episcopal church on North Clay Avenue since a local TV station mentioned it on the news. People have come from all over St. Louis, from Fenton and Alton and Belleville to drop off canned goods they’ve collected in food drives for Ferguson held at businesses, universities and churches.

National Park Service / Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

Had things gone differently in 1947, instead of the majestic stainless steel Gateway Arch that is recognized around the world, St. Louis could have a rectangular stone gate standing tall on the riverfront today.

Or, a large, abstract monument signifying … something. 

Other suggestions proposed for the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial included towering pylons and bridges. 

Capt. Ron Johnson and Gov. Jay Nixon address the press on Aug. 15.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, by a white Ferguson police officer will be studied by researchers and historians for decades to come. So will the role of peacemaker and peacekeeper played by Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

For 120 years, Ferguson, Mo. -- currently home to 21,203 people -- has been a little city that has grown in good times and evolved in hard times, with little attention from folks outside the St. Louis region.

That changed in a flash of gunfire last Saturday when a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African-American 18-year-old who was unarmed.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Fans of the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle snapped keepsake photos of the iconic water tower in Collinsville Saturday morning and noted the sign posted beside it: Property For Sale. And Bottle.

“I just hope they can keep it — that someone buys it who will take care of it,” said Adam DeLeon, a Jesuit seminarian who was on a road trip to St. Louis when he heard the news that the catsup bottle was for sale.

DeLeon is a fan of roadside attractions. “These things are significant to us,'' he said. "It’s funny. It’s classic Americana.’’

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
Wikipedia | government photo

Keep your guard up, gentle consumers. There are anglers among us.

Here are four recent alerts worth noting:

1. Illinois Attorney General Sues Student Loan Debt Relief Companies

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has sued debt relief companies that she says exploit people struggling to repay student loans. Some of the marketing strategies are reminiscent of the way scammers duped vulnerable homeowners facing foreclosure during the mortgage crisis.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

That old Nike missile launch site that’s been in the news lately could have been yours for $227,000, but since you missed that real estate gem, perhaps broker Wayne Keller could interest you in a Show-Me State version of Stonehenge.

Keller, whose usually sells farms with silos that hold grain not Hercules missiles, says he’s marketed some unique properties in the past -- including a kitty litter plant. But selling a Cold War relic has been a blast.

“It’s certainly been the highlight so far,’’ he said.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

It takes just a moment to hand a child a sack lunch, but it is THE moment -- the one that matters – for the volunteers with Twigs, a program that feeds children from financially struggling families in the summertime in Granite City.

You’ll find the volunteers in their bright yellow shirts at 11 designated spots -- street corners, parks and churches -- from 11:30 to 12:30, Monday through Friday, rain or shine, starting the day after school lets out for summer vacation and until it opens again.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

Real estate broker Wayne Keller is showing another curious “looky loo” around an unusual property: the launch area of a Nike missile base that was constructed more than 50 years ago in the countryside of Southern Illinois.

From atop this peaceful hill in Monroe County, the U.S. Army once kept eyes on the skies, ready to blast Hercules missiles at Soviet bombers headed for St. Louis, about 30 miles to the northwest.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

A unique art show that opens Friday at the Clayton Fine Art Gallery shows what can happen when young art students get a chance to work with St. Louis art professionals.

“The Blooming Artists Project” will display student artwork side by side with the work of their mentors — local jewelers, sculptors, painters, fiber artists and photographers.