Mary Delach Leonard

Work/Life Reporter

Mary Delach Leonard is a veteran journalist who joined the St. Louis Beacon staff in 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

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 buy-a-farm.com 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.

Pages