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.

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Cormorants and ducks
8:30 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

The Big Bird Cage: Where The Saint Louis Zoo Took Flight After The 1904 World's Fair

A great egret strikes a pose in the Flight Cage at the Saint Louis Zoo.
Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio

The residents of the big birdcage aren’t as flashy or exotic as many of the 19,000 animals at the Saint Louis Zoo, but they do put on a show.

At ground level, a row of small ruddy ducks with bright blue bills follow the leader, making rippling curlicues in a swamp-like pond. Double-crested cormorants hang out on a wooden bridge, striking a pose with their outstretched wings, as visitors reach for their camera phones.   

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Memorial Day 2014
5:55 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

St. Louis Group Plans Memory Wall To Honor Missourians Killed In Iraq And Afghanistan

Sgt. Amanda Pinson
Credit Provided by the family

Several days before Army Sgt. Amanda Pinson of Lemay deployed to Iraq, she visited with her cousin Jennifer Jerome.

They chatted about many things, but Jerome says one comment stands out in her mind from that conversation: “Amanda said, ‘If something were to happen, what if people forget me?’ ’’

Jerome assured Pinson that nothing would happen, but she also made a promise.

“I told her, ‘I will never let anyone forget you.' ’’

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Local History
5:17 am
Wed May 7, 2014

These Historical Photos Show How Much St. Louis Has Changed

1909: Balloons being inflated for the St. Louis Centennial balloon race, the signature event of a week-long celebration that marked the 100th year of the city's incorporation.
Oscar C. Kuehn / Missouri History Museum

To mark the 100th anniversary of St. Louis’ incorporation as a city, an imposing array of “gasbags” assembled at the edge of Forest Park in 1909 for the St. Louis Centennial balloon race.

(A bunch of politicians were there, too.)

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Scams Update
9:34 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Law Student Tackles Fraud Online; BBB Says It’s Time To Shred

Credit Proided by Nathaniel Carroll

Our recent reports about assorted consumer scams brought an interesting response from a Saint Louis University law student who is developing an online website to help centralize efforts to fight fraud.

Nathaniel Carroll and his associates came up with a catchy name — Burn Whistle — and eye-catching graphics for a blog they’ve launched. Their slogan is “Fight Fraud With Fire.”

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Good Friday Blues
5:06 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Cathedral's Unique Good Friday Service Merges The Gospel And The Blues

Christ Church Cathedral is a national historic landmark
Credit Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The blues will spill out the open front doors of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis on Good Friday evening as local performers join in a service that blends religion with music rooted in city tradition.

The Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of the Episcopal cathedral, says blues will be incorporated throughout the program. The service will begin with a dramatic reading of gospel accounts of the passion of Jesus Christ and will conclude with a live concert.

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Local Authors Showcase
9:23 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Almond Joy: St. Louis Foodies Celebrate The History, Lore And Nutrition Of A Superfood

California almonds ready to harvest, from "Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture" by St. Louis authors Barbara Bryant and Betsy Fentress
Robert Holmes

St. Louis foodies Barbara Bryant and Betsy Fentress have been at it again, blending food history and healthful facts with luscious recipes and gracious hospitality. Their new book -- Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture (2014 Gibbs Smith) -- is an ode to one of nature’s finest treats.

Did you know, for example, that almonds are a “superfood” packed with protein, Vitamin E and magnesium?

Or, that the teen-aged Leonardo da Vinci sculpted figures of marzipan, a paste of almonds and sugar?

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Wounded Warriors Project
12:46 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

St. Charles Man Charged With Falsely Soliciting Donations For Wounded Veterans

St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar (r) and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster are charging a man for scamming about $6,000 from people and claiming the money was for the Wounded Warriors Project.
Credit (Shula Neuman/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster today announced criminal charges against a St. Charles man accused of falsely collecting donations for the Wounded Warriors Project, a national nonprofit organization that assists wounded American veterans. 

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Scams Update
10:44 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

Fraudsters Target Netflix Users And People Who Don’t Owe Jury Duty Fines

Credit sxc.hu | creationc

Reporting on scams is like pulling weeds. Report on one, and two new ones pop up in its place. Here are some new scam alerts for area residents:

The Jury Duty Scam

A person pretending to be a St. Louis police officer has been calling St. Louis residents and claiming they missed jury duty, according to the St. Louis Circuit Court of Missouri.

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Consumer Alert
10:18 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Here Are Five Scams That St. Louisans Should Know About, Says The BBB

Michelle Corey
Credit Provided by Ms. Corey

Add tax return scams to the ever-growing list of ways crooks are ripping off people, warns Michelle Corey, president of the St. Louis Better Business Bureau.

In recent years, identity thieves have been filing bogus tax returns and collecting refunds, said Corey who advises consumers to regularly check their financial and credit reports for signs of wrongdoing.

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Do Not Call
8:45 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

FTC Is Still On The Trail Of Rachel And The Robocallers; Hang Up and File A Complaint

That's Rachel from Card Services calling again -- from a spoofed number.
Credit Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Ring ... Ring ... This is a very important message about your current credit card accounts. This is your second and final notice to lower your credit card interest rate and payments. Press 1 now to find out the terms, conditions and associated changes before the next billing cycle. Again, this is your final notice as it relates to the financial stimulus. So press 1 now to take advantage of this today ...

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