Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

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

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

At The Griot Museum of Black History, the storytelling doesn’t depend on a designated month. February is usually an important month for the organization, but the lessons are taught whenever a person or group comes in.

The little two-story brick museum in north St. Louis celebrates the accomplishments of African Americans and their connections to the region. It also presents how slaves were transported.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The little bowling alley at the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center is a lively place on Thursday afternoons when patients from the spinal cord injury unit are bowling and shooting the bull with local veterans who volunteer at the lanes.

On these six wooden lanes -- amid the victorious clatter of strikes and the thud, thud, thud of gutter balls -- men and women with life-altering injuries find cheerful encouragement while learning how to use adaptive bowling equipment to knock down the tenpins.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

A new display in the atrium of the Jewish Federation Kopolow Building may be small in size, but it packs punch with its disturbing news clippings and artifacts detailing the response of the St. Louis Jewish community to extremism and discrimination of all types after World War II.

At left, Craig Remsburg sits with his son Cory during the State of the Union address along with a photo of the Army Ranger during rehab with President Obama.
Enhanced White House stream of State of the Union Address

Dear Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg:

St. Louis says, “Hi.”

With tweets and Facebook posts and all manner of website shout-outs, St. Louisans have been sending well wishes to Sgt. Remsburg, the Army Ranger who was lauded for his determination and courage by President Barack Obama during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Provided by Roni Chambers

Roni Chambers, who led the now-shuttered GO! Network, is practicing what she used to preach to white-collar professionals who turned to her nonprofit for help after they lost their jobs during the Great Recession.

White House photo

As St. Louisans gather Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Christ Church Cathedral is inviting the community to join a day-long reading of his speeches and letters from the ornate pulpit where he delivered a Lenten sermon 50 years ago.

This is the fifth year that Christ Church has held the community reading but the first time that participants will stand in the pulpit where King stood, said the Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of the cathedral, who believes in the power of “everyone’s voices.”

Courtesy Susan Grigsby

Local children’s authors, who explore topics ranging from Thomas Jefferson to tattletales, will be on hand to discuss and sign their books at two sessions this month at the St. Louis Central Library.

unshoveled walk
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Despite a persistent myth that seems to surface every time it snows, homeowners don’t increase their liability in "slip and fall" cases because they cleared the snow and ice from their sidewalks, say local attorneys.

Snow and ice are considered a normal hazard of living -- and clearing off your sidewalk is the right thing to do, said Stephen Ringkamp of the Hullverson Law Firm.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon

The year ended as it began for Hazelwood city leaders who in 2011 backed a British startup that plans to build energy-efficient delivery vans: They’re still waiting for Emerald Automotive to find about $160 million in private funds.

David Cox, Hazelwood’s economic director, said he remains optimistic that the project will eventually happen. Hazelwood has loaned Emerald $3 million, and the Missouri Technology Corporation kicked in another $2 million.

house leaning against dollar
sxc.hu

U.S. households have come a long way in regaining wealth lost in the Great Recession, but the pace of recovery remains uneven largely due to the housing market, say researchers from the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon

Residents of a tiny village in Missouri’s Bootheel hope this will be the last Christmas they spend waiting for a federal buyout of their homes that were destroyed in May 2011 when the Army Corps of Engineers blew up a levee to alleviate flooding along the Mississippi River.

Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon

Knock, knock. Knock, knock. Campus Kitchen!

With each knock on a door, St. Louis University students Shannon Leahy and Max Clifton were completing a chain of good deeds by dozens of volunteers with Campus Kitchen at St. Louis University. Every week, the students collect and organize, slice and dice, sauté, cook, bake and assemble donated fruits, vegetables, breads and meats into free nutritious meals for their elderly and disabled neighbors who live in high-rises just across Grand Boulevard.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

Wanda Pierson was 500 miles from home on a wintry December morning waiting to visit her son who was undergoing treatment in the spinal cord injury unit at the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louis Magazine once dubbed us “earnest and wonky”:

“The Beacon, which is so smart and serious, reading it feels like the intellectual equivalent of flossing.”

We took that as a compliment. After all, daily flossing is not a bad thing.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Americans who are paying off private student loans might find insights into their complicated monthly statements in a recent annual report published by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Private loans have drawn the scrutiny of Rohit Chopra, the student loan ombudsman for the bureau, a federal agency established by Congress in 2010 to oversee the consumer financial industry.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The rapid growth of student loan debt -- now at $1.2 trillion -– is one more aftershock of the U.S. financial crisis that dried up funding for millions of families, said Rohit Chopra, assistant director at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Darcella Craven
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Air Force veteran Lachelle Stevenson, 40, of Belleville is researching what it would take to open an after-school tutoring center.

“It’s a personal goal to own my own business,” said Stevenson who attended a workshop last week hosted by the St. Louis office of the Small Business Administration to learn about the nuts and bolts of business start-ups.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Timing isn't everything, but when people were born might play a role in how they're doing financially, according to economists at the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Old Busch stadium
Wikipedia

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Welcome to St. Louis, Red Sox fans.

Since this will be the first visit to Busch Stadium for many of you, here’s a brief guide to finding your way around baseball heaven.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: What happens if -- or when – Congress fails to raise the U.S. debt limit? What would a default by the U.S. government mean?

The questions are simple; the answers are not.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Canned veggies, soups, tuna and fruit.

Nonperishables like peanut butter, crackers and cereals.

There’s nothing fancy on the "want list" of St. Louis area food pantries: just the basic canned and shelf-stable foods they have always distributed to the region’s hungry families.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The rules are changing for federally insured reverse mortgages designed to enable older Americans to borrow from the equity in their homes without making payments. Lenders don’t collect on the loans until the houses are sold.

St. Louis Beacon graphic | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Five years after the financial crisis triggered massive job-letting across the nation, analysts say recovery in the jobs sector has been uneven -- just as it has been in the overall economy.

"A lot depends on who you work for and what your occupation is. You don’t see much of a recovery if you have traditionally worked in lower-skilled jobs, even those that pay relatively well. Those are the jobs that are either disappearing or companies just aren’t doing any hiring,’’ said Russ Signorino, a longtime St. Louis labor analyst. “If you don’t have the education or type of experience that employers are looking for, you are really having a tough time finding work that pays middle-income wages or higher. It’s difficult for a lot of people.”

 Data compiled by Bryan Noeth, policy analyst at the Center for Household Financial Stability at the St. Louis Fed
Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Five years after the U.S. financial crisis, the stock market has rebounded and risen to new heights, but analysts say the majority of U.S. households are still struggling to regain the financial footing they lost during the Great Recession.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The local housing market, which hit bottom after the U.S. financial crisis in 2008, is continuing its slow but steady recovery, says the head of the St. Louis Association of Realtors

Through August, home prices have edged up this year in St. Louis County and St. Louis, and it’s taking about a month less to sell them, said Donna Zerega, president of the Realtors trade group, which has about 8,000 members.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Marketing analysts and consultants are talking a lot these days about the U.S. economy’s new hour-glass figure: Heavy on top and bottom; trimmer in the middle.

When the Goldenrod was moored at St. Charles
Historic Riverboat Preservation Association / Goldenrod Showboat

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The Goldenrod Showboat, a historic vessel that delivered lively theater and music to Midwestern river towns in the early 20th century, now waits at an Illinois river bank for salvation -- or the salvage yard.

Though the clock is ticking, a small nonprofit group has renewed efforts to save the grand old vessel and return it to the St. Louis riverfront.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The former executive director of the now-shuttered GO! Network says she will find a way to launch a new organization to assist St. Louisans with their career transitions.

“I’m not finished with this. There’s too much work to be done,’’ said Roni Chambers after the nonprofit held its last weekly session on Aug. 27 at the St. Patrick Center downtown, where it had met since 2009.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: While fast food workers continue their push for a $15 hourly wage, polls find that a majority of Americans would support an increase of some type in the federal minimum wage, which has been $7.25 an hour since 2009.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Is $15 an hour to flip burgers or toss pizzas a realistic demand? When was the last time the federal minimum wage -- $7.25 per hour -- was adjusted? Who are America's minimum-wage workers? What is a living wage?

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