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.

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While Cardinals fans waited to get their first look at Jim Edmonds in a Cincy uniform, second-baseman Brandon Phillips of the Reds couldn’t contain his disgust for Edmonds’ old team.

Phillips, who fouled a ball off his shin Saturday in Chicago, missed Sunday’s game but was apparently feeling well enough to spout off to Hal McCoy of the Dayton Daily News that there was no way he’d miss Monday night’s game.

Kent D. Syverud
Washington University photo

Kent D. Syverud, dean of the Washington University School of Law, has been appointed as one of two independent trustees of the $20 billion Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Trust fund established by BP to settle claims for damages from the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

In an interview with the Beacon Monday, Syverud said he understands the importance of the position.

“It is a public responsibility, and I care about it and understand the importance of it,’’ he said. “I will do my best.’’

Friday's employment news from the U.S. Department of Labor was sobering: Even though the nation's unemployment rate for July remained unchanged at 9.5 percent, the nation gained just 12,000 jobs overall for the month -- a drop in the economic recovery bucket.

According to the report, private employers added a net total of 71,000 jobs in July, but that was offset by government cuts at the local, state and federal levels, analysts said.

Here are two interesting facts from a new "green economy'' report commissioned by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association:

 -- St. Louis has added 1,000 green jobs in the past two years, despite the recession.

 -- The number of green jobs in the region grew 54 percent between 1995 and 2008, while green job growth in California's Silicon Valley was 53 percent during the same time period.

Crown Square rehabbed 2010
File Photo | Rachel Heidenry | Beacon

Odessa Willis had been hearing about the redevelopment of a two-block section of North 14th Street where she once shopped on Saturday evenings, during a heyday that had become a memory, in a place that had become a symbol of failed urban renewal. She came to the party for the new Crown Square development Thursday afternoon to see for herself these historic buildings that have been reclaimed, rebuilt and reborn -- once again.

Odessa Willis comes home.

provided

One year after the NACA "Save the Dream Tour'' stopped in Cleveland, a local nonprofit advocacy group that offers foreclosure counseling in Ohio has posted a note on the front page of its website "reaching out to homeowners who've had difficulty with Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America."

On a miserably hot and steamy weekend last summer, struggling homeowners seeking mortgage salvation turned out by the thousands at the Chaifetz Arena for an event called "Save the Dream," a highly publicized multi-city foreclosure-prevention tour put on by the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America (NACA), a Boston-based nonprofit that touts "same-day permanent solutions."

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - While it can be argued that all levels of the lending industry played some part in the sub-prime mortgage collapse, economist William Emmons of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis adds another factor: household financial behavior.

Emmons believes the sub-prime mortgage meltdown was a long time coming and is linked to the downward trend in both U.S. personal and national saving.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: On Sept. 29, 1963 -- "Stan Musial Day" in St. Louis -- 27,576 fans rose to their feet as the 42-year-old Cardinals great was driven around the field seated on the back of a convertible. Team owner August "Gussie" Busch Jr. spoke on behalf of the loyal legions at Busch Stadium that Sunday afternoon and for the countless thousands watching the pre-game retirement ceremonies on live TV at home.

"We wish you could go on forever," Busch said.

Elsie Roth shows off a book that describes her father's heroism during World War I, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Mary Delach Leonard | 2009 St. Louis Beacon photo

If you visit the National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington this Veterans Day, chances are you will not see the Distinguished Service Cross awarded to Army Sgt. William Shemin for heroism in France during World War I.

Shemin was awarded the medal -- the nation's second-highest military decoration -- for leaping from a trench into heavy machine gun and rifle fire to carry three wounded comrades to safety.

Vito Comporato, right, and another worker during the construction of the Gateway Arch.
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Archives

On the morning of Oct. 28, 1965, ironworker Vito Comporato peered down from atop the Gateway Arch and watched what looked like hundreds of ants gathering on the riverfront 630 feet below.

There were Boy Scout ants with American flags and busloads of the city's schoolchildren ants.

The mayor ant was down there, too, probably with the rest of the VIP ants on a dignitary platform the size of a twig.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 21, 2008 - There are no heroes to be found in today's economic crisis, and it won't be over any time soon, says St. Louis economist Murray Weidenbaum.

"I've been saying for some time that this is going to be a long, deep recession; we're not going to come quickly out of it. I hope that some time next year we'll be hitting bottom and the economy will start turning up -- but not dramatically,'' Weidenbaum told the Beacon on Thursday.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 19, 2008 - They didn't pass the hat after Tuesday night's screening of the documentary "I.O.U.S.A.'' at the Missouri History Museum, but audience members did learn what their individual share of the country's nearly $60 trillion fiscal hole will be, come January: $184,000.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 14, 2008 - A parody from "Saturday Night Live" is one of the more amusing scenes used by the filmmakers of the documentary "I.O.U.S.A." to explain in understandable language the causes and effects of the ever-growing U.S. national debt, which as of today, stands at just under $53 trillion.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 12, 2008 - On Wednesday, U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson  announced that the government has changed how it will spend the $700 billion emergency economic "bailout" fund approved by Congress on Oct. 3. Instead of buying so-called toxic mortgages, it is now considering helping consumer credit markets. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 3, 2008 - As Missourians head for the polls, they may want to pause for a moment and dig the mud out of their ears.

In an election year that has focused on a historic presidential race, down-ballot Missouri state candidates have increasingly called attention to their own races by slinging dirtballs at their opponents.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 31, 2008 - Angela Griffin, 24, is a junior majoring in English at UMSL. Griffin's hometown is Richmond, Va. 

College student Angela Griffin was just 3 weeks old in 1984, when Democratic candidate Geraldine Ferraro made American history as the first woman nominated for vice president by a major political party.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: October 2, 2008 - Gov. Sarah Palin gave a strong performance in Thursday night's vice-presidential debate at Washington University -- but so did Sen. Joe Biden, said those attending the 90-minute face-off, as they exited the hall.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 30, 2008 - The experiences of U.S. military women who went to Iraq as support soldiers -- cooks, clerks and mechanics -- but ended up in battle, are detailed in "Lioness," a documentary that will be screened and discussed Thursday as part of KETC-Channel 9's Community Cinema Series.

The documentary by Meg McLagan and Daria Sommers weaves together personal accounts, journal excerpts and archival footage to tell the story of five female soldiers of the 1st Infantry Division who served together in Iraq from September 2003 through August 2004, during the growing counterinsurgency.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 29, 2008- The St. Louis Beacon extends a warm welcome to our 3,100 media colleagues and the various political entourages descending on "the heartland" / "middle America" / "the flyover zone'' for Thursday's vice-presidential debate at Washington University.

Part 3 of 3 - This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 26, 2008 - The collapse of some of the nation's oldest financial institutions started on Main Street America with hundreds and thousands of homeowners such as 56-year-old Maureen McKenzie of Kirkwood who in May lost to foreclosure the small ranch house that had been in her family since it was built after World War II. How could this happen? The answer is ... complicated. The Beacon will unravel the story of how Maureen McKenzie of Kirkwood, Mo., lost her 900 square feet of the American Dream.

Part 2 of 3- This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 25, 2008- The collapse of some of the nation's oldest financial institutions started on Main Street America with hundreds and thousands of homeowners such as 56-year-old Maureen McKenzie of Kirkwood who in May lost to foreclosure the small ranch house that had been in her family since it was built after World War II. How could this happen? The answer is ... complicated. The Beacon will unravel the story of how Maureen McKenzie of Kirkwood, Mo., lost her 900 square feet of the American Dream. 

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 11, 2008 - A recount of Missouri primary votes has upheld state Sen. Chris Koster's victory over Rep. Margaret Donnelly as the Democratic nominee for attorney general, Secretary of State Robin Carnahan announced today.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 8, 2008 -  The slow St. Louis area housing market won't immediately get better -- or worse -- with the federal government's takeover of troubled mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but more loan money could eventually become available, say local analysts.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 6, 2008 - Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin will try to become the first female to hold that office in the United States. Will she get an extra bump from women voters?

Generalizing about women voters in any election year is a little like saying that the only difference between hockey moms and pit bulls is lipstick.

>This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: September 2, 2008 -  A crowd estimated at 22,000 gathered at T.R. Hughes Stadium in O'Fallon, Mo., to hear presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain speak alongside his pick for vice president, Sarah Palin.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 28, 2008-  Forty years later, it is shocking to watch old news footage of the chaos outside the Democratic National Convention in 1968 as Chicago police and National Guard troops armed with tear gas, billyclubs and bayonets confronted unarmed anti-war protesters.

The demonstrators, most of them college-aged, wore long hair, love beads and scruffy jeans and shouted anti-draft slogans like "Hell, no. We won't go" and warned, "The whole world is watching.''

History was watching, also. And St. Louisans will have an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the political and social aspects of the 1968 convention when KETC and the Missouri History Museum kick off the Community Cinema Series on Sept. 11 with a screening of "Chicago 10" by filmmaker Brett Morgen.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 22, 2008 - What a difference a river can make for homeowners facing foreclosure.

For residents of Illinois, a judicial foreclosure state, the legal process can take nearly a year because it is administered through the courts. In Missouri, the process can take as few as 60 days because the majority of foreclosures are nonjudicial, completed without going to court but in accordance with state law and the terms of the mortgage.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: August 18, 2008 - A new online "Foreclosure Resource Center" launched by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is aimed at financially troubled homeowners, but it also offers useful consumer advice for people who aren't in danger of losing their homes.

For example, a link titled "You May Be Paying Too Much for Your Mortgage" offers four scenarios that could prompt a borrower with a good credit history to refinance or shop around for a better deal on a loan. A section on bank-related complaints includes directions for filing complaints against financial institutions and answers to commonly asked questions about credit and loans.

Chris Krehmeyer
Provided by Beyond Housing

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - She is a 34-year-old married mother of two who is whittling away at $20,000 of debt – a saga she shares on her Web site www.paidtwice.com.

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