Rachel Lippmann

Reporter

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.

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Michael Brown Protests
3:39 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Red Cross Ready To Respond If Needed In Ferguson

A Red Cross volunteer distributes food in Ferguson in August. The agency says it is prepared to offer its services again in Ferguson after the grand jury reaches a decision in the Darren Wilson case.
Credit Courtesy of the American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis

The American Red Cross of Greater St. Louis says it is ready to provide whatever services are needed in the aftermath of the anticipated grand jury decision of whether or not to charge Darren Wilson with a crime.

The protests that erupted following the August shooting death of Michael Brown left many families in the Ferguson area struggling to meet basic needs, said Red Cross chief executive officer Cindy Erickson.  The Red Cross partnered with other area relief agencies to set up a respite center where people could get supplies and services. 

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Michael Brown Shooting
2:19 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

With Grand Jury Decision Looming, Nixon Declares State Of Emergency

Gov. Jay Nixon announces his intention to use the National Guard to assist with protests in Ferguson on Nov. 11, 2014.
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

(Updated at 9 p.m., Mon., Nov. 17)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard to protect “the two pillars: safety and speech’’ that he says could be tested in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision regarding the August police shooting that killed teenager Michael Brown. 

"Our goal is to keep the peace and allow folks' voices to be heard,'' Nixon said Monday night in a conference call with reporters.

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Michael Brown Shooting
6:27 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Nixon Pledges Safety For Protesters And Community In Wake Of Grand Jury Decision

Surrounded by state and local law enforcement Tuesday, Gov. Jay Nixon announced public safety plans for anticipated protests in the aftermath of the grand jury decision.
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has pledged zero tolerance for violence in anticipation of protests when the grand jury investigating the August shooting death of Michael Brown releases its decision later this month. But he and law enforcement officials at a Tuesday press conference made it clear that they want to protect both protesters and others' safety and property. 

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Same-Sex Marriage
11:18 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Federal Judge Declares Missouri's Ban On Same-Sex Marriage Unconstitutional

Lilly Leyh and Sadie Pierce were the first couple in St. Louis to get their marriage license after a state court judge struck down Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage on Nov. 5. A federal court did the same on Nov. 7
Credit Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:50 p.m. with comments from plaintiff Kyle Lawson.

Two days after a state judge in St. Louis came to the same conclusion, a federal judge in Kansas City has struck down Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage.  

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Mobile Justice
4:17 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

ACLU Unveils New Tool To Monitor Police

A screenshot of the "Mobile Justice" app, unveiled Nov. 11 by the ACLU of Missouri
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

When the St. Louis County grand jury completes its investigation into the death of Michael Brown, protests are expected to erupt. And now, the people who participate have a new tool to monitor police.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri unveiled a tool Thursday that allows people to monitor the interactions between police and citizens with their smart phones.

 

"People have told us they don't feel protected," said Jeffrey Mittman, the ACLU of Missouri's executive director. "This app will empower Missourians who have traditionally felt powerless." 

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2014 General Election
12:45 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Stenger Edges Out Stream In Expensive Nail-Biter For County Executive

Steve Stenger celebrates a victory.
Credit Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Steve Stenger eked out a narrow victory Tuesday for St. Louis County executive, becoming one of the few major Democratic wins – regionally or nationally.

After trailing for much of the vote-counting, Stenger ended up with an edge of 1,768 votes over Republican Rick Stream. That amounted to less than 1 percent of the roughly 294,000 votes cast.

"I want to say 'thank you' to the voters of St. Louis County who have placed their confidence in me to turn their county around, and to move our county forward and upward,'' Stenger said in a brief victory speech.

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Public Safety Diversity
5:05 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

St. Louis To Expand Police Minority Recruitment Program

Mayor Francis Slay announces that the city will help the Ethical Society of Police expand its recruitment program to the entire Department of Public Safety on Nov. 4, 2014.
Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The city of St. Louis plans to expand a recruitment program piloted by the black police officer’s association that will increase diversity in its public safety department as a whole. 

For the past year, members of the Ethical Society of Police have recruited and mentored young black men they think would make good police officers. The society offers support for recruits that includes a 10-week class on the basics of police work and help with the police academy application. 

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Ferguson Flight Restrictions
8:58 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Belmar: Ferguson No-Fly Zone Was All About Safety

St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar, shown here on Sept. 4, said an August no-fly zone in Ferguson was implemented for safety, not to keep out the media.
Credit UPI/Bill Greenblatt

 The St. Louis County police chief is disputing a report the Associated Press published over the weekend that said an August no-fly zone over Ferguson was meant to keep media helicopters from the area.  

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Ferguson Shooting
4:31 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

McCulloch Urges Public To Have Faith In Ferguson Grand Jury Process

Bob McCulloch has released two statements in two days about the Ferguson grand jury> His spokesperson said it's an effort to "clear up what's been hanging out there."
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

For the second time in two days, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch has issued a statement on the grand jury investigation into the death of Michael Brown. 

"The purpose of the criminal justice system is to search for justice, but before one can determine what is just, one must first determine what is true," read the statement from McCulloch's office, released on Friday morning. "At this stage, the grand jury is engaged in that search for truth."

Spiritualism In St. Louis
10:09 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

In Haunted City, Reaching Out To Ghosts Has a Long History

Dave Riordan in Claymorgan Alley.
Credit Willis Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

Like most old cities, St. Louis has its share of ghost stories.

There’s the Lemp Mansion, haunted by the the tragic history of the beer baron’s family.

There’s the Rock House on the campus of the Edgewood Children’s Home in Webster Groves, and the spirits that roam the land near Ralston Purina, which was once the site of a medical college and later a Civil War-era prison.

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