Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Rachel Lippmann

Justice Reporter

Rachel Lippmann covers courts, public safety and city politics for St. Louis Public Radio. (She jokingly refers to them as the “nothing ever happens beats.”) She joined the NPR affiliate in her hometown in 2008, after spending two years in Lansing covering the Michigan Capitol and various other state political shenanigans for NPR affiliates there. Though she’s a native St. Louisan, part of her heart definitely remains in the Mitten. (And no, she’s not going to tell you where she went to high school.)

Rachel has an undergraduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism, and a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. When she’s not busy pursuing the latest scoop, you can find her mentoring her Big Brothers Big Sisters match, hitting the running and biking paths in south St. Louis, catching the latest sporting event on TV, playing with every dog she possibly can, or spending time with the great friends she’s met in more than nine years in this city.

Rachel’s on Twitter @rlippmann. Even with 240 characters, spellings are still phonetic.

Ways to Connect

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, (center) and Missouri Democratic lawmakers gathered in the Delmar Loop on October 15, 2018 to demand that Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley drop his appeal of a challenge to the state's voter photo ID law.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

St. Louis area Democrats are using an appeal of a court ruling against Missouri’s voter photo identification law as a rallying cry in the state’s competitive race for U.S. Senate.

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, joined Democratic members of the Missouri General Assembly Monday to demand that Attorney General Josh Hawley drop his defense of the law. A Cole County judge last week declared unconstitutional the sworn statement voters who used non-photo identification like a utility bill had to sign to cast a ballot.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden (right) listens on October 11, 2018 along with public safety director Jimmie Edwards and Mayor Lyda Krewson as researchers outline their findings on enforcement rates in St. Louis.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The number of African-Americans arrested or facing a summons in St. Louis for all types of crime dropped significantly between 2002 and 2017, according to research released Thursday by criminologists at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

The data show that about 11,300 black individuals faced some kind of enforcement action in 2017, compared to about 38,000 in 2002. Enforcement is defined as an arrest for a felony, misdemeanor, municipal offense or because the person has a bench warrant, or being issued a criminal summons

Under the new law, registered voters can bring one of four IDs to the polling place: a state-issued driver's license, a state-issued non-driver's license, a U.S. passport or a military ID.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 10 with statement from Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft -- A Cole County judge has rejected a sworn statement that Missouri voters who wanted to use non-photo forms of identification had to sign in order to vote.

But Richard Callahan’s ruling, issued Tuesday, says most of the identification requirement the Missouri Legislature created in 2016 “is within its constitutional prerogative under the Missouri Constitution."

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway announces the findings of an audit of the state's sex offender registry on Oct. 1, 2018. Her review found nearly 8 percent of the offenders required to register were not compliant.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. with comments from the St. Louis Police Department — Police in Missouri do not know the whereabouts of nearly 1,200 sex offenders who are required by law to register with law enforcement — or nearly 8 percent of the total population who are supposed to be tracked.

An audit released Monday by state Auditor Nicole Galloway found that nearly 800 of those individuals have committed the most serious crimes, such as rape or child molestation in the first degree.

Alderwoman Megan Green, the sponsor of the St. Louis ordinance, said lawmakers in special session are spending "taxpayer money to do essentially nothing."
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman who was sprayed with tear-gas in 2017 while protesting the not-guilty verdict in an officer-involved shooting is suing the City of St. Louis over the incident.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Megan Green, D-15th Ward, is the 18th challenge to the way St. Louis police officers and city authorities responded to protests after the decision in the Jason Stockley case.

Aldermen President Lewis Reed
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Reed saying the governor is receptive to the idea.

The president of the St. Louis Board of Alderman says he is working to bring a widely effective anti-violence program to St. Louis.

Lewis Reed announced Tuesday that he had the backing of the NAACP, the business executive group Civic Progress and local clergy for the program previously known as Operation Ceasefire.

Bill cosponsor Alderwoman Cara Spencer asks Tom Buckley, general counsel for the Archdioscese of St. Louis, to clarify his position.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman wants the city to look at changing the way it authorizes street closures for utility work or other construction.

The resolution from Cara Spencer D-20th Ward, asks for a hearing with “all utilities with underground infrastructure within city limits” to “discuss current and future construction plans,” and for the streets department to change the permitting process for street closures.

A drone photo from September 11, 2018, shows the site of the new headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Zach Dalin Photography

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a plan to again use eminent domain to secure the new site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters.

The federal government asked for the condemnation process to ensure the city can turn the 97-acre site over to them by a Nov. 14 deadline. But some aldermen questioned if they had enough information to make the correct decision.

A St. Louis police officer looks out at protesters outside of police headquarters Sunday night, Sept. 17, 2017.
File photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

More than a dozen people who were arrested protesting the Jason Stockley verdict filed suit Monday against the City of St. Louis saying police tactics violated their civil rights.

The nonprofit law firm ArchCity Defenders filed the 12 federal lawsuits on the anniversary of the mass arrests near Washington Avenue downtown. The individuals arrested included protesters, observers, an undercover police officer and members of the media.

This composite photo taken on April 10, 2018, shows the planned new site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. McKee owned nearly 60 percent of the land in the 97-acre site.
File Photo | Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

An eminent domain bill meant to secure the land needed for the headquarters of a federal spy agency cleared a committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Wednesday.

Officials say the move is necessary to protect the city against a lawsuit that seeks to take back some of the land in the 97-acre planned location of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s $1.75 billion facility.

Stan Shoun, president of Ranken Technical College, guides Gov. Mike Parson, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James through the school on Sept. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pledged Friday to work with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Sly James to boost workforce development and infrastructure.

“These cities are critical to the state of Missouri,” Parson told the St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday, one of nine stops he made on a tour of the city Friday. “What you do here matters. We’re not going to agree on some things, but I will tell you this. If we will be open-minded with one another, there will be many, many things that we will agree on that will be the best thing in the world for the state of Missouri.”

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire lifts his 10-year-old son, Matt, after hitting his 62nd home run of the 1998 season on Sept. 8, 1998, breaking Roger Maris' record.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Sept. 8, 1998, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire sent a low line drive over Busch Stadium’s left field wall to break Roger Maris’ 37-year-old home run record.

McGwire’s 62nd home run of the season sent the sellout crowd and the city into a frenzy. But for some fans, McGwire’s eventual admission that he used steroids has taken the shine off the record-breaking summer.

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder, R-Lake Saint Louis
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri state Sen. Bob Onder joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to talk about Gov. Mike Parson’s transition in the state’s chief executive office — and what the legislature could deal with in 2019.

The Lake Saint Louis Republican represents a portion of St. Charles County. He’s running for re-election against Democrat Patrice Billings.

On Aug. 31, 2013, then-Mayor Francis Slay signed an executive order returning control of the St. Louis police department back to the city.
FIle photo | Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

Five years ago, control of the St. Louis police department returned to the city.

For more than 150 years, a state-appointed board had overseen the department, even though city residents paid for the services.

Opponents and supporters of the transition have different takes on how the last five years have gone.

File photo | Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated September 1 at 4:25 p.m. with response from Gardner — The St. Louis chief of police says none of his department’s leadership was involved in developing a list of officers who will no longer be allowed to bring cases to court, contradicting claims of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

“There is no indication that the list was properly vetted,” Chief John Hayden said in a statement released Saturday.” This list is an unnecessary overreach which would be better handled on a case-by-case basis.”

St. Louis circuit attorney Kim Gardner announces on May 30, 2018, that her office will drop a felony computer-tampering charge against Gov. Eric Greitens.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis prosecutor’s office will no longer accept cases from 28 St. Louis police officers, and is reviewing the testimony they have offered in others.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner provided no details on why she is excluding the officers. In a statement, she called it her responsibility to defend the integrity of the criminal-justice system.

State Sen.-elect Brian Williams
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Brian Williams joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann to talk about his big win in the 14th Senate District Democratic primary.

Williams will represent the central and north St. Louis-based district once the Legislature reconvenes in 2019. The 14th District includes municipalities such as Clayton, University City, Ferguson, Hazelwood, Northwoods and Bridgeton.

St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Shildt (third from left) and front office officials answers questions on August 28, 2018 after giving Shildt a two-year contract as manager.
5 On Your Side

The St. Louis Cardinals like what they’ve seen from Mike Shildt, and they want him to stick around and keep it going.

The team announced Tuesday they had removed the interim tag from Shildt, and signed him to a two-year deal as manager of the club. The terms were not disclosed.

Developer Paul McKee owns much of the land in this picture, looking north from the intersection of Cass and Jefferson avenues. After nearly 10 years, the city of St. Louis wants to cut ties with McKee and his NorthSide Regeneration initiative.
File Photo | Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

In 2009, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved developer Paul McKee’s $8-billion plan to transform nearly two square miles of north St. Louis. In exchange for $390 million in tax incentives, McKee promised new housing, parks, schools, churches and major employment centers.

Nearly a decade later, with very little work completed, the city tried to cut ties with McKee. But a 2016 agreement, struck with very little public input, could complicate that effort, and has already led to litigation.

Ferguson courthouse
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

Updated August 13 at 2 p.m. with comments from the city and auditor — A new report from state Auditor Nicole Galloway finds the city of Ferguson has made important changes to its municipal court.

But the audit released Monday also found city officials still have not taken action to secure and repair damaged court documents.

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