Rachel Lippmann


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.

Ways to Connect

Mayor Francis Slay, along with officials from his administration and non-profit partners, announces new resources targeted at inmates awaiting trial at the Medium Security Institution on Sept. 8, 2015.
Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis is hoping a new program targeting young offenders who are awaiting trial will help get the rising crime rate under control.

Mayor Francis Slay, along with other members of his administration and representatives of social services agencies, gathered outside the city's Medium Security Institution Tuesday morning to launch "From Prison to Prosperity." It's designed to help inmates between the ages of 17 and 24 who are awaiting trial at the MSI -- the first program meant for those who have not yet gone to prison.

(Sarah Kellogg/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Jewish New Year begins at sundown Sunday. It's the start of 10 days of prayer and reflection for lay people and clergy alike.

Susan Talve, of Central Reform Congregation, and Rori Picker Neiss of Bais Abraham, an Orthodox synagogue, have much to reflect upon. Each in her own way emerged in the Jewish year 5775 as a leading voice in the protests inspired by the death of Michael Brown.

They sat down with St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann to consider what the past year means.

Protesters are greeted by a wall of police officers after a march to the Ferguson Police department on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI / UPI

A report from the Department of Justice on how police responded to protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown last summer has drawn praise and criticism from individuals who were involved in the protests on all sides.

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A report by the U.S. Department of Justice examines a chaotic and often uncoordinated response to the protests that erupted after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August 2014.

The Department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services on Wednesday released its after-action report on the police response to the 17 days between when Brown was shot and killed by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and his funeral.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

A working group created by the Missouri Supreme Court to look at reforms to the municipal court system will study whether some of the courts should be consolidated.

The group released its interim report Tuesday. The two-page document outlines the areas the group plans to study over the next three months, and the material it has already gathered to inform its work.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay speaks to the media before signing a minimum wage increase into law on Friday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Aldermen completed a harrowing process to raise the city’s minimum wage – a decision that supporters say will help the city's low-income workers.

But few believe that Friday’s affirmative vote marks the last word in the minimum wage saga, especially if businesses or business groups pursue legal action to invalidate the newly enacted ordinance.

Protesters outside St. Louis County headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 call for reforms of the municipal court system.
File photo by Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with comments from the Municipal Court Improvement Committee — The city of Jennings has agreed to make major changes to the way it operates its municipal court.

The changes are part of a proposed settlement to a federal lawsuit brought on behalf of 10 individuals who say they were held in the Jennings jail solely because they could not pay a traffic fine. Federal judge Carol E. Jackson must still formally accept the terms for them to take effect.

The 2006 World's Series was a winner for the Cardinals.
Matt Dimmic | Flickr

A long-running legal fight over who can see the documents generated during an internal police investigation is over.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear the case of 35 St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department officers who wanted to block the release of information from an investigation into the misuse of tickets to the 2006 World Series. That decision lets stand a lower court ruling that said the officers in question had no expectation of privacy around the documents. It was not immediately clear when the documents would be made public.

Ferguson October protesters
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and other legal groups are blasting a decision by the attorney for St. Louis County to charge Ferguson protesters, many almost a year after they were arrested.

But St. Louis County's counselor is defending the process for charging dozens of people — including a couple of  journalists.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with comments from attorneys, and the cities of St. Louis and St. Peters.

Getting caught on camera running a red light in St. Louis will no longer result in a fine.

In a 6-1 opinion issued Tuesday, the court called the city's ordinance governing red-light cameras unconstitutional because it assumes the owner of the car was the one driving the car at the time of the violation.

Brittany Ferrell (left) and her wife Alexis Templeton shortly after leaving the St. Louis County jail on August 12, 2015
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two of the most familiar faces on the front lines of protests in Ferguson and elsewhere are facing several charges for their conduct during a protest Monday on Interstate 70.

Both Brittany Ferrell, 28, and her wife, 21-year-old Alexis Templeton, face peace disturbance and first-degree trespass charges for being part of a group that blocked traffic in both lanes of the interstate near the Blanchette Bridge for 30 minutes on Monday near the height of rush hour. Both of those are misdemeanors.

new stadium, St. Louis Rams
Courtesy HOK | 360 Architecture

Mayor Francis Slay is standing by his decision not to appeal a judge's ruling throwing out a required citywide vote on public financing for sports stadiums, despite a pledge to "vigorously defend the law."

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Protesters on West Florissant surround a police car on August 9, 2014. Looting broke out shortly afterward.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last year’s shooting death of Michael Brown was the end of a police encounter that lasted no more than five minutes.

The aftermath shook the region for weeks. In that time, hundreds of officers from police departments across the region would deploy to Ferguson under what would become known as the Unified Command.

Two members of that command -- Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol and chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department -- sat down to reflect on what they have learned in the past 12 months.

Gov. Jay Nixon announces that he has asked the state commission overseeing police officer training to update standards around tactical training, cultural competency, and officer wellness on August 6, 2015. Behind him is Mo. State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Training standards for police officers in Missouri will get an overhaul for the first time in nearly 20 years.

Gov. Jay Nixon announced Thursday that he will ask the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission to issue new rules around tactical training, fair and impartial policing, and the well-being of officers.

Mailers distributed by Reinvest STL in support of a $180 million bond issue.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A $180 million bond to fund capital expenditures and upgrades to buildings in St. Louis has failed.

Proposition 1 received 61 percent of the vote in unofficial results, but the city charter requires a two-thirds majority for bond issues. Turnout was below 10 percent.

Jane Dueker at the Missouri Supreme Court April 8, 2015
Pool photo by Karen Elshout | Missouri Lawyers Media

Updated Aug. 4 with Supreme Court ruling -- The reforms required by the passage of Senate Bill 5 don't start taking effect for another six months. But the municipal reform legislation is already having an impact.

The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday chucked the Missouri Municipal League's challenge to the way limits on municipal revenue were enforced, saying the passage of the reform measure made the League's arguments moot.

A sampling of mailers sent by Reinvest STL, a committee supporting the city's $180 million bond issue.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Voters in St. Louis will go to the polls Tuesday to decide whether the city should borrow $180 million to take care of long-delayed maintenance and other capital needs.

The general obligation bond got on the August ballot at the last possible minute. If it passes, bonds will be sold in 2015, and again in 2017. The city estimates the owner of a $125,000 house would pay about $50 more in property taxes each year.

Stadium Approach from the Southeast
HOK | 360 Architecture

Updated with comments from Dave Peacock, John Ammann, and Mayor Slay - A St. Louis judge has ruled that city voters do not have a right to weigh in on public spending for a proposed new football stadium north of Laclede's Landing.

"Judgment shall be, and hereby is, entered in favor of Plaintiff Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority and against Defendant City of St. Louis on Plaintiff’s Petition for Declaratory Judgment. City Ordinance 66509, Chapter 3.91 of the Revised Code of the City of St. Louis, is hereby declared INVALID."

Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice
YouTube | Fair Housing conference

Updated 4:30 p.m. with comments from Civil Rights Division and react - A 20-month investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice has found the St. Louis County Family Court violates the constitutional rights of children in its custody.