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.

Ways to Connect

Mayor Francis Slay, at podium, introduces his nominees for the cvilian oversight board. They are, from left, DeBorah Ahmed, Ciera Simril, Heather Highland, Jane Abbott-Morris, Bradley Arteaga, Steve Rovak and Lawrence Johnson.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Update with confirmation - Six of the nominees to the Civilian Oversight Board for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, sailed through Board of Aldermen confirmation Friday. The seventh, DeBorah Ahmed, withdrew her name from consideration.

Ahmed is an executive director at Better Family Life, which has received thousands in city money over the last decade. Her nomination had been criticized for possible conflicts of interest. This means that the mayor will have to find a new nominee for the third district, in north-central and northwest St. Louis.

Updated 9 a.m., Oct. 22 -  Overnight, officials confirmed a seventh church fire at the rectory for the Shrine of St. Joseph in the Columbus Square neighborhood, just west of downtown. The St. Louis Fire Department was able to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher. The double wooden doors to the rectory suffered some damage. No one was injured.

The fire at New Life Missionary Baptist also damaged the siding.
Peter Armstrong | Christ Church Cathedral

The St. Louis Regional Bomb Unit and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating what they describe as a series of six arsons at predominately black churches in north St. Louis and north St. Louis County.

The latest, Ebenezer Lutheran Church at 1011 Theobald St., in the Baden neighborhood of St. Louis, was damaged sometime between 8:30 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 a.m Sunday. The buildings have all been empty at the times of the fires, which began when the arsonist lit exterior doors on fire.

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Low-wage workers in St. Louis will not be getting the raise they expected on Thursday.

Judge Steven Ohmer ruled Wednesday afternoon that a law boosting the city's minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018 violated Missouri's Constitution because it conflicted directly with state law. The first increase, to $8.25 an hour, was to take effect at midnight Wednesday.

District Three nominee DeBorah Ahmed talks with District Seven nominee Steve Rovak after Mayor Francis Slay announced their nominations in August.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the public get a chance Tuesday night to express their opinions about the nominees for St. Louis’ new police civilian oversight board.

The audience will not get to question the potential board members directly.

Relations between St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Reed have improved a bit since they ran against each other in 2013.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay has announced a new commission to help him implement his anti-crime strategy.

The mayor wants the Commission on Violent Crime to be operational by the end of the year, though many of the details, including who the members of the commission will be, are unclear. He unveiled the plans to revive the commission on his website on Thursday:

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson briefs reporters on his department's plans for the 2015 Major League Baseball playoffs on October 8, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police will have extra personnel in downtown this weekend as the St. Louis Cardinals begin postseason play — a little earlier than usual.

(courtesy of Uber)

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission has asked a St. Louis County judge to force Uber to stop operating in St. Louis.

The regulatory body on Monday filed suit against the company, 19 alleged UberX drivers, and anyone else who may have driven a vehicle for UberX, saying the parties are operating in direct violation of the Commission's vehicle-for-hire code. 

Mayor Francis Slay, left, and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson unveil the new Real Time Crime Center at police headquarters.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Mayor Francis Slay will join his counterparts from dozens of American cities in Washington, D.C. this week for the attorney general's summit on violent crime.

His trip comes as the city continues to battle an increase in crime. The latest numbers show crime is 10 percent higher in 2015 compared to the same time last year, though the increase has slowed down each month this year. St. Louis is on pace for about 200 homicides, a barrier it hasn't broken in nearly 20 years.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

This July 31, the U.S. Department of Justice released the findings of a 20-month investigation into the St. Louis County Family Court that sent a jolt through the system.

"The investigation found that the court fails to provide constitutionally required due process to children appearing for delinquency proceedings, and that the court’s administration of juvenile justice discriminates against black children, all in violation of the 14th Amendment," assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, the head of the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division, said in a conference call.

A line of police face off with protesters on West Florissant Ave., last Sunday night.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Revised following conference call - The St. Louis County police department is falling short of best practices in several critical areas.

That is the conclusion of the latest report on policing post-Ferguson released Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services. The voluntary review, requested by Chief Jon Belmar more than a year ago, found 50 areas where the department can improve, and includes 109 recommendations.

Alderman Lyda Krewson
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome St. Louis Alderman Lyda Krewson to the show.

The Moberly native has represented the city’s 28th Ward since 1997. Her ward includes some of the city’s most popular attractions, such as Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, part of ‘The Loop’ and the Central West End business districts.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar at a press conference Thursday, Sept.4
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

A third federal review of policing in the St. Louis area is due out this week.

The Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, an arm of the Department of Justice, began what's called a collaborative reform initiative with the St. Louis County police last September, at the request of Chief Jon Belmar.

(via Flickr/neil conway)

Starting Thursday, more than 150 people from all parts of the criminal justice system with gather at Washington University to ponder a radical remake of the way this country uses incarceration.

The conference is the first major undertaking for the Smart Decarceration Initiative. Carrie Pettus-Davis, an assistant professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, is one of the organizers.

California Department of Corrections

Is the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri suing the right person in its effort to crack the veil of secrecy around executions in the state?

That question is in the hands of a three-judge panel of the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, following oral arguments Tuesday in St. Louis.

Wellspring Church in Ferguson, September 21, 2015.
Kelly Moffitt, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 1:20 p.m., Sept. 22, with audio - Change can come to the St. Louis region, but people throughout the area have to be willing to do the work.

That was the message Monday night at a roundtable at Wellspring Church in Ferguson looking at the 189 recommendations outlined in the report of the Ferguson Commission.


Want to hear Part Two of the two-part "Ferguson Commission: Where Do We Go From Here?" panel? You can find it here

(courtesy of Uber)

Updated 1:08 p.m., Sept. 21 with Uber comments - The head of Uber's St. Louis operations says he does not think the legal fight to establish service in the city and St. Louis county will be settled in the near future.

"This is more than a few policy issues," Uber General Manager Sagar Shah said in an interview with  St. Louis Public Radio.

"This is about the lack of understanding or the lack of the ability to welcome new competitive industries into the market."

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.
File photo by 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/.

Transcript

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