Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

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

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 3:40 p.m. with a statement from Sen. McCaskill, additional information from the VA:

Sen. Claire McCaskill echoed Cong. Carnahan's sentiment in her statement:

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Sen. Claire McCaskill says two new federal reports out about health care at the John Cochran veteran's hospital in St. Louis are only part of the picture she wants to get on that facility.

The inspector general on Monday released reports on problems with sterilization at the hospital's dental clinic, and on complaints from employees that they did not have the equipment they needed to do their jobs.

Those reports are important because they outline existing problems, McCaskill says, but the specifics on dealing with those problems have to come from veterans. And that's where her new customer satisfaction survey comes in.

"I really want to see this through the eyes of veterans. I want to know how they feel on an individual basis about the services they’re receiving, and I think that's going to be a very good measure of the work we have to do, she says."

(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Wed. with correct percentages

Updated with final unofficial results at 10:30 p.m.

A former St. Louis alderman who was recalled from office in 2005 over his support for controversial development projects in his south city ward seems poised to take his old seat back in April.

(photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation)

The Missouri Department of Transportation has shut down a mile-long stretch of Route 109 in Wildwood to make emergency repairs to a crumbling hillside.

The department was planning to do the construction during the summer months, says district engineer Ed Hassinger. They've been watching the stretch of road between Turkey Track and Christy for the last couple of years.

(Official U.S. Marshals Photograph)

Will be updated as more information becomes available.

Updated 3:45 p.m. March 10, 2011:

From the U.S. Marshals Service:

"A funeral service for Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry will be held Sunday, March 13, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Powell Symphony Hall, 718 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 

U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia A. Hylton will attend."

From a U.S. Marshals Service press release: (updated at midnight to correct spelling of injured marshal's name)

- Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry, 48, died at St. Louis University Hospital around 7 p.m. Tuesday from a gunshot wound to the head. Perry had been with the Marshals for 10 years.

- The name of the second injured Marshal has also been released. Deputy U.S. Marshal Theodore Abegg, 31, has been with the marshals for three years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the ankle.

Click "Read More" for additional information.

(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

Updated Monday, March 7 at 3:05 with information about DUI/DWI

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says it was an average year for arrests at the Mardi Gras celebration in Soulard.

Law enforcement officials arrested or cited 83 people on 89 different charges over the weekend. They broke down like this:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Sen. Claire McCaskill is asking for stricter oversight of a popular U.S. college exchange program after a federal investigation revealed that some non-existent universities are using the program to bring thousands of people into the country illegally.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with details from press conference, comments from city officials.

Calling smoking a fundamental right in America, attorneys have filed a federal legal challenge to Clayton's ban on smoking in outdoor  public places.

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The St. Louis City Justice Center

Talks between the American Civil Liberties Union and the city of St. Louis on an independent panel to oversee the city's jails have stalled.

The talks were prompted by a 2009 ACLU report that alleged abuse and medical neglect at the city's Medium Security Institution (more commonly known as the city workhouse) and at the higher-security City Justice Center.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

To say that turnout last night at the St. Louis Public Schools' parent forum on possible major changes to district policy for next year was low would be an understatement.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Improved traffic flow and safer conditions for pedestrians who use the Grand Blvd. bridge are two of the benefits of the 15-month closure that will start at 5am on Monday, March 14th.

The 52-year-old crossing is structurally deficient, and in danger of being closed permanently, says the city's chief engineer, Rich Bradley.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

South County Republican state Senator Jim Lembke says the opinion issued last week by attorney general Chris Koster still doesn't convince him that some municipal ordinances authorizing red light cameras are legal.

Lembke, who's introduced legislation again this year that would ban the use of the cameras, says he agrees that local governments are allowed to put up the cameras.

(US Census Bureau)

In 2009, the news from the U.S. Census Bureau was all good for the city of St. Louis.

The American Community Survey showed the city's population had 356,587 people - up about two percent from the 2000 official count. And Mayor Francis Slay would challenge numbers that didn't confirm the notion that his city was growing.

The long legal battle over the release of files from a St. Louis police investigation into officers who misused 2006 World Series tickets they seized from a scalper has gotten a little longer.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

On Wednesday, students at the City Academy, a private school in north St. Louis, will have a chance to view a civil rights documentary shot and edited by their schoolmates.

(via Flickr/ Giles Douglas)

More not-so-great economic news for the St. Louis region today.

The Home Builders Association of St. Louis and Eastern Missouri released its data on the number of permits issued by the six counties (St. Louis, St. Charles, Lincoln, Warren and Franklin) and the city of St. Louis. They show that builders were looking to start construction on just 120 new single-family homes in January 2011. That's down more than 40 percent from January 2010, and is the lowest monthly total since November of 2008.

A day after a measure granting St. Louis control of its police department cleared the latest of several legislative hurdles, a broad coalition of politicians, business and community leaders and civil rights activists pledged to help it get through the Missouri Senate.

The message they'll bring? You have to listen to the people.

_J_D_R_ / Flickr

The costs of goods and services in the St. Louis region rose 2.5 percent between the last six months of 2009 and the last six months of 2010 - more than double the national rate over that same time.

Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics data show electricity prices going up 13.1 percent and motor fuel going up 10.1 percent, bureau economist Jacqueline Michael Midkiff says they weren't the real drivers of the increase.

(Institute for Justice)

The constitutionality of St. Louis city's sign ordinance was the topic of debate today in front of a three-judge panel of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

In December, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote that money collected via tax bills for a planned new animal shelter in the city of St. Louis was sitting in a special fund with no place to be used.

(St. Louis Board of Aldermen)

  • A member of a long-time political family in St. Louis is leaving his post as alderman for the 11th Ward. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Ald. Matt Villa says he needs to focus on expanding the family's business, Villa Lighting.

Proposition B asks to voters to allow their local city or county to continue collecting sales tax on cars bought out of state
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Two current members of the St. Louis city Board of Elections say recent reports of turmoil at the board have nothing to do with Gov. Jay Nixon's announcement today that he's named three new members of the board.

A small piece of an $8.1 billion plan to redevelop north St. Louis took another step forward today.

Updated 3:29 p.m. Feb. 10, 2011:

Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch announced today that Martin had lethal levels of both oxycodone and cocaine in her blood when she died, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. He said that neither Martin nor Busch had a prescription for the oxycodone.

The Missouri Athletic Club has received the first citation for violating St. Louis city's ban on smoking.

Interim health director Pamela Rice Walker says the club mistakenly believes it's exempt from the measure as a private club, saying the exemption only applies if there are no employees.

She says the department first heard about violations at the club in January, and gave the MAC 30 days to comply.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has unveiled the legislative changes he says will strengthen the state's domestic violence laws.

The 12 recommendations are the result of a task force Koster convened last year, and seven of them will require action by the General Assembly.

Most of the legislative proposals focus on strengthening orders of protection, which Koster calls the main tools to help domestic violence victims. He says current law doesn't allow juveniles to request those orders.

Boeing announced today that they're moving into production at their new site in Mascoutah, Ill., the St. Louis Business Journal reports.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The John Cochran Veterans Affairs Medical Center has canceled all surgeries until further notice after discovering that some surgical equipment may not have been properly sterilized.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

  • St. Louis police have identified the woman killed yesterday when she was struck by a Metro bus. Rosalind D. Smith, 60, was hit after getting off the bus at the Forest Park station, located at Forest Park Pkwy and DeBaliviere Ave. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says witnesses told police Smith appeared to bend down, but they aren’t sure if she fell.

comedy nose | Flickr

It's been an above-average winter for snowfall in St. Louis, and that's wreaking havoc with the schedules for area school districts.

By state law, Missouri students have to be in class for at least 174 days and 1,044 hours. Most districts build a few extra classroom days into the schedule in order to be able to call school in case of bad weather.

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