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

Max Starkloff with his daughter, Emily
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Funeral services for disability rights pioneer Max Starkloff have been set.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

Crews working on the new Mississippi River Bridge have gotten the $640 million project back on track.

Flooding meant that for the months of May, June, and July, it wasn't safe for crews to be working below the water line, says project manager Greg Horn. That wiped out 81 construction days.

/Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

Some major road projects will keep the Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractors busy next year. But that all changes in 2012.

In 2011, crews will complete a new ramp connecting Interstate 270 and Page Avenue, says Bill Schnell, MoDOT's assistant district engineer in the St. Louis area. They'll also finish MoDOT's portion of the Route 141 extension in West County.

(United States Marine Corps)

A 24-year old U.S. Marine  has died, following a three-car accident on the Illinois approach to the Poplar Street Bridge.

Blake G. Hinds was a native of Burlington, IA and stationed at Camp Lejune, in North Carolina. He may have been traveling home when he rear-ended a tractor trailer, then lost control of the 2006 Nissan Altima and collided with another vehicle.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging driver to take it slow and be careful if they must travel this Christmas night.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking motorists to stay off the roads if possible during the winter storm that's expected to hit on Christmas Eve.

We have more details on the storm and tips for your holiday drive. We'll also keep you updated on any major changes in the weather here as it develops, but for real-time weather information, see the Missouri Department of Transportation's real-time traveler information map.

Updated 3:14 p.m. Dec. 23, 2010:

The Associated Press reports that the woman found in Busch's home has been identified.

Police and the St. Louis County medical examiner's office on Thursday identified the victim as Adrienne Martin of St. Charles.

An autopsy has been conducted but results could take 4-6 weeks.

St. Louis County forensic administrator Suzanne McCune says there were no signs of trauma.

From Earlier:

Outgoing auditor Susan Montee has released two new reports that find problems in a couple of the executive branch offices in Missouri.

One report, on the office of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, found some problems in manual timesheets and leave slithat Kinder's staff filled out. For example:

Bikers and hikers in St. Louis got two pieces of good news today.

Great Rivers Greenway, which is trying to develop 600 miles of trails throughout the region, announced it had, as expected, purchased about 12 acres at the foot of the Chain of Rocks bridge.

Governor Jay Nixon and the chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committee have come to an agreement on the amount of money available for the budget year that starts in June 2011 (FY 2012).

The projected revenue estimate is made every December, and is the figure the governor and lawmakers use to craft budget proposals.

Missouri Republicans have officially picked up another seat in the state Senate.

UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. Dec. 21, 2010, with information about reapportionment of Missouri congressional districts.

There’s already speculation that the Republican-dominated Missouri House and Senate will target the St. Louis-area districts held by Democrats Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan.  But GOP House Member John Diehl, who chairs that chamber’s reapportionment committee, downplayed that possibility before reporters at the State Capitol.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept. via UPI)

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of a St. Louis teenager who was 15 when he shot and killed a St. Louis police officer.

KMOV-TV is reporting that six people were arrested during a protest Monday at the Bank of America branch in downtown Clayton.

According to the report:

Politico reports that St. Louis is now one of the top two contenders to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The other city giving St. Louis the biggest challenge? Charlotte, N.C.

So what, according to Politico, does St. Louis have going for it to host the event?

The Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District has settled a lawsuit filed over the actions of former board members.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the current board will "provide the Missouri Attorney General's office copies of notices for all district meetings, minutes of those meetings, all requests the district receives for public records and its responses to those requests."

Students in the Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 got an extended winter break this year after vandals flattened tires on the school buses that transport students.

Maureen Richmond, a spokeswoman with First Student Inc.,  says a maintenance man entered the bus lot around 5am Friday to begin pre-trip maintenance on the fleet. He discovered that at least one tire on all of the nearly 80 buses on the lot had been flattened. It was not clear if the tires were slashed or simply deflated.

(Flickr Creative Commons user Tony the Misfit)

Nine days ago, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill wrote the Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and asked them to add one more bill to an already hectic schedule.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

The future remains unclear for the nightclub formerly known as Lure.

As we reported last week, a group of residents is trying to collect enough signatures to get the club, which is currently operating as Amnesia, shuttered. Judge Margaret Walsh wanted to bring in a witness to clarify some signatures on the petitions.

The result? Still no clarity.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking drivers to stay off the roads unless they have to drive, at least for now.

Freezing rain overnight turned area highways into skating rinks for early morning commutes. At one point on Wednesday night, sections of Interstates 70, 44 and 55 were closed in the St. Louis area because of accidents.

150 MoDOT trucks salted the roads overnight, says the agency's Kara Price.

UPDATED 4:10 Dec. 15, 2010 with comments from Richard Callahan and sentencing:

In court on Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that Shade stopped cooperating last January. They found out about it as they were preparing to take Gregory P. Shepard, the manager at St. Louis Metropolitan Towing, to trial. It was Shade's testimony that helped indict and convict Shepard.

Flickr Creative Commons user spsarge

WBEZ is reporting that the wife of former Illinois Gov. George Ryan may have just six months to live.

The details of Lura Lynn Ryan's health were revealed in federal court documents on Wednesday afternoon. George Ryan is appealing his conviction on 18 federal counts and wants to be out on bail to be at home with Lura Lynn.

St. Louis Public Radio photo

"There's nothing like being eulogized while you're still breathing," Sen. Kit Bond said Tuesday as he stepped to a podium in the U.S.

Two men pleaded guilty to federal charges today in East St. Louis in an auto contract robo-calling scheme that had 15,000 victims in all 50 states. Here's a breakdown of the people, places and charges involved:

These two men were the president and vice president of Transcontinental Warranty...

- Christopher D. Cowart, 49 of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and

- Cris D. Saganelli, 45, of Boca Raton, Florida

(https://ecf.ilsd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/ShowIndex.pl)

St. Louis –

The first federal salvo in the legal battle over the sales of extended auto service warranties will be fired by Stephen R. Wigginton, the federal prosecutor for the southern district of Illinois.

(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

ST. LOUIS –

Have you ever dealt with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department? The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies wants to hear from you.

The department got its first CALEA accreditation three years ago; it's trying to get re-accredited for another three years. As the department explains :

(Seal image from: https://ecf.ilsd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/ShowIndex.pl)

The first federal  salvo in the legal battle over the sales of extended auto service warranties will be fired by Stephen R. Wigginton, the federal prosecutor for the southern district of Illinois.

Wigginton's office will not say who the charges are against, but the "law enforcement action" targets robo-calls the unnamed company made, not the extended auto service contracts themselves.

St. Louis Public Radio photo

Have you ever dealt with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department? The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies wants to hear from you.

The department got its first CALEA accreditation three years ago; it's trying to get re-accredited for another three years. As the department explains :

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

ST. LOUIS –

Updated after hearing:

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