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

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:

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated after hearing:

  • Lure petitioners collected 133 signatures. 83 were ruled invalid by liquor control, leaving the 50 total.
  • Lure owners have been claiming some signatures were coerced.
  • Hearing was adjourned and rescheduled for Dec. 15 at 9:30 a.m. There is concern with the validity of a particular signature and judge wants the witness there live.

If anyone following the proceedings is interested, the ordinance governing protest petitions is 68536.

(Photo courtesy of the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney)

ST. LOUIS –

Updated at 3:45 with comments from Indian community.

Updated as of 2:15 p.m. after 1:30 p.m. court appearance:

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

Like Quentin the miracle dog, the city's Animal House Fund may have a second life.

The city's health commissioner, Melba Moore, recommended to the Board of Aldermen's Health and Human Services committee on Wednesday that the check-off box  that's generated about $247,000 for the fund be removed from the property tax and water bills.

As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch explains:

Update: As of 1:30 pm, all lanes of traffic on westbouund Interstate 270 across the Chain of Rocks bridge were open. Both eastbound lanes remain closed.

Update: As of 10:45 am, crews had re-opened one lane of Interstate 270 traveling westbound across the Chain of Rocks bridge. All eastbound lanes remain closed.

A man trying to push his disabled car out of traffic on the Chain of Rocks bridge Wednesday morning is dead after being struck by a tractor trailer.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department

A 19-year-old Metro East man has been charged in a drag racing accident that left another teen in critical condition.

Cartographer of the United Nations / Wikimedia Commons

The Republican elections director in St. Louis City will head to Kosovo this week to oversee the country's elections.

Scott Leiendecker leaves for the Balkan nation on Dec 8.  He's part of a team from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, which provides technical support to countries who might not be accustomed to holding democratic elections.

It appears diplomatic concerns, not travel issues, are what's keeping Gov. Jay Nixon in the United States next week.

St. Louis Public Radio

In a blog post on the busiest travel day of the year last year, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay made it clear he wanted to make Lambert Airport smoke-free.

That goal is now policy.

The mayor's office announced Monday that starting January 2, passengers at Lambert who want to smoke will have to step outside. The airport's smoking lounges will no longer be available.

Flickr Creative Commons user Tony the Misfit

Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill says the Sente needs to vote - and soon - on her measure that would increase oversight at Arlington National Cemetery.

There could be two new options for St. Louis residents to use their property tax bills  next year as a vehicle for charitable donations.

At noon on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the 90 members of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra are on stage at Powell Hall getting ready to rehearse German composer Paul Hindemith's "Symphonic Metamorphosis."

Typical Thanksgiving break plans for trombonist David Lindsay, a junior at Pattonville High School who's in his first year with the orchestra, don't include an hour and a half rehearsal.

Bars in St. Louis that are thinking about applying for an exemption to the city's smoking ban will have to count any tents they use to expand seating areas toward the square footage total that allows them to get that exemption.

The city's ban includes language that lets bars smaller than 2,000 square feet and where "the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption" of alcoholic beverages to allow their patrons to smoke until January 1, 2016.

So why do tents matter?

(KWMU photo/Rachel Lippmann)

The current proposal from 28th ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson, which is expected to be amended, bans smoking everywhere except outdoor patios, tobacco shops, and casino floors. It has the strong support of Mayor Francis Slay, whom Krewson echoed in pushing for the ban.

"Several years ago, I think it would have been a progressive bill," she said. "Today, just sort of something we need to get done."

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