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

Washington University

The prosecuting attorney for St. Louis says a new anti-drunk-driving policy implemented in St. Louis in 2013 has made the roads in the city and across the region safer.

The city implemented a so-called "no-refusal zone" policy at the end of 2013. It means police are asking judges for warrants to draw the blood of any suspected drunk driver who refuses a Breathalyzer test. Before, police would ask to have blood drawn only if the driver had been in an accident.   

Mayor Hoskins,surrounded by Berkeley City Council, stressed the Dec. 23 2014 shooting of Antonio Martin was unlike Michael Brown's death in Ferguson
Willis Ryder Arnold/St. Louis Public Radio

The death of 18-year-old Antonio Martin at the hands of a white Berkeley police officer is drawing more muted responses than the shooting death this summer of Michael Brown.

Gov. Jay Nixon released a very brief statement Wednesday, saying that "the events in Berkeley are a reminder that law enforcement officers have a difficult, and often dangerous, job in protecting themselves and law-abiding citizens."  None of the St. Louis-area's U.S. Congressmen or Senators made any public comments.

St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar speaks to reporters on Dec. 24, 2014 about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin by a Berkeley police officer. Berkeley chief Frank McCall looks on.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated at 2:55 p.m., Wed., Dec. 24 with additional surveillance video)

(You can also follow live updates related to this story on our live blog).

St. Louis County police are investigating another fatal officer-involved shooting in north St. Louis County.

Protests at Board of Public Service meeting 12-23-14
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The city's Board of Public Service has ruled that the emergency homeless shelter at the New Life Evangelistic Center is a detriment to the neighborhood and must close in May unless it changes the way it operates.

Tuesday's unanimous vote by the board provoked shouts of "Shame!" and "What would Jesus do!" from a standing-room-only crowd, followed by chants of "homeless lives matter!" Crowd members also accused the board of holding an illegal meeting because they allowed no time for public comment. 

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, right, swears in the members of the commission. Nov. 19
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

(Updated with new interviews)

Three hundred people answered Gov. Jay Nixon's call to apply for the Ferguson Commission. Of those applicants and others, the governor selected 16 and announced their names on Tuesday. The group includes teachers, attorneys, community organizers, law enforcement officials and protesters from across the region. It has nine blacks and seven whites; six women and 10 men.

Ferguson-Florissant parent Redditt Hudson, attorney Dale Ho, and past school candidate Willis Johnson at a press conference announcing a lawsuit against the Ferguson-Florissant schools on December 18.
(Diane Balogh/ACLU of Missouri)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, along with its national voting rights division, has sued the Ferguson-Florissant School District over the way members of the school board are elected. 

"Every community has the right to representation in their government," said Dale Ho, the director of the ACLU's Voting Rights Project. "Unfortunately for too long, African-Americans in the Ferguson-Florissant school district have been denied that opportunity." 

St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5 p.m. with comments from Mayor Slay.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said Wednesday he's found a way to fund 160 additional police officers over the next two years, plus get money for proven crime prevention programs and more training for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. 

"We can do things like look for more efficiencies, and do hiring freezes, things like that, but it's not going to raise the necessary dollars to hire that many cops," Slay said. "Cops are very expensive, but it's money well-spent."  

gavel court justice
sxc.hu

Participation in two warrant forgiveness programs has been slow, and officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County are trying to figure out why.

In October, Mayor Francis Slay announced that St. Louis' municipal court would lift arrest warrants for people who had failed to take care of a minor traffic violation. The court ran ads in local media, sent postcards to any address they had on file for individuals with a warrant, partnered with local social service organizations to spread the word, and even recorded a message on the court's phone system.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announces that the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson on any of five counts that were presented to it.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch released more grand jury testimony in the case of former Ferguson police office Darren Wilson on Saturday, including the law enforcement interview with Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael Brown when he was killed in August.

Mark Furrer
city of Sunset Hills website

Updated on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014:

Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer was indicted by a St. Louis County grand jury Wednesday. Ed Magee, a spokesperson for the St. Louis County Prosecutor's office, confirmed the indictment Friday. Magee said a judge signed the indictment Thursday and the case will now move to the circuit court.

Update from Wednesday Oct. 1, 2014:

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