Rachel Lippmann


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.

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Ferguson court
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Ronald Brockmeyer, the municipal judge in Ferguson, has resigned less than a week after a scathing federal report called his court little more than an ATM for the city. And the Missouri Supreme Court has ordered all Ferguson municipal court cases transferred to Judge Roy L. Richter of the Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Ferguson police headquarters on March 3, 2015
File photo by UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Ferguson police department is likely facing stricter federal oversight of its police department after a scathing report from the U.S. Department of Justice found its officers deliberately violated the rights of African Americans. Bringing a department into compliance with a federal consent decree can be an expensive proposition.

Mary Ellen Ponder
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

On this edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann welcome Mary Ellen Ponder to the show. 

Ponder was recently appointed chief of staff for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, replacing Jeff Rainford. She is the first woman to serve as chief of staff for a St. Louis mayor.

New Life Evangelistic Center director Larry Rice (center) said the emergency homeless shelter will seek an injunction against a city deadline to reduce its overnight beds.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 11:45 p.m. May 28

Rev. Larry Rice, city of St. Louis attorneys and neighborhood stakeholders are continuing with mediation that could allow his homeless shelter downtown to remain open and avoid going to trial this September.

According to a spokeswoman for New Life Evangelistic Center, the parties met for 9 hours on Wednesday in Clayton, but reached no final agreements.

Natalie Creamer, the community outreach coordinator for Gateway Pet Guardians, holds a puppy that will be available for adoption through the agency.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement and animal welfare agencies in St. Clair County, Ill., are using a new playbook for animal abuse cases that they say will make it easier to prosecute those cases in the county.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann preview Tuesday’s election in St. Louis.

Tony Rothert and Mary Bruntrager on February 25, 2015 after oral arguments on the World Series ticket case
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Once again, the Missouri Court of Appeals finds itself considering whether or not records generated as part of an internal police probe should be made public.

The question this time: Whether public employees like police officers can claim their right to privacy is being violated by the release of records that a court has said are subject to the Missouri sunshine law.

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon's office confirmed late Wednesday that former St. Louis Police Chief Daniel Isom was stepping down from his new job as director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Nixon chose Isom last fall, amid the unrest in Ferguson. The former chief was only confirmed in January. Isom's decision to step down touched off unrest in the state Capitol, with allies blaming the governor for Isom's swift exit.

stl police license
Rachel Heidenry

Can public employees keep records private after a judge has ruled they should be released under Missouri's sunshine law?

That is the question that a panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals will consider Wednesday in a session at the Washington University School of Law.

U.S. Civil Rights Commission discusses Ferguson in St. Louis
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri committee that keeps an eye on civil rights violations is the latest body to wade into the discussion about improving police-community relations after the August 2014 death of Michael Brown.

The 12-member Missouri Advisory Committee heard a full day of testimony from academics, law enforcement and community leaders. The committee's chairman, S. David Mitchell, said two public comment periods were the most important part. 

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch delivers a keynote address at a Saint Louis University law school  symposium on policing after Ferguson on February 20, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

In a speech interrupted three times by protesters, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch gave a full-throated defense Friday of the way his office handled the case of former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. 

The Supreme Court of Missouri
via Flickr | david_shane

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on whether voters knew enough about a constitutional amendment expanding gun rights before it was approved in 2014. 

Footage of cell phone video of the August 20 death of Kajieme Powell
Credit Video provided by St. Louis Metropolitan Police

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has finished investigating the August death of a man shot by police after allegedly charging them with a knife, and turned the files over to Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce for a review.

(courtesy NGA)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has given a city development agency the power to force home and business owners out of their residences in a swath of land in north St. Louis. The land is being eyed by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency for relocating its headquarters.

Saint Louis University School of Law in downtown St. Louis
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Even as law schools nationally are suffering from waning enrollments, some are seeing a boost in the number of minority students. That’s according to a new study that will be in the spring edition of the Saint Louis University Law Journal.

(Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association)

Missouri's highest court has ruled that lawmakers acted too soon in 2008 when they sought to place limits on a ballot initiative on renewable energy before it had gone to the voters.

Terry Kennedy and John Chasnoff chat after committee approval of a civilian oversight bill on February 9.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Six months to the day after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, a measure that would add an extra layer of public oversight to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department cleared its first legislative hurdle. 

The 8-1 vote by the city Board of Aldermen's public safety committee wrapped up months of negotiations between activists, aldermen and Mayor Francis Slay, as well as three lengthy and often contentious hearings by the public safety committee. Here's how members voted:

Attorney General Chris Koster, center, with Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, right, at area high school during height of unrest in Ferguson.
Missouri Attorney General's Office

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has released six recommendations he says provide the best road map for improving police-community relationships across the state. 

Friday's report compiles ideas Koster heard during two summits in St. Louis and Kansas City in October. The attorney general's office had originally planned to release its recommendations sometime last year.

Protesters outside St. Louis County headquarters on Feb. 2, 2015 call for reforms of the municipal court system.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday, personnel from most of the 82 municipal courts in St. Louis County took a first look at voluntary reforms to their courts proposed by the St. Louis County Municipal Court Improvement Committee. 

On Monday, the advocacy group Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment unveiled their own reform proposals.  

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

Officials from most of St. Louis County's 82 municipal courts got their first look Friday at proposed reforms designed to respond to concerns about the courts raised in the wake of the August shooting death of Michael Brown.  

The St. Louis County Municipal Court Improvement Committee is comprised of court personnel, including judges, prosecutors, administrators and defense attorneys. James Clark of the social service agency Better Family Life is also on the committee.

The draft the voluntary reforms includes: