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.

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(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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