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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Parks Embezzlement
2:28 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Second Former Parks Official Sentenced For Embezzlement

A second former city parks official will spend three years in federal prison for his role in defrauding the city of $47,000.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

The U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri has sentenced a former St. Louis city official to three years in federal prison for embezzlement. 

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Police Redistricting
5:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Police Chief Dotson: Balancing Workload Prompted Reduction In Districts

Since 4 am on Jan. 21, police in St. Louis have patrolled in six districts - down from nine.
Credit (St. Louis Metropolitan Police)

Since 1962, the city of St. Louis has, by state law, had nine police districts.

Reducing that number has been a priority of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson since he took the job last January. In April, voters turned control of the police department back to the city, giving Dotson the authority to make that change - one he said made based on the data.

Since 4:00 a.m. today, officers have been patrolling in six districts instead of nine.

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Normandy Schools
9:29 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Normandy Board Skeptical Of New Plans For State Intervention

Missouri's deputy education commissioner Margie Vandeven outlines proposed new state intervention plans for struggling districts to a crowd of Normandy parents and supporters on Jan. 22, 2014.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

Updated at 10:10 a.m. Jan. 23 to reflect the correct source of one of the three state intervention proposals.

Members of the Normandy school board are skeptical that any of the proposed new plans for state intervention in academically troubled districts will make a difference in their schools.

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Bridgeton Landfill
5:36 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Republic Services Will Expand Carbon Monoxide Testing At Bridgeton Landfill

Republic Services has agreed to expand the testing for carbon monoxide it does at its landfill in Bridgeton, where a subsurface fire has burned for more than three years.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

The company that owns a smoldering landfill in Bridgeton has agreed to perform additional testing for carbon monoxide at the site.

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County Crime
4:37 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Crime In Parts Of St. Louis County The Lowest In 44 Years

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Crime in the parts of St. Louis County covered by the county’s police department dropped 7.4 percent between 2012 and 2013, according to numbers released by the department today.

This is the fifth straight year for a decrease - something St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch called a "great accomplishment."  The latest figures bring the total level of crime to its lowest point since 1969.

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Crime Statistics
5:59 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Some Aldermen Take Critical View Of Rosy Crime Report From Police Chief

Crime in St. Louis seems to be going down, but city alderman say people still don't feel safe.
(via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

Check out your neighborhood's crime stats with the interactive map below.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department presented their crime statistics to the city's public safety committee today.  And even though the raw numbers show overall crime was down in 2013 compared to 2012, some aldermen say their residents don't care about the numbers if they don't feel safe.

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Medicaid Fraud
5:23 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Mo. Medicaid Fraud Unit Recovers $47 Million In 2013

An extreme closeup of U.S. currency.
(via Flickr/kevindooley)

The state of Missouri recovered more than $47 million in fraudulent claims made by Medicaid providers in 2013.

That's about an average year for Attorney General Chris Koster's Medicaid Fraud Unit. The office has recovered as much as $100 million, and as little as $20 million, in a year.

Koster, a Democrat, says those wide variations are triggered by how much money Missouri receives from national settlements. But even though more national settlements means more money for the state's coffers, he says the fraud that concerns him the most is conducted by the smaller providers.

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Judicial Hellholes
5:00 am
Wed January 15, 2014

It's Called A "Hellhole." But Madison County Defense Attorneys Say Better The Devil You Know

The American Tort Reform Association calls the Madison County Courthouse in Edwardsville, Ill., the entrance to judicial hell. But those who work in the system aren't so sure.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon)

Every year, the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) releases its annual list of so-called “judicial hellholes," a term it uses to refer to civil courts that ATRA believes are consistently unfair to corporate defendants.

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Crime In St. Louis
1:22 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Crime Down Overall In St. Louis, But Homicides Rise

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Updated at 4:30 p.m. with quotes from Chief Sam Dotson and 2013 neighborhood data.

Despite an increase in the number of homicides, crime was down more than 5 percent overall in the city of St. Louis last year.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released its final numbers for 2013 today. Violent crimes — those committed against individuals— were down by more than 10 percent, while property crimes dropped more than 4 percent.

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Church Sex Abuse
4:16 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Judge Orders Archdiocese To Release Records

Archdiocese of St. Louis chancery.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated Jan. 13, 2014:

The legal back-and-forth over the release of the names to the plaintiff continues. The state Supreme Court today blocked the Archdiocese from having to comply with Dierker’s order until further notice.

Updated Jan. 10, 2014:

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