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

Mayor Francis Slay and chief Sam Dotson at a press conference on January 15, 2015, discussing six homicides in 13 hours.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Updated at 1:35 p.m. Friday with additional information about the crimes.

A spate of violence in St. Louis overnight Wednesday left six people dead in five unrelated incidents.

"This is a big black eye on our city," a somber Mayor Francis Slay said at a press conference Thursday evening. "I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for the families of these victims. This is something that we're not proud of." 

Marcellus Williams is set to die on January 28.
(Missouri Department of Corrections)

Updated 5:00 pm Wednesday, January 14

In a six-page opinion issued on Wednesday, judge Rodney Sippel dismissed Williams' petition, calling the complaint "frivolous."

Williams, Sippel wrote, had plenty of opportunity at both the state and federal levels to challenge the absence of DNA testing. His failure to do so is the reason that he can't ask for the DNA to be tested now.

Read Sippel's order here.

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Updated with comments from police chief Sam Dotson and circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce.

Even though overall crime continued its downward trend in St. Louis, 2014 was a violent year in the city, with 159 people killed. 

_J_D_R_ / Flickr

Some social service agencies in St. Louis will receive less funding from the United Way of Greater St. Louis this year despite a record annual campaign for the agency.

The United Way raised $73 million to fund programs in 2015, about $500,000 more than its stated goal. But $3.7 million of those dollars were directed to specific agencies or causes - more than 20 times the amount of restricted giving in 2014.

Chuck Wexler (in yellow tie), the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, leads a small group discussion on policing in St. Louis on January 7, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Residents of the St. Louis area are getting a chance to answer the question, what does your ideal police department look like?

Police chief Sam Dotson addresses Tower Grove South residents at a community meeting on December 12, 2014.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated January 6, 2015, at 1:15 PM:

A federal judge is extending a court order that requires police to provide sufficient warning before using tear gas to give lawful protesters a chance to leave.

U.S. District Court Judge Carol Jackson on Tuesday gave attorneys representing protesters and police 45 days to continue what one lawyer called “good faith” settlement discussions on policy changes regarding the use of tear gas. Both sides met on Monday and participated in a conference call, and agreed more time was needed.

One of two courtrooms in the St. Louis County Justice Center. Taken 11-24-14
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch and two of his assistants are facing a misconduct complaint for the way they handled the grand jury that investigated former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.  

gavel court justice
sxc.hu

The month-long warrant forgiveness program in St. Louis County is a success, according to one of the organizers behind it. Even though the final number of participants isn't yet known. 

Seventy of the county's 82 municipal courts agreed to cancel arrest warrants of people who had failed to take care of minor traffic offenses and ordinance violations for a $100 bond. The social service agency Better Family Life helped the St. Louis County Municipal Court Improvement Committee coordinate the program.

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.

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