Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Rachel Lippmann

City Politics and Criminal Justice Reporter

Rachel Lippmann covers courts, public safety and city politics for St. Louis Public Radio. (She jokingly refers to them as the “nothing ever happens beats.”) She joined the NPR affiliate in her hometown in 2008, after spending two years in Lansing covering the Michigan Capitol and various other state political shenanigans for NPR affiliates there. Though she’s a native St. Louisan, part of her heart definitely remains in the Mitten. (And no, she’s not going to tell you where she went to high school.)

Rachel has an undergraduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism, and a master’s in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. When she’s not busy pursuing the latest scoop, you can find her mentoring her Big Brothers Big Sisters match, hitting the running and biking paths in south St. Louis, catching the latest sporting event on TV, playing with as many dogs as she possibly can, or spending time with the great friends she’s met in a decade in this city.

Rachel’s on Twitter @rlippmann. Even with 240 characters, spellings are still phonetic.

Ways to Connect

Max Starkloff with his daughter, Emily
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Funeral services for disability rights pioneer Max Starkloff have been set.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

Crews working on the new Mississippi River Bridge have gotten the $640 million project back on track.

Flooding meant that for the months of May, June, and July, it wasn't safe for crews to be working below the water line, says project manager Greg Horn. That wiped out 81 construction days.

/Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

Some major road projects will keep the Missouri Department of Transportation and its contractors busy next year. But that all changes in 2012.

In 2011, crews will complete a new ramp connecting Interstate 270 and Page Avenue, says Bill Schnell, MoDOT's assistant district engineer in the St. Louis area. They'll also finish MoDOT's portion of the Route 141 extension in West County.

(United States Marine Corps)

A 24-year old U.S. Marine  has died, following a three-car accident on the Illinois approach to the Poplar Street Bridge.

Blake G. Hinds was a native of Burlington, IA and stationed at Camp Lejune, in North Carolina. He may have been traveling home when he rear-ended a tractor trailer, then lost control of the 2006 Nissan Altima and collided with another vehicle.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging driver to take it slow and be careful if they must travel this Christmas night.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is asking motorists to stay off the roads if possible during the winter storm that's expected to hit on Christmas Eve.

We have more details on the storm and tips for your holiday drive. We'll also keep you updated on any major changes in the weather here as it develops, but for real-time weather information, see the Missouri Department of Transportation's real-time traveler information map.

Updated 3:14 p.m. Dec. 23, 2010:

The Associated Press reports that the woman found in Busch's home has been identified.

Police and the St. Louis County medical examiner's office on Thursday identified the victim as Adrienne Martin of St. Charles.

An autopsy has been conducted but results could take 4-6 weeks.

St. Louis County forensic administrator Suzanne McCune says there were no signs of trauma.

From Earlier:

Outgoing auditor Susan Montee has released two new reports that find problems in a couple of the executive branch offices in Missouri.

One report, on the office of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, found some problems in manual timesheets and leave slithat Kinder's staff filled out. For example:

Bikers and hikers in St. Louis got two pieces of good news today.

Great Rivers Greenway, which is trying to develop 600 miles of trails throughout the region, announced it had, as expected, purchased about 12 acres at the foot of the Chain of Rocks bridge.

Governor Jay Nixon and the chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committee have come to an agreement on the amount of money available for the budget year that starts in June 2011 (FY 2012).

The projected revenue estimate is made every December, and is the figure the governor and lawmakers use to craft budget proposals.

Missouri Republicans have officially picked up another seat in the state Senate.

UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. Dec. 21, 2010, with information about reapportionment of Missouri congressional districts.

There’s already speculation that the Republican-dominated Missouri House and Senate will target the St. Louis-area districts held by Democrats Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan.  But GOP House Member John Diehl, who chairs that chamber’s reapportionment committee, downplayed that possibility before reporters at the State Capitol.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Dept. via UPI)

The Missouri Supreme Court has upheld the sentence of a St. Louis teenager who was 15 when he shot and killed a St. Louis police officer.

Looks like the city of East St. Louis and its police officers will wait another day to settle their ongoing layoff dispute.

KMOV-TV is reporting that six people were arrested during a protest Monday at the Bank of America branch in downtown Clayton.

According to the report:

Politico reports that St. Louis is now one of the top two contenders to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The other city giving St. Louis the biggest challenge? Charlotte, N.C.

So what, according to Politico, does St. Louis have going for it to host the event?

The Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District has settled a lawsuit filed over the actions of former board members.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the current board will "provide the Missouri Attorney General's office copies of notices for all district meetings, minutes of those meetings, all requests the district receives for public records and its responses to those requests."

Students in the Collinsville Community Unit School District 10 got an extended winter break this year after vandals flattened tires on the school buses that transport students.

Maureen Richmond, a spokeswoman with First Student Inc.,  says a maintenance man entered the bus lot around 5am Friday to begin pre-trip maintenance on the fleet. He discovered that at least one tire on all of the nearly 80 buses on the lot had been flattened. It was not clear if the tires were slashed or simply deflated.

(Flickr Creative Commons user Tony the Misfit)

Nine days ago, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill wrote the Republican and Democratic leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and asked them to add one more bill to an already hectic schedule.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

The future remains unclear for the nightclub formerly known as Lure.

As we reported last week, a group of residents is trying to collect enough signatures to get the club, which is currently operating as Amnesia, shuttered. Judge Margaret Walsh wanted to bring in a witness to clarify some signatures on the petitions.

The result? Still no clarity.

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