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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McCaskill
4:52 pm
Wed March 9, 2011

McCaskill offers her views on John Cochran, Libya and the budget

Claire McCaskill in February as she outlined her quality of care survey for VA hospitals.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Sen. Claire McCaskill says two new federal reports out about health care at the John Cochran veteran's hospital in St. Louis are only part of the picture she wants to get on that facility.

The inspector general on Monday released reports on problems with sterilization at the hospital's dental clinic, and on complaints from employees that they did not have the equipment they needed to do their jobs.

Those reports are important because they outline existing problems, McCaskill says, but the specifics on dealing with those problems have to come from veterans. And that's where her new customer satisfaction survey comes in.

"I really want to see this through the eyes of veterans. I want to know how they feel on an individual basis about the services they’re receiving, and I think that's going to be a very good measure of the work we have to do, she says."

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City primaries
7:38 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Upset in 24th Ward primary; voter turnout below 7 percent

St. Louis City Hall
(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Wed. with correct percentages

Updated with final unofficial results at 10:30 p.m.

A former St. Louis alderman who was recalled from office in 2005 over his support for controversial development projects in his south city ward seems poised to take his old seat back in April.

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Route 109 closure
4:38 pm
Tue March 8, 2011

Route 109 closed for month-long emergency repairs

A crumbling stretch of Route 109 will be closed for a month for emergency repairs
(photo courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation)

The Missouri Department of Transportation has shut down a mile-long stretch of Route 109 in Wildwood to make emergency repairs to a crumbling hillside.

The department was planning to do the construction during the summer months, says district engineer Ed Hassinger. They've been watching the stretch of road between Turkey Track and Christy for the last couple of years.

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Police Standoff in South City
8:36 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Marshal dies following shooting in south St. Louis

This undated handout from the U.S. Marshals Service shows Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry, who died Tuesday, March 8, 2011, from gunshot wounds received while serving an arrest warrant on a residence in St. Louis, Mo.
(Official U.S. Marshals Photograph)

Will be updated as more information becomes available.

Updated 3:45 p.m. March 10, 2011:

From the U.S. Marshals Service:

"A funeral service for Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry will be held Sunday, March 13, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., at the Powell Symphony Hall, 718 North Grand Boulevard, St. Louis, Mo. 

U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia A. Hylton will attend."

From a U.S. Marshals Service press release: (updated at midnight to correct spelling of injured marshal's name)

- Deputy U.S. Marshal John Perry, 48, died at St. Louis University Hospital around 7 p.m. Tuesday from a gunshot wound to the head. Perry had been with the Marshals for 10 years.

- The name of the second injured Marshal has also been released. Deputy U.S. Marshal Theodore Abegg, 31, has been with the marshals for three years. He suffered a gunshot wound to the ankle.

Click "Read More" for additional information.

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Mardi Gras arrests
12:18 pm
Mon March 7, 2011

Average year for arrests at Mardi Gras

Revelers enjoy Mardi Gras in Soulard in 2010
(via Flickr/ChrisYunker)

Updated Monday, March 7 at 3:05 with information about DUI/DWI

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department says it was an average year for arrests at the Mardi Gras celebration in Soulard.

Law enforcement officials arrested or cited 83 people on 89 different charges over the weekend. They broke down like this:

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Claire McCaskill
5:37 pm
Sun March 6, 2011

McCaskill wants investigation into abuse of exchange program

Sen. Claire McCaskill
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Sen. Claire McCaskill is asking for stricter oversight of a popular U.S. college exchange program after a federal investigation revealed that some non-existent universities are using the program to bring thousands of people into the country illegally.

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Challenge to Clayton smoking ban
12:10 pm
Thu March 3, 2011

Clayton faces lawsuit over outdoor smoking ban

Clayton resident Arthur Gallagher (L) and his attorney Bevis Schock smoke cigars on the sidewalk near Shaw Park in Clayton. Gallagher is challenging the constitutionality of Clayton's ban on smoking in public parks.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with details from press conference, comments from city officials.

Calling smoking a fundamental right in America, attorneys have filed a federal legal challenge to Clayton's ban on smoking in outdoor  public places.

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Jail talks
5:33 pm
Wed March 2, 2011

Negotiations on jail oversight break down

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The St. Louis City Justice Center

Talks between the American Civil Liberties Union and the city of St. Louis on an independent panel to oversee the city's jails have stalled.

The talks were prompted by a 2009 ACLU report that alleged abuse and medical neglect at the city's Medium Security Institution (more commonly known as the city workhouse) and at the higher-security City Justice Center.

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SLPS parent forum
10:28 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Low turnout at forum on changes to the SLPS

Most of the crowd at Roosevelt High School listening to Dr. Kelvin Adams discuss his ideas for the St. Louis Public Schools were with the district.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

To say that turnout last night at the St. Louis Public Schools' parent forum on possible major changes to district policy for next year was low would be an understatement.

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Grand Blvd bridge
5:18 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Gearing up for Grand closure

The Grand Blvd bridge will close for 15 months so crews can rebuild the 52-year-old structure. The MetroLink station will also be redone.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Improved traffic flow and safer conditions for pedestrians who use the Grand Blvd. bridge are two of the benefits of the 15-month closure that will start at 5am on Monday, March 14th.

The 52-year-old crossing is structurally deficient, and in danger of being closed permanently, says the city's chief engineer, Rich Bradley.

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