Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Rebecca Smith

News Intern

Rebecca Smith was born and raised in Rolla, Missouri, and recently graduated from Truman State University with a double major in Journalism and Chemistry.  She has been working in radio since 2012 when her professor recruited her as social media manager for the student-run radio station, KTRM. Rebecca went on to become the Assistant Station Manager, and to host a weekly science news talk show and specialty music show. Rebecca has completed several half-marathons and is training for her first marathon. She is partial to long runs, good books, and nerdy television shows.

As the outreach counselor for Battle High School in Columbia, Missouri. Dana Harris’s job is connecting students with services when they have mental and emotional troubles such as ADHD, anxiety or depression.

When Joe Morris had a heart attack last Easter and had to be rushed to the ER, it was the first time he’d been to the doctor in more than 40 years — since high school.

Back home in the small community of Neosho, Mo., Morris needed follow-up care to manage his heart disease and diabetes, but he didn’t have a doctor — or insurance.


UM System President Responds to Protests

Nov 8, 2015
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 29, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

KBIA, Columbia, Mo. - There was a rush of local and national media attention Sunday after the students of color on the Mizzou Tigers Football team’s Saturday announcement that they would not take part in any “football related activities” until University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe either resigned or was removed from office due to his “negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

A dose of naloxone, the opiate overdose antidote.
Openfile Vancouver | Flickr

(Part 2 of 3)

Earlier this month, a new anti-heroin law went into effect in Illinois. The measure requires first responders to carry the opiate overdose antidote naloxone and expands the amount of addiction treatment paid for by Medicaid. But how the drugs and treatment will be paid for is unclear. State funding for addiction treatment is also in limbo as Illinois enters its 13th week without a budget.

Meanwhile, there have been a number of legislative attempts in recent years aimed at fighting the heroin epidemic in Missouri. But the only bill to become law is a measure allowing law enforcement to carry the overdose antidote. And so far very few police departments have taken advantage of the law.

Members of a Jewish and Muslim Teen Dialogue Group packed bags at the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry last year.
Provided by Gail Wechsler

Jews and Muslims in St. Louis are hoping to bring a little extra Christmas cheer to their Christian counterparts this year.

For the fourth year, the groups will be hosting a Jewish and Muslim Day of Community Service. The event has grown since it was implemented in 2010; more than 700 people are expected to show up to help.

Gail Wechsler, one of the Jewish co-chairs for the event, said that the day is all about helping St. Louisan who are in need of assistance.

Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is a city built on immigration – from the early French settlers, to the Germans and Irish in the 1800s, to the more modern immigration of Bosnians and Southeast Asians.

While there have been numerous waves of immigration into St. Louis, the welcome extended by existing religious groups to new immigrants has remained fairly consistent throughout St. Louis' 250 year history.

Providing Resources

The "Carnival of Injustice" marched through downtown St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

The “Carnival of Injustice” marched through downtown St. Louis Friday morning, making stops at City Hall and the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. courthouse – both of which were locked and guarded by law enforcement officers.

More than 30 people gathered at Kiener Plaza, and the crowd was very diverse.

A St. Louis police officer will be disciplined for wearing a "Wilson" patch on his uniform, Chief Sam Dotson said Friday.
Rebecca Smith

A St. Louis police officer will face discipline for wearing a patch on his uniform seemingly in support of former Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson, during a downtown protest Friday.

An officer with the last name of Coats was seen wearing an arm patch that read "Wilson" during a protest against the grand jury decision not to indict Wilson for August's fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Griffin 3D is a local start-up that makes original design 3D printers. Here, the Griffin Pro Mini, prints an octopus at the Science Center's First Friday event in November.
Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

Most people have heard of 3D printing, but few have ever seen these printers up close and in action.

Scott Rocca, co-owner of Griffin 3D, a St. Louis start-up, is trying to change this by showcasing his company’s printers at numerous events, such as the Science Center’s First Fridays. People can come and watch the printers. Soon they will be able to buy their own. 

plywood art at FedExt S. Grand 11/26
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

While the protests in the South Grand Business District have not been as destructive as in Ferguson, businesses have had windows broken and plywood is the current holiday look. But much of the plywood is festive. We offer a selection:

At FedEx

At Urban

  At the Post Office

At Great Clips

  At Cafe Natasha

At Rooster

Protesters gathered in Clayton today - 101 days after the shooting death of Michael Brown in August.
Emanuele Berry//St. Louis Public Radio

It has been 101 days since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and protesters continue to call for justice.

About 50 protesters gathered Monday in Clayton for the “Carnival of Injustice,” a theatrical protest that organizer Elizabeth Vega hoped would engage people in activist satire and start a dialogue.

"You know the tension is palpable," Vega said. "This is the carnival of injustice, so if we don't laugh we'll cry."

Several local gun stores are reporting an increased demand for tactical weapons and training.
(via Flickr/Foxtongue)

Several St. Louis area gun shops are reporting a spike in sales, and some are attributing it, in part, to preparations ahead of an expected grand jury decision in the Michael Brown case.

About two-thirds of the local gun stores St. Louis Public Radio spoke with report increased sales. Two stores, Marco Polo Outfitters in Chesterfield and Butterfield Gun Works in Ballwin, said they haven't seen a significant jump in sales.

Other stores said it's typical to see more sales at this time of year, thanks to deer season and the start of holiday shopping.

Jill Schupp at her victory party Tuesday night.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Democrats took a beating on Tuesday in contests for the Missouri General Assembly, losing even more ground in the Missouri House and Senate — including a hotly-contested race for a vacant Jefferson County Senate seat.

A bright spot for Democrats was in St. Louis County, where State Rep. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, narrowly won a hard-fought contest for the 24th District Senate seat.

Numerous adoption agencies said there is no evidence that black cats are more at risk than other animals around Halloween.
Kaitlin Davis/Instagram

Many people have heard the stories about black cats disappearing around Halloween and that adoption agencies don't allow adoptions of all-black or all-white pets in October. But for cat owners in the St. Louis area is this danger real or an urban myth?

Dr. Kelly Ryan of the Animal Medical Center of Mid-America in St. Louis said she has seen no evidence locally that black cats are more at risk than other animals.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The World Series is over and the Cardinals will have to wait until next year to contend for another title.

But the Redbirds’ lack of championship success didn’t stop Joe Smart from venturing down to Ballpark Village this week to watch the Royals battle it out with the San Francisco Giants. Smart is hardly a newbie to Ballpark Village; he’s visited the entertainment complex 15 times.

So what keeps Smart coming back for more?

One of the new signs that can be found on taxi stands throughout Downtown St. Louis.
Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

Throughout downtown St. Louis, new signs can be found on the sidewalks and taxi stands.

The signs are part of a public awareness campaign that was launched Wednesday by the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the St. Louis Taxi Commission that aims to reduce the number of drunken driving accidents.

Leanna Depue, the director of Highway Safety for MoDOT, said that in 2013, 223 people were killed and 745 seriously injured in substance-related crashes.

Over 140 Individuals of diverse backgrounds gathered together to discuss issues of race and privilege at Mother 2 Mother Part II on October 13.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

In the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, attention has turned to Ferguson. Below are some events that are tied to the issues raised or that are centered in that community.

Mother 2 Mother Part III

When: 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 27

Where: Eliot Unitarian Chapel, 100 S. Taylor, Kirkwood 63122

About: The conversations that began with Mother 2 Mother parts 1 and 2, now continues in St. Louis County.

__________

Ferguson City Council Meeting

Reopening what had been a pedestrian mall on 14th Street brought new opportunity to Old North St. Louis.
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Conversations about the Old North St. Louis neighborhood are starting to center around more than Crown Candy.

Make no mistake, the chocolate malts at Crown Candy remain as delicious as ever, but other things are happening in the neighborhood bordered by Palm Street on the north, Cass Avenue on the south, Howard Street on the east, and North Florissant on the west. 

To get an idea of what is happening we talked with families who live there as well as the head of the neighborhood association and people involved with Washington University's Land Lab.

Dr. Cyril Wecht marks the location of the likely fatal head shot as he presents his initial autopsy results on Vonderrit Myers, Jr.
Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

The initial findings of a private autopsy on the body of Vonderrit Myers, Jr., released Thursday, show the 18-year-old was shot several times from behind. 

Myers was fatally shot by an off-duty St. Louis police officer on October 8th in the city's Shaw neighborhood, after police say Myers fired at the officer.

According to their attorneys, the family ordered the autopsy because they believe the police are giving inaccurate accounts of what happened. 

Courtesy of the Missouri Department of Transportation

Transportation officials are hoping a new pilot program will help cut down on the number of wrong-way accidents on Interstate-44 in St. Louis.

According to a press release from the Missouri Department of Transportation, there have been 25 crashes on I-44 caused by drivers headed in the wrong direction on the interstate in the last eight years.

Ferguson Residents Outside A Town Hall Meeting Earlier This Fall.
Emanuele Berry|St. Louis Public Radio

In the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, attention has turned to Ferguson. Below are some events that are tied to the issues raised or that are centered in that community.

Town Hall Meeting – “A Roadmap for Growth: Where do we go from here?”

When: 6-8 p.m. Oct. 21

Where: Ferguson Community Center, 1050 Smith Avenue  

Over 140 Individuals of diverse backgrounds gathered together to discuss issues of race and privilege at Mother 2 Mother Part II on October 13.
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

How do you discuss issues of race and privilege with your children?

These and other questions were on the minds of the more than 140 individuals who gathered at Mother 2 Mother Part II at the Missouri History Museum on Oct. 13. Participants varied in race and gender, and every table of 10 hosted people of all backgrounds. The conversations centered on a list of questions and the groups discussed what could be done to change the racial status quo in St. Louis and beyond.

Here are some of their voices:

Tango Walker

mother2mother panel at mohist sept. 2014
Photo by Wiley Price, provided by the Ethics Project

In the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, attention has turned to Ferguson. Below are some events that are tied to the issues raised or that are centered in that community.

Ferguson Dinner and Music Benefit Featuring Steve Scorfina

When: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. Oct. 13

Where: Marley’s Bar & Grill, 500 S. Florissant Road, St. Louis 63135

About: This event is to support small businesses in Ferguson and gather canned goods for the St. Stephen's food pantry.

Emanuele Berry|St. Louis Public Radio

In the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, attention has turned to Ferguson. Below are some events that are tied to the issues raised or that are centered in that community.

Ferguson Youth Initiative Volunteer Meeting

When: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 6

Where: Ferguson Brewing Company, 418 S. Florissant Road, Ferguson 63135

Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

As far as sexual assaults on a college campus are concerned, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says no news is definitely not good news.

McCaskill, D-Mo., came to Harris-Stowe State University Monday as part of her continuing efforts to strengthen colleges’ responses to sexual assault – responses that she says too often are half-hearted or, at their worst, harmful to the victim.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Police Department has taken over command of security of protest demonstrations in Ferguson. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson asked St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar to take over Friday after consulting with Ferguson’s mayor and city manager.

Belmar said that the Ferguson police department lacked the manpower to handle the level of activity in Ferguson.

Rebecca Smith/St. Louis Public Radio

A tutoring program that now serves 150 students in north St. Louis could expand to help 350 more students in the city and north St. Louis County with the help of $500,000 in federal funds awarded by the state of Missouri.

10.02.14 Devin James said he is still serving as spokesman for the city of Ferguson on a pro-bono basis, though the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership fired him after it learned of his criminal record.
Rebecca Smith

Ferguson officials are working on plans to alert residents in case of future unrest, according to public relations strategist Devin James, who said he still represents the city on a pro-bono basis.

"Say for example, if there is an outbreak of something that goes on tonight and a protest goes from peaceful to violent, what are we supposed to tell residents to do? Are we supposed to tell them to evacuate, the National Guard is coming in? So a lot of those type of conversations are what they're working on now," James said.

Rendering of part of the revamped Grand Center
Christner + Hoerr Schaudt

The Grand Center neighborhood is growing. This comes as no surprise to Michelle Stevens, vice president of Grand Center Inc.  But, she says the area still has a long way to go before the “Growing Grand” plan is fulfilled.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, center, with Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, right, at area high school during height of unrest in Ferguson.
Missouri Attorney General's Office | File photo

In the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, attention has turned to Ferguson. Below are some events that are tied to the issues raised or that are centered in that community.

Town Hall Meeting Addressing Communication to/from Ferguson Leadership 

When: 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Sept. 30    

Where: Meeting 1 - First Baptist Church of Ferguson, 333 N. Florissant, Ferguson 63135

         Meeting 2 - Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 17 Hawkesbury Drive, St. Louis 63121

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