Sean Sandefur

News Intern
Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio

Few things are more polarizing in American culture than guns. There is no scarcity of opinions on the issue, but a voice that we have perhaps not heard is that of a younger generation, specifically those who are 18 to 29 years old. They fall under the millennial generation, and will make up the future of gun ownership. So, what do they think? St. Louis Public Radio’s Sean Sandefur reports.

Guns Evoke Many Emotions

Kristin McGuire/Environment Missouri

Environment Missouri, a state environmental advocacy group, kicked off its campaign today by calling on state legislators to take action on what they say are $400 million worth of back-logged repairs to state parks.

The organization says that state parks are crucial to the economy, bringing an average of 18 million visitors a year, and providing over 14,000 jobs.

Parks are currently funded by (bear with me) half of a one-tenth-of-one-cent sales tax, a tax voters have continued to renew over the years. But Environment Missouri thinks that it’s not enough.

SLPR news

The Missouri Department of Transportation will be closing all lanes of Interstate 64 between Jefferson Avenue and Hampton Avenue starting at 8 p.m. Friday night until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

The closures are part of a 3 month project to replace the 50 year old Jefferson overpass.

Eastbound on-ramps will be closed from McCausland to Ewing, and westbound on-ramps will be closed from Broadway to Grand.

The Jefferson Bridge itself will close at 7 p.m. Friday.

Sean Sandefur/ St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of retired and current union miners from across the country descended on St. Louis on Tuesday to protest Peabody Energy and the potential loss of their pension plans.

Most of the miners worked for either Peabody Energy or Arch Coal, but their benefits are threatened by the bankruptcy of Patriot Coal last year. Patriot was spun off from Peabody in 2007, along with the healthcare obligations of many Peabody and Arch Coal employees.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Update on Saturday, April 13 at 1:15 p.m. 

The cleanup effort in Hazelwood continues this weekend, days after the suburb was hit by a vicious spring storm that uprooted trees and destroyed homes. 

About 150 faculty and staff members of the Hazelwood School District fanned out into neighborhoods on Saturday, checking up on residents and passing along information and resources.   Staff is also collecting food and supply donations this weekend.

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Mike Anderson)

Many customers of the Schnucks grocery chain are upset about the credit card fraud that has victimized dozens of people. Investigators told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they continue to receive complaints from Schnucks customers.

It still isn't clear how the security breach occurred. For now, investigators are telling people who shop at Schnucks to pay with cash or checks.


Just one of the eight lawsuits filed against Mallinckrodt chemical company by people who believe they got cancer from living near radioactive contamination in north St. Louis Country will move forward.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig on Wednesday dismissed claims of negligence, emotional distress and liability.

(via Flickr/hjl)

Missouri Secretary of State  Jason Kander is urging House Speaker Tim Jones to take up early voting initiatives.

Kander wrote a letter today in response to an interview Jones gave earlier this month in which Jones questioned the importance of early voting.

Kander asked Jones to assign a Republican early voting bill to a committee, saying the issue has had bipartisan support over the years.

(via Flickr/roberthuffstutter)

The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that 13 coal barges became dislodged from their tow vessel near Cape Girardeau on Sunday morning, three of which partially sank into the Mississippi. So, what happened?

Most of the 25 barges were soon accounted for after the vessel struck an object around 10:30 a.m. At this time, it is still not clear what that object was.

The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge at Cape Girardeau was closed for a little more than one hour as a precaution, but it was not struck.


An Asian elephant calf is due to be born any day at the St. Louis Zoo, cause for both celebration and concern amid the backdrop of a deadly herpes virus.

The virus has killed about 25 percent of Asian elephants born in North American zoos in the past three decades. Some animal rights activists told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it is irresponsible to breed elephants knowing the presence of the virus in the herd.

(Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio)

Our Rachel Lippmann had a story about corn cob pipes on NPR's Morning Edition today - yes, corn cob pipes of the Mark Twain, Frosty the Snowman, Popeye, General MacArthur variety. It turns out, these pipes have a big Missouri connection.

As NPR says:

Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio

Over a thousand Billikens fans showed up to cheer on their team at a watch party at Saint Louis University’s Chaifetz Arena.

The game was displayed on all four jumbotrons, with snacks and refreshments also being offered. The event was free and open to the public.

SLU is a 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament, their highest seed in school history. Their success this season is attributed greatly to the recruiting of their late coach, Rick Majerus. Majerus passed away last December of heart failure, and their season has been unofficially dedicated in his memory.

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

The Missouri House of Representatives is considering a bill which would mandate registered sex offenders to vote at their local country clerk’s office, instead of at schools.

The House Elections Committee held a hearing on the proposed legislation today. Rep. Tim Remole (R), is sponsoring the legislation and says that it will protect the voting rights of registered offenders, while also protecting children in schools that are designated as polling places.

Flickr/ TylerIngram

An Illinois House Committee could vote as early as today on a measure granting equal marriage rights to same-sex couples. The bill would need to be approved by the House Executive Committee, and then voted on in the full body.

Democratic Representative Greg Harris, who sponsored the bill, says that he expects the committee to approve the legislation.

The Illinois State Senate approved the bill on Valentine’s Day, with Democratic backing and a single Republican vote.

St. Louis Public Radio

The regional planning agency East-West Gateway Council of Governments is asking the public what it wants to see in transit-oriented development around five MetroLink stations

Starting tonight, East-West Gateway will hold a series of open houses. A complete list of locations is below.


A prison watchdog says "bed space is trumping security" in Illinois correctional facilities as officials announced they plan to set up temporary bed space in a half-dozen mostly medium-security prisons.  

The change was announced Thursday in a letter from the Illinois Department of Corrections to the main employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. 

AFSCME says the move is in preparation for closing the women's prison in Dwight. 

Flickr/Joe Buckingham

The Missouri House and Senate have each approved measures that would renew expired security exemptions to the open meetings and records law.

Both chambers voted Thursday to shield public buildings' security plans and law enforcement guidelines for terrorism incidents from public records requests. The two exemptions expired at the end of 2012.  State Representative Vicki Englund (D, Tesson) says the legislation will help protect children while at school.

(Sean Sandefur/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 12:45 p.m. following forum - more to come.

Today, "St. Louis on the Air" hosted its St. Louis Mayoral Primary Forum.

(For a full report of the event, see our Chris McDaniel's story here)

(via Flickr/Roomic Cube)

A measure outlined in the Missouri House on Tuesday could give first-time offenders for marijuana possession the opportunity of community service, instead of jail time.

After completing the sentence, the bill would also allow for the convictions to be removed from the offender’s record.

Representative Rory Ellinger, a criminal defense lawyer from St. Louis, hopes that the bill will help youth offenders to get jobs by not having to disclose the conviction to employers.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has taken a small step toward expanding then number of minorities and women working construction in the city.