Shula Neuman

Executive Editor

Shula Neuman has more than a decade of journalism experience as both a print and radio reporter.  Shula came to St. Louis Public Radio in late 2013 after working as an editor for NPR in Washington, D.C.  She has also reported on economic development for Cleveland’s public radio station and, before that, worked as a reporter at the Watertown Daily Times and was a reporter and evening newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.  Yes, this is Shula’s second stint with St. Louis Public Radio. She says she just can’t stay away from her hometown because she’s tired of rooting for the Cardinals in absentia.  Shula has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University; an Executive M.B.A. from Washington University in St. Louis; and a bachelor’s from Reed College in Portland, OR. She claims she has no intention of going back to school again.  Shula is an avid cyclist, canine enthusiast, and compulsive baker (although she has yet to bake anything for dogs).

Ways to Connect

In this rerun of We Live Here, we examine the concept of toxic stress and learn how managing patients who experience it is challenging for doctors and for the patients themselves.

Emanuele Berry
Provided by Emanuele Berry

We originally aired this podcast on what its like to be multi-racial about six months ago. The project was the brainchild of Emanuele Berry, one of the founding producers of We Live Here, and it's still one of our favorite episodes — not just because we miss Emanuele (who is on a Fulbright in Macau, China), but also because the stories and interactions in this podcast are poignant and thought provoking.

This entry represents our ongoing coverage of State Auditor Tom Schweich's suicide and the fallout after. 

This is St. Louis Public Radio's submission for best newscast, 2015.

This aired on August 21, 2015 at 7:04 a.m.

We first aired this podcast about race at Mizzou last November, just after a series of protests at the University of Missouri's flagship campus led to the resignation of its system president, Tim Wolfe. 

This is a compilation of some of the reporting the journalists at St. Louis Public Radio did during 2015. The stories are a mix of features, spots and podcasts. Some of the stories have been shortened to fit them into the allotted time for the Murrow Award entry.

The We Live Here team is still on hiatus, creating new episodes for our second season. Meanwhile, we revisit one of our favorites from season one

A single school can tell us a lot about the health of the community in which it exists. It can also tell us a lot about how systemic problems with transportation, food, housing and crime adversely impact impoverished communities and the health of the people who live there.   

First a definition: Hiatus, noun, a break or interruption in the continutity of a work, series, action., etc. 

We aren't giving you this definition to insult your intelligence. Rather, we are defining the word to let you know that the We Live Here crew is taking a hiatus. And it really will be a short break, so that we can bring you fresh, informative and thought-provoking shows in our second season starting in March.

There is this term that gets thrown around in education circles that we felt needs some exploring.

School to prison pipeline.

It sounds like schools are some kind of factory for future inmates, which is not what most people think of as the mission of our education system. Rather, school is the place that prepares children for work, for life, for being good citizens. And for a lot of students, that is exactly what happens.

Nine Network of Public Media

Updated 12:15 p.m., Nov. 5 with audio from the town hall—More than 100 educators, parents and students came together Wednesday, Oct. 28, to talk about the longstanding racial disparities in school suspensions in Missouri.

The state has grappled with the issue for several years, earning headlines in recent years for having the nation’s highest suspension rates.


This week's We Live Here podcast is something a little different.

Recently, we've been looking at health and the way that toxic stress can impact someone's ability to succeed and even to be healthy. We'll be transitioning to a new area soon, but we wanted to take a step back this week to allow Emanuele Berry to produce her own, unique show.

As night fell Monday, demonstrators returned to West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson to resume their vigil after Sunday night’s police-involved shooting. 

For several hours, things were calm. People marched up and down West Florissant. Some danced to the drum circles and other chanted slogans.

Following the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson on Aug. 9, 2014, the world watched the aftermath of the shooting and the subsequent demonstrations and police actions through news coverage, including many stirring photographs. 

One of those photos was taken by St. Louis Post Dispatch photographer Robert Cohen. It was part of a portfolio of work that won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography. The picture shows  a young man, body tensed in anguish, his face in a scream of sorrow, anger, frustration and fear. He is surrounded by other young people and one adult woman, her face grimaced with sadness, her hand on his shoulder in an attempt to comfort him. 

A single school is like an entire community.

You've got the mayor, or principal. There is the general population, the students and their parents. There's a grocery store in the form of a cafeteria. And the teachers are kind of like doctors and police officers rolled into one. Within that batch of characters, there are gossips and scofflaws; actors and judges; even engineers and critics.

There are a few things we know about health care that are true for everyone. For one thing, it's expensive. It's a nearly $3 trillion industry in the U.S. Also, it's not easy to do well.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

Imagine you're looking at a map of the St. Louis region. Now fold that map in half horizontally.

Below the fold, you'd mostly see healthy people living long lives, having no trouble finding doctors or hospitals or fresh fruit and vegetables. Above the fold, you'd see a different, starker picture. Above the fold, there are fewer healthy people, higher rates of infant mortality and few hospitals.   

Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City was closed in 2004.
Dustin Holmes | Flickr

There are about 1.5 million people in federal and state prisons in the United States, according to a U.S. Department of Justice 2013 count. That is more than the population of St. Louis County and city combined.

They are locked up for burglary, assault, murder or numerous other crimes. A sliver of that population will remain in prison for life. But the vast majority are released at some point. How does someone adjust to life outside after spending years behind bars?

A cartoon rendering that explains the concept of collateral consequences.
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

On last week's podcast, we explained in detail how it happens that someone can wind up homeless for pleading to a seemingly minor transgression like trespassing or for not paying child support.

For those of you who learn better visually, rather than aurally, we thought you would appreciate this graphic representation of the concept. This is not based on any one person's experience, but is an amalgamation of several stories we've heard. 

Let's say you somehow got involved with a bad group of people and found yourself on the wrong side of the law. You end up getting charged with a crime and, as it happens, you make so little money that you actually qualify for a court-appointed attorney, a public defender.

As we reported recently, the public defender system in Missouri is underfunded and the attorneys say they are severely overworked. Just how overworked?

 St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce has released her report in the fatal shooting of VonDerrit Myers Jr. by an off-duty police officer. It concluded “that Mr. Myers produced a firearm on the evening in question," and that “Given all the available facts, witness statements, physical and forensic evidence and for reasons outlined in the detailed report, prosecutors have determined a criminal violation could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Joyce said although the circumstances were tragic, the incident did not constitute a crime under Missouri law. 

You hear it nearly every time you watch a crime show. As the bad guy is getting cuffed by the police, they tell him that he has the right to remain silent. And "Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law." And they tell him he has the right to an attorney. If he cannot afford to hire a lawyer, "one will be appointed to represent you..."

As with most things you see on TV, it's not actually that easy. In this episode of We Live Here, we explore the price and perils of our public defender system.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

On this episode of We Live Here we introduce you to four police officers who discuss not only what life is like during the day-to-day grind of work, but also the question of whether or not race makes a difference for African-American officers in majority white police departments.

The reason we are presenting the police perspective to you is that we feel it's a point of view that hasn't received enough attention. And that's not just our idea.

Protesters in Ferguson in August 2014
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio has won six Edward R. Murrow  2015 regional awards. The honor recognizes St. Louis Public Radio's overall efforts for both digital and radio reporting excellence. This year, awards were granted in ten categories.

Most of the awards recognize the reporting on Michael Brown's death in Aug. 2014 and the protests and unrest that followed. That reporting reflected the efforts of everyone in the newsroom, including St. Louis on the Air, our daily talk show.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

We Live Here spent the last several weeks ramping up to explore race in St. Louis and, specifically, how systems intersect with people to create  a lot of the inequality in our region ... and around the country.

Now, we are moving from the general to the specific. We will spend the next several months exploring the criminal justice system.

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Let’s be honest, talking about race can be tough — even nerve-racking for some.  

Often the conversation comes with trap doors leading to potentially awkward moments. It’s that fear of a misstep, perhaps, that nudges people into sidestepping clear language about race.

St. Louis County has 90 municipalities.

It’s a fact we’ve heard casually thrown into news stories over the past few months, with little explanation as to how St. Louis County came to be a hodge-podge of towns. In this episode of We Live Here, we talk to Esley Hamilton, a preservationist for St. Louis County Parks, who explains why there are so many municipalities in the region.

Within this system of municipalities, people are largely divided — white, black, rich and poor. They rarely live next to each other.

We live here.

Those are the words that we found ourselves saying in the months after Michael Brown was fatally shot last August by then-police officer Darren Wilson.

Those are also the words we've chosen as the name for an effort we're beginning today. It’s a multi-faceted, multi-media project that we hope will shed some light on the very tangible racial issues that seemed to be at the heart of the unrest and protests that swept our region — and eventually the rest of the country — during the last few months of 2014.

Janice Barrier (left) and her wife Sheri Schild were one of the 10 couples who sued the state to have their marriage recognize in Missouri.
Rachel Lippmann I St. Louis Public Radio

A Kansas City judge ruled Friday that the state of Missouri had to recognize marriages of same-sex couples that were legally married in other states.

Pilot Roy Caton checks his balloon for security before taking off on a flight.
Shula Neuman/St. Louis Public Radio

On the third weekend of September, St. Louisans turn their gaze skyward in the hopes of glimpsing a charming sight: dozens of multi-colored hot air balloons floating across a clear blue sky. It’s the Great Forest Park Balloon Race, a 42-year-old tradition in St. Louis that has been kept alive thanks to the friendship and generosity of four men.

Gateway Cup

Cyclists from across the country gather in St. Louis this weekend for the 29th annual Gateway Cup cycling races. The popular, four-day event takes place in four St. Louis neighborhoods – Lafayette Square, Benton Park, The Hill and St. Louis Hills – and attracts anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 fans per day.

The Gateway Cup has long been an attraction for top-level cyclists. But this year the race gained additional prestige because it has been added to the U.S.A. Cycling National Criterium Calendar (NCC), the premier series of 20 professional criterium races.

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