Stephanie Lecci

Newscast Producer

Stephanie Lecci comes to St. Louis Public Radio from WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, where she was coordinating and web producer of the news magazine show, "Lake Effect."

Her previous radio experience includes freelance producing and reporting for WBEZ Chicago Public Radio and serving as associate producer for the nationally syndicated political radio show, "Beyond the Beltway with Bruce DuMont." Stephanie hails from Long Island, N.Y., and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

A flounder house on Ohio Aveue in St. Louis
via Flckr | Michael Allen

Updated as of July 28, 7 p.m.

Most of St. Louis' 277 historic triangular-shaped houses known as "flounders" are in good shape, but dozens are considered endangered, according to a months-long survey performed by the city's Cultural Resources Office.

St. Louis Advocates for Youth presents its "Resource Accountability Project" tracking Ferguson-related donations in the St. Louis area during a public forum.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of youth advocates is questioning how money donated to programs for young people in the aftermath of the unrest in Ferguson has been spent and whether the funds have made an impact. 

Women pray during the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis' service to celebrate Eid al-fitr, or the breaking of the month-long Ramadan fast.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of people, clad in colorful dresses and their finest clothes, filled the gymnasium at St. Louis Community College's Forest Park campus. After taking off their shoes, multi-generational families placed rugs on the floor, pointed in the same direction.

Waving, hugging and greeting one another, people waited for the beginning of the prayer service to mark the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

A sign in Old Mines, Mo., announces that Missouri French, or Paw Paw French, speakers live there 300 years after it was established. Still, the dialect is considered highly endangered.
Courtesy Illinois Country French Preservation Inc. | Facebook

St. Louisans can now take classes to learn a nearly dead dialect of French once spoken throughout eastern Missouri.

Paw Paw French, also known as Illinois Country French or Missouri French, originated with early French settlers to the St. Louis region. It was spoken across a wide area, ranging from Vincennes, Ind., through Illinois, to the Missouri Ozarks, including areas like Old Mines (La Vieille Mine), Ste. Genevieve and Potosi.

The Mission Continues is helping launch an effort to help veterans reintegrate into communities and improve their economic opportunities. Here, members of the St. Louis chapter participate in a service project.
The Mission Continues St. Louis | Facebook

St. Louis is one of the first 25 cities where a new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' initiative to give veterans more educational and employment opportunities launches this summer. 

Haitians or people of Haitian descent living and working in the Dominican Republic must have submitted paperwork to prove their legal residency by a June deadline or they will soon be deported, under a law to crack down on migrants.
Richie Diesterheft | Flickr

The U.S. will be monitoring the situation as thousands of Haitians leave or are deported from the neighboring Dominican Republic as it cracks down on migrants, according to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says St. Clair County's proposal for the NGA's relocation to Scott Air Force Base is "better" than those for three Missouri sites.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said Monday he believes it would make “good sense” to locate the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency at Scott Air Force Base due to both sites’ work on cyber-security.

St. Clair County officials are hoping to lure the NGA to a 200-acre site on the base when the agency relocates from its current location in downtown St. Louis. The base is the only Illinois location being considered for the agency’s new facility alongside three other Missouri sites, including St. Louis’ north side.

Fairview Heights resident Laycee Thigpen discusses the impact budget cost-cutting measures would have on her ability to afford child care.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio

Several Illinois Democratic lawmakers again called on Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to break an impasse and compromise on a budget plan that doesn't hurt the middle class, all before a July 1 deadline.

University City School District Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt (center), seen here at a district work session, will retire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year after nine years in the post.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

University City School District Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt will retire at the end of next school year, according to an announcement released Tuesday.

Pruitt has spent eight years so far at the head of the U. City schools, and said by the end of her ninth year, it will be time for someone else to take the district to the “next level.”

Flooded fields, an inability to plant, and the possibility of disease are all concerns Missouri farmers have due to recent rains.
Sonya Green | Flickr

Missouri's farmers are facing significant challenges as heavy rains from Tropical Storm Bill compound an already wet planting season.

St. Louis Regional Chamber president Joe Reagan discusses the new 'Take Pride in St. Louis' campaign.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

A new media campaign launched by the nonprofit St. Louis Civic Pride Foundation on Thursday is encouraging St. Louisans to tell their "positive and authentic" stories about the region on social media.

The "Take Pride in St. Louis" campaign features a website where people can share their stories, as well as broadcast and print ads of St. Louis celebrities like Bob Costas, Joe Buck and Jackie Joyner-Kersee extolling the region's virtues.

Archbishop Robert Carlson says all Catholics must be engaged in eliminating racism, a topic covered at the recent spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Courtesy Archdiocese of St. Louis Facebook page

At their annual spring meeting held in St. Louis last week, U.S Catholic bishops discussed several issues currently facing the Catholic Church, including: the clergy sex abuse scandal, what the Church sees as challenges to marriage, and the pope's upcoming encyclical on the environment.

Low-income customers' dollars will get twice the value on money spent on fruits and vegetables at several local farmers markets.
Courtesy SNAP 2 It! Program, via St. Louis Farmers Market Association

A new program at several local farmers markets will give low-income customers double the value for money spent on fruits and vegetables.

About 250 Catholic bishops will be attending a meeting on key topics important to the Church in St. Louis this week.
Courtesy USCCB's Facebook page

As Catholic bishops from across the country gather in St. Louis this week for their annual Spring General Assembly meeting, many local Catholics are hoping church leaders discuss an array of issues.

Through the Positive Ticketing Program (first started in Canada), North County police will reward kids doing good or showing good behaviors with "tickets" for free food or tickets to events.
Courtesy of Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Wood Buffalo

Under a new program, police in north St. Louis County are handing out "tickets" to young people — for doing good deeds.

The "Positive Ticketing Program" recognizes and rewards young people for making contributions to their community and showing good behavior. In addition to police issuing the "tickets," members of the public, school administrators and clergy can also nominate a young person who has done good works. 

Detours for drivers using interstates to get around downtown St. Louis this weekend
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

MODOT will close sections of I-55 and I-44 south of downtown this weekend. For more details, our original report follows:

Some drivers headed into downtown St. Louis are in for a complicated route beginning this weekend.

A major closure off the Poplar Street Bridge will affect downtown traffic.
Courtesy Missouri Department of Transportation

Some drivers headed into downtown St. Louis are in for a complicated route beginning this weekend.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is closing the westbound Poplar Street Bridge ramp leading to Interstate 55/44 south for a month, starting Thursday night.

One demonstration garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden gives city-dwellers inspiration for plants that do well in small lots.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Whether your garden needs a little TLC or needs to be planted in the first place, the St. Louis area has some unique gardening hacks to help even the brownest thumb among us.

With resources like the following at the tips of your gardening gloves, St. Louis makes it easy to get your garden on.

What to plant

One of the studies suggests many Missouri women might be choosing between keeping their jobs and caring for family members.
Courtesy of GSCSNJ | Flickr

Two new reports on women's political participation and representation and work-family supports for women are giving Missouri middling rankings.

The studies are part of a larger series by the nonprofit Institute for Women's Policy Research on the "Status of Women in the States."

The Saint Louis Zoo's curator of birds Michael Macek works to conserve Humboldt penguins in Punta San Juan, Peru.
Courtesy of Saint Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo is spotlighting its efforts to save threatened wildlife Saturday with educational activities and a children's scavenger hunt during its 10th annual Endangered Species Day.

Zoo CEO Jeffrey Bonner called the institution a leader in animal conservation, but he acknowledges that many people don't know about its vital role in saving wildlife.

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