Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Stephanie Lecci

Newscast Producer

Stephanie Lecci came to St. Louis Public Radio from WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio, where she was coordinating and web producer of the news magazine show, "Lake Effect." She worked with the station from 2014 to 2017.

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.

Michael Brown's parents, Michael Brown, Sr. (far left) and Lesley McSpadden (center) at a rally in August 2014.
Jason Rosenbaum |St. Louis Public Radio

Michael Brown's parents are renewing their call for a special prosecutor in the investigation into the fatal police shooting of their son citing "compelling and rising concerns of conflict."

In a letter written by their attorney, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., asked Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday to reconsider replacing St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch. Nixon declined to remove McCulloch when he had the power to do so during the state of emergency imposed during August's unrest.

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.

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.

Ferguson Police Lt. Craig Rettke is confronted by two protestors in the middle of S. Florissant Road Sunday night.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

An at-times uneasy peace held Sunday night between police and protesters, just one night after shots unrelated to demonstrations were fired at two area police officers, hitting one.

More than 150 protesters gathered Sunday for a march outside the Ferguson Police Department on S. Florissant Road, chanting and banging out rhythms on pots, drums and tambourines. Cars driving by honked in seeming support.

Vashon High School freshman Rochelle Mason joined other students in a walk-out over substitute teachers and quality resources.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

About 100 students from St. Louis' Vashon High School walked out of classes Friday morning to demand more full-time teachers and better textbooks.

The students also were upset about certain school policies and the hiring of a new principal.

Vashon has been under scrutiny after it earned only 28 percent of available points on the most recent report card from the state.

Substitute teachers 

Tim Eby

If you're looking to spot some fall tree color this first weekend of autumn, try using your smartphone.

Rick Stream
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Rick Stream, the Republican nominee for St. Louis County executive, says that county Prosecutor Bob McCulloch should think seriously about whether he should remain in charge of an investigation into the Ferguson police shooting last month that set off weeks of unrest.

“I’m not calling on him to step aside,” Stream said in an interview. “But I do think, if a quarter of the population in the county has no confidence in your ability to do an impartial investigation, that’s something that should be seriously considered by the prosecutor. That’s his decision.” 

Dave Inman, Flickr Creative Commons

A recent report finds climate change is threatening dozens of birds that call Missouri home.

The National Audubon Society says more than half of the 588 North American bird species studied over the course of seven years are at risk. About 50 species common to Missouri are identified in the report as being threatened.

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership website

The global manufacturing company Emerson is upping its investment in the Ferguson community to show "renewed commitment" to the place it has been headquartered for 70 years.

"We choose to be here and are committed to this community, especially now in its increased time of need," chairman and CEO David Farr said in a press release. "We...want to help remove barriers so that more of our neighbors can succeed."

General Motors

General Motors says it will add a third shift and about 750 new jobs at its Wentzville Assembly plant in early 2015.

The new shift will help build two new midsize pickup truck models, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. It will also produce the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana full-size vans, which GM describes as solid sellers.

"It's our belief that this is a long-term add for the plant and a very bright future for all the people working here," said plant manager Nancy Laubenthal.

Thousands of early orders

Sherry Payne

A Missouri registered nurse who had to abandon plans to walk across the state to raise awareness of black infant mortality rates made her final stop in St. Louis Friday.

Sherry Payne, who is the director of the perinatal health organization Uzazi Village based in Kansas City, gave a presentation at St. Louis University on ways to improve birth outcomes for black babies.

Michael Allen, Preservation Research Office

A part of downtown East St. Louis will likely be listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the end of September, and city officials hope that designation will spark revitalization.

The Downtown East St. Louis Historic District encompasses two blocks of Collinsville Avenue, a block and a half of Missouri Avenue and the south side of one block of St. Louis Avenue.

Rebecca Smith

On Tuesday's one-month anniversary of the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, some local leaders focused on ways to move forward, while Brown's family called again for answers in the investigation.

Local elected leaders representing the Ferguson area came together Tuesday to discuss strategies to heal after the unrest that shook the city for more than two weeks in August following Brown's death.

Flickr | alancleaver_2000

Illinois voters will consider this November whether to amend the state constitution over rights for crime victims.

Victims already have certain rights, including: to be told about court dates, to attend trials and to give impact statements.

But some advocates believe a constitutional amendment is needed to better protect these rights.

Striking fast food workers in south St. Louis, MO.
Jess Jiang / St. Louis Public Radio

Many St. Louis fast food workers will walk off the job Thursday as part of a national call for a $15-an-hour wage and for union rights.

National organizers behind #StrikeFastFood say workers in more than 100 cities will strike, but St. Louis workers won’t be picketing here.

(Great Rivers Greenway, St. Louis Bike Share Study)

Local residents still have a chance to weigh in on a possible bike share plan for St. Louis.

Great Rivers Greenway District has been working with the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Metro Transit and other groups since last spring to study the feasibility of such a cycle sharing system here.

Joseph Leahy

(Updated at 12:40 p.m. Friday, August 29)

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III and Police Chief Thomas Jackson have issued a joint statement in response to the lawsuit filed Thursday:

Michael Brown Sr., center, arrives at his son's funeral.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Michael Brown's funeral Monday combined remembrances of the young man and calls for justice.

"Michael Brown doesn't want to be remembered for a riot," the Rev. Al Sharpton said. "He wants to be remembered as the one who made America deal with how we police in the United States."

Stephanie Lecci

Tear gas, gunshots and chaos engulfed a mile-long swath of Ferguson Sunday night as police and demonstrators engaged in a rolling confrontation that lasted for more than three hours. Early Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order directing the Missouri National Guard to restore "peace and order to this community."

Police said two or three people were shot by other demonstrators in the street. Seven or eight were arrested for failure to disperse.

In a statement released  shortly before 2 a.m., Nixon said:

Stephanie Lecci / St. Louis Public Radio

One man is in critical condition from a gunshot wound after a group of protesters in Ferguson defied the curfew imposed at midnight Saturday.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said police used smoke canisters and finally tear gas to disperse the group so that they could reach the gunshot victim. Johnson said the victim was found near the burned QuikTrip gas station that has become a staging area for many of the protests over the past week.

Protesters transported the victim to the hospital in their own vehicle, Johnson said.

Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson at the microphone
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 9:30 p.m. with details from Chief Belmar on Wednesday morning's officer-involved shooting.

Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson said he supports the city's call for limiting protests over the shooting death of an unarmed teenager to daylight hours only. 

Protests outside the police station and near the site of the shooting have been daily occurrences since Saturday, when a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown. Some of the demonstrations have been broken up by police using tear gas and rubber bullets.

The parking lot of Messiah Evangelical Lutheran Church in Beloit, Wis., is filled with dozens of costumed kids hungry for candy at an early Halloween event.

But the princesses and Iron Men aren't yelling "trick or treat." Instead, it's "trunk or treat" — and that's because these kids, rather than going door to door, are going from car trunk to car trunk. Each car is decorated with a theme.

Pastor Jason Reed says his church likes to focus on the fun — rather than freaky — parts of Halloween.

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