Politics & Issues
Fri February 21, 2014
The Rundown: From Bowling To Bunnies To Bullets
Back in December, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon merged into a new organization. We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.
These two stories may not be the most pressing news stories of the week, but they do rank as among the most touching. Both show the power of human connection, whether through sports or pets.
The bowling alley is located in one of 14 buildings slated for demolition as part of a $360 million upgrade that's already under way at the medical center. The VA has agreed to provide space -- but no funding -- for four bowling lanes in a new rehabilitation complex scheduled to open in 2017. So veterans and volunteers are trying to raise $500,00o for a new bowling alley, complete with the accommodations necessary for disabled vets.
Some St. Louis rabbits are working like dogs, as service and therapy animals. On Sunday, one will also don another hat – more of a crown, really – for the Mardi Gras Pet Parade.
Some St. Louisans have never felt comfortable squeezing themselves into a "gender box" with only two options, male and female. Reporter Nancy Fowler talks to several Facebook users who now can identify themselves in ways that seem truer to their identities.
Last week, Facebook expanded its drop-down menu to offer a “custom” selection of genders that provides more than four dozen options, a cause for celebration for many who identify in a nontraditional way.
Plenty of hot-button issues are before the Missouri legislature this session. Among the most controversial bills are ones to impose a voter photo ID and to nullify the enforcement of gun-control laws.
Without one word of debate, the Missouri Senate Thursday passed legislation that would nullify federal gun control laws in Missouri. Senate Bill 613, also known as the Second Amendment Preservation Act, would make it a misdemeanor for federal officers to enforce federal gun control measures within Missouri's borders if those measures are found to violate Missourians right to "keep and bear arms."
Before Missouri legislators can enact any sort of photo ID requirement for voters, they first must get voter approval to change the state constitution. Until the General Assembly approves a separate resolution to place the amendment before voters, any debate over specifics doesn't matter much.
The issue of unaccredited schools and student transfers continues to dominate education news, as the state begins to carve out the details of a solution. But change is also underway among some of the area's institutions of higher learning.
The Missouri State Board of Education surprised the Normandy School District Tuesday by voting to take over its finances in a bid to bolster chances that the district would get $5 million in emergency funds to help it finish the school year.
Some of the jobs came open suddenly, one at the end of a long campus standoff and still others quietly at the end of long, productive tenures, but they all have resulted in room at the top of the ivory tower. At least four local schools – Saint Louis University, Harris-Stowe State University, St. Louis Community College and the Southern Illinois University system – have vacancies in the office of their top administrator or did until Monday, when SIU named a new president.
Politics & Issues