Politics & Issues
10:25 am
Fri April 4, 2014

The Rundown: St. Louis Is A City With A Past

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. This week, we've been thinking -- and reading -- a lot about the history of St. Liuis.

Happy Birthday, St. Louis

The 250th anniversary of St. Louis' founding couldn't be a better time to examine its history and heritage -- both before and after the French arrival.

First Evidence Of French Colonial Homes Discovered Under Poplar Street Bridge

Archeologists from the Missouri Department of Transportation are ecstatic over a discovery beneath the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. They’ve uncovered the first physical evidence dating to when the French founded St. Louis in 1764. The findings help confirm written documentation of St. Louis’ earliest European settlers and shed new light on the people who live here.

As St. Louis marks its 250th anniversary, it is celebrating all those who settled here.
Credit Erik Campos / Sheldon Art Galleries

Osage Nation Leaders Help Explain St. Louis' Earliest Days

The Osage Nation made Pierre Laclede’s fur trading post a success from its start 250 years ago. This week that bi-cultural partnership, tragically rare in this continent’s history, is being celebrated with more than a dozen events. At least 66 Osage live in the St. Louis area, and leaders at local institutions have been impressed by the Osage commitment to the coming events.

And don't forget these earlier stories:

This La Rue Bonhomme Predates U City's Old Bonhomme

The first street of St. Louis wasn’t a street at all, just a towpath, according to the St. Louis-French association Les Amis, which provided the information for the duplicate street signs that are appearing downtown.

St. Louis In Photos: Then And NowPard' My French: St. Louis' Peculiar Way Of Saying Local Street NamesUpdate: The Archaeological Discoveries Made Possible By The New Mississippi River Bridge

Burning questions

The West Lake landfill has been a source of controversy for literally decades because of its radioactive waste. Now, those concerns have been amplified because of an underground fire that could reach the landfill.

EPA Analysis: Neighbors Could Be At Risk If Landfill Fire Reaches Radioactive Waste In Bridgeton

A new analysis by scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests there could be risks to area residents if an underground fire were to reach radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill. Maryland Heights resident Dawn Chapman sees the new EPA analysis as a turning point that opens the door to a better working relationship between the federal agency and the local community.

Lesson plans

The future is very much on the minds of the new superintendent of Catholic education for the St. Louis archdiocese and the Normandy schools transition team. In their own separate ways, both are dealing with issues that threaten their existence.

New Superintendent of Catholic Education Talks Enrollment, Diversity, Student Vouchers

Catholic education has deep roots in St. Louis, but some schools have struggled amid shrinking enrollment. The Archdiocese of St. Louis announced last month that it had selected Kurt Nelson as the new superintendent of Catholic education.  Since 2006, Nelson has served the president of Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse, Wis.  He will take over as the head of Catholic schools in St. Louis on July 1.

Normandy Not Bankrupt Now, But Its Future Remains Cloudy

The Normandy School District isn’t going broke at the beginning of April, as some education officials had forecast in recent months. But that doesn’t mean that the district’s future is secure.

Discussion: What Are The Characteristics Of A Good School Board Member?

With an eye to elections in school districts ranging from Parkway to Normandy and University City to Ferguson-Florissant, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh spoke with three local education experts about the important role school boards play in the education system.

Differences and disparities

Not only are there disparities in access to health care between blacks and whites, but some maladies tend to afflict African Americans more than other groups. Increasingly research is focused on asking -- and answering -- why.

A New Hypothesis For Asthma in Blacks: Are Medications Part Of The Problem?

Medical researchers have been trying for years to figure out why asthma is much more prevalent among African Americans than whites. A new, federal study is looking beyond environmental factors to explain uncontrollable asthma among many African Americans. The researchers want to know whether asthma treatments themselves might be part of the problem.

Money talks

Campaign finance laws seem to be increasingly on a shaky footing -- given recent Supreme Court decisions.

U.S. Supreme Court Overturns Overall Limits On Campaign Contributions

For the second time in four years, the five Republican-appointed justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have opened the door for rich donors to increase their influence on elections. In a follow to the controversial Citizens United decision of 2010, the court today struck down so-called “aggregate limits” that put a ceiling on the total amount of money a single, wealthy person could contribute to various candidates and committees.

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