Ferguson

Former Sen. Maida Coleman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

You could say Maida Coleman has come full circle.

The former state senator worked at the public service commission back in the 1980s. There, she was a clerk who certified trucks that traversed across the state.

Flash forward to Thursday, and Coleman is about to return to the agency that regulates public utilities – but on a different level. Gov. Jay Nixon tapped Coleman to serve as a PSC commissioner, effective Aug. 10. She replaces Robert Kenney, a St. Louis attorney who was nearing the end of his six-year stint on the PSC.

Clockwide from top left, Damon Davis, Freida Wheaton, Michael Castro, Brian Owens, Lee Patton Chiles, De Nichols
St. Louis Public Radio file photos

For the past year, a tragic and powerful muse has fed the energy and work of St. Louis-area artists.

The shooting death of Michael Brown and the unpeeling of issues that followed have inspired a bounty of work with a social-justice mission. As we near the Aug. 9 anniversary of Brown’s death, we talked with a number of arts professionals about their work in the wake of the turmoil:

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League of Missouri and Southern Illinois joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

The Anti-Defamation League’s anti-bias program Law Enforcement and Society: Lessons of the Holocaust will mark its 10th anniversary by honoring the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, its first law enforcement partner to engage with the program.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

With more than a hundred homicides already this year, St. Louis is no stranger to gun violence. On July 14, a St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department sergeant was ambushed while working a second, security job in the early hours of the morning. The officer survived thanks to a bulletproof vest, and four suspects have been arrested in connection with the shooting.  

We independently confirmed the identity of the officer with the St. Louis Police, but have granted him anonymity out of his concern for the safety of his family in order to hear his perspective on the situation.

Damon Davis hands up
www.heartacheandpaint.com

The 11-plus miles of actual roadways that separate Ferguson and Ladue might as well be the distance between St. Louis and Shanghai — or at least it feels that way sometimes.

The variations and nuances that register in our psyches and imaginations — the old bugaboos of fears, conflicts, realities, prejudices, heritage, history, economics — all of this and so many more obstacles litter a twisting, turning virtual pathway between the two communities.

Chase Bond, 4, of Ferguson gets a haircut from Deyana Williams of the Elaine Steven Beauty College Saturday, July 25, 2015 in Forestwood Park during the Day of Hope outreach fair.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Cars lined the street leading to Forestwood Park in Ferguson Saturday for a resource fair organized by a faith-based non-profit that specializes in disaster relief and outreach to the poor.

Convoy of Hope’s “Day of Hope” provided a free meal and a kid’s carnival to anyone who stopped by the park, along with health screenings, haircuts, and other goods and services.

Andre Anderson, the new interim chief of the Ferguson police department, listens as Mayor James Knowles announces his appointment to the job on July 22. City manager Ed Beasley is to Anderson's left.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A 24-year veteran of the Glendale, Ariz., police department will take the reins in Ferguson for the next six months.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced Wednesday that Andre Anderson, who has led Glendale's Criminal Investigations Division, will take over the 50-officer Ferguson department on July 23. He'll have the job for six months, replacing Al Eickhoff, who took over after former chief Thomas Jackson resigned in March.

Karen Aroesty of the Anti-Defamation League leads a diversity awareness training for police cadets.
Nancy Fowler

A year of unrest and turmoil has yielded the beginnings of change in St. Louis — along with a whole lot of questions.

How do we untangle the deep, gnarly roots of racism? What is this thing called privilege? How do people of different races talk to each other about this stuff?

Local organizations that help people think through these issues report a significant increase in requests for diversity training since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.

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. 

Henry Biggs
Courtesy of Henry Biggs

Henry Biggs, an entrepreneur and former dean at Washington University in St. Louis, had a big goal in mind that involved a 27-mile swim for a good cause.

On July 15, Biggs swam around Manhattan to raise funds for educational and mentoring initiatives in Ferguson.

Kyra Sanders, 13, holds a handwritten sign as she lines up without about 20 others to bring attention to a new non-profit that wants to bring jobs and businesses to a strip mall in north St. Louis County.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

A former Democratic campaign manager is partnering with a Greendale resident to start a new non-profit in Ferguson called Communities in Unity.

Damion Trasada and Theresa Bradley say they want to buy an empty strip mall in the Ferguson area and recruit local businesses to locate there. They would then use the revenue from the shopping center to support youth development programs. The stores in the strip mall would also provide jobs for young people living in the area.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

It was a much different scene than 11 months ago at 9420 West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.

The parking lot of the former QuikTrip was ground zero for protests in the days following Michael Brown’s death on August 9. The burned-out shell of the store and graffiti was a reminder of the looting and violence that descended on the street.

Former Sen. Maida Coleman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome former Missouri state Sen. Maida Coleman to the program.

The St. Louis Democrat was tapped last year to lead the Office of Community Engagement, an entity set up by Gov. Jay Nixon that, in his administration’s words, is aimed at “engaging communities, public and private sector leaders, clergy and citizens across the state in communication regarding critical issues affecting Missouri communities.” 

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch delivers a keynote address at a Saint Louis University law school  symposium on policing after Ferguson on February 20, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9:00 am Tuesday with a copy of the order.

A St. Louis County judge has short-circuited an effort to oust prosecutor Bob McCulloch from office.

Judge Joseph Walsh on Thursday dismissed what’s known as a quo warranto action filed by four North County activists. The group was asking Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the way McCulloch handled the Darren Wilson grand jury. That prosecutor could have officially challenged McCulloch’s right to hold office if misconduct was discovered.

Children at the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program line up to play dodgeball last Tuesday. The camp takes place at Greater St. Mark Family Church's school, which had its air conditioning units stolen earlier this year.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a balmy Tuesday afternoon, dozens of young children could feel the competitive spirit floating through the hallways of Greater St. Mark Family Church’s school.

Youngsters enrolled in the JSO Summer Learning Enrichment Program filed into a gymnasium to play a spirited game of kickball. It’s one of numerous activities offered at the camp, which caters mainly to low-income children from north St. Louis County.

But competitiveness wasn’t the only thing wafting through the building. Walk into certain classrooms, and the sticky, sweaty aura of heat is unmistakable.

Saint Louis University President Fred Pestello addresses students at the university's Clock Tower last August after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.
Saint Louis University

When Fred Pestello began his tenure as Saint Louis University’s first lay president last July 1, anyone involved with the school may have said his biggest task would be reuniting the campus after a tumultuous time under the Rev. Lawrence Biondi.

Tear gas was used in Ferguson. Nov. 24 2014
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The four regional law enforcement agencies that responded to the events in Ferguson last year in the first 17 days after Michael Brown’s death lacked protocols, consistent training and policing philosophies, according to a draft summary of a Justice Department report.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III meets the press on Wednesday. He announced Police Chief Tom Jackson was stepping aside.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

An effort to recall Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III appears to have narrowly fallen short.

St. Louis Board of Elections Democratic director Eric Fey told St. Louis Public Radio that critics of the mayor had gathered 1,787 valid signatures – which was 27 short of the 1,814 needed amount to trigger a recall. Petitioners were given additional time to gather signatures after initially submitting too few.

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

Recent incidents from Ferguson to Baltimore regarding police and community relationships have fostered other uncomfortable truths on the state of racial affairs in America. Many wonder what can be done to address the age-old issue or if there is any one particular act that will solve it.

What about the “truth?”

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.

Pages