Ferguson

Ferguson resident Anthony Cage addresses the mayor and city council members at Saturday's public hearing on the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Community stakeholders continue to give conflicting messages to Ferguson city council members as the council approaches an expected vote Tuesday on a proposed consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The city held its second public forum on the proposed decree Saturday, with a long list of passionate speakers keeping the meeting in session an extra hour. City officials also spent time answering questions raised at the previous forum, and Ferguson’s outside attorney hired to negotiate with the DOJ spoke for about 20 minutes.

Attendees listen as speakers comment on the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree at Ferguson's city council chamber on Feb. 2, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed several of the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. 

Here’s what we talked about:

Ferguson resident Felicia Pulliam questions city officials during a city council meeting called to discuss the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree at Ferguson's city hall Tuesday evening.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When it was his turn to speak about a consent decree that could dramatically shape Ferguson’s future, Gerry Noll acknowledged that the 131-page document was a risk.

The proposed agreement with the Department of Justice would impose major changes to the city’s police department and government. And it would require the city to pay for a monitor to track compliance – which could be very expensive.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, claimed that a third of Ferguson's budget was derived from civil fines. That statement is not true.
Flickr I ambientjohn

As voters in Iowa head off to caucus, a GOP presidential contender touched on the Ferguson unrest in the party's most recent debate. But U.S. Sen. Rand Paul's assertion about Ferguson's budgetary practices isn't lining up with the facts.

During last week’s GOP presidential debate, the Kentucky Republican senator was asked about expanding body cameras for police officers. Here's what Paul said:

.bobby | Flickr

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed several of the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. 

Here’s what we talked about, including:

Ferguson resident Emily Davis waits to speak at a 2015 Ferguson City Council meeting. Davis is part of the Ferguson Collaborative, a group that's been following the consent decree process closely.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

For Emily Davis, the future of Ferguson will come down to attitude.

Davis is part of the Ferguson Collaborative, a group of people who live, work and pray in the beleaguered St. Louis County municipality. Davis has been closely watching Ferguson and the debate over a consent decree with the Department of Justice, which came into public view on Wednesday after a 131-page document was released to the public. 

Patricia Breckenridge
Missouri courts website

Missouri's municipal courts are improving, but more will be done to boost citizen confidence, so says State Supreme Court Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge.

She delivered the annual State of the Judiciary Address Wednesday to lawmakers at the Missouri Capitol. It focused heavily on issues surrounding the loss of public confidence in municipal courts in the St. Louis area in general, and Ferguson in particular.

Ferguson court
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

Updated with details and comments from Rep. William Lacy Clay. — The city of Ferguson and the U.S. Department of Justice are approaching agreement on how to deal with the civil rights violations of the city's police departments and municipal courts.

Ferguson officials on Wednesday released a draft version of a consent decree. The city will accept written comments through Feb. 9, and at three City Council meetings. It must still be approved by the City Council and a federal judge — the agreement would end after the city completely complies with all agreement requirements for two full years.

Rev. Osagyefo Sekou and Jay-Marie Hill pose for a portrait. The two wrote 11 songs together in six days just days after meeting at a demonstration.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The pulpit, streets full of protesters and a recording studio don’t have much in common.  But for the Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou, these three environments offer the chance to spread a gospel of equality.

“What are the ways that we’re going to wrestle with saving the democracy? Music can do that; the pulpit can do that; and engaging in the rich tradition of civil disobedience can do that,” said Sekou.

Eric Greitens
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome GOP gubernatorial hopeful Eric Greitens to the program for the first time.

The Parkway North alum is one of four Republicans seeking to succeed Gov. Jay Nixon as governor. The other candidates are Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, former House Speaker Catherine Hanaway and businessman John Brunner. (All three GOP contenders have been guests on Politically Speaking – click on each name to listen to their shows. We long have had an open invitation for the likely Democratic nominee -- Attorney General Chris Koster.)

Terrell Carter's work begins the show
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

A visual arts exhibit provocatively titled "Good Negroes" is challenging viewers' thoughts about racial inequality in the St. Louis region. 

Courtesy | Ameren Corporation

Promoting diversity within a corporation is nothing new.

But Ameren Corporation announced Thursday it will make its new "Discussion Across Differences" videos and materials available to other groups, free of charge.

Fletcher served as Ferguson's mayor from 2005 to 2011.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson isn’t giving its residents too much time to apply for a vacant city council seat.

When Councilman Brian Fletcher died earlier this month, it left a vacancy for a Ward 2 seat that isn’t up for election until 2018. The city says residents have until 5 p.m. on Friday to apply for the position.

Santiago Bianco
Santiago Bianco

A group of primarily young St. Louis residents have launched a campaign to turn a crowd-sourced photo book about Ferguson-related protests and events into a free educational package for students in area schools.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Fargesn Media Project is a collaboration between Jewish and black activists who are looking to catalog the voices of those who participated in protests in Ferguson and throughout the St. Louis region, starting in August 2014. It was inspired by Rabbi Michael Rothbaum's Rosh Hashanah sermon, Ferguson/Fargesn.

Former Ferguson Brian Fletcher says the Pledge of Alligence before being inaugurated as a Ferguson City Councilmember last April. Fletcher died on Sunday at the age of 56.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 9:40 a.m., Jan. 12 with funeral arrangements -Brian Fletcher, a former mayor of Ferguson and a new member of the City Council, died unexpectedly Sunday. He was 56.

Fletcher served two terms as mayor from 2005 to 2011. He also served as a Democratic committeeman for 16 years, as a member of the Ferguson-Florissant School District board, as an alderman for Country Club Hills, and as a member of the Ferguson 4th of July committee and pension board.

Sen. Joe Keaveny
Caleb Codding I St. Louis Public Radio

This week on the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back Sen. Joe Keaveny to the program.

The St. Louis Democrat serves as the leader of the Senate Democratic caucus, a group that has consistently shrunk in numbers over the past few election cycles. But even though there's only eight members of his caucus in the 34-member Senate chamber, Keaveny and other Senate Democrats still have the power to block legislation as they see fit.

Show Me Arts Academy kids rehearse a dance to Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk" during the program's launch last year
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Nine months ago, Marty Casey launched Show Me Arts Academy in response to the shooting death of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson. The program tries to reach kids in poor neighborhoods who may not respond well to sports, school or other activities.

“When we take that time out and we give that special attention, you literally see their whole attitude and their world just change,” said Casey.

The University of Missouri-Columbia is under the national microscope after a series of racially-charged incidents on campus.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

From Ferguson to Syria: Though separated by more than 6,000 miles, these places were the setting for events that many St. Louisans recalled as they reflected on the news of 2015.

Ferguson, a mid-size city in north St. Louis County, was the first thought of many people who responded to a call for suggestions put out by St. Louis Public Radio’s Public Insight Network. A year and a half since the shooting death of a young man named Michael Brown by a police officer named Darren Wilson, many area residents consider that case, and its aftermath, the top news story of the year.

Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy stands near a grassy path near South Florissant Road. She says a new state law limiting traffic fine revenue will make it harder for her city to pay for new sidewalks.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Viola Murphy can’t afford a new sidewalk for her town. For now, she’ll have to settle for a grassy path created with the imprints of pedestrians.

Murphy is the mayor of Cool Valley, a 1,200-person north St. Louis County municipality that borders Ferguson and Normandy. She was able to get a federal grant to create a sidewalk along one side of South Florissant Road. But because of a new state law that caps traffic fine revenue, her city can’t afford the match for the other side.

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