Jamilah Nasheed | St. Louis Public Radio

Jamilah Nasheed

(Parth Shah/St. Louis Public Radio)

Over the next several months, the city of St. Louis will spend $276,000 to tear down 26 vacant, crumbling buildings in the Vandeventer neighborhood. 

"We have two goals," said Mayor Francis Slay as he stood Monday at the first two demolition sites in the 4300 block of Evans Ave. "First, we want to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for the people and families who live here. Second, we want to prepare the neighborhood for new private sector development."

Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal
Missouri Senate

A long-simmering feud between Gov. Jay Nixon and some black politicians, going back to his days as Missouri’s attorney general, flared up again in Jefferson City this week, fanned by the debate over school transfer legislation.

But not all African-American officials are taking sides against the governor. Some, especially in the state House, are urging Nixon to veto the student transfer bill, because they consider its changes in the transfer law harmful to black students.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has passed the final version of legislation designed to ease the burden of the state's school transfer law. It includes a provision that would end free transportation for transfer students -- a provision that would make it harder for students from failing schools to actually attend other districts.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking crew this week  once again conducts a “split show” format.  On the first part of the show, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Chris McDaniel, Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies discuss the fallout from the General Assembly’s successful override of Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the tax-cut bill.

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Erin Williams / St. Louis Public Radio

President Barack Obama sent a message during his State of the Union address to every mayor, governor and state legislator who want to increase the minimum wage: Don't wait on Congress, Americans will support more local government initiatives.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate has stripped an amendment from the gun-control nullification bill that would have required an individual to report a stolen gun within 72 hours.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The National Rifle Association is taking some heat from two Missouri state senators over legislation to nullify federal gun control laws within the state.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22)

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder’s office in the Missouri Capitol is just around the corner from the official quarters of Gov. Jay Nixon.

But they might just as well be in different universes.

At least that’s the view of Kinder, a Republican, who on Wednesday vented about his long-standing lack of communication with Nixon, a Democrat.  Kinder believes their non-relationship has had a negative impact on public policy.

Jamilah Nasheed
Tim Bommel | Mo. House of Representatives

(Updated 4:16 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10)

Missouri state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis,  has unexpectedly resigned as chairman of the Missouri Legislative Black Caucus after touching off some political discord  when she appeared at a recent news conference with Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican.

Jo Mannies

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, chair of the Missouri General Assembly’s Black Caucus, is threatening to block Senate action on several of Gov. Jay Nixon’s key appointments because of the governor’s action to delay state tax breaks for several low-income housing projects.

Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, joined Nasheed and several St. Louis officials at a news conference Monday to attack the governor’s participation in a deal to defuse Republican filibuster threats during the recent special legislative session in which tax breaks were approved for Boeing Co.

Jamilah Nasheed
Tim Bommel | Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus is seeking a meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon because of the group’s ire over an apparent deal to trim the state’s low-income tax credits that the governor struck in order to win General Assembly approval of a proposed tax-credit package to entice Boeing.

State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, made public late Tuesday a copy of a letter that she sent to Nixon on behalf of the caucus.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate interim committee examining the state's Medicaid system voted this afternoon to adopt a draft report that recommends using managed care companies to provide health coverage to more of Missouri's working poor.

The report also deliberately excludes recommendations to expand Medicaid.  State Senator and committee chair Gary Romine (R, Farmington) maintained that Medicaid must be reformed first.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal knows firsthand about the ins and outs of transferring from one school district to another.

When she was a student growing up in University City, her family moved to the city of St. Louis, where she attended a private school for a year. Then, she took advantage of the area’s voluntary desegregation plan and transferred to school in Clayton.

Gun Court Legislation Likely

Sep 19, 2013
(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

The push for a special gun court in St. Louis is likely on its way to Jefferson City.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and politicians attending the Urban Crime Summit in St. Louis Thursday said they will not let the plan die.

City judges voted Monday 16-11 against adopting an Armed Offender Docket in St. Louis.

But the message during the Urban Crime Summit was clear, judges should either get on board or they can expect a law will be passed requiring them to do so.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

A joint Missouri House/Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday on whether the state's teacher tenure system is working.

Among those testifying was Mark Van Zandt, General Counsel for the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).  He says tenured teachers can be held accountable under the current system.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When state Sen. Brad Lager spoke on the last day of this year's Missouri General Assembly session, he grabbed attention for calling members of the Missouri House “corrupt.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The case of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin sparked intense discussion about race, profiling and the use of guns. 

But beyond those all those issues, Richard Rosenfeld sees the case as many do: the type of situation that shouldn’t have occurred and could have been avoided.

"I think it’s an absolutely tragedy, frankly," Rosenfeld said.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Just months after his record-setting re-election, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay appears to have amassed another hefty campaign bank account that’s among the largest for top Missouri Democrats.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

A mixture of sadness, resolve and, at times, anger permeated through a non-violent crowd that spilled from the steps in front of the St. Louis Justice Center into Tucker Ave. in front of City Hall.

The mood at the rally held in downtown St. Louis on Sunday night echoed through similar events in cities and towns across America, as people gathered to voice their disappointment over the acquittal of George Zimmerman for all charges in the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin.

Hundreds of people gathered near the St. Louis Justice Center on Sunday to decry the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. George Zimmerman was found not guilty on Saturday night of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the death of Martin.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Tamika Brison had a gut feeling that she wouldn’t be happy with the trial of George Zimmerman, the man who touched off a nationwide controversy when he was put on trial for the death of Trayvon Martin.

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