Kirkwood | St. Louis Public Radio


Kirkwood City Hall was the scene of fatal shootings on Feb. 7, 2008.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ten years after Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton opened fire at Kirkwood City Hall, some residents hope the city is learning to empathize with the experiences of non-white people and encourage understanding across racial and socioeconomic lines.

Thornton shot and killed five people and wounded others at Kirkwood City Hall on Feb. 7, 2008. Two police officers and two council members were among those killed. Police killed Thornton at the scene.

Lights illuminate the commemorative plaques that line a memorial walkway near Kirkwood City Hall. The plaques honor those killed at City Hall 10 years ago. Feb. 6, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The choir will sing soothing words of hope when the community gathers Wednesday evening at Kirkwood United Methodist Church for a prayer service marking the 10th anniversary of a tragedy that time has not yet tempered.

“Peace fall like a gentle snow ... Fall fresh on the wounded heart ... Come blanket our every fear and let the healing start ...”

The church commissioned “Canticle of Peace’’ by Joseph M. Martin in 2009 and dedicated it to a community still healing from the City Hall shootings. On Feb. 7, 2008, Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton, armed with two handguns and a festering grudge against city officials, fatally shot two council members, the director of public works and two police officers before being shot and killed by responding police officers.

(L-R) Jeffrey Croft, Maggie Duwe and David Bennett talked about the effects of the fatal shooting at Kirkwood City Hall 10 years ago.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of Kirkwood faced a tragic night a decade ago, when a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a city hall meeting, leaving six people dead and two others injured. The shooter, Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, was a disgruntled resident of Meacham Park, a predominately black neighborhood in Kirkwood.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the issues raised by the shooting at Kirkwood City Hall and how they may have been addressed.

Opponents to an expansion plan have launched a petition drive and put up signs in yards in the neighborhood around Aberdeen Heights in Kirkwood.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

The debate in a west St. Louis County suburb over the proposed expansion of a senior living community could be over early in the new year. That's when the Kirkwood City Council could make a decision on whether the owners of Aberdeen Heights can move forward with plans to add a multi-story apartment building on its 20-acre complex.

Owners say the expansion is needed to keep up with demand, while a group of neighbors has several concerns about the project.

Marsha Coplon and Jeane Vogel are working to collect oral histories from Meacham Park residents.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A year and a half ago, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Springboard to Learning and Webster Arts formed a collaboration to document and celebrate the history of Meacham Park.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by Marsha Coplon, education director for The Rep, and Jeane Vogel, executive director of Webster Arts, to discuss the Meacham Park Celebration that is the culmination of the collaboration.

School Illustration
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

School districts across the St. Louis region sought more money from taxpayers in Tuesday’s election. Also, there were three seats up for grabs for the St. Louis Public Schools’ elected school board., though the state still has oversight.

Here’s the breakdown of what passed and what didn’t:

Kirkwood officials say there have been years where more than 540,000 visitors have gone through the station.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis County community is launching an effort to pay for massive renovation of a prominent landmark. The Kirkwood Train Station Foundation wants to bring in money to fix up the structure, which was originally built in 1893.

The goal is to raise $3 million.

A 1941 Packard 120 Convertible starts the Great Race in Kirkwood, Mo. Saturday, June 20, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of people lined the streets of downtown Kirkwood Saturday to see 130 classic cars start an eight-day, 2,400 mile journey along Route 66.

The cars — and their drivers — are competing in the 33rd annual Great Race, a competition judged on arriving at set checkpoints at pre-ordained times. The Grand Champion will be awarded $50,000 after they cross the finish line in Santa Monica, Calif.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

The tax status of a high-end retirement home in Kirkwood is no longer in limbo. St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman announced Friday that he has reached a settlement with Ashfield Active Living & Wellness Communities, which owns Aberdeen Heights.

The assessor’s office and the retirement home operator have agreed that 78.8 percent of Aberdeen Heights will be taxed—netting about $1 million a year for schools, fire departments and public works.

Zimmerman said $700,000 to $800,000 of that will go to schools.

Paul Sableman

Michael Brown’s parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown Sr., are still waiting to bury their son, who was shot and killed on Aug. 9, by a Ferguson police officer. For them, healing probably seems like something that’s still a long way off.

But for the people of Ferguson, where peaceful protests turned violent in the week since Brown’s death, steps toward healing should begin as soon as possible.