Maplewood | St. Louis Public Radio

Maplewood

Rosetta Watson was functionally evicted from the city after her former boyfriend attacked her.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this month, domestic violence survivor Rosetta Watson won a settlement in a lawsuit brought against the city of Maplewood, which had revoked Watson’s occupancy permit after she called the police to her home more than two times within six months. She spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s We Live Here team in recent days and is the focus of this week’s brand-new episode of the podcast.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with We Live Here co-host/producer Kameel Stanley, who gave listeners a quick update on Watson’s situation as well as the broader implications of the settlement in Maplewood and beyond.

“She got a chunk of money which she’s using to buy a home of her own that no one can ever kick her out of, so that’s good news,” Stanley said. “But part of her settlement also [involves] changing things a little bit in Maplewood.”

Maplewood on June 7, 2017
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of Maplewood may soon overhaul a controversial public-nuisance law that has been challenged by two recent lawsuits.

Maplewood’s City Council introduced an ordinance Tuesday that would add protections keeping victims of crimes from eviction and exclude calls to police from counting as a nuisance against residents.

Lawyers Kalilah Jackson and Sandra Park led a discussion in Maplewood informing residents of the city's nuisance ordinance.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Maplewood residents, equal-housing advocates and lawyers participated in a community discussion Wednesday about Maplewood’s controversial public-nuisance ordinance.

The event was organized by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council (EHOC) and the ACLU of Missouri to inform Maplewood residents of their legal rights and encourage residents to urge state and local lawmakers to change nuisance laws. 

Maplewood city attorney Craig Biesterfeld and City Manager Marty Corcoran look through the city code during a meeting with a reporter at Maplewood City Hall.
Jenny Simeone-Cases | St. Louis Public Radio

Maplewood’s thriving business district and respected schools are attractive to potential residents. But, aspiring residents must first apply and be approved for an occupancy permit. Even after such a permit is granted, the city’s public nuisance ordinance allows it to be revoked under certain conditions.

The ACLU of Missouri and the St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council on Wednesday are co-hosting what they bill as a “community discussion” about Maplewood's public nuisance ordinance. The event is intended to help residents understand the ordinance and their rights when it comes to enforcement.

Rosetta Watson says she was kicked out of Maplewood because she called police too many times seeking help because of her abusive ex-boyfriend.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Public nuisance laws are one tool that city governments use to expel residents who are deemed a problem by city officials. Some housing advocates say officials in Maplewood are using these laws against poor people, people of color and victims of domestic abuse.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with We Live Here co-host/producer Kameel Stanley about the newest episode, concerning how Maplewood officials are responding to the allegations.

Maplewood city attorney Craig Biesterfeld and City Manager Marty Corcoran look through the city code during a meeting with a reporter at Maplewood City Hall.
Jenny Simeone-Cases | St. Louis Public Radio

Nuisance ordinances have been commonplace across the U.S. for at least a century. They are used to crack down on everything from overgrown grass to large-scale drug dealing. In the city of Maplewood, that extends to excessive calls to the police.

Maplewood's nuisance ordinance, last updated in October 2006, is the subject of two lawsuits, which allege the policy and its enforcement are discriminatory. How the city handles nuisance complaints is hailed by some as a way to keep the community safe, and reviled by others who believe it’s a way to regulate residents’ behavior and push out people of color, people with disabilities and survivors of domestic violence.

File photo | Cathy Carver

The city of Maplewood faces a federal lawsuit for alleged discriminatory housing practices against black and disabled residents and victims of domestic violence.

The city's "chronic nuisance ordinance," which was instituted in 2006, is enforced "selectively" and ignores "similar conduct" by residents who aren't African-American, according to the lawsuit filed late Monday by the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, or EHOC.

Gianna Ceriotti and Emily Catanzaro pet Paul during a recent visit to Mauhaus Cat Café in Maplewood. (Dec. 7, 2016)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s a new café in St. Louis, where you can get a cappuccino and your cat fix.

Mauhaus Cat Café  in Maplewood offers coffee and pastries, and houses 10 cats from Tenth Life Cat Rescue available for petting, playing and adoption.

The spot opened in November and already is so popular that if you’re interested in going, you’ll need to book your visit early, co-founder Dana Huth said.

“We’ve had some waits as long as an hour to get in just because it’s a limited space and we don’t want to overcrowd it,” Huth said.

Priscilla Miller, who has been coming to Artists First for about a year, colors in one of her drawings.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When it comes to supporting people with developmental disabilities through art-making, the activities are much more than just a pastime.

For some in St. Louis, being creative helps them buy food, or get a job. Those are goals – and outcomes – of a St. Louis-area organization called Artists First. But budget cuts are jeopardizing the nonprofit, forcing some hard decisions.

The backwards Maplewood installation by Brooklyn artist Janet Zweig is illuminated at night. "I fell in love with the city," Zweig said.
Cathy Carver

Rick Jackoway recently moved back to St. Louis after 26 years away. When he drove under a sign on the MetroLink overpass on Manchester Road he thought, “Well, you don’t see that every day!”

So he asked our new Curious Louis project:

Why is the word Maplewood spelled backward on the sign going over Manchester Road, just east of Laclede St. Road? Always wondered.

Here Comes Tim Hortons

Nov 12, 2014
Show Me Hospitality LLC

The Maplewood City Council has given final approval for the St. Louis area’s first Tim Hortons.

Plans call for the coffee, donut and bakery-style eatery to be built on an empty lot next to a CVS near the intersection of Big Bend Boulevard and Manchester Road.

Local development company Show Me Hospitality LLC wants to bring 40 Tim Hortons to the region by 2019, starting with the Maplewood location.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 25, 2011 - Growing up here, Laura Miller couldn't wait to get out. She wanted a house in the suburbs, maybe, something big and new. In her mid-20s, she chose the city instead and lived in St. Louis Hills and Lindenwood Park. But she and her husband missed being part of a community.

Restaurants go for the green

Aug 10, 2011

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 10, 2011 - St. Louis Earth Day, a local nonprofit environmental group, has announced a new project, the Green Dining Alliance. The organization is working with many of Maplewood's restaurants to make the businesses more sustainable. The alliance will begin a certification process in September.

Erik Lunsford | Post-Dispatch (pool)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 23, 2008-  MAPLEWOOD -- The red pickup was on fire in a driveway on Zephyr Place. A small fire. Simply routine. Maybe 20 minutes tops for the crew to put it out, reload the hose and write a brief report. After all, veterans know, the biggest threat to firefighters on a vehicle fire like this is that the pickup's tires could explode from the intense heat.

No one expected an ambush.

Bastille Day marked in Soulard, Maplewood

Jul 10, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: July 10, 2008 - There may be no infamous French prison to storm, but that doesn't mean cities in the St. Louis area won't be marking the 219th Bastille Day.

Celebrations in and near the Soulard neighborhood and in Maplewood are just some of the events honoring the start of the French Revolution nationally and internationally.