Maria Chappelle-Nadal

Missouri State Capitol Building
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Just after the sun set on Nov. 24 — the day that then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson’s fate would be disclosed to the world — Missouri's Gov. Jay Nixon faced a throng of reporters at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. 

Appearing before cameras that would simulcast his words across the globe, the Democratic governor talked  at length about how law enforcement officials were ready to respond to the grand jury’s decision. 

File photo

Renewed efforts to change Missouri’s law on school transfers look pretty much the same as the bill vetoed earlier this year by Gov. Jay Nixon, but sponsors of the newly filed legislation say events in Ferguson have changed the atmosphere for the upcoming debate.

Gov. Jay Nixon is calling a special session to pay for the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol's operations in Ferguson and the St. Louis region.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon plans to call a special session of the Missouri General Assembly to pay for the Missouri National Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol’s operations in Ferguson and the St. Louis region. 

It’s a move that comes amid immense disapproval of how the governor handled the aftermath of a grand jury’s decision to not indict Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson for shooting and killing Michael Brown.

Rep. Lacy Clay
St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay and state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, both University City Democrats, were on opposing sides during St. Louis County’s battle for county executive.

But you might not guess it from their post-election assessments.

Both are proclaiming victory.

While Clay’s candidate — fellow Democrat Steve Stenger — won on Nov. 4, Chappelle-Nadal is celebrating victory as well, because the Republican she endorsed,  Rick Stream, came close.

“It was a cool win, it was beautiful,’’ said Chappelle-Nadal, who appeared in a TV ad for Stream.

Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking crew welcomes Gregg Keller, a locally based Republican consultant who now runs his own firm, Atlas Strategy Group.

Keller represents a number of corporate and political clients, including state Auditor Tom Schweich, who’s expected to run for governor in 2016.

A graduate of Clayton High School, Keller got his political start after college (Florida State). He began as a volunteer, and later as a staffer, for Jim Talent when he ran in 2002 for the U.S. Senate (defeating Democratic incumbent Jean Carnahan).

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated noon, Thursday, Oct. 9)

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal is the star of Republican Rick Stream’s television ad, an unusual example of cross-party dynamics in the race for St. Louis County executive.  

Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, appears in an ad promoting Stream’s bipartisan credentials. 

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch was helping Councilman Steve Stenger in his bid for county executive from literally the moment he started running.

McCulloch was the introductory speaker at the Affton Democrat’s campaign kickoff last year. He's contributed close to $100,000 in in-kind contributions to Stenger's campaign. And he's appeared in ads attacking incumbent St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and praising Stenger’s promise to “clean up” St. Louis County.

At the Ferguson Farmers Market August 2014
File photo | Tim Lloyd I St. Louis Public Radio

The protests, town hall meetings and conversations continue, but six weeks after the shooting death of Michael Brown, there are still a lot of unanswered questions in Ferguson.

After facing intense heat from some of his party’s African-American leaders, Gov. Jay Nixon is tapping a former St. Louis-area senator to serve as a liaison to the state’s poor and minority communities. 

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

When Antonio French noticed social media activity bubbling up about Michael Brown’s shooting death last weekend, the St. Louis alderman got in his car and drove to Ferguson. 

What he said he saw was striking: Police from neighboring municipalities had formed a “human shield” around the scene. Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, was screaming and crying over not knowing what happened to her 18-year-old son. And Brown’s body was still in the street after being shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

Saturday's shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson resulted in overnight violence, including looting, arson and gunshots. As cleanup began Monday morning, so did discussions about the tension throughout the St. Louis area, the response in Ferguson, and the lack of information about Saturday’s shooting.

“There should be no need anywhere for a young man to lose his life,” said Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III. “We need to start talking about bridging the gap between law enforcement and the young people in the community.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon is taking heat from his own party, especially from women, for appointing Maynard Wallace to the state Board of Education. 

And while Nixon, a Democrat, isn’t backing down, the outcry from several Democratic legislators may not bode well for the appointment to be confirmed.

Wallace is a former teacher, superintendent and Republican state legislator from Thornfield. For a time, Wallace was also a registered lobbyist for the Missouri Association of School Administrators.

State Rep. Joshua Peters, D-St. Louis, campaigns in the Penrose neighborhood of St. Louis. Peters is running for re-election in the 76th District, which encompasses a portion of north St. Louis City.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a slightly overcast day in St. Louis’ Penrose neighborhood, state Rep. Joshua Peters briskly moved from brick bungalow to brick bungalow to get the word out about his re-election campaign.   

Sporting a sky blue polo and dark-rimmed eyeglasses, the 26-year-old exuded the experience of an old political pro when greeting potential voters. Sophia Hubbard told Peters a member of his campaign staff had already come to her door. Oliver Williams told him something similar – and signaled that Peters had his vote on Aug. 5.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, St. Louis Public Radio's education reporter Dale Singer joins Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies as we welcome back state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, to the show. 

The Politically Speaking podcast is diverging from our usual alternating schedule of Republican and Democratic guests. Instead, we are focusing on opposing views on one of the region's hottest issues: the transfer of students from the Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts -- both unaccredited -- to neighboring districts.

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.

Carole Basile
UMSL

A task force charged with making recommendations for the future of the Normandy School District finished meeting Monday and plans to send its report to state education officials later this week.

Carole Basile, dean of the school of education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said she plans to take the discussions from the task force over the past several weeks and draw up a list of recommendations that she will submit to Chris Nicastro, Missouri’s commissioner of elementary and secondary education.

An empty desk
Bubbles | sxc.hu

Despite opposition from a coalition of Missouri school groups, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers said Friday that to win passage, school transfer legislation needs to include the option of non-sectarian private schools.

State Sens. John Lamping, R-Ladue, and Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, along with House Speaker Tim Jones, R-Eureka, discussed the issue at a forum on tax-credit scholarships. With three weeks left in the legislative session, a transfer bill that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate is now moving through the House.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

With roughly a month left to go before adjournment, many of the Missouri General Assembly’s big issues remain unresolved.  

That’s not too surprising. Big-ticket legislation often passes — or dies — in the last weeks of the session. With about a month to go before the final gavel falls, legislation dealing with tax cuts, the state’s criminal code and the student transfer situation are all still up in the air.

The resolution of some conflicts could hinge on unity from Republicans, who control the legislature, while others may fall along less predictable fault lines. 

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Carl Miles' apartment at Rosie Shields Manor has everything he could want in a home – and then some. 

Miles’ spacious room has sleek wood-like floors and a modern-looking kitchen. He’s within walking distance of a bank and grocery store. And he can even throw parties in the Pagedale facility’s community room or common area – with management’s permission, of course.

“It’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful place to live,” said Miles, who is 70 and retired. “It’s got a lot of security. The people are generally pretty friendly. We socialize a lot. And we have a pretty good time.”

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