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Jose Garcia holds his daughter, Amanda, at a Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson. (Nov. 19, 2017)
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Jose Garcia and his partner, Ana Ortiz, shuffled quietly into the warmth of a packed Sunday Mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Ferguson.

Their older daughters, Julissa, 11, and Dana, 7, disappeared into the pews looking for friends. Garcia picked up 5-year-old Amanda and rocked her in his arms.

For more than a decade, Garcia attended Sunday Mass with his family. But this November morning was different.

St. Louis police chief candidates greet each other before the start of a town hall at Saint Louis University Law School. Dec. 14, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The six men and women who want to lead the 1,200 officers of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department met some of the residents they would serve Thursday night.

For the first time in department history, three of the finalists are from outside of the department. But the three internal candidates include interim chief Lawrence O’Toole, which angered some in the crowd.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis interim Police Chief Larry O'Toole address reporters on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Three outside candidates are among the six people who are vying to be the next chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

Those six candidates will speak to the public tonight at a public forum at Saint Louis University law school. They are:

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s looking more and more like state Auditor Nicole Galloway will be reviewing St. Louis’ spending.

A group called AuditSTL has been collecting signatures since August to force an audit of all city departments. St. Louis aldermen are now considering a resolution from Alderman Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward, that would make the same request, although Galloway would not be required to do the review.

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

After a brief security evacuation, U.S. telecom regulators have voted to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

After weeks of heated controversy and protests, the Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.

Emily Hall helps a patron at her St. Charles bookstore. She's concerned that a repeal of net neutrality could hurt her ability to reach patrons and event-goers. (Nov. 8, 2017)
Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On a recent morning, Emily Hall filled two online orders at Main Street Books, the St. Charles shop her family has owned for four years. As she worked, customers came to buy books and chat about upcoming author events they’d heard about or seen on the store’s website.

But Hall fears that her bustling store could see a drop in business if the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday votes to repeal net neutrality, landmark rules that guarantee an open internet.

St. Clair County state's attorney Brendan Kelly holds a photo of Quiantez Fair, who was killed in East St. Louis in October. Kelly and law enforcement officials are asking people to help them solve the murder of Fair and 25 other people in the city.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement officials in East St. Louis are making a year-end push for witnesses to come forward in unsolved homicides.

Thirty-four people have been killed in East St. Louis so far this year. But police have been able to solve just eight of those cases. That clearance rate of 24 percent is well below the national average, which was about 60 percent in 2016.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Identical proposals in the Missouri House and Senate would overhaul Missouri’s tax code and slash more than a billion dollars in state revenue.

In a nutshell, the bill would lower the top state income tax bracket to 4.8 percent, which is lower than the tax cut that passed three years ago capping the top rate at 5.5 percent. The proposal would also completely exempt anyone who makes less than $4,000 a year from paying state income taxes.

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Sen. Gary Romine to the program for the first time.

The Farmington Republican represents the 3rd Senatorial District, which takes in parts of Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, Iron, Reynolds and Washington counties. He was re-elected in November to his traditionally competitive seat without Democratic opposition.

Sen. Gary Romine, R-Farmington, December 2017
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Sen. Gary Romine to the program for the first time.

The Farmington Republican represents the 3rd Senatorial District, which takes in parts of Jefferson, Ste. Genevieve, St. Francois, Iron, Reynolds and Washington counties. He was re-elected in November to his traditionally competitive seat without Democratic opposition.

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

County Executive Steve Stenger, second from left, argues with Council chairman Sam Page at an August meeting
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council has slashed $31 million dollars from County Executive Steve Stenger's 2018 budget proposal, a move rarely seen in the region’s largest jurisdiction.

Stenger was caught off-guard when he learned of the council’s plans shortly before it convened Tuesday night. Soon after, the seven members voted 6 - 1 to approve Council Chairman Sam Page's substitute budget. 

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announces on Nov 24, 2014, that the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson on any of five counts that were presented to it.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated Dec. 12 at 4:50 p.m. with comments from Tony Rothert and Bob McCulloch — The Missouri Court of Appeals has become the latest to rule against a grand juror who wants to speak about what it was like to consider charging former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with a crime in connection with the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

Grand jurors take an oath of secrecy when they are sworn in. The unidentified juror wanted to be able to violate that oath in order to “contribute to the current dialogue around race relations” and to correct what the juror saw as misconduct by St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch. In a unanimous opinion issued Tuesday, the appeals court said no.

Better Business bureau

Scammers are successfully using phone calls, emails and pop-up messages on computer screens to convince American consumers that their computers are infected with phony viruses or malware, warns a new report by the Better Business Bureau.

Scams involving computer technical support aren't new, but they continue to be widespread. Americans forked over more than $21 million to such schemes in the first nine months of this year, according to the FBI.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger take questions after announcing their support for a task force to examine government spending.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Tuesday, Dec. 12: With the Missouri General Assembly slated to convene in a few weeks, the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis is scrambling in case state lawmakers decide to intervene in the region’s long-standing debate over a possible merger of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The St. Louis County Council voted unanimously Tuesday night in favor of a resolution -- signed by at least 50 area municipalities -- that opposes any sort of  statewide vote on the matter. The St. Louis Board of Aldermen could face a similar request shortly.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens called for the firing of Missouri Veterans Home administrator Rolando Carter, as well as Missouri Veterans Commission executive director Larry Kay.
Jo Mannies I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is calling for the Missouri Veterans Commission – which he has reconfigured with five new members – to meet this week and fire the panel’s executive director and the head of a state veterans home in north St. Louis County.

At a news conference Monday outside the facility, Greitens said he also is ordering an examination of all state veterans homes in the wake of an independent study by a private health care firm that determined a “substandard quality of care’’ at the 300-bed St. Louis Veterans Home in Bellefontaine Neighbors.

Missouri state Treasurer Eric Schmitt
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Treasurer Eric Schmitt to the program.

With his latest appearance, Schmitt becomes the first elected official to be on the show for the fifth time. He was a guest during his tenure as a state senator representing a portion of St. Louis County.

Protesters marched down the Delmar Loop denouncing President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Dec. 10, 2017)
Marissanne Lewis-Thompson | St. Louis Public Radio

Palestinians and others in St. Louis are dismayed that President Donald Trump is recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. On Sunday, Palestinians and their allies gathered along the Delmar Loop for the "Rise for Jerusalem Rally Against Trump’s Embassy Decision."

Members from the Missouri chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations were also unhappy about the president's announcement last week of his intention to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The interior of the Scottrade Center on Jan. 2, 2017.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Dec. 11 at 9:30 a.m. with a copy of the agreement — A St. Louis alderwoman and two other city residents have dropped a lawsuit challenging the use of public money to make upgrades to the Scottrade Center.

A circuit court judge was scheduled to hear arguments in the case on Monday. The agreement removes one of the last legal barriers to a plan passed in February that requires the city to sell about $100 million in bonds to finance improvements such as a new scoreboard and ice-making equipment.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson has announced a gun buyback program for the St. Louis region.

She made the announcement on Friday at an event surrounded by the police chief, public safety director, federal and state prosecutors, and members of the clergy. “We are awash in guns,” Krewson said. “So far this year, the police department has taken over 2,000 guns off of the streets. That’s not nearly enough.”

Josh Hawley takes part in a debate.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A pre-filed bill in the Missouri House would eliminate a state law requiring the attorney general to live in Jefferson City.

Current law requires the attorney general to live “at the seat of government,” which is in Jefferson City. The measure sponsored by Rep. Lindell Shumake, R-Hannibal, would simply strike those words from state law.

Alderwoman Megan Green (left) and Sarah Durrett (right) talk about local efforts to prevent sexual harassment and assult.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

With the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping the nation, we went Behind the Headlines to discuss the sexual harassment and assault on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Host Don Marsh led a discussion about local efforts to change the culture surrounding sexual harassment and document cases of sexual misconduct in St. Louis. Joining him for the discussion were St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green and Sarah Durrett, founder of Combat Sexual Harassment.

The Metro Trans Umbrella Group telethon will take place Saturday at noon through Sunday at noon.
Provided

Sayer Johnson grew up watching the annual Jerry Lewis telethon for kids with muscular dystrophy.

In recent years, he's wondered if advocates for transgender people could raise money in a similar manner?

That will happen at noon on Saturday, when the Metro Trans Umbrella Group begins a 24-hour telethon. Viewers can watch it on Facebook and YouTube.

Faizan Syed (left) and Jim Hacking (right) discuss Trump's latest travel ban.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the latest version of President Trump's restriction on travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, with fewer restrictions on visitors from Sudan. New limits and restrictions were added on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

OliBac | Flickr

The city of St. Louis is making additional beds available Thursday night for people who are homeless.

Temperatures were expected to drop into the teens overnight. The city is relying on a network of churches and other nonprofit groups this year to provide people who might not ordinarily seek shelter with a place to stay. Unlike previous years, it will not use the gym at the 12th and Park Recreation Center near the Soulard neighborhood.

The United Soybean Board | Flickr

Governor Eric Greitens is taking his smaller-government message to Missouri’s agriculture industry, ahead of the 2018 legislative session that begins next month.

The first-year Republican governor told Missouri Farm Bureau members at their annual gathering this week that his administration is poised to roll back “tens of thousands” of regulations that affect farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness.

This story was updated at 1:00 p.m.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat from Missouri, has joined with a chorus of colleagues—including the majority of women in the Senate—in calling on their fellow Democrat, Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, to resign following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

State Rep. Gina Mitten, D-Richmond Heights
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Rep. Gina Mitten to the program.

A Democrat, Mitten is a lawyer and resides in Richmond Heights. Before she was elected to the General Assembly in 2012, she spent eight years on the Richmond Heights City Council. Mitten serves as the assistant minority leader, making her the second highest-ranking Democrat in the Missouri House.

St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams and Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven speak with each other after the State Board of Education granted St. Louis Public Schools full accreditation.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

One of Gov. Eric Greitens’ five appointees to the Missouri Board of Education says disappointing reading, math and social studies scores convinced him that Margie Vandeven needed to be dismissed as the state’s education commissioner.

Amid a bipartisan backlash, Eddy Justice is rejecting the idea that he’s a “puppet” of the governor — or that the move to oust Vandeven “politicized” the board’s proceedings.

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that the electric car maker Tesla can be granted a license to sell cars in the state.

A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the association representing Missouri car dealers did not have the right to sue Tesla, and dismissed the case. The ruling means Tesla can apply to renew licenses for its two Missouri stores, and potentially expand across the state.

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