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The Missouri Capitol Building
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Within the outcry over state Sen. Paul LeVota’s resignation, one response in particular stood out.

It wasn’t from a Democratic heavy-hitter like Sen. Claire McCaskill or Gov. Jay Nixon. And it didn’t come from a pundit or a journalist. The most poignant reply came from Rachel Gonzalez, a 16-year-old student who is president of the High School Democrats of Missouri.

Graphic of woman on crutches overlooking treacherous landscpe
Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

There are a few things we know about health care that are true for everyone. For one thing, it's expensive. It's a nearly $3 trillion industry in the U.S.  Also, it's not easy to do well.

A flounder house on Ohio Aveue in St. Louis
via Flckr | Michael Allen

Several architecturally-significant proposals are up for discussion Monday in St. Louis at the city’s preservation board meeting.

A review of four nominations for national register listings, a proposal to build a seven-story apartment building in the Central West End, and the results of a survey of the city’s “flounder” houses are all on the agenda.  

Flounder houses were built in the mid-nineteenth-century with one wall higher than the other, giving the building a distinctive triangular shape.

Sen. Roy Blunt talked with the media early last week. july 2015
Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio

In a rare Sunday session, the U.S. Senate gave overwhelming approval to a plan to re-authorize the charter of the Export-Import Bank, as part of its six-year highway bill.  The bank’s charter expired in June.  All four U.S. senators from Missouri and Illinois voted for the plan, backed by Democrats and mainstream Republicans. Tea Party Republicans have long opposed the bank, calling it “corporate welfare” for big business. Supporters disagree and say the bank helps businesses of all sizes.

Republican GOP - RIGHT WIDTH - also avail. gopelephantleft
Wikipedia

(Updated 2 p.m. Mon., July 27)

Missouri’s Republican contest for governor has gotten less crowded — at least for now — as state Sen. Mike Parson has decided to run for the state’s No. 2 post instead. And on Monday, he released a list of supporters, including the state Senate's leadership.

Meanwhile, the GOP’s newest gubernatorial candidate — state Sen. Bob Dixon of Springfield — offered some details about his previously acknowledged past in the 1980s when he lived several years as a young gay man.

In an emailed statement to St. Louis Public Radio, Dixon blamed child abuse for what he called “teenage confusion.” He now is married, has three children and is a staunch social conservative who believes in traditional marriage.

Chase Bond, 4, of Ferguson gets a haircut from Deyana Williams of the Elaine Steven Beauty College Saturday, July 25, 2015 in Forestwood Park during the Day of Hope outreach fair.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Cars lined the street leading to Forestwood Park in Ferguson Saturday for a resource fair organized by a faith-based non-profit that specializes in disaster relief and outreach to the poor.

Convoy of Hope’s “Day of Hope” provided a free meal and a kid’s carnival to anyone who stopped by the park, along with health screenings, haircuts, and other goods and services.

Missouri State Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, announced he was resigning from office on Friday evening.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Facing heavy pressure from some of his party's top officials, state Sen. Paul LeVota announced Friday night that he was resigning from his seat.

In an announcement posted to his Facebook page, the Democrat from Independence cited "media attention" as being a "distraction from doing the people's work." The Missouri Senate detailed sexual harassment and retaliation allegations in a report released on Wednesday.

Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 5:26 p.m., July 24 - It appears that the University of Central Missouri is siding with one of its students over allegations that she was sexually harassed by State Sen. Paul LeVota, D-Independence, while working for him as an intern earlier this year.

When copper piping like this is stolen, it can be costly to replace.
via Flickr/nectarous

After receiving approval from both the Illinois House and Senate, a bill to form a task force to find solutions for metal theft has been signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.  It goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

In a statement Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea announced Friday that he would be a member of the task force.

Original story from February 15, 2015:

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A decade after their last successful effort, Missouri backers of a higher minimum wage believe that 2016 may finally be their year for a successful replay.

“The ground is shifting really quickly in this country around the minimum wage,’’ said Lara Granich, Missouri director for the St. Louis-based group called Jobs With Justice. “The momentum is really growing, month by month.”

OnMessage Inc.

Another Republican has tossed his hat in the ring for Missouri attorney general.

Josh Hawley is a 35-year-old associate law professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Sen. McCaskill's Flickr Page

While it’s being called the “highway bill,” the U.S. Senate's plan has far more than funding for road and bridge projects. Among the provisions not specifically related to the six-year highway plan and its three years of guaranteed funding for maintenance and construction projects are two backed by U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.

Regional stakeholders and Citizens for Modern Transit members converse over breakfast before a presentation on funding the expansion of mass transit in St. Louis on Thursday, July 23, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 4:42 p.m. with more detail -Efforts to expand mass transit in the St. Louis region gained momentum Thursday with the release of a funding study and a call for public input on future transit lines.  But what project or projects to fund remains undecided. What's more, once a project has been identified, the odds of successfully funding it remains unclear due to reduced availability of federal funding and lack of state support for public transportation.

Wikimedia Commons

During the summer and fall of 1948, President Harry S. Truman’s risky journey toward a second term turned out to be one of his greatest campaigning decisions.

After a 31,000-mile train ride across the country and 352 speeches during what’s known as his “Whistle Stop Tour,” Truman won the presidential election against then New York Governor Thomas Dewey.

Phil White, author of “Whistle Stop: How 31,000 Miles of Train Travel, 352 Speeches, and a Little Midwest Gumption Saved the Presidency of Harry Truman,” chronicles Truman’s trip.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., has promised to help get a contribution limit measure on next year's ballot. But other Democratic officials have promised such a move and haven't delivered.
Courtesy of Claire McCaskill's Flickr

You’ve planned the perfect vacation and painstakingly searched for the best on-line deal for a hotel room. After making your reservations you head out, confident that you’ve got a handle on your planned expenses, but once you arrive at your destination, you are confronted with a long list of “hotel fees” that weren’t disclosed on the website when you did your search.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says that’s a form of fraud. “To me that is deceptive, to me that is inappropriate and I believe that we need to take a look at this practice.”

Charlie Miller, this time hacking into the steering wheel of a Ford Escape.
(Courtesy Charlie Miller)

Hear our conversation with Miller here.

On a widely-shared video and article at Wired, a driver cruises down I-64 in a Jeep Cherokee. His air conditioning starts blasting — “I didn’t do that,” he says, half-smiling — and then the radio booms. “Perfect.” He nods in a perplexed sort of way. Wiper fluid shoots out — the wipers go nuts. He tries to shout over Kanye West: “I can’t see anything!”

Andre Anderson, the new interim chief of the Ferguson police department, listens as Mayor James Knowles announces his appointment to the job on July 22. City manager Ed Beasley is to Anderson's left.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A 24-year veteran of the Glendale, Ariz., police department will take the reins in Ferguson for the next six months.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles announced Wednesday that Andre Anderson, who has led Glendale's Criminal Investigations Division, will take over the 50-officer Ferguson department on July 23. He'll have the job for six months, replacing Al Eickhoff, who took over after former chief Thomas Jackson resigned in March.

Stadium task force co-chair Dave Peacock presents revised stadium plan to the Missouri Development Finance Board. The stadium project is asking for $15 million in tax breaks this year and plans to ask for $17.5 million each in 2016 and 2017.
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Development Finance Board is mulling over a revised plan to build a new NFL stadium in St. Louis.

The new plan would use $50 million in tax credits, spread out over three years. The task force appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon presented the revised plan before the state finance board Tuesday. Co-chair Dave Peacock says they hope to have approval before NFL owners meet this fall.

(via Flickr/Michael Velardo)

In St. Louis County, 36 people have died from a heroin overdose this year. Although the number is a 23 percent decrease from the 47 fatalities reported last June, there is still much to overcome.

Casey Lambert, a detective with the St. Louis County Police Department Bureau of Drug Enforcement, explained that raising awareness and reaching the right crowd is difficult. Many of the citizens who succumb to heroin addiction are often teens and young adults.

Attorney General Chris Koster, left, and Missouri Sen. Tom Dempsey have announced separate investigations of Planned Parenthood operations in the state.
official photos

Underscoring the political power of the abortion issue in Missouri, Attorney General Chris Koster’s announcement that he has “opened an investigation into whether Planned Parenthood clinics in Missouri have violated state law” touched off a series of actions on both sides.

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