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A focus group moderator writes down participants' thoughts on racial and ethnic relations in St. Louis, after a meeting of the Ferguson Commission.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Seven St. Louis area residents have joined the board of Forward Through Ferguson, a successor organization to the Ferguson Commission.

The nonprofit group received 27 applications for the positions. Through what the group called an open, community-driven process, the committee selected “unflinching and unusual leaders” to work toward racial equity.

Missouri State Capitol. Missouri legislature. http://bit.ly/2cytTFT
Jim Bowen | Flickr

The Missouri Legislature’s veto session will take place this Wednesday, Sept. 14. For the bills that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed during the 2016 legislative session, both House and Senate will need a two-thirds vote to override the veto.

Bruce Franks talks with Jane Dueker, the attorney for his opponent Penny Hubbard, after oral arguments on Sept. 12, 2016.
Pool photo by Robert Cohen | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Updated 4:00 p.m. Sept. 13 with comments from Jane Dueker. — ​The  re-vote in the 78th House District is on.

The Missouri Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a lower-court ruling  that the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners improperly accepted at least 142 absentee ballots, putting the results of the Aug. 2 primary between incumbent Penny Hubbard and challenger Bruce Franks in doubt. Hubbard's attorney, Jane Dueker, said that ruling will not be appealed.

Demonstrators march to Missouri Capitol to call for a $15 and hour minimum wage
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Around 200 demonstrators were in Jefferson City Monday calling for Missouri to adopt a $15 an hour minimum wage and other reforms to help the state's low income and minority communities.

Most of them traveled by bus on Monday from Kansas City, and once they arrived marched into the State Capitol and staged a rally. One of the leaders was Rodney Williams, a Kansas City pastor who's also one of the so-called Medicaid 23 who was arrested two years ago for demonstrating in the Missouri Senate visitors gallery.

Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson listens to representatives speak on the last day of the legislative session.
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 go guestless, so to speak, to analyze the lay of the land before the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session.

When lawmakers return to the Capitol for the Wednesday afternoon session, the two biggest bills will be a multi-faceted gun bill and legislation implementing a photo identification requirement to vote. But even though they haven’t attracted as much attention, nearly two dozen other bills could potentially receive veto override attempts.

State representatives get ready to wrap up the legislative session.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Welcome, one and all, to the fifth anniversary of this reporter’s “five things to look for veto session” stories. Plenty of things happened since the first iteration of this listicle hit the World Wide Web: Donald Trump became a serious presidential contender, Macklemore curiously won a bunch of Grammys, and “five things to look for” stories gradually aroused the ire of cranky tricenarians living in St. Charles County. 

Attorneys for Bruce Franks, Penny Hubbard, and employees with the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners examine absentee ballot envelopes during a court hearing on Sept. 1, 2016.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments Monday afternoon on whether voters in the 78th House District in St. Louis will get a chance to vote again.

Right now, the do-over Democratic primary is scheduled for Friday. It is one of the fastest turn-arounds the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners has ever faced.

Most of the briefs for the case have already been filed, so we've got a sense of what lawyers for incumbent Penny Hubbard and challenger Bruce Franks will say to the appeals court panel.

courtesy of September 11 Memorial Walkway

Organizers were expecting hundreds to attend Sunday’s dedication of a Sept. 11 memorial in Belleville that includes a steel beam from the World Trade Center.

The ceremony is at 2 p.m. and will mark the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

The casket of Phyllis Schlafly is escorted down the aisle of the Cathedral Basilicia of St. Louis following a funeral Mass on Sept. 10, 2016.
Pool photo by Robert Cohen | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Updated at 9:00 p.m. Sept 11 to clarify ongoing legal action involving the Eagle Forum. Hundreds of mourners packed the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis Saturday afternoon to honor a woman known for her conservative activism and polarizing views.

Schlafly died Labor Day at 92. The views she pushed as the founder of the Eagle Forum were underpinned by her deep Catholic faith. 

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential nominee
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein sees a path to victory — or, at minimum, more public attention to her key issues — if the Commission on Presidential Debates will bend its rules and allow her and Libertarian Gary Johnson to join in the presidential debates.

“We’re talking about just four candidates’’ on stage, Stein said, referring to the series of four debates that begin in about two weeks.  Washington University will host one of them, on Oct. 9.

Incumbent State Rep. Penny Hubbard is appealing a judge's order for a special election to be held next week. The judge ruled in favor of Bruce Franks, Hubbard's opponent, who filed a lawsuit against the St. Louis election board after the August primary.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

For state Rep. Penny Hubbard, the disputed 78th District House race is unlike anything she’s experienced in politics.

The three-term Democratic lawmaker has faced challenging elections — and criticism for how she voted in the Missouri General Assembly. But the scrutiny has increased since St. Louis Democrat narrowly won her primary bid against Bruce Franks. That includes a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article that brought up questions about whether her campaign misused the absentee ballot process.

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at LaunchCode alongside Jim McKelvey, founder of Square and co-founder of LaunchCode, on Friday morning.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Vice President Joe Biden says he’s well aware that the last eight years haven’t been easy for the nation’s workforce.

In remarks on Friday at a roundtable discussion at LanchCode in St. Louis, Biden says the economic downturn in the late 2000s  “clobbered” the middle class. And that had tangible consequences for struggling cities.

Longtime Republican stalwart Phyllis Schlafly said Donald Trump is "a choice not an echo," which references her long-ago support of Barry Goldwater.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is headlining a growing list of party dignitaries likely to attend Saturday’s funeral here of conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly.

Relatives say that Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, and former Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., also are expected. Both were “very close friends’’ with Schlafly, said daughter Anne Cori. Other expected attendees include Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus.

The mass is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. Visitation is underway at the Kriegshauser Mortuary-West Chapel until 8 p.m. tonight.

Phyllis Schlafly speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
Gage Skidmore | Flickr

Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly died earlier this week on Sept. 5. She was 92.

Obituary: Phyllis Schlafly, conservative activist thwarted ERA

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines,” St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed Schlafly’s life and legacy with Jo Mannies, political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio, who spent many years reporting on her.

Wikipedia

Two percent.

That’s the most realistic, and important, objective of the Missouri Green Party as it prepares for Saturday’s rally in St. Louis featuring the party’s presidential nominee, Dr. Jill Stein.

Win or lose, the state party stands to gain if Stein or another Green Party candidate collects at least 2 percent of the Missouri vote. The gain? Automatic ballot access.

Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio

On Sunday, as Americans remember the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, 93-year-old Warren Nelson of St. Louis will avoid looking at the photographs.

ZACK STOVALL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

If you're looking for context behind the news of today, check out our project St. Louis History in Black & White, a compilation of interviews about civil rights and race relations in St. Louis. 

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles sits with City Council members as residents comment on the consent decree in February.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

The city of Ferguson has made halting progress toward complying with a federal consent decree it signed in April.

Attorneys for the city, the Department of Justice and members of the independent monitoring team assigned to the case were in front of Judge Catherine Perry on Wednesday to give her an update. It was the first public review of the document since Perry accepted it five months ago.

Of the 40 objectives whose deadlines have passed, seven have not been implemented, according to a spreadsheet provided to the court. Another 20 are listed as "in  progress." 

St. Louis Democratic Elections director Mary Wheeler-Jones shows her phone to Board of Election Commissioners chairman Erv Switzer. The Board had a special meeting on Wednesday go over logistical details for a special election in the 78th House District.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri secretary of state’s office is urging St. Louis’ prosecuting attorney to keep investigating absentee ballots from a state House primary.

Democrat Jason Kander, who is also running for U.S. Senate, released his brief report on the 78th House District on Wednesday.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon's preparation for the annual veto session included telling reporters Wednesday why several of the vetoed bills should remain dead.

He spent time discussing bills that have gotten less publicity, which includes HB 1870. It contains language that would allow some businesses to ignore the federal E-Verify program if using it would "result in a substantial difficulty or expense.

Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

When a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown outside Canfield Apartments in August, 2014, Darren Seals was one of the first people at the scene supporting Brown's family. In the two years that followed, Seals co-led many of the protests in the St. Louis area, calling for criminal justice reform and an end to structural oppression against people of color.

Early Wednesday, police found Seals shot and killed inside a burning vehicle in the Riverview suburb of St. Louis County. The 29-year-old's death is being investigated as a homicide.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster greets attendees at the Truman Dinner, the Missouri Democratic Party's annual gathering.
File photo by Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Some have described the National Rifle Association’s decision to endorse Democratic gubernatorial nominee Chris Koster over GOP hopeful Eric Greitens as surprising or out of the blue. But for people who pay attention to how the group endorses candidates, Koster’s endorsement was actually quite predictable.

That’s because the NRA typically backs candidates with definitive voting records (like Koster) over political newcomers (like Greitens). It’s exactly what happened in 2012, when the NRA backed Koster’s re-election bid for attorney general over Republican nominee Ed Martin.

Sgt. Susie Lorthridge on patrol in Wellston on May 19, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway detailed numerous problems with how bonds are collected from people accused of municipal violations in Wellston. She also found that the city collects fees on dismissed cases, which she says violates state law. And she described in a press release how court case records “were disorganized, incomplete, missing and in many cases, inaccurate, with 90 percent of cases reviewed showing conflicting activity between electronic and paper records.”

Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence speaks to a crowd of supporters at a Chesterfield DoubleTree on Tuesday afternoon.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Buoyed by the latest polls, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence exuberantly told local supporters that Americans are embracing Donald Trump’s message of change.

Speaking before a packed ballroom Tuesday in Chesterfield, Pence sought to promote Trump’s personality as well as his policies. “He’s a distinctly American leader,” Pence said, with a soft chuckle. “He is his own man and he’s a doer, he’s a builder. He’s a doer in a game usually reserved for talkers.”

Attendees for both a welcome rally for Ferguson's new police chief, Delrish Moss, and a protest against the city's attorney, Stephanie Karr, demonstrate outside the Ferguson Police Department on May 9, 2016.
File photo Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The team in charge of making sure that the city of Ferguson is complying with a federal consent decree will be in St. Louis on Wednesday to hear from the community.

Clark Ervin will meet as many individuals and groups as he can on Wednesday. The 15-minute meetings will take place between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and can be scheduled by emailing Ervin at clark.ervin@squirepb.com.

Attorneys Erwin Switzer (back left) and Al Johnson (back right) listen to Gov. Jay Nixon on Sept. 6 as he introduces them as the chair and secretary of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners.
Bill Greenblat | UPI

Gov. Jay Nixon has cleaned house at the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, four days after a judge found its employees responsible for absentee ballot problems that led him to schedule a new election  in the 78th House District.

Nixon replaced Democratic chairwoman Joan Burger, a retired judge, with Democrat Erwin Switzer, an attorney and a former member of the now-defunct St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners. Republican Al Johnson, also an attorney, replaces the Republican secretary Andrew Schwartz, who owns an adhesives company. 

State Rep. Stacey Newman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back state Rep. Stacey Newman to talk about the legislature’s upcoming veto session – and the November election.

Newman is a Richmond Heights Democrat who entered the legislature in 2010 after a special election. With the exception of a zany Democratic primary in 2012, Newman’s subsequent elections have been relatively easy. For instance: She was completely unopposed this cycle, meaning she will return to the Missouri House for her final term.

Longtime Republican stalwart Phyllis Schlafly said Donald Trump is "a choice not an echo," which references her long-ago support of Barry Goldwater.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The redoubtable conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who led a movement that for decades successfully thwarted liberal and feminist causes, including the Equal Rights Amendment, and helped uber-conservative candidates win elections, has died. She was 92.

Mrs. Schlafly died Monday afternoon at her Ladue home, surrounded by her family. She had been battling cancer, said daughter Anne Cori.

Mrs. Schlafly was a self-described “lifetime fulltime volunteer in public policymaking.” Although she held three degrees, including a law degree, and worked her entire life, albeit most of it without pay, she championed the role of full-time homemaker as a woman’s highest calling.

Erin Williams | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Anyone in St. Louis, Kansas City, or any other urban area in Missouri who wants to plant rooftop gardens or fruit trees can get financial help from the state.

The Department of Agriculture is providing matching grants of up to $7,500 for urban and non-traditional agriculture projects. A total of $100,000 is available for the current fiscal year, and higher priority will be given to projects that create jobs and "demonstrate an economic benefit and potential for sustainable revenue generation."

Wikipedia

The National Park Service has been studying proposals to extend the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail east from St. Louis and wants to know what the public thinks.

Yes, they mean EAST.

Of course, we in St. Louis know that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark headed WEST from these parts in May 1804 to explore President Thomas Jefferson’s new hunk of real estate, the Louisiana Purchase.

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