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Greyson and Darth Vator roam in the St. Louis Carriage Company stables paddock. There are seven horses currently at the stable, said office manager and driver Jenny Holzum, while 11 others are at a farm taking what she described as a vacation.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has suspended, for now, an effort to ban carriage rides on city streets.

Aldermen on Friday were expected to give first-round approval to a measure sponsored by Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward, that kept horses from city streets unless they were part of a parade or a police detail.

s_falkow | Flickr

Missouri would shorten the statute of limitations on filing personal injury claims to three years from five years in a bill moving through the state Senate.

 

The measure is sponsored by Sen. Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby. He suggests shortening the time frame will bring Missouri’s legal climate into the 21st century.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks with reporters in the Missouri Governor's Mansion on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.
File photo | Erin Achenbach I St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens reiterated Thursday that his plan to cut the state’s tax will not be paired with a fuel tax increase.

The governor’s comments to members of the Missouri Press Association come as both Republicans and Democrats are getting behind the idea of raising taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel to pay for fixing the state’s roads and bridges.

Courtesy of the city of St. Louis

Updated at 12:45 p.m. Feb. 8th with audio — Voters in the 8th Ward, around Tower Grove Park, will go to the polls on Tuesday — Mardi Gras — to pick their new representative at City Hall.

The seat opened up in late November when Steve Conway, who had served as alderman for 27 years, resigned to become the city assessor. The winner will be the ninth new member of the Board of Aldermen elected since April.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

For U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, the political question may well be whether lightning can strike twice.

In Missouri, 2012 was shaping up to be a strong Republican election year when the party’s U.S. Senate nominee, Todd Akin, went on St. Louis TV station Fox2 and offered up his opinion regarding why an abortion ban wouldn’t affect rape victims:

“If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has  ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” 
Now, some in both parties wonder if a replay is looming.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Missouri Senate is weighing a bill that would revoke the governor’s ability to appoint and remove people at will from state boards and commissions.

The measure would require the governor to notify the Senate in writing of any appointments made while the legislature is not in session, bar appointees from being sworn in until the Senate has been notified, and bars the governor from withdrawing appointees if he doesn’t like their decisions as board members.

House Republicans talk during the last day of the legislative session. May 17, 2017
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Democrats across the country are jubilant after the party took a Jefferson County-based House seat that was held for nearly eight years by a Republican.

It’s a morale boost for a state party that’s seen its legislative fortunes evaporate over the past few election cycles. And it’s a win in a county where state Democratic candidates have won before and need to excel in order to win tough elections later this year.

Kirkwood City Hall was the scene of fatal shootings on Feb. 7, 2008.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ten years after Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton opened fire at Kirkwood City Hall, some residents hope the city is learning to empathize with the experiences of non-white people and encourage understanding across racial and socioeconomic lines.

Thornton shot and killed five people and wounded others at Kirkwood City Hall on Feb. 7, 2008. Two police officers and two council members were among those killed. Police killed Thornton at the scene.

Lights illuminate the commemorative plaques that line a memorial walkway near Kirkwood City Hall. The plaques honor those killed at City Hall 10 years ago. Feb. 6, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The choir will sing soothing words of hope when the community gathers Wednesday evening at Kirkwood United Methodist Church for a prayer service marking the 10th anniversary of a tragedy that time has not yet tempered.

“Peace fall like a gentle snow ... Fall fresh on the wounded heart ... Come blanket our every fear and let the healing start ...”

The church commissioned “Canticle of Peace’’ by Joseph M. Martin in 2009 and dedicated it to a community still healing from the City Hall shootings. On Feb. 7, 2008, Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton, armed with two handguns and a festering grudge against city officials, fatally shot two council members, the director of public works and two police officers before being shot and killed by responding police officers.

St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger
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 St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger to the program.

The Huntleigh Republican represents the council’s 3rd District, which includes municipalities such as Kirkwood, Manchester, Fenton, Sunset Hills, Frontenac and Valley Park. Wasinger has represented her district since 2007.

Legislation passed by the Missouri House last month banning most gifts from lobbyists has been altered by a Senate committee.

The original version would ban all gifts except plants, flowers, and catered events in which all state lawmakers and elected officials are invited. Now, the bill would allow officeholders to accept no more than $40 worth of gifts per day, and would require them to reimburse the lobbyist for anything above $40.

(L-R) Jeffrey Croft, Maggie Duwe and David Bennett talked about the effects of the fatal shooting at Kirkwood City Hall 10 years ago.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of Kirkwood faced a tragic night a decade ago, when a gunman went on a shooting rampage at a city hall meeting, leaving six people dead and two others injured. The shooter, Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton, was a disgruntled resident of Meacham Park, a predominately black neighborhood in Kirkwood.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the issues raised by the shooting at Kirkwood City Hall and how they may have been addressed.

George Allen and his mother Lonzetta Taylor speak to reporters on Nov. 14, 2012 after a judge threw out Allen’s 1983 conviction for rape and murder. His family has settled a federal civil rights lawsuit for $14 million.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

The city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri will pay nearly $14 million to the family of a man wrongfully convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of a St. Louis court reporter.

George Allen died in 2016. His sister Elfrieda and his mother, Lonzetta Taylor, agreed to a settlement in the the federal civil rights lawsuit in December, although the case was not officially dismissed until last week. The first payment of $5 million was due in January.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief John Hayden poses for a portrait in his office at police headquarters on Olive Street.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

2017 was a violent year in the St. Louis region. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department handled 205 homicides. St. Louis County detectives investigated 55 more.

Getting the 2018 numbers down is a priority for law enforcement at all levels, and the team leading that effort looks much different than it did last year.

Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate is considering legislation that would target protesters who block interstate highways.

The bill would make it a Class A misdemeanor to block lanes of interstate or other limited access highways, punishable by fines between $1,000 and $5,000 and up to 30 days in jail. And protesters could be held liable in civil suits filed by patients whose ambulances are delayed by blocked interstate highways.

Most of Missouri's Republican statewide officials join state party chairman Todd Graves, left, during forum at state Lincoln Days festivities, held Feb. 3, 2018 in Kansas City.
Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Feb. 5 at 3:55 p.m. with "St. Louis on the Air" segment – KANSAS CITY, Mo. – With federal tax cuts leading the way, some top Missouri Republicans predict they’re on a path to a stronger election-year showing than many critics have predicted.

“I expect it to be a good year for Republicans in Missouri, “ said U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, who hosted Saturday’s breakfast at the state Republican Party’s annual Lincoln Days festivities, held this year in downtown Kansas City.

“It seemed like when the tax bill passed in December, it was almost like a light switch flipped on,” Blunt explained.

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Lobbyist gifts, a tax credit for the elderly, and a bill frowned upon by labor unions are on next week’s tentative agenda for the Missouri General Assembly.

Some Senate members appear to be close to their own version of a proposal to ban most gifts from lobbyists. Details are being withheld at the moment, but Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, said it could be voted out of committee next week.

File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation designed to combat human trafficking in Missouri is on its way to Gov. Eric Greitens.

The bill would require airports, bus and train stations, hospital emergency rooms, strip clubs, and any business with prior citations for prostitution to display posters that contain a national hotline number. Republican Bob Onder of Lake St. Louis sposoned the bill in the Senate. 

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens helped engineer a freeze on low-income housing tax credits. And that decision is likely to stand unless the legislature makes substantial changes to the program.
File photo I Carolina Hidaglo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens upset a bipartisan contingent of legislators when his interim appointees made major public policy decisions.

That includes how the Republican governor and his appointees in December 2017 helped halt state low-income housing tax credits, an incentive that encourages developers to produce affordable housing for the working poor and elderly.

Erise Williams, wearing a gray and white striped shirt, stands by the window, talking with guests at Rustin's Place, a drop-in center  serving mostly young, black, gay men. January 2018
Erise Williams

Black History Month is a time to spotlight African-Americans who made a difference. But many people don’t know that prominent African-Americans were part of the LGBTQ community.

Among them was Bayard Rustin, an openly gay black man who worked side-by-side with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The civil rights strategist who died in 1987 is honored every day at a little storefront in St. Louis’ Vandeventer neighborhood, called Rustin’s Place. It’s a drop-in center that largely serves LGBTQ people, particularly gay African-American men.

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