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Advocates say a heavy police presence in downtown parks, as shown in this June 28, 2016 photo, has driven some people experiencing homelessness into other St. Louis neighborhoods.
File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

An organization that goes into the streets to make sure people experiencing homelessness are warm and fed is concerned that the rights of the homeless are being violated in downtown St. Louis.

St. Louis Winter Outreach believes people living in shelters and abandoned buildings have borne the brunt of an increased police focus on minor violations promised by the mayor in May after a violent carjacking.

In 2013, HEC-TV producer Amanda Honingfort interned with Gwen Ifill on "Washington Week."
Amanda Honingfort

Earlier this week, beloved Peabody Award-winning PBS journalist Gwen Ifill died at the age of 61 due to complications from cancer, with which she had struggled for several years. On this week’s “Behind the Headlines” on St. Louis on the Air, we looked at the impact of Ifill’s journalism and listen to a 2010 excerpt of her interview with Don Marsh about her book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”

Claire McCaskill
File photo

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she’s “absolutely’’ seeking re-election in two years, despite her party’s shellacking at the polls less than two weeks ago.

In the meantime, McCaskill plans to play an aggressive role in fighting Republican proposals – already being publicly discussed -- to revamp the nation’s Medicare program, which provides health care for 55 million Americans age 65 and over.

StanJourdan | Flickr

Less than two weeks after the November 2014 election, only three proposed initiative petitions for the 2016 ballot had been filed with the Missouri secretary of state’s office.

But this time, less than two weeks after the November 8 election, the 2018 floodgates are already open. As of Thursday, at least 39 proposed initiative petitions have been filed. Dave Robertson, head of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, ties the state’s early deluge of 2018 initiatives to voter unrest, nationally as well as locally.

Volunteers look for people experiencing homelessness at the Delmar Loop Metro stop in July 2016 during St. Louis County's summer point-in-time count.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s federal homeless count found a 12 percent drop in the number of people experiencing homelessness in Illinois and a 4 percent drop in Missouri compared to last year.

Both states are on a five-year downward trend for homelessness, with Missouri’s count returning to pre-recession numbers. Illinois had one of the sharpest declines nationwide this year.

(via Flickr/david_shane)

The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing a challenge to a law that has changed rules for municipal courts, in particular banning judges from sending someone to jail for failure to pay a traffic fine.

It also lowered the amount of revenue local governments can get from traffic citations; it capped those revenues at 12.5 percent in St. Louis County and at 20 percent across the rest of Missouri.

St. Louis Regional Business Council

An effort to raise money for north St. Louis County schools and businesses in the aftermath of the Ferguson unrest is now ending.

Members of the "Reinvest North County Fund" committee announced that the fund is closing at a press conference Wednesday held at the Centene Corporation – Ferguson Service Center.

The fund allocated $950,000 over the past two years.

Tishaura Jones high-fives guests at a campaign kickoff party for her mayoral run at Exodus Gallery on Delmar Blvd. on Nov. 15, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

And then there were six.

On Tuesday, Treasurer Tishaura Jones kicked off her campaign to replace Mayor Francis Slay in front of a crowd of about 200 at Exodus Galleries on Delmar.  

falkow | Flickr

Both prosecutors and defense attorneys in St. Louis are applauding an appeals court ruling outlining what information must be provided to defense attorneys in criminal trials.

Dear STLPR Friends,

Whatever you are feeling about the results of last week's historic elections, one truth remains: fact-based journalism is as important to our democracy as it has ever been. For more than 18 months, St. Louis Public Radio has provided the most comprehensive coverage of election issues and events at every level of the ballot for hundreds of thousands of listeners in our region and beyond. 

uditor Nicole Galloway, D-Missouri, discusses findings of more than 300 Sunshine Law requests made to local governments across the state. )Nov. 15, 2016)
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Tuesday released details of a test her office recently conducted on how cities, counties, water districts, fire protection districts and other governing bodies respond to Sunshine Law requests.

Maria Chappelle-Nadal 2016
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 Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal to the show for the third time.

The University City Democrat was first elected to the Missouri Senate in 2010 and re-elected without substantial opposition in 2014. She will have to leave the Senate after 2018 due to legislative term limits.

Gov.-elect Eric Greitens shakes hands with Senate Majority Leader Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, last week.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the Thursday after his resounding victory in the Missouri governor’s race, Eric Greitens spent the morning at the Missouri Capitol meeting with Gov. Jay Nixon and huddling up with the Senate Republican supermajority. Greitens ended up shaking lots of hands of fellow Republicans who could help make his campaign agenda into the laws of the land. 

When he stepped into the Capitol hallways, Greitens could hardly contain his enthusiasm about the months ahead.

Paramedics with the St. Louis Fire Department tend to a person who had taken the synthetic marijuana known as K2 outside the New Life Evangelistic Center on Nov. 10, 2016.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Social services providers in St. Louis are working to combat a spike in the number of people overdosing on a synthetic marijuana known as K2.

Since Monday, the St. Louis Fire Department had treated at least 100 people suffering the effects of the drug.  Many of the victims were clustered around downtown homeless shelters and service providers.

Jumira Moore, 8, watches as her mother, Timira Saunders, fills out a ballot at Central Baptist Church in St. Louis on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

How did the polls get it so wrong?

This is a question that has dominated headlines in the days following Tuesday’s historic election.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the role of polls and their use in media coverage of the 2016 election with guests Terry Jones, Founders Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Matt Carlson, Associate Professor of Communication at Saint Louis University.

James Petersen is a Marine veteran who shared his struggles with PTSD on Friday's St. Louis on the Air.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

In honor of Veteran’s Day, local Marine veteran and Brown School of Social Work student James Petersen joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss his experience with PTSD and the work he is doing to help other veterans facing similar struggles.

Petersen, who served in Iraq, described feeling some trepidation when he decided to pursue a master’s of social work at Washington University.

“Going into the Brown School, which is definitely a liberal leaning school, school of social work, I was pretty nervous to even admit that I was a veteran,” he said.

Eric and Sheena Greitens hold their sons, Joshua and Jacob, while speaking to reporters after casting their ballots the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens plans to have two transition teams in place shortly: one to organize his January inaugural and the other to tackle his GOP takeover of the state’s executive branch.

To that end, Greitens is seeking guidance and advice from the outgoing governor, Democrat Jay Nixon.

Senior adviser Austin Chambers praised the reception that Greitens received Thursday during his first meeting with Nixon and top members of his administration.

Preservation lab technician Rebecca Thorn pieces together fragments of a fire-damaged record at the National Personnel Records Center in November 2016
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Archivist Marta O’Neill was standing inside a warehouse-sized storage bay at the cavernous National Personnel Records Center, just off interstate 270 in north St. Louis County.

Nearly 60 million individual military personnel records are stored at the site, but this storage bay is unique. It houses only B-files: the 6.5 million records salvaged from the 1973 fire at the center’s old facility on Page Avenue. That fire destroyed the records of 18 million veterans who served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.

Gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens looks at his ballot before sitting down to vote at the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Of the four constitutional amendments passed by Missouri voters on Tuesday, rumblings have started about legal challenges to three of them.

Bills sponsored by Ald. Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would boost the age to purchase tobacco products in the city to 21
Drongowski | Flickr

Updated with first-round board approval Nov. 10 - Measures boosting the age to buy tobacco products in the city of St. Louis sailed out of the Health and Human Services committee on Thursday (Nov. 3).

The bills, sponsored by Alderman Dionne Flowers, D-2nd Ward, would bring the city in line with St. Louis County by making it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy tobacco products. The new requirement applies to both traditional tobacco products like cigarettes, and newer ones like electronic cigarettes.

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump points to protesters that he tells to "get out," during his speech at the Peabody Opera House in St. Louis on March 11, 2016.
File photo, Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Numbers don’t lie.

Overall, Missouri voters cast only 30,000 more votes for president Tuesday than they did four years ago.  But there was a 270,000-vote difference in who they backed.

That swing helps explain Tuesday’s GOP wave.

Medium Security Institution/file photo
File photo | Nassim Benchaabane | St. Louis Public Radio

Legislation that would give St. Louis a clearer picture of who's being held in solitary confinement in the city's two jails will be introduced Thursday at the Board of Aldermen.

Joe Vacarro, D-23rd Ward, said he saw the need for more information about the inmate population while campaigning for sheriff this year. 

The line of supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wrapped around a city block in downtown St. Louis.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

What comes next? That’s the question after Donald Trump overcame Hillary Clinton in the election to become the 45th president of the United States of America. In Missouri, Trump won with 57.1% of the votes. But that wasn’t the only history that was made last night.

As St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jason Rosenbaum said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air:

Eric and Sheena Greitens hold their sons, Joshua and Jacob, while speaking to reporters after casting their ballots the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans Tuesday night experienced their greatest triumph in the Show Me State’s modern history. And Missouri Democrats had arguably their worst night ever.

Those two declarative statements may seem like hyperbole, but it’s pretty close to the truth. Tuesday marked the first time ever Republicans won seven statewide elections in a single night. And with commanding majorities in the Missouri General Assembly, Gov.-elect Eric Greitens will be in a profoundly powerful position to enact his agenda – and to sign longstanding GOP priorities into law.

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Mary Delach Leonard weighed the postcards mailed to her home in Madison County by Ill. state representative candidates Dwight Kay (R) and Katie Stuart (D), 112th district. They weigh 4 1/2 pounds.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio.

Whether you’re in a blue state, red state, happy or fed-up state, it’s all over, except for the recycling.

Yes, it’s time to make a clean sweep of the election flyers and door hangers.

The campaign yard signs and banners.

The political postcards that stuffed your mailbox every doggone day.

Echo Bluff State Park
Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Updated at 1 a.m. Nov. 9 with final results - The attempts to raise cigarette and tobacco taxes for roads or early childhood education went down to defeat.

Clockwise from upper left, Jay Ashcroft, Josh Hawley, Eric Schmitt and Mike Parson
File photos | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri voters have given the nod to Republicans running for secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer and lieutenant governor. In congressional races, incumbents held onto their seats.

Eric Greitens addresses the crowd at his victory party on Nov. 9, 2016.
File photo| Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans won big Tuesday, sweeping all statewide offices and putting the party almost totally in charge of the Missouri Capitol beginning in January.

And in part, they have Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to thank. His Missouri coattails of 20 percentage points arguably provided a strong wind at the GOP’s back.

File photo

Missouri’s battle to recoup lost tobacco settlement revenue is now being weighed by the state Supreme Court.

The Show-Me State’s share of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement reached between the tobacco industry and 46 states is roughly $130 million a year. In 2003, an additional partial settlement with 24 states was made, which Missouri was not a part of because it was found not to be diligent in policing smaller tobacco companies that did not sign onto the 1998 agreement. Those companies were found to be undercutting their prices to compete with larger companies that did sign the agreement.

Chief Sam Dotson stl police 1.27.15
File photo | Katelyn Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio intern

St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson has ended his run for mayor, just more than a month after it began.

Dotson said in a statement emailed to reporters that he believed he could best serve the city and work to bring down crime by staying on as police chief. "Crime is the No. 1 issue in our city," the statement said. "To combat it, we need less politics, not more. We need fewer divisions and more collaboration."

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