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Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Kathie Harnacker is house hunting in Ferguson.

She braved relentless rain on Sunday afternoon to tour a compact three-bedroom brick ranch on a tree-lined street in the Old Ferguson West neighborhood.

“This house is great,’’ she said, while standing in the lush patio garden. “It looks well-maintained. It looks like a very nice neighborhood.”

Protesters disrupt the Missouri Senate on May 6, 2016.
Courtesy, Missouri Senate

It's a split decision in the trial of the so-called "Medicaid 23," a group of religious leaders who staged a protest in the Missouri Senate more than two years ago over lawmakers' refusal to expand Medicaid.

Twenty-two members of the group were found guilty of trespassing for not leaving the Senate gallery when ordered to do so by Capitol police. But they were found not guilty of obstructing the operations of the Senate. The case of one other member will be decided later.

Bruce Franks, center, walks with supporters to the St. Louis  courthouse to file an official challenge to his state House primary contest on August 17.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

A candidate who lost the Democratic primary for a Missouri House seat in north St. Louis has officially asked for a re-do.

The incumbent in the 78th District, Penny Hubbard, beat Bruce Franks on Aug. 2 by about 90 votes — a margin of victory that came solely from absentee ballots. Franks won among those who voted in-person on election day.

Steve Roberts Jr.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Liz Schlemmer welcome Democrat Steve Roberts Jr. to the program for the first time.

Roberts recently won a contested primary for the 77th District Missouri House seat, which takes in portions of central and north St. Louis. The seat became open after state Rep. Kim Gardner, D-St. Louis, decided to run for St. Louis circuit attorney, a contest that she won by a comfortable margin.

Attorney General Chris Koster speaks to reporters at the Saint Louis Police Officers Association hall on Tuesday.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster accepted the endorsement of the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police, he provided them with an unambiguous message: Under his gubernatorial administration, police officers around the state will have his unwavering support.

Brian Boucheron I Flickr

Missourians are slated to vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban sales taxes on services.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander certified the measure, known as Amendment 4, last week for the Nov. 8 ballot. The relatively short amendment says:

Bill Eigel
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Dale Singer welcome Republican Bill Eigel to the program for the first time.

Eigel is a St. Charles County-based businessman who emerged victorious in a highly competitive GOP primary for the 23rd District Senate seat. He faces Democrat Richard Orr this fall, but the 23rd District seat is considered to be a decidedly Republican seat.

Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss greets residents, supporters and protesters at the city police department hours after being sworn in as chief.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Monday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

When we asked listeners for questions they had for Ferguson Police Chief Delrish Moss, we got a lot of questions like this:

Courtesy Avarty Photos

In a show of support for survivors of sexual assault and harassment, members of the St. Louis music scene will meet tonight to speak out against rape culture.

The term "rape culture" defines an environment where sexual violence is normalized, sexual assault is trivialized, and survivors are blamed. The discussion in St. Louis takes place during a time of increasing awareness of sexual assaults at concerts.

Carolina Hidalgo and Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been less than two weeks since Missouri voters chose nominees for governor. And it’s fair to say that neither candidate wasted much time in fashioning their general election message — or sharply questioning their opponent’s worthiness.

This reporter spent the past few days watching and listening to Chris Koster and Eric Greitens' post-primary speeches. And from what the two men are saying on the stump, Missourians are in for a very contentious campaign — and discourse that may appear familiar.

Willis Ryder Arnold, Jason Rosenbaum and Carolina Hidalgo shared their thoughts about reporting on Ferguson on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners Democratic Director Eric Fey presents before a committee of the whole meeting of the County Council on how April 5's ballot shortages happened.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on Aug. 11 with judge's ruling – Berkeley residents will not have a do-over election for mayor.

The St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners asked a judge in May to order a new election in the north St. Louis County city. It was one of many county municipalities that experienced ballot shortages during elections earlier this year

Peter Merideth
Durrie Bouscaren I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Durrie Bouscaren welcome Peter Merideth (and his daughter, Piper) to the program.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway found the online records system used by Missouri courts gives those with administrative privileges the ability to see users' passwords.
Angus Kingston | Flickr

A state audit released Wednesday finds that court records in Missouri are not being thoroughly shielded from hackers and other unauthorized users.

The audit identifies potential weaknesses in the Judicial Information System, which is operated by the Office of State Courts Administrator.  The system is used to store case files, information on convictions and sentencing and financial records.

Thirteen St. Louis County cities were hit with a lawsuit this week, accusing them of violating the constitutional rights of people who broke local ordinances. The suit is seeking monetary damages and changes to how the cities operate.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Quinton Thomas saw firsthand what the criminal justice system looked like in St. Louis County municipalities. And what he witnessed wasn’t pretty.

The 28-year-old said he was fined by a number of county municipalities for what he deemed to be minor traffic offenses. When he couldn’t pay, Thomas said he was sent to a jail in deplorable conditions.

Thomas decided to fight back earlier this week. He’s part of a federal lawsuit against 13 St. Louis County cities. 

The Rev. Starsky Wilson speaks at a news conference on Tuesday in favor of a tobacco tax increase for early childhood education and health care.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians could weigh in this fall on four ballot initiatives that Secretary of State Jason Kander certified on Tuesday. But the tally of items could potentially constrict, depending on what courts decide in the coming weeks.

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed announced on Tuesday he's making another bid for mayor.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed is hoping the second time is the charm.

Reed announced on Tuesday morning that he would join the wide-open scramble to be St. Louis’ mayor. The three-term Democratic citywide officeholder ran for the post in 2013 and lost to Mayor Francis Slay.

Members of Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment conduct a silent protest during a public hearing on municipal court reform on Nov. 12, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Lawyers who are leading the effort to reform the municipal courts in St. Louis, tell of injustices they have witnessed in the courts and callous indifference among some of the municipal judges. They say the system is made up of modern-day debtors’ prisons.

They provide examples.

Protesters are greeted by lines of state and county police during a demonstration march on the Ferguson police station on August 11, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Listening is a two-way street. As part of a new project here at St. Louis Public Radio, we’re visiting communities throughout the region to ask about the issues that matter most. We’re calling it St. Louis Public Radio Listens.

Last week, we visited the Ferguson Municipal Public Library with an open invitation. We asked residents to share their thoughts about what has changed, and what hasn’t, in the past two years. Here is a sample of their responses. 

Courtney Curtis
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum is joined by colleague Stephanie Lecci and St. Louis American reporter Rebecca Rivas. The trio welcomed state Rep. Courtney Curtis to the show for the first time.

The Ferguson Democrat won a competitive primary last week for re-election. Because winning the Democratic primary in his north St. Louis County-based district is tantamount to election, Curtis will likely get to serve a third term in the Missouri House after 2017.

Patrick Brown was recently named St. Louis' new chief resilience officer.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay recently announced that his deputy chief of staff, Patrick Brown, would become the city’s first chief resilience officer.

In addition to seating in the central hall of Biddle, the homeless center has classroom and office space on either side.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

After months of planning, and a few political bumps along the way, the city-owned homeless center in St. Louis’ Carr Square neighborhood opens Monday, five weeks after the initially targeted opening day.

Now known as the Biddle Housing Opportunities Center, the renovated building at the corner of Tucker Boulevard and Biddle Street just north of downtown is the result of a close to two-year effort to create a permanent, walk-in, men’s shelter with an eye to the possible closure of New Life Evangelistic Center.

Four hand guns on a red cloth.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s office is melting down at least a hundred illegal firearms it collected over the weekend at a gun buyback in East St. Louis.

$10,000 in Wal-Mart gift cards were handed out in 39 minutes Saturday in exchange for the guns.

Man stands in the middle of a crowd with reporters and cameras reflecting smaller versions of the scene. The sky is gray.
Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio

Familiar faces from the past few days and the past two years gathered in the parking lot of Canfield Green Apartments in Ferguson. At 7 in the morning, it's an early start for what will shape up to be roughly a four mile walk through the August heat for a "Justice Walk" organized by Michael Brown Sr.

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Chris Koster talks with supporters on Saturday in St. Louis. Koster says he's opposed to school vouchers, but is amenable to charter schools.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Even before he became governor, Jay Nixon drew a hard line in the sand: If the Missouri General Assembly passed any bill that Nixon felt transferred public dollars to private schools, he would veto that legislation. He followed through on that promise in 2014, when the General Assembly approved changes to Missouri’s school transfer law that, among other things, allowed children in unaccredited school districts to go to certain nonsectarian, private schools.

Whether that “line” remains, however, depends on who replaces Nixon in the governor’s office.

Gubernatorial candidate Chris Koster became the first Democrat endorsed by the Missouri Farm Bureau for a statewide office.
Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time ever, Missouri Farm Bureau members have endorsed a Democrat for statewide office.

Gathered at Farm Bureau headquarters in Jefferson City, they chose Chris Koster for governor over Republican nominee Eric Greitens. The endorsement was based largely on Koster's record on agriculture during both his time as attorney general and as state senator.

Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio

For five minutes audience members at Greater St. Mark’s Church in Ferguson stood up one by one to speak the names of people of color killed by police or community violence.

Among the crowd were the family members of six of those whose names were called out, including their younger brothers and sisters.

The siblings and children of victims are not often in the limelight. But on Friday night, the stories and experiences of those young family members had the floor.

"Daisy" is one of the most famous political ads ever used.
Wikimedia Commons

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discusses the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed political ads and their impact on elections with Saint Louis University political science professor Ken Warren. 

There are four main types of political ads these days, Warren said: introductory, stances on issues, true negative ads and false negative ads. False negative ads usually make the most impact. 

Members of Black Pride march in the Pride St. Louis parade in June.
Pride St. Louis

A group of people in St. Louis face a one-two punch of adversity every day.

As members of the LGBT population, they can legally be denied housing or fired on a whim. As African-Americans, they’re already more likely to be homeless or unemployed.

A small, local LGBT organization called Black Pride  embraces all these challenges. But as members prepare for their annual celebration this weekend in The Grove area, members still have to justify the group’s very existence.

New Life Evangelistic Center is located in downtown St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

The Board of Building Appeals in St. Louis city board has unanimously voted to require a downtown homeless shelter to seek approval from its neighbors for a new occupancy permit.

The board also voted Thursday to allow New Life Evangelistic Center to continue operating next to a school.

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