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Reginald Clemons in 2014
Missouri Department of Corrections

Updated at 4:50 p.m. with comments from Justice for Reggie campaign. A man whose death sentence and murder convictions were overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court in November will face a new trial.

Reginald Clemons was convicted in 1993 of murdering Julie and Robin Kerry, who were raped and thrown off the Chain of Rocks bridge in April 1991. The state Supreme Court last year threw out Clemons' first-degree murder convictions, saying prosecutors had failed to turn over evidence that lent weight to Clemons' claims that he had been assaulted by police before confessing.

On Monday, St. Louis prosecutor Jennifer Joyce announced she would try the case again, and again seek the death penalty.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Some Missouri lawmakers may want to quote the line from Top Gun: "I feel the need ... the need for speed."

It's a mere 2 1/2 weeks into the 2016 legislative session, and already the Missouri House has sent bills on ethics and voter photo ID over to the Senate. The Senate, in turn, has sent a bill to the House that would put new rules in place for expert witness testimony.

Because a pending state bill doesn't pre-empt local minimum wage laws passed before August 28, Board of Aldermen members may act fast on passing a minimum wage increase.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

A required renewal of the city's earnings tax will be on the April ballot.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Friday approved the measure authorizing the vote. Mayor Francis Slay will sign it as soon as possible.

Thomas Hawk, Flickr, Creative Commons

In the second installment of the weekly ‘Behind the Headlines’ segment, “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh discussed three top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and influenced them. 

Here’s what we talked about:

Downtown restaurant closures

Democrats Donkey CORRECT SIZED facing right
Wikipedia

Hazelwood Mayor Matt Robinson is stepping down from his other political post as chairman of the St. Louis County Democratic Central Committee.

But he’s staying on as a member of the Missouri Democratic Central Committee and as a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Teddy bears line the fence of the flat where Mansur Ball-Bey was killed earlier this week.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis police department’s use of force policy is receiving poor marks from an advocacy group working to end excessive police violence.

Campaign Zero, a group that includes Ferguson activists Brittany Packnett, Johnetta Elzie and DeRay McKesson, gives the department credit for prioritizing preservation of life, but says St. Louis’ policy fails to set sufficient limitations.

Rep. Justin Alferman, R-Hermann, is sponsoring legislation that would implement a photo ID requirement for voting.
Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications

Two pieces of legislation that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls have been passed by the Missouri House and are on their way to the Senate.

The first, House Joint Resolution 53, is a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for a photo ID requirement, following the Missouri Supreme Court's 2006 decision tossing out an earlier photo ID law passed that same year. It's sponsored by Rep. Tony Dugger, R-Hartville, who has sponsored several photo ID proposals in recent years.

Contrary to social media speculation, Gov. Jay Nixon didn’t use his final State of the State speech to endorse Bernie Sanders, do a backflip or find the Afikoman.

Compared to those death-defying feats (especially seeking out the hard-to-find Afikoman), the Democratic governor’s address was fairly tame. He stuck to themes embedded within his other seven State of the State addresses, such as a desire to expand Medicaid, freeze college tuition and boost K-12 education spending.

St. Louis had a large contingent at the March for Life in D.C.
Jim Howard | St. Louis Public Radio | File photo

Despite the huge snowstorm threat in Washington, D.C., at least 2,000 Missouri opponents of abortion are expected to head to the nation’s capital to participate in Friday’s annual March for Life.

“Our buses are on their way,’’ said Maggie Bick, one of the coordinators for Missouri Right to Life’s annual bus caravan. A brief prayer service for the St. Louis area travelers was held Thursday morning at the Old Cathedral by St. Louis’ riverfront.

Fletcher served as Ferguson's mayor from 2005 to 2011.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson isn’t giving its residents too much time to apply for a vacant city council seat.

When Councilman Brian Fletcher died earlier this month, it left a vacancy for a Ward 2 seat that isn’t up for election until 2018. The city says residents have until 5 p.m. on Friday to apply for the position.

Gov. Jay Nixon makes his way to the dais in the Missouri House to deliver his last State of the State address.
Mallory Daily | St. Louis Public Radio intern

For his final state budget, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is taking no risks.

His proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 features no grand gestures of setting up new programs, and calls for limited increases for the state’s current operations.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis
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 U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis for the first time.

Davis represents Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, which takes in portions of the Metro East and central Illinois. Before he was elected to office in 2012, the Taylorville Republican served as a staffer for U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

A move to abolish the death penalty in the Show-Me State is getting a hearing before a Missouri Senate committee.

Senate Bill 816 is sponsored by Sen. Paul Weiland, R-Imperial. He told the committee on general laws that being a pro-life Republican should also include the end of life.

Provided by VA St. Louis Health Care System

The eighth interim director to lead the VA St. Louis Health Care System is Keith Repko, who has been deputy director of the agency for more than a year.

Repko says he will continue to focus on improving access to health care for area veterans.

Sam Sextro lights candles across the street from the Edward Jones Dome while mourning the city's loss of the Rams. Sextro and a friend, who ran a St. Louis University High Rams fan club, met outside the stadium Wednesday for a "final tailgate."
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

This commentary was originally posted on St. Louis Public Radio reporter Maria Altman’s Facebook page on January 14, 2016. It was recorded for “St. Louis on the Air” on January 19, 2016. Listen to the radio commentary here:

Some thought on the Rams leaving for L.A.:

State Auditor Nicole Galloway delivered a scathing audit to St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

State Auditor Nicole Galloway has delivered a scathing audit of St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter, contending that the citywide official failed to keep adequate bookkeeping and improperly executed construction contracts to a former employee’s relative.

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Kansas City, is strongly backing efforts to curb cities' ability to take in traffic fine revenue.
Provided by Cleaver's office

Kansas City Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver says there are real commitments from leaders on both sides of the aisle to pass a package of criminal justice reforms this year.

He says one provision will likely require the appointment of a special prosecutor when a grand jury considers indicting a police officer or possibly even a political figure.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

As we reflect on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this Martin Luther King Day, sixth grader Tyrell Survillion finds new personal meaning in King’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Survillion is a student at Cote Brilliant Elementary School in north St. Louis and a participant in Mentor St. Louis, a program of the local chapter of the Boys & Girls Club. His essay is titled “Keep the Dream Alive” and was written when asked to reflect on Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech.
 

Jamie Case, the executive director of Gateway Pet Guardians, plays with Elvira, one of the dogs rescused by her organization.
Caleb Codding for St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement officials and animal welfare agencies say a new animal abuse task force in St. Clair County is working well.

St. Clair County state's attorney Brendan Kelly developed the protocol with the assistance of the Belleville Area Humane Society and Gateway Pet Guardians, a rescue organization that works primarily in East St. Louis and surrounding communities. It was first announced last March.

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