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St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch speaks at a forum about policing post-Ferguson at Saint Louis University School of Law on Feb. 20, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

Nearly everyone agrees the grand jury that investigated the August 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown was "unusual."

The jurors started hearing the case before police had finished their investigation. Officer Darren Wilson testified. And after jurors declined to indict Wilson, prosecutor Bob McCulloch made the evidence public.

But is "unusual" shorthand for "failed to do his job as prosecutor?" A group of activists contend yes, and want a special prosecutor to investigate the way McCulloch handled the case.

Activists continue to demonstrate against city attorney Stephanie Karr as a police vehicle idles in front of them near Karr's home on Wesley Avenue Monday evening.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

People calling for the ouster of Ferguson city attorney Stephanie Karr chanted and carried signs in a protest that wound its way from the police department to Karr’s house Monday evening.

It was the very first day on the job for new police chief Delrish Moss. But it wasn't the first time Karr has been the subject of controversy.

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

When Delrish Moss saw the turmoil and chaos unfold in Ferguson, it hit close to home.

Before he was sworn in on Monday as Ferguson’s top law enforcement officer, Moss spent several decades in the Miami Police Department. He said the unrest that followed Michael Brown’s death was reminiscent of what he’s witnessed firsthand in Miami.

StanJourdan | Flickr

For now, it’s all over but the counting. The Missouri Secretary of State’s office will be busy the next few weeks determining whether five initiative-petition proposals collected enough valid signatures to get on the state’s August or November ballot.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Barring another sex scandal, the Missouri General Assembly could be facing a low-key final week.

The thinner-than-usual final schedule reflects, in part, legislators' success this year — and last — in passing the state's bloc of budget bills early. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was required to approve or veto by last Friday the state's planned spending for the fiscal year that begins July 1. He only used his line-item veto on two items on Friday; lawmakers overrode last week his earlier veto of their new school-funding formula.

Marshall Griffin|St. Louis Public Radio

The rest of Missouri's budget for the next fiscal year has been signed into law.

Last week, Gov. Jay Nixon signed the budget bill for the Department of Higher Education into law, and on Thursday he signed into law the budget bill for the departments of Mental Health and Health and Senior Services. On Friday, he sign the remaining budget bills into law.

Aldermen Joe Vaccaro (rear standing) and Shane Cohn (front standing) debate the minimum wage increase on July 20, 2015.
Sarah Kellogg | St. Louis Public Radio intern | File photo

The introduction of honored guests is a weekly ritual at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

Residents of the city's 28 wards are welcomed to the chambers, and allowed to sit on the floor rather than up in the gallery. But more often than not, most of the honored guests would be considered lobbyists.

A group of younger aldermen wants to make the weekly welcomes take a lot less time by banning lobbyists from the floor of the Board while they are in session — "if for any reason at all, optics," said Alderman Megan-Elliya Green, D-15th Ward.

La'Shieka White talks about the lawsuit involving her son, Edmund Lee, on May 4, 2016. Attorney Joshua Thompson is at left.
Dale Singer | 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.

This week, we discussed the end of the Missouri legislative session, race-based transfers, and what’s going on with Missouri Democrats and Republicans as conventions near and Donald Trump is the de facto GOP nominee.

Joining us:

Jason Rosenbaum|St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House has passed a proposed constitutional amendment that would grant so-called "personhood" status to unborn fetuses at every stage of development.

House Joint Resolution 98, if added to the state constitution, would extend the rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" to the unborn.  It's sponsored by representative Mike Moon, R-Ash Grove.

Bev Randles
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 welcome lieutenant governor hopeful Bev Randles to the show.

The Kansas City Republican is one of four major candidates from both parties seeking the statewide office, which is being vacated by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. Randles is squaring off against state Sen. Mike Parson in the GOP primary, while former U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan and state Rep. Tommie Pierson are seeking the Democratic nomination.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's proposal would impliment minimum standards for police departments to follow. If they don't meet those benchmarks, Stenger's office could effectively disband departments.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A judge has thrown out a St. Louis County ordinance that requires municipal police departments to adhere to certain standards.

It’s a temporary blow to a big priority for St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, who pushed the law as a way to bolster confidence in public safety throughout the county.

The Missouri House in session on March 17, 2015.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

House members, on Wednesday, overturned Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of House Bill 1891, the so-called paycheck protection bill, which would bar public employee labor unions from withholding dues from workers’ checks without their written permission.

Republican Presidential candidate Dontald 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.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Just days after Ted Cruz’s Missouri backers scored local victories over Donald Trump, the Cruz camp is mulling its next move now that Cruz has dropped out as a presidential candidate.

But Missouri congresswoman Ann Wagner, a Republican from Ballwin who had backed Cruz, is mincing no words about Trump – who she is not ready to endorse.

“I have no intention of supporting Hillary Clinton, now or ever,” Wagner said in an exclusive interview. “However, I’m like any other voter. A candidate has to earn my vote. And thus far, Donald Trump has not.”

The Missouri Capitol Building at dusk
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Several high priority bills moved forward as lawmakers work to push their agendas over the last remaining hurdles before Friday the 13th arrives — which this year happens to be the final day of the 2016 legislative session.

Here's a quick rundown of what got accomplished Tuesday.

Rescue crews from the Monarch Fire Protection District work at the scene of a motor vehicle accident on May 3, 2016.
Monarch Fire Protection District | Facebook

In 2011, the members of the Monarch Fire Protection District board and representatives from the International Association of Firefighters Local 2655 sat down and negotiated a three-year contract that would expire in December 2013. It included the following "evergreen" clause: "This agreement shall remain in effect during good faith negotiations, and shall continue to remain in full force and effect until until such time as a new agreement is agreed upon." 

By 2013, when the terms were set to expire, the make-up of the board had become more anti-union. Its members sued, saying that evergreen clause improperly binds the board into a contract with no end date. A previous legislative body, the board argued, cannot force a new legislative body to agree to a contract it didn't sign. A St. Louis County judge said it was wrong.

Mike Colona
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome back state Rep. Mike Colona to the program. The St. Louis Democrat was a guest on the show back in 2013.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

In the midst of a re-election campaign, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., says he won’t be attending this summer’s Republican presidential nominating convention in Cleveland.

Blunt has attended most presidential conventions during his congressional career, although he notes that his visits have usually been only for a day or two. His decision to skip this one entirely, he says, has nothing to do with the party’s turmoil over its likely nominee, Donald Trump – nor his heated fall contest against Democrat Jason Kander.

Voting booths
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Democrats in the Missouri Senate have ended their filibuster of a proposal to require photo identification at the polls.

House Bill 1631 was changed to allow voters without a photo ID to cast a regular ballot if they sign a statement, under penalty of perjury, that they are who they say they are. They would also have to present some other form of ID, such as a utility bill.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at the St. Louis Public Radio offices on April 29, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Portions of the audio interview have been reserved for use in a future segment.

After Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was re-elected in 2012, he said one of the first things he did was go to his father’s home in Arkansas and read a full history of all 54 governors that came before him. He thought he should figure out what he could really do to make a difference in his last term.

However, what he learned then has also impacted his approach to his last months in office and what comes next — Nixon said he will not run for another elected office.

“A couple of things became clear for me: oftentimes you find history but many times, history finds you,” Nixon told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “And so, I want to live my life in a way that if there are other opportunities to serve, I won’t do things to diminish my ability to do so, but I think my next step will be one where history finds me.”

Cheryl Roberts makes her case to become a Democratic delegate for Hillary Clinton. Last week, Democrats and Republicans chose delegates for their national conventions.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

With all the focus on the results of primaries and caucuses lately, it’s easy to forget that it’s the delegates — not the voters — who are directly responsible for nominating a president.

Heck, it wasn’t too long ago that being a delegate was more than just a ceremonial honor — it was an invitation to change the course of history. For instance: Venerable Pike County legend Champ Clark looked like the person to beat going into the 1912 Democratic National Convention, only to have that dastardly Woodrow Wilson swipe it away. If not for delegates, Harry S Truman would have been the second Missourian to be president.

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