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Politics & Issues

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File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Court of Appeals has ruled that the electric car maker Tesla can be granted a license to sell cars in the state.

A three-judge panel ruled Tuesday that the association representing Missouri car dealers did not have the right to sue Tesla, and dismissed the case. The ruling means Tesla can apply to renew licenses for its two Missouri stores, and potentially expand across the state.

provided by the CDC

Missouri and 12 other states are continuing their legal fight against California over a state law there that plaintiffs say is inflating the price of eggs.

California law requires any eggs sold there to come from chickens whose cages are large enough for them to stretch out and move around. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

The interior of the Scottrade Center on Jan. 2, 2017.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:10 p.m. Dec. 4 with comment from Green — St. Louis comptroller Darlene Green has decided to follow a judge’s order to issue $100 million in bonds to upgrade the Scottrade Center.

Green said in a statement that she has complied with the court ruling, and signed the required documents. But a spokesman said the bonds had not yet been issued, and Green may still appeal the ruling. Also on Monday, her attorney filed documents asking the judge to change the ruling.

Sarah Durrett - Combat Sexual Harassment
Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

When Sarah Durrett’s car broke down in 2013, she started walking and taking public transportation for daily tasks in St. Louis — and was surprised to find herself experiencing regular sexual harassment for the first time in her life.

Some men followed her home, and others whispered lewd comments. One man tried to grab her feet and kiss them. Durrett worried that even an off-kilter look could escalate to something scarier. “You don’t really know what to expect,” she said. “You just become afraid.”

So Durrett began considering ways to challenge sexual harassment in St. Louis. After living elsewhere for a few years, she moved back to St. Louis in 2017 and decided to forgo her car, only to once again experience harassment. That’s when she focused on her ideas to start Combat Sexual Harassment, a network to help women and men who have had similar experiences.

An illustration of a group of four people sitting around a table.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen last week took a big step toward adopting one of the recommendations in the Ferguson Commission report.

By approving the Office of Community Mediation on a 26-0 vote, the city is embracing the idea that with a little help, communities can handle some disputes on their own, rather than relying on the police or the judicial system.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his remarks to a crowd of invited guests in St. Charles, Missouri on November 29, 2017.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we went Behind the Headlines on the presidential visit of Donald Trump to St. Charles this week. Joining the program for the discussion was Jo Mannies, political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio. She’s covered numerous presidential visits to the St. Louis area, dating back to Jimmy Carter.

Mannies noted key moments that happened during Trump’s visit and how attendees reacted to the presence of the press. She also shared a memorable experience when she covered President Bill Clinton.

Listen to the full discussion:

 

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his remarks to a crowd of invited guests in St. Charles, Missouri on November 29, 2017.
Brit Hanson | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we went Behind the Headlines on the visit of President Donald Trump to St. Charles this week. While presidential visits are a source of pride for a community, they can also be disruptive.

Lt. Chad Fisk with the St. Charles Police Department joined host Don Marsh to give insight on how the department prepared for the visit.

Fisk said the department worked with other local and state law enforcement agencies to develop strategies to deal with demonstrators and ensure a safe outcome for the event. 

Provided | Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Missouri’s education commissioner could soon be out of the job after a State Board of Education member resigned — and a judge refused to reinstall a Joplin pastor to his slot.

Claudia Oñate Greim resigned from the state board on Thursday night, less than a day before members are slated to meet. Greim was the only person who Gov. Eric Greitens appointed who voted earlier this month against firing Missouri Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven.

PROMO representatives Steph Perkins (left)  and Katie Stuckenschneider (right)  talk about visability of transgender and non-binary people in the media.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

According to a study by the Williams Institute, more than 1.4 million people in the United States now identify as non-binary and are gender fluid. But quite often, transgender people are misidentified in news stories and police reports.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his remarks to a crowd of invited guests in St. Charles, Missouri on November 29, 2017.
Kae Petrin I St. Louis Public Radio

President Donald Trump made grand promises Wednesday that a pending federal tax overhaul will bring jobs back to "Main Street America'' by revamping a "dysfunctional'' tax system and providing tax cuts for working families.

He told a packed audience at the St. Charles Convention Center that only Democrats like Missouri's U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill stood in the way of a more prosperous future.  The president portrayed McCaskill, a former prosecutor, as a tax-cut opponent who is "weak on crime,  weak on the border, weak on the military."

Edwin Tse

While Gold Star parent Khzir Khan talked with host Don Marsh on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, locals prepared for President Donald Trump’s visit to St. Charles.

At the 2016 Democratic Convention, Khan called out Donald Trump, the then Republican candidate, for his statements about Muslims. Khan pulled out a copy of the Constitution from his jacket pocket and offered to lend it to Donald Trump.

Supporters and opponents of President Donald Trump clashed for several hours outside of the St. Charles Convention Center where he spoke Wednesday afternoon. Police intervened several times.  11/29/17
Brit Hanson | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 3:45 p.m. — Hours before President Donald Trump was expected to call for changes to the federal tax code that he claims will boost the nation’s economy, protesters gathered outside of the St. Charles Convention Center.

Nearly 100 people who oppose the president and his policies held signs that read “LIAR” and chanted slogans like “Save America, Impeach Trump.” There were clashes between people who came to support the president and those who oppose him.

But the dominant message on St. Charles streets was that Trump’s presidency has been bad for the nation, particularly members of minority groups.

Lamya Orr tries to greet a friend who is inside the Workhouse while standing outside the gate with his children and their mother.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Since Thomas Harvey helped start ArchCity Defenders in 2009, he has delivered legal representation to homeless and working poor people throughout St. Louis. But now, Harvey is taking part in a nationwide effort that could get tens of thousands of people out of jail while they await a trial.

Harvey is relocating to Los Angeles to take a position with the Bail Project, which is seeking to pay the bails of roughly 160,000 people over the next few years. The organization plans to set up operations in 40 cities, including St. Louis. Harvey says the work will change lives and communities — and provide momentum to an existing activist movement to end cash bail.

Bob McCulloch is sworn in for another term as St. Louis County Prosecutor in 2015.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated Thursday, Nov. 30 with new comments from McCulloch:

 

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch blames “political vindictiveness’’ for the County Council’s decision to get rid of a pension increase for his job that it had approved last year.

Council Chairman Sam Page says the issue is fairness.

 

File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A retired pastor and current chaplain for the Joplin police and fire departments is suing Gov. Eric Greitens for removing him from Missouri's State Board of Education.

The Republican governor appointed Tim Sumners this month. Greitens withdrew the appointment the day before a closed-door meeting last week, the purpose of which was to consider a removing state Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven.

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

As President Donald Trump makes a pitch Wednesday for a federal tax overhaul, he plans to cast the city of St. Charles as an example of the “Main Street economy’’ he wants to help flourish across the country.

That’s the word from senior White House officials, who briefed regional reporters ahead of time on Trump’s key topics during an address Wednesday afternoon at the St. Charles Convention Center.

 The final forum co-hosted by St. Louis Public Radio was held before an audience on Nov. 16 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville to adress the budget crisis in Illinois.
Nice Bogdanovich

NPR Illinois (WUIS) in Springfield hosted a series of public forums in 11 locations around the state to address the continuing fallout over the budget impasse in Illinois.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we aired excerpts of the final forum co-hosted by St. Louis Public Radio to take a look at the issues and how the state can move forward. It was held before an audience on Nov. 16 at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

The panel was moderated by WUIS news director Sean Crawford and included:

James Fisher, a professor of marketing at Saint Louis University, said economic boycotts can be effective.  Nov. 21, 2017
Marissanne Lewis-Thompson | St. Louis Public Radio

While protests continue since the Sept. 15 verdict in the Jason Stockley case, activists have also launched an economic boycott in St. Louis. They said it’s in response to the treatment of African-Americans, who they believe are disproportionately experiencing economic and social disparities.

Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome St. Louis Alderwoman Sarah Martin onto the show for the first time.

Martin represents St. Louis’ 11th Ward, which takes in parts of the Boulevard Heights, Holly Hills, Patch, Mount Pleasant and Carondelet neighborhoods. It’s also home to the Carondelet YMCA, which Martin affectionately nicknamed the “South City Country Club."

Donald Trump leaves the stage after a March 2016 speech at the Peabody Opera House.
File photo I Bill Greenblatt | UPI

President Donald Trump will promote federal tax cuts on Wednesday during an afternoon event at the St. Charles Convention Center.

This will be his first visit to the St. Louis area – and his second to Missouri — since taking office almost a year ago.

Steve Conway, who represented St. Louis' 8th Ward for 27 years, resigned Monday to become the city assessor.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:25 p.m. Nov. 27 with comments from Conway — A 27-year veteran of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen has resigned to become the city’s assessor.

Krewson’s office announced Monday morning that Alderman Steve Conway, D-8th Ward, would replace St. Louis assessor Freddie Dunlap, who recently retired. The assessor determines property values in the city.

Flo Groberg was awarded the Medal of Honor in 2015 and is the author of the new book, "8 Seconds of Courage."
(Courtesy of the publisher)

Host Don Marsh talked with retired U.S. Army Captain Florent “Flo” Groberg, a recipient of the Medal of Honor and author of the new book, “8 Seconds of Courage: A Soldier’s Story from Immigrant to the Medal of Honor.”

The discussion was recorded on Tuesday, November 21 in the Community Room at UMSL at Grand Center, the home of St. Louis Public Radio and will air on Friday, November 24 at noon and 10 p.m.

Benjamin Moore of Fontbonne University holds a book with photos of Muslims who lost their lives during the Bosnian War. Moore runs the Bosnia Memory Project.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

The guilty verdict on Wednesday of genocide and other war crimes against Ratko Mladic is reverberating throughout the world and particularly, within the Bosnian community in St. Louis.

About 70,000 Bosnians live in the St. Louis area. That’s the largest concentration of Bosnians anywhere in the world outside of Bosnia.

Updated at 8 a.m. ET

After a 5 1/2-year trial, the former Bosnian Serb military commander blamed for orchestrating the murders of thousands of ethnic Muslims has learned his own fate.

Frankie Freeman, family, and bronze statue. November 2017.
Kae M. Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

More than half a century ago, civil rights attorney Frankie Muse Freeman became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. At that point, she’d already opened her own private legal practice and helped end legal segregation of public housing in St. Louis.

Since that momentous day in 1964, she has continued to fight for civil and human rights. At 100, she’s still active in civic affairs.

On Tuesday, the St. Louis City chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People dedicated a bronze statue in her honor at Broadway and Chestnut Street, near the Old Courthouse.

Melanie Adams (L) and Amanda Doyle (R) are the authors of the new book, "Standing Up for Civil Rights in St. Louis."
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

A new book designed for upper elementary students shares the stories of ordinary men and women in St. Louis who fought for equal rights.

Amanda Doyle and Melanie Adams are the authors of “Standing Up for Civil Rights in St. Louis,” a publication of the Missouri History Museum Press.

“I really look at this book as our opportunity to educate the next generation on civil rights history,” Adams said.

Adams previously worked at the Missouri History Museum though now works for the Minnesota Historical Society.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has set March 20, 2018, as the execution date for a Cape Girardeau man who shot and killed a romantic rival in 1996.

Russell Bucklew, 49, had previously been scheduled to die in 2014. But days before the execution date, he sued in federal court, arguing that he has a medical condition making lethal injection cruel and unusual punishment. The U.S. Supreme Court halted the execution so the case could heard through the legal system.

A feral cat recovers after being neutered during a day-long clinic sponsored by the city of St. Louis, Operation Stop Pet Overpopulation and St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach. Volunteers cover the cages of the feral cats to calm them.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Linda Braboy explained her method for trapping feral cats, as she pushed her walker down an alley near Fairground Park on a chilly November Saturday.

She uses the wheeled walker to help her get around, but it also comes in handy for this mission. She has stuffed the pouch with cat food and stacked a couple of wire traps on top.

Congressman John Shimkus, November 2017
Jason Rosenbaum I 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 U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show for the third time.

Shimkus is a Collinsville Republican who was first elected to the U.S. House in 1996. He represents the enormous and heavily Republican 15th congressional district, which encompasses a big chunk of southern Illinois. In fact, since redistricting went into effect in 2012, Shimkus says his district appears to be the largest – area-wise – of any district east of the Mississippi River.

Attorneys Michael-John Voss, Bill Freivogel and Mark Smith joined host Don Marsh as part of our monthly Legal Roundtable.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three legal experts about some of the latest issues of local interest pertaining to the law.

Joining him for the discussion were:

  • William Freivogel, J.D., Professor, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
  • Mark Smith, J.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Students, Washington University
  • Michael-John Voss, J.D., Co-Founder, Director of Operations, ArchCity Defenders, Inc.

Topics addressed by the panel include:

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