Politics & Issues

Beyond Ferguson
12:03 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Court Orders Better Warning Before Tear Gas; In Tower Grove South, Chief Hears Of Trust Lost

Police chief Sam Dotson addresses Tower Grove South residents at a community meeting on December 12, 2014.
Credit Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order Thursday that requires police to give adequate warning before deploying tear gas at lawful protests and to ensure people have safe exit routes. The ruling came as residents told St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson that the department has a lot to do to regain the trust of the community it is supposed to serve.

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Commentary
9:30 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Editor's Weekly: When Will The Protests End?

Protesters outside the Fox last weekend
Credit Camille Phillips/St. Louis Public Radio

The grand jury has made its decision. Thanksgiving is over. Christmas is approaching. And still, Ferguson-related protests continue.

This week, they materialized outside “Annie” at the Fox, in Jennings and in several other cities. Many St. Louisans are wondering when the unrest will end.

You can’t answer that question without asking others. What do protesters want? Who speaks for them? Who holds the power to solve the problems they raise? None of these perfectly logical questions has an easy answer.

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Politics & Issues
9:11 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Lawsuit Argues St. Louis Taxi Regulators Must Keep Tabs On Horse Carriages

A horse pulls a carriage on Market Street in downtown St. Louis.
Credit Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

An animal rights group is suing the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC), arguing that it has failed to regulate horse-drawn carriages in St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The St. Louis Animal Rights Team (START) filed a petition this month in St. Louis City Circuit Court. It maintains that the MTC must use its authority to ensure public safety and the well-being of the animals, said attorney Jessica Blome.

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Learn English Early
6:13 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Lawful Permanent Residents Explore The Path To Citizenship

Flyers in different languages announcing the event.
Credit Emanuele Berry/St. Louis Public Radio

Tigrinya, Nepali, Somali, Arabic, Vietnamese: These are just some of the languages that clashed as translators relayed information about becoming a U.S. citizens to more than 100 lawful permanent residents. Many of those in attendance at the St. Louis International Institute event were refugees.

The information session covered requirements for becoming a citizen, the application process, classes available at the International Institute to help prepare for the citizenship interview, medical waiver information and success stories.

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Ferguson
4:39 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Joint Committee Prepares To Investigate Nixon's Response In Ferguson

The Missouri General Assembly's Joint Committee on Government Accountability shortly before their meeting.
Credit Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A joint Missouri House and Senate committee is preparing to investigate Gov. Jay Nixon's actions in Ferguson in the aftermath of a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer for fatally shooting 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The committee on governmental accountability met briefly Thursday to appoint chairs and discuss their approach. State Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, said he specifically wants to know why no Missouri National Guard troops were in Ferguson following the grand jury's decision on Nov. 24.

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CityArchRiver Project
2:41 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

'Park Over The Highway' Portion Of Arch Overhaul Reaches Milestone

The completed bottom component of the "park over the highway."
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Deanna Venker of the Missouri Department of Transportation is accustomed to building bridges for cars and trucks.

But MoDOT’s area engineer for the city of St. Louis said constructing the so-called “park over the highway” in front of the Gateway Arch is a bit out of the ordinary.

“This is a very different bridge in the sense that there’s not going to be any cars or trucks going over,” Venker said. “It’s strictly a park over the highway for pedestrians and bicyclists that are coming into the park area.”

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FOCUS
1:09 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Commentary: Bridges Can Help Heal St. Louis; Build Them One Conversation at a Time

Yemi Akande-Bartsch
Credit Provided by FOCUS

In the aftermath of Ferguson, voices in our region have called for many things – for peace, for justice, for dialogue, for answers, for change, for healing. The issues at hand are complex, which makes the call for leadership all that much greater.

Our frustration and sadness over what is still lacking or broken should not overshadow our gratitude for what we do have, or our motivation to make things better for our neighbor and region. One of the ways in which we can begin to do that is to build community and trust, one conversation at a time.

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St. Louis on the Air
1:08 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Criminologist: Homicide Increase Not Related To ‘Ferguson Effect’

Homicides reported in the city of St. Louis, according to Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics, by year, as of Oct. 27, 2014. On Dec. 9, the 2014 total hit 148. There were 120 homicides in 2013, 113 in 2012, 114 in 2011 and 144 in 2010.
Credit Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics / FBI

In 2013, the city of St. Louis recorded 120 homicides. The city’s 148th homicide of 2014 occurred Tuesday night.

That’s nearly a 25 percent year-over-year increase, and is a problem that needs to be investigated, said Richard “Rick” Rosenfeld, a criminal justice professor at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and former president of the American Society of Criminology.

Rosenfeld doesn’t buy into the “Ferguson effect” — the notion that crime increased after the August shooting death of an 18-year-old man by a police officer in Ferguson, at least not in homicide numbers.

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Politically Speaking
12:06 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Politically Speaking: As New Speaker, Diehl Is Big On Business, Not Keen On Tolls

Credit Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

The Politically Speaking podcast team welcomes the man who may be the most powerful legislator in the Missouri Capitol for the next two years: House Speaker-elect John Diehl, R-Town and Country. 

On this, his third appearance on the show, Diehl once again was pithy and candid.

Diehl, 49, is a lawyer and graduate of DeSmet Jesuit High School. He has been in the state House since 2009.

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Politics & Issues
11:53 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Senate Grapples With Racial Disparities In Justice System

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
Credit File photo

This week, the Senate gave final approval to legislation that requires police departments to report the deaths of individuals in police custody. The bill’s passage on Wednesday came one day after witnesses before a subcommittee on human rights also expressed their support for the measure; their testimony illustrated why the legislation is needed. The bill, which passed the House last year at this time, now goes to the president for his signature.     

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