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St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch discussing the grand jury decision on November 24, 2014.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Second of two articles - Last fall, after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson grand jury was exhibit A among those pushing for grand jury reform and for special prosecutors in police shooting cases.

Karen Aroesty and Dan Isom joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

  

There have been many suggestions on improving policing in our region since the unrest in Ferguson. One of the issues that has come to light is the need for changes in police training, specifically diversity training.

UMSL criminology professor and former St. Louis police chief Dan Isom, and Anti-Defamation League director Karen Aroesty joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to talk about issues with police training including the latest recommendations from the Ferguson Commission.

Flickr

In response to the unrest in Ferguson last year, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is unveiling a bill to impose more control and restrictions on the equipment and money that federal law-enforcement agencies provide to local police departments.

“The bottom line is, this equipment saves lives, but these programs need reform,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees, in a conference call Thursday with reporters. “And that’s exactly what this bill would do.”

Colleen Wasinger
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome St. Louis County Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger to the show.

The Huntleigh Republican has represented the council’s 3rd District since 2007. The area includes such municipalities as Kirkwood, Manchester, Fenton, Sunset Hills, Frontenac and Valley Park.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 6:14 p.m. May 7 with comments from Gov. Jay Nixon and House Speaker John Diehl - Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon the first bill of the 2015 legislative session that deals with the fallout from last year’s unrest in Ferguson.  The House passed Senate Bill 5 today, 134-25, after the Senate overwhelmingly approved it Wednesday night.

plastic bags
Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

Cities would be unable to ban the use of plastic bags under a bill passed by the Missouri Legislature on Wednesday. The bill, House Bill 722, also bans local municipalities from enacting ordinances that would require businesses to provide employee benefits that "exceed the requirements of federal or state laws, rules or regulaions."

300 pixel elderly health care
NIH website

Technology is extending the amount of time aging Americans can live in the familiar surroundings of their own home, rather than be placed in a care facility. Marjorie Skubic, director of the University of Missouri’s Center for Eldercare and Rehabilitation Technology, told members of the Senate Special Committee on Aging Wednesday, about an automated in-home health monitoring system that may allow seniors to stay in their own homes for nearly two years longer than they might otherwise be able to.

Terrell Carter

Since the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and the subsequent community unrest, dialogue about racial division in the St. Louis area became a frequent topic. Additionally, many people vowed to come together and address the apparent ‘invisible line’ separating black and white residents in the region.

Updated 5 p.m., Wed., May 6 -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon had harsh words for the General Assembly’s action to override his veto of a bill that shortens the period for low-income families to receive welfare benefits. The bill also imposes new work requirements.

During a stop in St. Louis, the governor said he didn't object to changing the work requirements. But he did object to the way it was done, which his administration says will result in about 6,500 children getting knocked off the state's welfare rolls.

"You don't move the state forward by taking benefits away from 6,500 kids,'' Nixon said. He explained that there were ways, such as a "protected payee program" that would have penalized the parents, but not the children.

"What did a 5-year-old do wrong?" he asked. "There were a lot of ways where kids didn't have to suffer here."

Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby of Baltimore, left, and Robert MCCulloch of St. Louis County
Official Photo and Bill Greenblatt | UPI

First of two reports — A change may be underway in the prosecution of police brutality cases, with prosecutors moving more quickly to charge officers when they have strong evidence, experts say.

After two long-running grand juries in Ferguson and Staten Island, N.Y., decided not to indict officers in high-visibility cases, authorities in North Charleston, S.C.; Tulsa, Okla., and Baltimore moved rapidly to charge officers in the deaths of Walter Scott, Eric Harris and Freddie Gray, respectively.

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