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Politics & Issues

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The Northside-Southside Consulting team presented the results of its ongoing study at the first of three open houses.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Thirty percent of people in the St. Louis region who might rely on a north-south MetroLink route do not have access to a car, according to an ongoing transit study.

The Northside-Southside Consulting Team shared the results of its study and other information Tuesday during an open house at the Five Star Senior Center in the Benton Park West neighborhood of south St. Louis.

A north-south MetroLink route could help more people in St. Louis travel to jobs and spur job development, said Dan Meyers, a senior transportation planner for AECOM, a consulting firm for the rail system.

Eddie Albarran, who is studying photography, took photos of a DACA rally held outside the St. Louis office of U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. on Sept. 6 2017. He spoke at the rally.
Provided | Eddie Albarran

A St. Louis woman from Haiti is among immigrants who are concerned about the future of family members and others without documentation, despite the recent restoration of certain protections.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it is accepting renewal applications from young people seeking protection under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The Obama-era program protects undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. before age 16 and were under the age of 31 when the grant took effect in 2012. President Donald Trump sought to end DACA. A federal judge temporarily blocked that decision this month.

St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas
Alex Heuer I St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jo Mannies welcomes St. Louis County Councilman Ernie Trakas on the program for the first time.

The Republican from south St. Louis County was elected to the 6th District council seat in 2016. He represents a part of largely unincorporated south St. Louis, which means that he makes many of the development and zoning decisions for the area.

stacks of money

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is continuing his pace as one of  Missouri’s top money-raisers among the non-congressional candidates, but Democratic rival Mark Mantovani appears to be edging up fast.

Stenger’s latest campaign-finance report, filed Tuesday, shows that he raised almost $520,000 during the past three months for his re-election bid later this year.  

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, a Republican, raised more money during that same period. Greitens collected close to $630,000 and reported almost $2.8 million in his state campaign committee.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner met with business owners in Edwardsville, Illinois on January 16.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged Tuesday to help small business owners by addressing “punishing” high property taxes and “too many” regulations.

Calling taxes and regulations burdens that drive small businesses to the neighboring states of Missouri and Indiana, Rauner said he wants to curtail them to bring businesses back.

“Every challenge we face in Illinois could be overcome if we have faster economic growth,” Rauner said after speaking to business owners in Edwardsville.

Gov. Eric Greitens sits down for an interview with St. Louis Public Radio in downtown St. Louis on July 17, 2017.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is facing fresh calls for his resignation on Tuesday, this time from Republican lawmakers that haven’t quarreled with the GOP chief executive in the past.

It’s the latest indication that Greitens is in a perilous position after admitting last week that he had an extramarital affair before becoming governor, but denying accusations he took a photo of the woman to keep the infidelity a secret.

Civilian Oversight Board members Ciera Simril (File photo) March 16, 2016
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen may act this year to give the panel that reviews police discipline the authority to issue subpoenas.

A board bill introduced last week has 13 co-sponsors and the support of Mayor Lyda Krewson, but it’s already facing opposition from the St. Louis Police Officers Association.

Joshua Eckhoff, 33, of Ballwin suffered a traumatic brain injury while clearing roadside bombs in Iraq. January 2018 photo
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Joshua Eckhoff of Ballwin smiled as he described posing for pictures at his college graduation in December — and how proud his mother was. Earning that degree is the latest achievement for the Army veteran who suffered a brain injury in Iraq 10 years ago that no one thought he could survive.

On Feb. 6, 2008, as Eckhoff led a convoy searching for roadside bombs, an improvised explosive device pierced the armored vehicle he was riding in and smashed into the right side of his head. His injury was so severe that the Army notified his mother that he had died in combat.

“I call that my ‘alive day,’ ’’ said Eckhoff, 33. “The anniversary of my injury every year, we celebrate it like a birthday.”

Lt. Gov. Mike Parson introduces Greitens before he makes his State of the State address. (Jan 10, 2018)
Tim Bommel I House Communications

Amid a sex scandal that threatens his political future, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has canceled plans to hold an event Tuesday in St. Peters to promote his tax-cut proposal.


Greitens was scheduled to appear at Arrowhead Building Supply, which provides building materials to contractors.

Jabari Blakemore and Anna Murrary Robinson, of the Carnahan High School drum line lead a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march from Wellston to Pine Lawn. Jan. 15, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Almost 50 years after Martin Luther King Jr.'s death, the key focus of area civil rights leaders is to keep the national leader’s legacy — and message — alive for a new generation.

Which helps explain why state Rep. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis, sought to rev up Monday’s annual event at the Old Courthouse to mark King’s birthday. Amid all the songs and speeches, Franks focused on the importance of action.

Frankie Muse Freeman at a gathering of local civil rights activists in 2014
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Jan. 17, 2018 with funeral information

Frankie Freeman’s career as a criminal defense lawyer didn’t last long.

Freeman, who died Friday at age 101, was best known for her work on civil rights, housing and education. But starting out, she took any kind of case she could get.

Should the news media have published a story about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ extramarital affair and his alleged blackmail of a woman?

St. Louis City Hall
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has officially asked Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway to review the city’s spending.

Aldermen on Friday approved the resolution introduced by Alderman Joe Vaccaro, D-23rd Ward and Alderman John Collins-Muhammad, D-21st Ward by a wide margin. It calls for a “comprehensive audit of the City of St. Louis,” including so-called county offices like the treasurer and the circuit attorney.

Gov. Eric Greitens greets guests at his residence after being sworn in on Jan. 9, 2017.
File Photo |Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies talk about Gov. Eric Greitens’ admission of an extramarital affair — and allegations that he blackmailed a woman to prevent her from speaking out.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to reporters after the 2017 adjourned. Greitens didn't have the smoothest relationship with legislators — including Republicans that control both chambers of the Missouri General Assembly.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Eric Greitens used his personal backstory and resume, not alliances with elected officials, to carry him to the Missouri governorship. The Republican made castigating “career politicians” a standard part of his rhetorical pitch — even after the 2016 election season ended.

But as details emerge from a sex scandal that tarnished his image and put his political career in jeopardy, the elected officials Greitens derided aren’t coming to his rescue. Some are twisting the knife.

Sign at a homeless tent encampment on sidewalk in downtown St. Louis on Oct. 26, 2017.
File photo | Chelsea Hoye | St. Louis Public Radio

The head of St. Louis’ Department of Human Services has acknowledged the city is not doing enough to help people who need a temporary place to stay during prolonged cold weather.

“There certainly can be improvements that are made,” Irene Agustin, the Human Services director, told a Board of Aldermen committee on Thursday. “I think that’s important to really figure out how do we best respond more quickly.”

27% of individual Missouri tax refunds were late in 2016
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Thousands of Missourians could receive their income tax refunds late in 2018, if past years are any indication. Based on the Department of Revenue’s current interpretation of state law, taxpayers will receive little if any interest on the delayed payments.

And Missourians have been waiting longer for their refunds each year, according to report by state Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Shula Neuman is the executive editor for St. Louis Public Radio. Dec. 2017
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A few weeks ago, our political reporters caught wind of rumors about Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and an extramarital affair. We pursued the issue, but, without reliable sources to verify the rumors, we felt we couldn’t run the story.

Eric and Sheena Greitens hold their sons, Joshua and Jacob, while speaking to reporters after casting their ballots the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh analyzed the aftermath of Missouri Governor Eric Greitens' 2018 State of the State address. Joining the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio’s statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin, political reporter Jo Mannies and interim political editor Jason Rosenbaum. 

Eric and Sheena Greitens prepare to vote in the Central West End on Nov. 8, 2016.
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ admission late Wednesday that he had an extramarital affair before he was governor bumped his second State of the State address out of the headlines. 

Just after the speech Wednesday evening, Greitens and his wife, Sheena Greitens, issued a statement saying “there was a time when he was unfaithful” in their marriage. The admission came as KMOV-TV prepared to air a report about the affair, featuring the man who said he was the ex-husband of the woman in question.