Public Insight Network

Amendment 7
11:34 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

By The Numbers: Expect Lots Of Road Work If Transportation Tax Passes

MoDOT crews continue ongoing construction on a I-64-related project. If Amendment 7 passes, the vast majority of funding statewide and in the St. Louis region will go toward road and bridge work.
Credit Photo courtesy of MoDOT

If Missourians back a transportation sales tax next month, road workers can expect a busy decade. 

That's a key takeaway of a St. Louis Public Radio analysis of a project list approved by the state's Highways and Transportation Commission. It's what will be funded if voters approve a 0.75 percent sales tax increase on Aug. 5.

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The Muny
9:51 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

St. Louis Family Hands Down Legacy Of Muny Enjoyment — And Employment

Sarah Heet working as an usher earlier this season.
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Coming away with a new favorite song is part of the Muny tradition for thousands of St. Louis families. But some families are taking home more than a catchy tune — they’re also leaving with paychecks.

Five members of the Heet family have worked at the Muny as ushers. Two are still on the job. Alex Heet, 21, is a college student in her fifth summer at the Muny. Her sister, Sarah, 18, is ushering for a third year.

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Fourth of July
8:46 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Where Are The Fireworks? We Map Options For Viewing On Independence Day

Credit MJ_07 / Via Flickr

For many, fireworks are a staple part of celebrating the Fourth of July. If watching the night sky light up is part of your holiday tradition, you’re in luck: the St. Louis area hosts several public events.

Tasmyn Front has been living in St. Louis for 12 years. She says that fireworks aren’t the only attraction to consider when deciding on a venue.

“There’s a lot of waiting before the show starts,” said Front. “Ultimately it's only 20 minutes so you want it to be worth the wait.”

Music, food and activities for the kids are standard at most venues.

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St. Louis on the Air
3:50 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

St. Louis Has Fewer Catholics But Does That Signal Decline?

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis
(via Flickr/Scuddr)

Institutional religions are losing members to those who claim to be “unaffiliated,” people who are often religious or spiritual in some way but don’t belong to an institution. Nearly one in five of U.S. adults are “unaffiliated” according to the Pew Research Center.

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Primary Election 2014
10:11 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Five Things You Need To Know About Transportation Tax

Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Missourians will vote Aug. 5 on a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation projects. The proposal — commonly known as the transportation tax — would generate billions of dollars over the next decade to fix roads, repair bridges and improve mass transit. 

The stakes are high. Supporters say Missouri needs more money for its aging transportation infrastructure. With gas tax revenue dwindling and federal funding uncertain, some policymakers see the sales tax as a guaranteed way to fund transportation needs.

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Unaccredited Districts
8:43 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Parents Of Normandy Transfer Students Wait To See If Districts Will Follow Francis Howell’s Lead

From left, Andre', Anandra, BrenNae and SheRon Chaney stand on the porch of their family home in Pasadena Park in north St. Louis County.
Credit Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Anxiety crept through SheRon Chaney when she heard that the Francis Howell School District would no longer accept about 350 transfer students from Normandy who were signed up to continue in the program. 

“Last year we were hopeful, this year we’re fearful,” she said. 

Chaney transferred her middle school aged daughter BrenNae to Maplewood Richmond Heights last year.  And even though Francis Howell’s decision —  made during a closed session of its school board — doesn’t affect her directly, it has Chaney and hundreds of other parents holding their breath.  

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Student Transfers
3:25 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

'What Am I Supposed To Do?' Ask Some Parents In Normandy

The Missouri Board of Education put stricter limits on which students can transfer in the coming school year.
Credit Courtesy Normandy School District

While policy debates and legal battles swirl around the new Normandy school district, Savonna Stacey has a more personal question:

Where can her son attend first grade when the new school year starts?

The Stacey family lives in the Normandy school district, and last summer, Stacey took advantage of the state law that lets students living in unaccredited districts enroll in nearby accredited ones. She enrolled Jonathan in kindergarten in Ritenour.

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Food festival
10:43 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Horseradish Roots Run Deep In The Metro East

Farmer Jeff Heepke stands in a horseradish field near Roxana, Ill. His great-grandfather brought roots from Germany.
(Mary Delach Leonard, St. Louis Public Radio)

There's a pretty good chance that the jar of horseradish you have in the refrigerator has its origins in farms located just across the river from St. Louis.

St. Clair and Madison counties in Illinois produce the lion's share of horseradish in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, just 16 growers in Illinois harvest horseradish from 1,779 acres, accounting for about 60 percent of the nation's horseradish. Nationally, only about 3,100 acres are in horseradish production.

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Marriage Equality
4:00 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

As Illinois Rolls Out Gay Marriage, Edwardsville Couple To Take Advantage

Debbie Dial and Susan Schultz of Edwardsville at a march supporting gay marriage.
Credit / Susan Schultz

Same sex couples in Illinois will be lining up to receive marriage licenses Monday after gay marriage officially became legal across the state Sunday.  

The marriage equality bill that passed in 2013 went into effect June 1, although a judge’s ruling prompted a handful of counties to issue marriage licenses earlier than that.

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Inter-District Transfers
5:10 am
Thu May 22, 2014

For One Family, A Year Of Early Mornings And Long Drives Draws To A Close

From left, Andre', Anandra, BrenNae and SheRon Chaney stand on the porch of their family home in Pasadena Park in north St. Louis County.
Credit / Tim Lloyd, St. Louis Public Radio

 It’s just after 7 a.m., and SheRon Chaney already has her family packed into an SUV and ready for school.

“On a good day like today, I’m hoping it only takes about 35 minutes,” she said.

Leave just a touch later and they could be stuck in traffic for more than an hour. It’s a quirk of St. Louis' commuter culture that Chaney picked up when she decided to transfer her seventh-grade daughter, BrenNae, out of the Normandy School District in favor of Maplewood Richmond Heights.

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