St. Louis

The Vijay Iyer Trio
Barbara Rigon

Vijay Iyer knows that people come to his concerts with their own ideas about what the music is all about. Some might expect to hear Iyer evoke the great jazz pianists who came before him. Others might expect intricate interpretations of modern pop tunes, or perhaps wonder if he will draw on his Indian American roots.

An example of a safe sleeping practice for infants, without a crib bumper.
National Institutes for Health

A local initiative to prevent infant deaths in St. Louis is recruiting volunteers at a launch event this week. After holding listening sessions with parents throughout the region, Flourish St. Louis has decided that transportation, mental health, and access to prenatal care are some of the main ways they can help prevent infant deaths. “We really need moms, dads, grandparents, people from healthcare but also business, faith communities, funders, government. Anyone who feels that they want to work on any of these issues,” said Kendra Copanas, executive director of Generate Health, formerly the Maternal, Child and Family Health Coalition. In some St. Louis zip codes, the infant mortality rate is more than twice the national average of 5.8 deaths per 1,000. The leading causes of death are congenital malformations, pregnancy complications and disorders related to prematurity or low birth weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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

An attempt by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen to record its discontent with a sitting police chief running for mayor fell short on Friday. The resolution from Alderman Joe Roddy, D-17th Ward, got just 13 of the 15 votes it needs to pass. It calls on St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson to resign if he officially files to run for mayor in November. The chief announced earlier this month he would seek the office, being vacated after 16 years by Mayor Francis Slay.

The chlamydia bacteria, stained and viewed at 500 times.
National Cancer Institute | Dr. Lance Liotta Laboratory

Rates of three common sexually transmitted diseases have risen to a record high level nationwide, and St. Louis continues to rank high among cities, according to federal data released Wednesday. The St. Louis region recorded 14,961 cases of chlamydia in 2015, the 17th highest per-capita rate in the country. Rates of syphyllis stayed relatively steady at just over 400 cases in the metro area. The city of St. Louis, however, measured the highest rate of both chlamydia and gonorrhea among counties and independent cities. “We’ve seen closures of publicly funded STD clinics around the country, and St. Louis is similar in that we have very few options for people to get tested and treated,” said Dr. Brad Stoner, medical director of the St. Louis STD/HIV Prevention Training Center.

Greenwood Cemetery Preservation Association

The St. Louis County Library will explore the disappearance of African-American sites in the region at a presentation tonight. The panel discussion is the third event in the library's "We Are St. Louis” series exploring the nuanced identities of the region’s residents. It will be held at the Lewis & Clark branch in north St. Louis County. The percentage of African-Americans in St. Louis County has largely remained constant at about one fourth of total residents. But vital African-American...

Antonio French 2016 photo
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The race to be the next St. Louis mayor is getting more crowded. A day after St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson jumped in the contest and St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones announced that she had filed paperwork to race money for a mayoral bid , St. Louis Alderman Antonio French revealed he too would seek to succeed St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay.

students celebrate graduation day with flags
Facebook|Mosaic Project

The foreign-born population in the St. Louis area grew by about 9 percent from 2014 to 2015, according to census data collected in the American Community Survey . During that time, the number of immigrants grew to 129,559. St. Louis attracted the highest percentage increase of the nation's top 20 metropolitan areas, beating out New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco.

Niang washes some freshly picked produce before selling it to Saint Louis University.
Kim Oswalt | St. Louis Public Radio

A coalition of food access organizations is surveying city residents to better understand how to encourage more urban agriculture in St. Louis. The effort could lead to an ordinance that will remove some barriers people experience in growing their own food in the city.

Jacqueline Hutchinson, Co-Chair of the St. Louis Equal Housing and Community Reinvestment Alliance SLEHCRA coalition, discussed Tuesday a new report that indicates significant racial and income disparities in home purchase lending in St. Louis.
Wiley Price | The St. Louis American

Amid a long stretch of boarded-up store fronts in the Baden neighborhood, a coalition of equal-housing advocates rallied outside today to decry the mortgage lending disparities in the St. Louis region.

Paul Sableman / Flickr

State and federal law prohibits businesses from discriminating against people based on race, religion, sex, ancestry, or disability. But, denying service based on age is fair game and the St. Louis area boasts dozens of bars and lounges where the minimum for entry is at least 30 years old.

I-64 W traffic highway
Paul Sableman | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1rzN9Hd

Since we launched the Curious Louis project last fall, we’ve received plenty of questions/musings/perplexed cries for answers regarding highways, byways and roadways in St. Louis. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh got answers to some of them by convening a panel of three experts. Representatives from St. Louis City, St. Louis County and the state (MoDOT) joined the show: David Wrone, Public Information Manager, St. Louis County’s departments of Transportation and Public...

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ first Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator plans to start collecting data on bicycle traffic as the city ramps up its efforts to improve alternative modes of transportation. Traffic engineer Jamie Wilson began his new post with Street Department Oct. 5. According to Wilson, his work will rely on existing data provided by the city police department and the new data collected on bicycles to focus investments and improvements where they’re needed most in the city.

The Gateway Foundation had to negotiate for some time with the U.S. Parks Service before it could illuminate the Gateway Arch.
Jan-Erik Finnberg | Flickr

St. Louis, the Gateway City, is also known worldwide as the "Gateway to the West." But before the federal government erected the Gateway Arch 50 years ago this week, some historians say that Kansas City had a strong claim to the title.

flickr | southtyrolean

With ISIL breathing down our necks, and with political shenanigans raining down upon us from ideological thunderheads; with racism and its various crippling spawn bedeviling us; with apparently intractable financial, educational, residential and vocational inequities confronting us; with guns, guns, guns everywhere; with the reality of catastrophic climate metamorphoses; with the rendings of the fabrics of families; with contempt for knowledge: In the face of all of this, how is it that the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra would have the cheek to present to its audiences Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, the Choral Symphony with its “Ode to Joy?”

Provided by Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum has unveiled a 6,000 square-foot exhibit that transports visitors back in time to experience St. Louis in 1875. The exhibit, “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis,” is a replica of Compton & Dry’s 300 square-foot “Pictorial St. Louis” map created in 1874 by Richard Compton, a St. Louis sheet music publisher, and Camille Dry, a mechanical draftsman. “The incredible thing most people notice right away was how dense St. Louis was at that time,” said Andrew Wanko, public...

St. Louis Health Department

The director of the St. Louis City Department of Health, Pam Walker, has announced her retirement after eight years in the position. In that time, she has overseen health initiatives, a citywide, secondhand smoking ban, and major changes in St. Louis’ healthcare landscape — including the closure of Connect Care, a clinic that provided urgent care and specialty appointments to people without insurance. “Pam was one of the people totally on point when ConnectCare closed,” said St. Louis...

Denise Thimes, Peter Martin, at the piano, Chris Thomas and Montez Coleman preform on 'City of Music.' The Nine Network series premieres March 16, 2015
Ray Marklin / Nine Network

In a two-part series, the Nine Network is exploring St. Louis’ musical legacy. “City of Music” will premiere at 7 p.m. Monday, weaving interviews with performances recorded at October’s “250 Years of St. Louis Music: American Music at its Best” at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Performances by Peter Martin, Denise Thimes , Kim Massie , Billy Peak and more illustrate specific musical genres from St. Louis’ past and present. St. Louis’ musical contributions reach beyond St. Louis, said Patrick...

The Missouri History Museum is collecting postcards for a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years, for St. Louis' 300th anniversary.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ 250th anniversary celebration is wrapping up, and the city starts its 251st year this weekend. While the 250th anniversary may have lacked the over-the-top pomp and circumstance of previous anniversaries, Cakeway to the West was a hit. Two hundred fifty-six cake sculptures, each 4 feet tall, were decorated by artists and scattered throughout the St. Louis region. “It was just really neat to see not only people’s pictures and experiences, but to hear them talking about new places...

Jeff Rainford, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's chief of staff, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 26, 2015, at St. Louis Pubilc Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Jeff Rainford, St. Louis’ longest-serving chief of staff who has defended and helped shape St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s agenda for nearly 15 years, is leaving City Hall. “It really comes down to this: I’m 55. I’ve got time for one more career, and I decided I wanted to have one more career,” Rainford told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Monday. “I have loved this job. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Mayor Slay and the people of St. Louis. The job is exhilarating, but...

From  left, Stephanie Lecci, Willis Ryder Arnold, Emanuele Berry, Durrie Bouscaren. Wayne Pratt was not available for this photo.
St. Louis Public Radio

This summer, the newsroom of St. Louis Public Radio hired five people who had never lived in St. Louis. As 2014 draws to a close, we asked each to reflect on what they've discovered in their five months here. News producer Stephanie Lecci has been surprised by crime and race relations while also finding hope. Reporter Emanuele Berry, who was brought in on a fellowship focusing on race, culture and diversity, has had unexpected questions about race and Ferguson thrown her way. Reporter Willis...

via Burned Recover Support Group

The Missouri Children’s Burn Camp, which recently finished its 18th year, has all the activities you’d expect: swimming and boating, archery, and arts and crafts. But its campers are all burn survivors, and this camp has a hidden agenda. “The whole idea of burn camp is, yeah, take the kids to have a good time, but what they don’t realize: It’s a weeklong support group,” said Gary Hansen, a burn survivor and president of Burns Recovered Support Group’s board of directors. “They’re there with...

Fred Fausz
University of Missouri–St. Louis

St. Louis founder Auguste Chouteau set out with a simple goal: he wanted to build one of the nation’s finest cities. Historian Fred Fausz believes St. Louis is living up to that goal. “I think the vibrancy of the city, the spirit of the city is still here, even if you have to include 90 other communities because we’ve created a metro area,” said Fausz, a University of Missouri–St. Louis associate history professor whose new book explores the area’s history, “Historic St. Louis: 250 Years...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - From the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition 100 years later, Western culture flourished in the Gateway City. The Industrial Revolution of the 19th century made St. Louis a rich place. And the opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 changed St. Louis’ geography, making it a Pacific as well as an Atlantic port city. Moreover, St. Louis’ factories and businesses helped to make the United States a great power.

(Courtesy: John Waide, University Archivist, Saint Louis University)

The mattress began to shake. Arms and legs flailing. For hours he fluctuated between frenzy and calm. The following phrases describe an exorcism that took place in March and April of 1949. A cadre of Jesuit priests affiliated with Saint Louis University, led by Father William S. Bowdern, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, undertook the exorcism of a 14-year-old boy. They took turns praying over the boy, working to cast out the demon believed to have possessed him. This real life...

via Flickr/KellyB.

The unemployment rate in the St. Louis area remained slightly below the national average in May, but a local economics professor says the story behind that number isn’t good news. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the non-adjusted data today. That means it does not take into account predictable seasonal changes. The 7 percent unemployment rate for the St. Louis area is an improvement from May 2012, and far below the peak unemployment rate of 10.4 percent in 2009. But the rate is...

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4:50 p.m. with comments from the treasurer. Take some quarters with you if you're going downtown on Saturdays starting July 1. St. Louis city treasurer Tishaura Jones announced today that the parking division, which she oversees, will begin enforcing expired meter violations on July 1. That means drivers will have to feed the meters between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. Current policy allows for two hours at the meters for free - a throwback, Jones believes, to the days when downtown was a...

(via Flickr/United Way of Greater St. Louis)

The caretakers of one of the oldest black cemeteries in St. Louis are hoping to get 300 people to converge on the property in North County tomorrow to help with the ongoing restoration efforts. The Friends of Greenwood Cemetery Association does these clean-up days several times a year, and historian Etta Daniels says they've helped clear about half of the 32-acre cemetery in the last 13 years. This year, they'll tackle a 10-12 acre section that needs some TLC. "With all the rain that we’ve...

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the quest to make a campaign issue out of what would normally be a routine consulting contract for St. Louis, the very real needs of the water division that prompted the city to issue a call for help are being overshadowed. Instead of meeting the city's needs, unsubstantiated allegations are trying to tarnish the reputation of the company that was selected to help. That's not good for ratepayers.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis: As St. Louis grapples with its urban revival, the focus should be on building a sustainable city for tomorrow and not about recapturing the past, suggests a researcher at the Brookings Institution who will speak at a symposium Friday sponsored by the Saint Louis University Law School. "One of the things St. Louis has to do is have a serious conversation that recognizes that it will be a smaller city with a demographic mix that is different than it was originally built to accommodate,’’ said Alan Mallach , a non-resident senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution and a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Local dignitaries and politicians filled the rotunda of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis on Monday for the city's 44th annual celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The city's celebration is the second-oldest in the country, behind only Atlanta. In addition to celebrating the slain civil rights leader, who would have been 83 on January 15th, most speakers also rejoiced in the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, who took the oath of office in Washington, DC as the...

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