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St. Louis

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.

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.

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 Exploring New Frontiers.” “It is a truly vibrant city as the founders envisioned.”

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.

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.

(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.

(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.

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 proceedings took place.

Jason Van Eaton, Kit Bond Strategies

Missouri and St. Louis-area leaders are wrapping up a trade mission to China this week designed to revive the so-called China Hub project.

Brad Blackburn

Songbird Café is a local St. Louis production which features songwriters playing and sharing stories about their own music and an audience intent on listening in an intimate environment.

Steve St. Cyr, a recently retired accountant, is the organizer and producer of Songbird Café, which for the past year, takes place at the Focal Point in Maplewood on an almost monthly basis.

St. Cyr got the inspiration for his project from the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee – a listening room which has launched the career of several well-known music artists.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday, St. Louisans will once again be asked if they want to make a major change to the structure of government in the city.  

Proposition R would cut the size of the Board of Aldermen in half following the next census. The board itself put the measure on the ballot in July, just before taking a break for the summer, and the campaign in the midst of an already crowded election season began in earnest in September.

Several public defender offices around the state have notified courts they will not be taking cases beyond their maximum caseload this month.

The 18 offices around Missouri include ones in St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson City and Springfield.

In St. Louis instead of turning away all cases public defenders met with the 22ndCircuit Court and the Circuit Attorney’s office to craft a different solution.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Mayors from 19 cities and towns are in St. Louis this week to launch a new initiative aimed at bringing greater attention to issues affecting the Mississippi River.

A total of 41 mayors, so far, have formally agreed to the partnership, which is set to begin lobbying congress in March of next year.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said mutual interests trump party politics.

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

A new ordinance could offer struggling St. Louis City homeowners an option to help avoid foreclosure.

The program would extend a loan mediation process to any homeowner who requests it from their bank, just like the one passed two weeks ago in St. Louis County. Ignoring this request would cost a lender a $500 fine.

But, banks claim the laws violate state statutes prohibiting government intervention into the foreclosure process.  They say it would mean fewer loans and increased costs.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay disagrees.

(via Vimeo/Anastasis Films)

A fun video from St. Louis-based Anastasis Films has been making the rounds on social media today. Is your favorite St. Louis spot highlighted? What would be in your 'Here is St. Louis' video?

Check out the video:

Gun crimes increasing problem for St. Louis police

Aug 27, 2012
Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Seeking to reassure the public that St. Louis City is taking action to curb a recent spate of gun-related crime, City Hall announced on Monday several measures designed to target problem neighborhoods.

Police Chief Dan Isom has isolated 12 focus neighborhoods, 8 of which are located in North St. Louis, 2 in central city and 2 in the south.

Starting last weekend Isom says he is also shifting work schedules to move officers from day to evening patrol.

Former St. Louis corrections commissioner Gene Stubblefield and his attorney at a 2011 hearing of the city's public safety committee
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis city Civil Service Commission has upheld the dismissal of former city corrections commissioner Gene Stubblefield.

rcbodden / Flickr

Updated 9:15 a.m. August 9:

St. Louis County confirmed its fourth heat-related death of the summer today.

A son discovered the victim, a 76-year-old Lemay man, on July 10. The cause of death was certified on Wednesday.

The victim lived in the 700 block of Military Rd. The brick house had no central air conditioning, and a window unit was not working. The temperature inside the home was estimated to be between 90 and 95 degrees.

Extreme heat not expected to let up any time soon

Jun 29, 2012
Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio

Oppressive heat and triple-digit temperatures continue to blanket the Midwest from Ohio, down through drought-plagued Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

With high temperature records being surpassed left and right the National Weather Service is forecasting St. Louis will reach 108 degrees for the second day in a row.

The hot temperatures and dry conditions are particularly hard on those whose jobs involve being outside.

Aaron Angst installs siding and rain gutters, hard work he says, especially when completely exposed to the sun.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri lawmakers have approved legislation that would allow residents in the St. Louis area to vote on whether to raise a local sales tax to help fund improvements at the Gateway Arch.

The measure would allow a local election on a 3/16 percent sales tax. Part of the money would go to the Gateway Arch, and a portion would go to local parks. It also would allow voters in the Kansas City area to decide on a 1/10th percent sales tax for parks, trails and greenways in Jackson County.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Missouri House committee has unanimously passed a bill that would make cuts to firefighter pensions in St. Louis, but not before committee members made a few changes to the legislation.

New St. Louis firefighters would pay in 9 percent of their salaries, instead of 8 percent as originally proposed, and applicants would have to disclose any pre-existing injuries and conditions before being hired.  New hires would still get back 25 percent of what they pay in as originally proposed.  It’s sponsored by State Rep. Mike Leara (R, Sunset Hills).

(via Flickr/Jack W. Reid)

March’s average temperature in St. Louis this year is almost 15 degrees above normal. If the forecast holds true tomorrow, St. Louis’s unusually high temperatures will make this the warmest March on record.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Mark Britt says the average temperature this month will be almost 61 degrees.

“The previous record of 1910 was only about 57.5 so that’s a considerable breaking of the record,” he said.  

(via Flickr/ScottSpaeth)

The city of St. Louis will spend the next two years documenting and researching area buildings that went up during the post-World War II construction boom.

Flickr/Just Arrived

Get the most recent watches and warnings for Illinois here, and for Missouri here.

(via Flickr/functoruser)

Updated at 9:50 a.m. Wednesday with copy of Judge Neill's order.

Updated at 9:15 p.m. Tuesday  with comments from the city.

Updated at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday with comments from plaintiff's attorney, more information on the ruling.

A St. Louis circuit court judge has ruled that the city's red light camera ordinance is both unconstitutional and violates state law.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri is challenging language on a ballot initiative that would transfer control of the St. Louis Police Department from the state to the city.

ACLU Regional Program Director John Chasnoff says the initiative's summary, as it would appear on the ballot, fails to explain how the new law would restrict public oversight and access to records.

No laws set the names of the 79 neighborhoods crammed into the 66 square miles of the city of St. Louis. Some grew from urban legends, others from a distinctive landmark. Some date back decades and are instantly known to any St. Louis resident. Others have changed as landmarks fell, highways reshaped boundaries, or people felt the need for a fresh start.

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