St. Louis

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.

(Map courtesy Competitor Group, Inc.)

More than 21,000 runners and walkers will wind their way through St. Louis city streets this Sunday as part of the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon and half-marathon.

The race is unique because it will feature 26 live bands and 18 local cheerleading squads performing along the course. The band Sugar Ray will headline a concert at the finish line. Margie Martin, the event’s manager, says they were surprised by how many people signed up to participate in this, the first Rock-n-Roll Marathon here. 

(via Flickr/lissalou66)

Updated to correct spelling of Isaacson's name.

Four new shows will mark the Muny's first season under new executive director Mike Isaacson.

One of those shows has appeared on the Muny state before, says Kate Lane, Isaacson's assistant. But the Muny did not produce the version of "Chicago" that theatergoers saw in 1977. Instead, the Broadway cast left New York for a week of performances. This will be the first time the Muny itself produces the show.

St. Louis Convention & Visitor’s Commission

The City of St. Louis is hosting what tourism officials are calling the “Super Bowl of Conventions" this weekend.

The members of American Society of Association Executives are responsible for booking some $60 billion in convention activity annually.

All told, some 5,000 hospitality industry reps and executives will be in St. Louis from Saturday to Tuesday.  

The purpose of the convention is for those reps to try to convince 1,500 different associations to hold annual meetings in their city.

(via Flickr/jetsandzepplins)

The nearly three-week heat wave has claimed another victim.

St. Louis City officials announced today that 90-year-old Earline Walker died July 24 at her home on Semple Ave. Window air-conditioning units were blowing hot air when her family found her body that morning.

Semple is the sixth confirmed victim in the city. As of July 29, there were 14 heat-related deaths in the St. Louis region.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

Some would say the sport of baseball looms larger in St. Louis than perhaps any city in America …with names like Musial, Gibson, and Pujols on par with Washington, Jefferson and Madison.

St. Louis is a baseball town, no question…but we’re also known for another sport involving bats, balls…but no bases.

After nearly 100 years, devotees of the St. Louis sport of "corkball" are still playing the game that time forgot.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Flooding along the Mississippi River has forced the relocation of parts of this weekend's Fair St. Louis, but - good news - the water isn't expected to get any higher.

The river is expected to crest at 34 feet in St. Louis tomorrow - just four feet above flood stage.

And Army Corps St. Louis district commander Tom O'Hara says that takes into account the water still flowing into the Missouri River from dams in North and South Dakota and Montana.

(Photo courtesy of MoDOT)

Updated 9:30 p.m. with additional lane closures:

The Missouri Department of Transportation now says they will have to close the two right lanes of eastbound Interstate 70 at Shreve during Monday morning rush  hour to repair a collapsed sewer line. That will leave one lane open between Shreve and West Florissant. MoDOT officials are strongly urging people to avoid the area.

Our earlier story:

(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

EMS billing will be outsourced, and overtime for firefighters and jail guards has been cut under a budget approved Friday by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

The money the city hopes to save by outsourcing helped aldermen restore funds for bulk trash pick-up, crime prevention and building demolition.

But it was $500,000 that wasn't restored to the Affordable Housing Commission that drew the lone no vote from Alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett.

(via Flickr/makelessnoise)

Houston now has one fewer problem to worry about.

Moon dust apparently smuggled years ago from Johnson Space Center is now back in Houston - from St. Louis.

(National Weather Service map/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Above: A National Weather Service map of projected flooding along the lower Missouri River, based on an average amount of summer rain, falling in a concentrated time period. This map assumes a river elevation of 37 feet at St. Charles, three feet below the 1993 record. Flood stage at St. Charles is 25 feet. Click here to see a larger version of the map.

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers says we can expect only minor flooding along the lower Missouri River if we get average rainfall through August - but, a stormy summer could change all that.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

A unanimous vote today by the legislation committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen kicked off the public part of the city's redistricting process.

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