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Top Stories

Editor's picks for the top news stories of the day.

The St. Louis County Council approved three charter amendments earlier this month. One would provide the council with more authority over the county budget.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council has voted to temporarily withhold some of the county money that goes to the region’s Bi-State transit agency in a quest to improve security on the MetroLink light rail line.

The council’s action is in response to various violent incidents in recent months on or near the rail line, including one that resulted in the fatal shooting of a county health department employee.

All six council members present Tuesday night voted in favor of a bill withholding $5 million from the county’s funding for Metro security. That’s a fraction of the county’s overall scheduled spending of $157 million this year to help fund all Bi-State transit operations.

Alderwoman Megan Green, the sponsor of the St. Louis ordinance, said lawmakers in special session are spending "taxpayer money to do essentially nothing."
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman who was tear-gassed in 2017 while protesting the not-guilty verdict in an officer-involved shooting is suing the city of St. Louis over the incident.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Megan Green, D-15th Ward, is the 18th challenge to the way St. Louis police officers and the city responded to protests after the decision in the Jason Stockley case.

Curtis Wilcoxen, a manager for Lloyd and Harry's Bar and Grill speaks to city councilmembers about his oposition to the bill.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Charles business owners will now have to abide by new liquor laws.

The St. Charles City Council voted Tuesday night on a new liquor ordinance for the city after months of debate and controversy. The new law will establish several standards :

The chemical additive BPA is found in many consumer products, including thermal paper used in cash register receipts. Scientists at the University of Missouri have found a potential link to BPA and insulin production.
Derek Bridges | Flickr

Biologists at the University of Missouri have found that a chemical commonly used in consumer plastics could affect how a body reacts to and regulates blood sugar.

Bisphenol A — or BPA — is a plastic additive found in bottles, the resin lining of food cans and thermal receipt paper. An experiment by Mizzou researchers exposed a small group of people to the chemical. After the exposure, the researchers measured subjects’ insulin levels, and found people exposed to the BPA had produced more insulin.

Aldermen President Lewis Reed
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The president of the St. Louis Board of Alderman says he is working to bring a widely effective anti-violence program to St. Louis.

Lewis Reed announced Tuesday that he had the backing of the NAACP, the business executive group Civic Progress and local clergy for the program previously known as Operation Ceasefire.

After many delays, the city's contract with consultants to explore the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport may be official soon.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A group working with FLY 314, the non-profit overseeing the possible lease of St. Louis Lambert International Airport, plans to knock on 100,000 doors to survey city residents about the airport.

The goal is to get 20,000 residents, representing all of the city’s wards, to answer a 23-question survey. The questions have not been made public, but there is an interactive map indicating where canvassers have been and how many doors they have knocked on in each ward.

File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Proponents of Missouri’s photo-ID voter law argued Monday it’s not burdensome, while those suing to overturn it say it’s exclusionary.

House Bill 1631, which was passed in 2016 and took effect in June of last year, limits the types of photo ID that can be used for voting to non-expired Missouri driver’s licenses, a non-driving state-issued photo ID, a military ID, or a U.S. passport. It also took effect because 63 percent of Missouri voters passed Amendment 6 in November 2016, which allowed for a photo-ID requirement to be passed by the Legislature.

Chief John Hayden said police believed the rash of killings over the weekend  to be drug related in a press conference on Monday.
Wiley Price | St. Louis American

St. Louis Police suspect four of six killings over the past weekend were drug-related, Chief John Hayden said Monday.

Drugs were found at two of the crime scenes, but police would not identify them. All the victims were found shot in their cars.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley appeals to supporters Monday at a rally in Imperial, Mo., to promote his bid for the U.S. Senate.
Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley says the new allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not shaken his support – nor his call for a swift Senate vote.

Hawley, who’s currently Missouri attorney general, told allies at a rally Monday in Jefferson County that the Democratic efforts to delay Kavanaugh’s likely confirmation have created “a circus’’ atmosphere.

“It really is embarrassing,’’ Hawley said. “I just think the Democrats’ behavior has been shameful.’’

Updated Sept. 24 with appeal denied — A ballot measure that would change Missouri's ethics laws and redistricting process will go in front of voters in November, an appeals court panel ruled Friday. And the state Supreme Court confirmed as much Monday in denying an appeal.  

The U.S. Census Bureau hired more than 600,000 temporary workers for the 2010 census.
U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau officially announced its recruiting drive for the 2020 census on Monday. The bureau may face challenges finding enough qualified candidates to fill thousands of openings, including positions in Missouri and Illinois.

There is concern that there won’t be enough people looking to work on the census. In July, the U.S. Census Bureau published a blog post that sounded the alarm about the pool of candidates for 2020 jobs. Officials worry that the current low unemployment rate, around 4 percent, means the bureau won’t get the millions of applications it needs to fill the temporary positions.

Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois Congressman Mike Bost joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies on Politically Speaking to talk about his bid for a third term.

The Murphysboro Republican has represented Illinois’ 12th District since 2015. He’s running against Democrat Brendan Kelly, who is St. Clair County’s state’s attorney. The Bost-Kelly race is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation.

Bill cosponsor Alderwoman Cara Spencer asks Tom Buckley, general counsel for the Archdioscese of St. Louis, to clarify his position.
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis alderwoman wants the city to look at changing the way it authorizes street closures for utility work or other construction.

The resolution from Cara Spencer D-20th Ward, asks for a hearing with “all utilities with underground infrastructure within city limits” to “discuss current and future construction plans,” and for the streets department to change the permitting process for street closures.

iStock

Julie Monroe is accustomed to seeing deer around her Kirkwood neighborhood, but not this many.

On a recent evening, Monroe and her son counted 17 deer on the drive home from Manchester.

“It was dark outside, so we don’t know how many were beyond our vision,” she said.

A drone photo from September 11, 2018, shows the site of the new headquarters of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Zach Dalin Photography

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a plan to again use eminent domain to secure the new site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters.

The federal government asked for the condemnation process to ensure the city can turn the 97-acre site over to them by a Nov. 14 deadline. But some aldermen questioned if they had enough information to make the correct decision.

The Bridgeton Landfill, pictured here, sits adjacent to the West Lake Landfill.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:45 p.m. with statement from Republic Services — The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has determined that past exposure to sulfur-based compounds in the air near the Bridgeton landfill may have harmed the health of area residents and workers.

In a report released Friday, health officials said the odors may have aggravated chronic conditions such as asthma or caused respiratory problems. That came as no surprise to area activists, who have long said emissions from the landfill are hazardous.

The department’s report notes that sulfur-based odors may occasionally affect the health or quality of life of people who live or work near the landfill. However, it notes that current gas emissions from the landfill likely are not harmful.

Senator Claire McCaskill speaks at Lona's Lil Eats in St. Louis on Aug. 30, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s decision to vote against Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is a key topic of the latest Politically Speaking podcast.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies look into how undisclosed political money is playing into the contest between McCaskill and GOP Attorney Josh Hawley. It comes as millions of 501(c)(4) cash is going to support Hawley’s bid — and to ensure McCaskill wins a second term.

Attendees receive informational materials at the 2017 community health fair, organized by 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis.
100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis

The organization 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis will host its 16th annual community health fair this weekend.

The event, held at Harris-Stowe State University, will feature a range of free health screenings for all ages, including blood pressure, cholesterol, hearing and vision tests. Organizers say the goal is to encourage community members to think more about their own health and wellness.

Alex and Carly Garcia listen to a Sunday sermon which kicked off a "week of action" in support of their family.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When immigration authorities ordered Alex Garcia to turn himself in for deportation last year, his wife Carly decided to fight to keep her family together.

Instead of driving to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, where Alex would be jailed then sent back to his native Honduras, the couple drove 150 miles to a church in Maplewood.

It’s now been one year since Alex took sanctuary at Christ Church, United Church of Christ.

Laura and Patrick Banks September 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Laura Banks was all smiles as she showed a guest around the split-level home in south St. Louis County that she and her and husband bought a year ago, days after returning from their honeymoon.

Built in the 1970s, the house has a lower level they’ve furnished with a big-screen TV and a vintage bar for entertaining. She grows herbs, tomatoes and sweet potatoes in the backyard.

Homeownership marks a major financial milestone for Banks, who graduated from college in 2009 when the unemployment rate was nearly 10 percent. It’s a sign that, like many millennials, she’s recovering financially after struggling to survive the Great Recession.

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