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Top Stories

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

Angela Lewis, left, listens while realtor Gail Brown explains how she arrived at a list price for the Lewis property in north St. Louis, in April 2018.
Holly Edgell / St. Louis Public Radio

Advocates concerned about persistent housing segregation in the region might question why promotional materials for the 2018 Fair Housing Conference uses the word "celebrate" in reference to the Fair Housing Act.

"The reality is the racial segregation that we see everywhere in this country is the product of very explicit design by the federal state and local governments, intended to segregate the nation by race," said Richard Rothstein, ahead of Wednesday's meeting.

Rothstein, the keynote speaker, is the author of "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America."

File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is still getting some legislative support, despite being charged on Friday with illegally obtaining a list of donors from a charity he founded years ago.

Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, who represents portions of Fort Leonard Wood and the Lake of the Ozarks area, said the people she’s talked to in her district think Greitens is doing a good job as governor.

The homicide rate in Missouri from 1999- 2016 continues to rank higher than in surrounding states.
Richard Rosenfeld | University of Missouri-St. Louis

Missouri has the highest black homicide rate in the United States, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center.

The study, called the Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data, examined federal data from 2015. It found that the homicide rates for blacks in Missouri is 46.24 per 100,000, more than double the national black homicide rate of 18.67 per 100,000. (The national white homicide victimization rate of 2.67 per 100,000.)

Gov. Eric Greitens' defense team outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

An investigator who interviewed several witnesses in Gov. Eric Greitens' invasion of privacy case will have to show up to be re-deposed on Thursday.

A judge also ruled that an attorney who represents a key figure in the case can't also be that investigator's attorney.

File photo | Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the constitutionality of a 241-year prison sentence given to a St. Louis man more than two decades ago.

The high court on Monday announced it would not hear the case of Bobby Bostic. The justices gave no reason for their decision.

Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

The latest edition of Politically Speaking takes a bit of a break from the frenetic discussion of Missouri politics by welcoming conservative writers Guy Benson and Mary Katharine Ham onto the show.

Benson and Ham are co-authors of the book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun). They were in St. Louis last week to speak at a Show Me Institute event on free speech at the Chess Hall of Fame.

Business owners in Jeffery Plaza on Olive Boulevard say they have not been receiving updates about a proposed development that would displace them.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis once had a thriving hub for Chinese immigrants moving to the city. Historical records show in 1894 there were about 1,000 people of Chinese heritage living in St. Louis, many of whom had moved to the region from California in the middle part of the century.

A St. Louis Public Radio listener wanted to know how so many Chinese businesses came to exist at Olive Boulevard near Interstate 170 in University City. The listener also wanted to know why hasn’t there been more expansion of Asian businesses there. 

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A non-profit civil rights law firm wants to help people help themselves when they’re in legal trouble.

ArchCity Defenders created the guide known as Pro Se STL. The guide’s namesake, pro se, comes from the Latin term that means “for oneself.” It's aimed at helping people advocate and protect themselves when they have interactions with law enforcement, go to jail or in the courtroom.

Executive director Blake Strode said the guide is particularly helpful for those who don’t have representation, because they can’t afford the standard legal fees.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio I File photo

Members of the Missouri House delivered a big blow to Gov. Eric Greitens this month when they released a startling report on the GOP chief executive’s conduct. The details prompted some on both sides of the aisle to call on Greitens to resign, a demand the governor resisted.

Then came the following week, which featured a full collapse of Greitens’ political support and darkening cloud of legal developments.

State Rep. Bob Burns' legislation would make it easier to hold disincorporation elections in St. Louis County.
File photo I Tim Bommel I House Communications

Updated at 10 p.m. April 23 with Burns saying he won't resign—The top leaders of the Missouri Democratic Party are calling for a south St. Louis County lawmaker to resign after he praised a radio host who commonly makes racist and misogynist remarks.

At issue are state Rep. Bob Burns’ calls into a radio show hosted by Bob Romanik, a Metro East political figure. He’s often said things on his show that are derogatory to African-Americans and women.

Gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens looks at his ballot before sitting down to vote at the St. Louis Public Library in the Central West End on Tuesday.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 20 at 7 p.m. with statements from Gov. Greitens and his attorney  St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has charged Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens with a felony related to illegally taking a fundraising list from a veterans charity he co-founded. The charge, a class D felony, is for tampering with computer data. 

It’s the latest legal malady for the GOP governor, who is also facing a felony invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a revealing photo of a woman without her consent. 

Natalie Heath, of Marquette High School, cheers as St. Louis-area high school students speak at a protest outside Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office in downtown St. Louis. April 20, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

High school students from across the St. Louis region took part in another day of action Friday to call for improved school safety and tighter gun control measures.

The protest fell on the 19th anniversary of the school shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, where 13 people were killed. Many consider that event the moment when mass school shootings entered Americans’ consciousness. The Feb. 14 shooting in Parkland, Florida, has rocketed student activists to the center of the debate over guns.

vinwim | Flickr

With four weeks left in the legislative session, Missouri lawmakers are running out of time to pass bills while keeping an eye on the legal battles involving Gov. Eric Greitens.

Curious Louis question-asker Rachel Duncan, left, and St. Louis Public Radio reporter Shahla Farzan, center, speak with Bill Houston of the Saint Louis Zoo.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Rachel Duncan doesn’t remember the first time she visted the St. Louis Zoo, but she’s pretty sure she was an infant.

“There’s not a summer in my life that I have not come to visit the St. Louis Zoo and enjoyed what it has to offer,” said Duncan. “It’s a part of my entire life.”

Like many St. Louisans, she feels personally connected to the animals at the zoo. That prompted her to ask our Curious Louis reporting series: What happens when an animal passes away at the zoo? Do they have a funeral? And how does it impact the workers?


MetroBus at North Hanley Transit Center on April 3, 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Metro Transit's plan to overhaul bus service would make it difficult for people with disabilities and those with limited mobility to catch the bus, residents from throughout the St. Louis region told officials this week.

Under the agency's plan, less-traveled routes would lose stops, while more popular routes would come more frequently.

Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley and Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill
Durrie Bouscaren & Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 12:30 p.m. April 19 with Hawley's campaign-finance numbers)  U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has  widened her financial lead over her best-known GOP opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, which likely will prompt more allied Republican groups to spend money on his behalf.

The Senate candidates’ latest campaign-finance filings, which were due at midnight Sunday, show that McCaskill has just over $11.5 million in the bank. That compares to $2.13 million for  Hawley.  In both cases, the candidates' totals include aid from other political-party committees, as well as individual donations.

Hawley’s money also includes his share of the donations collected during President Donald Trump’s visit to the St. Louis area in March.

As the midterm election draws near, some state lawmakers want to change the way Illinois’ political districts are drawn. They want to do that by giving voters a chance to change the constitution.
 

File photo: Esther, played by Jacqueline Thompson, and Mr. Marks, played by Jim Butz, examine a bolt of fine fabric in a scene that simmers with largely unspoken feelings.
Eric Woolsey

The emphasis is on the “new” for incoming New Jewish Theatre artistic director Edward Coffield.

In July, Coffield will take the reins from founder Kathleen Sitzer who launched the company 22 years ago.

Coffield plans to shake things up by including a family show every year, collaborating with other companies and working with themes that encompass issues well beyond the realm of Judaism.

After serving as Sitzer’s assistant for 16 years, Coffield acknowledges he’s building on the work of a St. Louis theater icon.

The Lincoln-Douglas Square in Alton commemorates one of the city's claims to fame. It also welcomes visitors to the town of almost 27,000 people. March 21, 2018.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

When Lauren Pattan and James Rogalsky started looking for a building to house their brewery, they didn’t plan to move from St. Louis to Alton, where they’d both grown up. But they found the perfect building on Landmark Boulevard, right near the riverfront and off Alton’s old Antiques Row on East Broadway, and it swayed them.

The downtown stretch of Broadway, Rogalsky said, had been “neglected for the last several decades.” But in the last few years, new businesses have opened on the street. Established food staples moved from the city’s traditional main street to Broadway. A tattoo parlor opened at the same intersection as beauty and art supply shops, and a self-serve craft beer bar cropped up.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is the best-known Republican candidate to take on McCaskill.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 18 at 5:38 p.m. with governor's effort to block Hawley from further investigation — Attorney General Josh Hawley is asking the St. Louis circuit attorney to file criminal charges against Gov. Eric Greitens for allegedly illegally obtaining a fundraising list from a charity he founded for political purposes.

It marks the latest legal blow for the GOP chief executive, who is also facing felony invasion of privacy charges for allegedly taking a semi-nude photo of a woman with whom he had an affair.

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