Top Stories | St. Louis Public Radio

Top Stories

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

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway announces the findings of an audit of the state's sex offender registry on Oct. 1, 2018. Her review found nearly 8 percent of the offenders required to register were not compliant.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. with comments from the St. Louis Police Department — Police in Missouri do not know the whereabouts of nearly 1,200 sex offenders who are required by law to register with law enforcement — or nearly 8 percent of the total population who are supposed to be tracked.

An audit released Monday by state Auditor Nicole Galloway found that nearly 800 of those individuals have committed the most serious crimes, such as rape or child molestation in the first degree.

Missouri state Sen. Paul Wieland, R-Imperial
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Sen. Paul Wieland is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. He talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Abigail Censky about his re-election bid in Missouri’s 22nd District Senate seat.

The Imperial Republican represents a portion of Jefferson County. His race against Democrat Robert Butler is one of the most competitive Senate races in Missouri — and could give a sense of how other statewide campaigns shake out.

Volunteer carpenters from Builder's Bloc frame the new home in Wildwood on September 29, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

The tap of Mike Wheeler’s hammer echoes through the forest, as he helps frame the walls of a new home in Wildwood.

Wheeler is one of a dozen carpenters volunteering to build a home for a returning veteran and his family. The project, which began in August, is the culmination of a years-long effort to provide a mortgage-free home for U.S. Army veteran and St. Louis native Heath Howes, who was severely wounded while serving in Afghanistan.

Joshua Williams is serving an eight-year prison sentence for actions during a 2014 protest in Berkeley.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Joshua Williams always stood out in a crowd. Even during the tense and chaotic 2014 Ferguson protests, Williams could easily be spotted in the signature red hoodie that he rarely went without.

Williams was 18 years old at the time, the same age as Michael Brown when he was shot and killed by police — and old enough to leave home against his mother’s wishes to join the front lines to protest Brown’s death.

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 I St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Republicans gathered this weekend in Jefferson County to celebrate their statewide success in reaching 1 million potential voters, either in person or by phone.

And there’s at least one reason why the GOP is holding the event in Jefferson County:

“It’s pretty fair to say that so goes Jefferson County, so goes Missouri,’’ said Whitney Smith, Missouri communications director for the Republican National Committee.

Bird electric scooters.  July 2018
Provided | Bird

It’s harder to find a bike-share bicycle in St. Louis now than it was in April. 

The citywide decrease happened largely because bike-share company ofo, which launched in St. Louis in April, pulled its services from the city in July. The China-based company left many local markets, including St. Louis, to consolidate its operations.

A delay in repair part shipments also forced Lime to pull some of its bikes from the street in the last two months, City of St. Louis officials said.

Richard Gaines, center, of the Special Administrative Board, speaks during  a joint meeting with the St. Louis Elected School Board Tuesday, March 13, 2018.
File | Wiley Price | St. Louis American

St. Louis Public Schools’ budgeting process is too insular for parents and teachers to understand and contribute to, a group of north St. Louis residents claim.

That group, under the banner Better Budgets, Better Schools, will launch a letter writing and advocacy campaign this weekend to call for more transparency in how SLPS spends its money.

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 I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies look at the importance of Jefferson County in this year’s statewide election.

Whenever there’s a competitive statewide election, Jefferson County often gets a lot of attention. That’s because voters there almost always pick winners of statewide elections — as they did in 2016 and 2012.

The West Lake Landfill, in the distance, sits adjacent to the Bridgeton Landfill, right.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 12:10 p.m. Sept. 28 — The Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its plan to remove radioactive waste from the West Lake Landfill Superfund site.

The chosen solution will remove about 70 percent of the site’s radioactivity and dispose of the waste at an out-of-state facility. The $205 million plan is similar, though less expensive, to what officials proposed in February.

Republican Senate candidate Josh Hawley speaks on Sept. 27, 2018, in St. Charles. Hawley called the hearings around Brett Kavanaugh a 'circus.'
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Soon after beginning a stump speech to GOP volunteers in St. Charles County, Republican Senate hopeful Josh Hawley minced no words about what he thought about Thursday’s high-profile hearings of Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination.

As Kavanaugh was speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Hawley asked the Republican faithful if they were “watching this circus in Washington.”

Patrice Billings, the Democratic candidate for the 2nd District Senate seat.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Democrat Patrice Billings is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast. The St. Charles County resident talked to St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies about her bid for Missouri’s 2nd Senatorial District seat.

Billings worked for nearly three decades as a helicopter pilot for the St. Louis County Police Department. She is squaring off against Sen. Bob Onder, a Lake Saint Louis Republican who recorded an episode of Politically Speaking earlier this month.

The American "Big Three" at the Batumi Chess Olympiad in Batumi, Georgia in 2018. From left, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Caruana's coach and Wesley So.
Lana Afandiyeva

When Americans hear of a “Big Three,” nostalgia might take their minds to competitors in the automotive industry or the early television networks. Fans of the runaway NBC television hit "This is Us" may shed uncontrollable tears when hearing the phrase.

Today’s American chess fans know Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So as the “Big Three.” They represent the United States. St. Louis and the St.Louis Chess Club and have played an integral role in raising the standards of American chess.

The first of 10 straight U.S. and U.S. Women’s Championships held in St. Louis were played in 2009, with Nakamura, then a newly-minted 2700 FIDE, reigning supreme for his second title.

Lift for Life Academy's Brooke Johnson reacts after scoring a point in a high school girls' volleyball game Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. It was Lift for Life's first home sporting event in its 18-year history.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

After nearly two decades of practices in borrowed space and games far away, Lift for Life Academy held its first home sporting event Wednesday.

“This is a huge deal for us. We’ve been waiting — gosh, since we opened we’ve wanted a gym,” said the high school girls’ volleyball coach Tommy Devitt.

Johnny, played by Michael McClelland, wipes his head and tries to gather his thoughts as he wife Celia, played by Patience Davis, sits nearby, in the Slaying Dragons production of "A Hatful of Rain."
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis theater troupe is using a play that highlights drug addiction in the mid-1950s to combat the opioid crisis of today.

This weekend, the Slaying Dragons company will present “A Hatful of Rain” at The Chapel theater. The play, about a Korean War veteran addicted to morphine, examines secrecy, shame and family dynamics.

The production draws on moments from everyday life to show that no family is safe from addiction, director Brad Slavik said in an interview.

Bonne Terre resident Steven Anderson sits in a kayak in the Big River next to a beach covered in legacy mine waste.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

About 55 miles southwest of St. Louis, Steven Anderson — who owns an outfitter called Cherokee Landing in Bonne Terre — routinely takes his customers to St. Francois State Park.

To a trained observer like Anderson, the beach where he launches his kayak trips offers clear signs of lead contamination. Before taking off recently, he scooped up a handful of gravel.

“See these gray and black specks?” he said, pointing at the tiny dark rocks in his hand. “There’s a lot of heavy tailings on this beach.”

The tailings are discarded mine waste from the lead mining that long took place in St. Francois County. The Environmental Protection Agency has a plan to clean up the waste along the Big River, which runs through the heart of Missouri's Old Lead Belt.

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 sprayed with tear-gas 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 city authorities 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 council members 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 liquor ordinance for the city after months of debate and controversy. The 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

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Reed saying the governor is receptive to the idea.

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.

Pages