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Top Stories

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

File photo | Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

Five public schools in Missouri will have their cyber security measures reviewed as part of an initiative announced Wednesday by State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

She told reporters that more than 250 K-12 schools nationwide have suffered data breaches over the past 10 years. One of those was the Park Hill district in Platte County, near Kansas City, which is among the five being audited.

Panelist Dr. Karen Edison, who helps create health policy surveys at the University of Missouri, said she was once threatened with a loss of funding for including survey questions about sexual orientation. AJ Bockleman of PROMO sits to her right.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Sometimes, state and federal law are in conflict.

Rules for the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is one example. Even though the federal government prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on many counts, Missouri state law does not include those protections. 

Resolving those conflicts was the focus of a summit Wednesday between members of the LGBT community, their advocates and representatives from five federal agencies. 

The St. Louis County Council spent nearly an hour hearing criticism about legislation requiring a license for rental property.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated with comments from County Executive Steve Stenger - The St. Louis County Council held off on voting on legislation that requires owners of certain rental property to obtain licenses.

But even without a vote, the bill was the subject of immense criticism from a coalition of people who feel the bill is too broad and could have unintended consequences that would adversely affect victims of domestic violence.

Starkloff Disability Institute

It has been 25 years since the historic Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted by the U.S. Congress and St. Louis will join cities across the country in commemorating its passage. 

The St. Louis heroin epidemic: barriers to treatment

Sep 29, 2015
Mike Morrison talks with two staff members at Bridgeway's detox center in St. Louis.
File photo | Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

(Part 3 of 3)

In November 2013 Kari Karidis was in her office at Collinsville High School when a local hospital called to tell her that her son Chaz was in cardiac arrest. When she arrived at the emergency room she was told her son had died. All she could do was go into his room and say goodbye.

“He still had the tube — the breathing tube in,” Karidis recalled, sitting in that same office earlier this year. “I just sat there. I don’t know how long. I just remember thinking I can’t look at this but I can’t leave.”

Pope Francis waves to crowds gathered in Philadelphia, which include a group of De Smet Jesuit High School students and faculty.
Courtesy of Kenneth Luecke, De Smet Jesuit High School

As St. Louisans who traveled to see Pope Francis during his U.S. visit in Philadelphia last weekend return home, some said they were "awestruck" by an experience they described as "thrilling."

But not everyone was pleased with the pontiff's words, particularly around the issue of clergy sex abuse. 

The St. Louis County Jail is located in the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton.
Nate Birt

St. Louis County officials will soon decide whether to turn medical services at two county jails over to a private contractor. The decision is pending even as members of the medical community — including current justice center employees — have raised concerns over the dangers of privatizing healthcare in jail.

Michael and Kelley McDonald and Laura and Pete Stenger reminisce about their sons Sean McDonald and Mitch Stenger at Cottleville Wine Seller in St. Charles County. Both Sean and Mitch died of heroin overdoses in 2014. Mitch used to work at the Wine Seller
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

(Part 1 of 3) - On an April morning in 2014, Kelley McDonald woke up in her suburban St. Charles home and went downstairs to remind her son Sean to take his bipolar medication.

“I go over to the couch and I kind of shake him and I’m like come on buddy you’ve got to take your medicine. And that’s when I looked at him and he was kind of blue and I started screaming,” said Kelley McDonald, her voice shaking as she sits next to her husband Michael at a restaurant gazebo one year later.

Pearl Holden portrait
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Adrienne Holden has seen hard deaths and easier deaths. Long ones and short ones. Times when the deceased left their families with precise instructions for their care and burial, and times when they did not.

A rendering of the proposed riverfront stadium
Courtesy of HOK

Members of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen may soon get a chance to do something that’s eluded lawmakers in Jefferson City: Vote on funding a proposed football stadium on the city’s riverfront.

While Gov. Jay Nixon's administration may very well issue state bonds for the project without legislative or statewide approval, city aldermen are expected to take up legislation soon that would authorize the city’s funding share of the roughly $1 billion project.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin
Official photo

The divisions among House Republicans over the funding of Planned Parenthood that contributed to Speaker John Boehner’s decision to step down next month will not force a government shutdown this week, according to Ballwin Republican Ann Wagner.

Lorie El Atlassi brought her toy poodle Zach and mini poodle Pepper to protest Petland in Lake St. Louis Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.  She says her dogs were both rescued from breeders.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Tuesday, September 29 with comments from one of the store owners.

Animal rights activists continue to push for an end to what they call “puppy mills” in Missouri, five years after voters passed a proposition tightening dog breeding regulationsA year later, Gov. Nixon signed a compromise bill into law that reduced some of those regulations.

About 20 people picketed Petland in Lake St. Louis Sunday, carrying signs that read “Honk for a shelter dog” and “Boycott stores that sell puppies.”

Leanne Fritsch of University City organized the protest for “Puppy Mill Awareness Day.” She said a smaller group meets at Petland every Saturday.

The area around the CNN tent was crowded before the vice presidential debate at Washington University in 2008.
Bill Smith | St. Louis Beacon file photo

After being passed over for 2012, Washington University will once again be in the presidential spotlight as the host of yet another presidential debate – this time in 2016.

Washington University officials announced today that the campus will be the site of the Oct. 9, 2016 debate.  The university has hosted more presidential debates than any other venue.

Jerry Naunheim Jr. | For the St. Louis Beacon

Note: This story was originally published in the St. Louis Beacon in 2011.

The end came without fanfare for the familiar blue and white water tower that had stood watch over the old Chrysler plant in Fenton through good times and bad: The icon was felled on a hot Saturday afternoon — and then hauled away like so much unwanted scrap.

Chris Paplanus, 54, who worked for Chrysler for 26 years, read about the Aug. 6 demolition on a Facebook page where former plant workers stay in touch, share personal news and job tips — and plan reunion gatherings.

Jerry Naunheim Jr. | For the St. Louis Beacon

Note: This story was originally published by the St. Louis Beacon in 2011.

The site of the former Chrysler plant in Fenton has been nearly emptied, the iconic water tower and vehicle assembly factories razed by liquidators over the past two years, as they prepare these 295 acres for development.

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