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Top Stories

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

President Donald Trump speaks at a Granite City Works warehouse on July 26, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated July 27 at 2:37 p.m. - STLPR journalist Jason Rosenbaum joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to provide further analysis and a behind-the-scenes look at the president's visit.

Original story from July 26:

President Donald Trump offered up a passionate defense of his trade policy during a visit Thursday to Granite City, and predicted that Friday’s economic numbers will back him up.

“The days of plundering American jobs and wealth, those days are over,’’ Trump said, touching off cheers from an enthusiastic crowd of about 500 invited guests gathered in a warehouse that’s part of a steel mill complex being reopened by US Steel.

the 2018 U.S. Junior Champions, Awonder Liang and Carissa Yip.
Austin Fuller | St. Louis Chess Club

After the first two rounds of this year's U.S. Junior Championship it was anything but clear who was in the lead. Defending champion, grandmaster Awonder Liang, was at a 50 percent score with two draws in a row. 

To make matters more complicated, of the five grandmasters competing, two players ranked in lower half of the field. International master Advait Patel and FIDE master Alex Bian, were performing exceptionally well.

Incoming Rep artistic director Hana Sharif will spend a year shadowing retiring director Steve Woolf and connecting with various communities.
The Rep

The incoming artistic director of Repertory Theatre of St. Louis believes that growing audiences involves much more than simply issuing one-time invitations.

Director, playwright and producer Hana Sharif will spend a year getting to know the area and The Rep before stepping into the post after longtime artistic director Steven Woolf retires in 2019. She comes to St. Louis from Baltimore Center Stage, where she worked as associate artistic director.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Nancy Fowler talked with Sharif about the work ahead and the experience she’ll bring to The Rep.

provided | Danforth Plant Science Center

After two decades of building, the region’s agricultural technology cluster is poised to take off. A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit suggests it already is a global leader and a national example for other metro areas trying to establish economic growth strategies.

Shayba Muhammad crafted a 12-week course to help artists and artisans start or grow a small business. 7/26/18
Jeremy D. Goodwin | St. Louis Public Radio

A few years ago Shayba Muhammad started making jewelry for herself, and was inspired to start a business, Mahnal, to sell her work.

Now she wants to help other artists and artisans who would like to do the same. The Makers Program, which she started with help from a $10,000 prize from Arts and Education Council, will offer guidance to help participants navigate the business end of their craft.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis area’s 2nd Congressional District, which spans from Jefferson County to St. Charles, has been in Republican hands for more than 20 years.

But a crowd of progressive Democrats are banking that a majority of the district’s voters are ready to choose an alternative to Republican incumbent Ann Wagner, who’s held the congressional seat since 2013.

Lacy Clay, left, and Cori Bush, right, face each other in an Aug. 7 Democratic primary for Missouri's 1st Congressional District.
File photos | Carolina Hidalgo and Kelly Moffitt I St. Louis Public Radio

Congressman Lacy Clay may be the Missouri equivalent of professional-wrestling great Mr. Perfect.

That’s because the St. Louis Democrat has never lost an election for the Missouri Legislature or Congress. In fact, his father, former Congressman Bill Clay, won every aldermanic and congressional race during his long tenure in public service. Many attribute this electoral success to a stout political organization — and decades of loyalty.

courtesy Erik Cliburn | Moberly Monitor

Despite being rural and largely conservative, state Senate District 18 was held by Democrats until 2010, when Republican Brian Munzlinger unseated then-incumbent Wes Shoemyer.

Four contenders are hoping to keep the seat in Republican hands now that Munzlinger is vacating the office due to term limits. They all support gun owners’ rights, cutting taxes and opposing abortion rights.

They primarily differ on who would do a better job of representing most of northeastern Missouri in the state Senate.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump delivers his remarks to a crowd of invited guests in St. Charles, Missouri on November 29, 2017.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

President Donald Trump will portray the newly reopened steel plant in Granite City as evidence of the benefits of his trade tariffs during Thursday’s visit to the region.

Aides told reporters during a conference call today that Trump will defend his tariffs during his afternoon speech at a warehouse on the grounds of Granite City Works.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

After ruling that a proposed St. Louis County charter amendment had a misleading ballot summary, a judge struck down a measure to enact campaign donation limits and restrict fund transfers between county departments.

It’s a decision that could have a major impact on future elections for St. Louis County executive.

Former Homer G. Phillips physician Earle U. Robinson Jr. and his daughter, Rebecca Robinson-Williiams worked together to create a documentary about Robinson's time at the historic black-run hospital in the Ville.
Doug Jaggers | WFYI News

In the mid-20th century, St. Louis was home to one of the only hospitals where African-Americans could train as doctors. In segregated St. Louis, Homer G. Phillips Hospital was built to cater to the city’s black population, which was barred from the city’s white hospitals.

“This is a hospital that was all black. From the very lowest job to the medical director,” said Earle U. Robinson Jr., an OB-GYN who completed his internship and residency at the hospital from 1958 to 1963. “Since the hospitals in St. Louis were segregated, Homer G. Phillips was built for the black population.”

Councilmembers Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, and Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, talk to reporters after a July 24, 2018, meeting.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the St. Louis County Council may try to subpoena people who have served as members of the St. Louis County Port Authority.

It’s the latest salvo in a long-running feud between the council and St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger, a schism that will likely remain even if the Democratic chief executive wins his primary next month.

Patterson for Oakville

The right-to-work proposition may determine who succeeds Missouri state Rep. Marsha Haefner in District 95.

Joe Patterson and Michael O’Donnell – each with different views on Proposition A – are seeking the Republican nomination for the seat that covers portions of south St. Louis County. Haefner, R-Oakville, is leaving the office due to term limits.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch. Photo taken July 24, 2018 for his Politically Speaking appearance
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch joined the Politically Speaking team to talk about his bid for re-election to an eighth term.

McCulloch is one of the longest-serving elected officials in Missouri. He’s squaring off against Ferguson City Councilman Wesley Bell in the Aug. 7 primary. Because no Republican filed for the position, the winner of the August contest is all but guaranteed a four-year term.

The U. S. Coast Guard raised the amphibious vehicle involved in Thursday night's fatal accident to the surface of Table Rock Lake from about 40 feet of water Monday morning.  Eight divers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol helped recover the boat.  Sergeant Jason Pace with the Missouri State Highway Patrol said the Ride the Ducks vehicle has been taken to a secure location where it will be part of an investigation into the accident by the National Safety and Transportation Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.  A black box was recovered earlier.  

Students training with UMSL's jazz ensemble will get an enhanced travel budget, in addition to other improvements to the program. 7/24/18
University of Missouri St. Louis

Students at the University of Missouri-St. Louis will soon have access to a beefed-up jazz studies program due to a $1.3 million donation by the Steward Family Foundation.

Though the school currently has student ensembles and offers instrument instruction and related courses — including one on jazz improvisation — students will now be able to earn a degree in jazz studies from UMSL’s newly christened David and Thelma Steward Institute For Jazz Studies.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Four Republicans are set to face off in the Aug. 7 primary for Missouri auditor, hoping to unseat Democrat Nicole Galloway in November. 

The four contenders are Paul Curtman of Pacific, Saundra McDowell of Jefferson City, Kevin Roach of Ballwin, and David Wasinger of St. Louis County.

Hana Sharif will begin working with The Rep this fall and become artistic director in 2019.
The Rep

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis has named Hana Sharif  as artistic director to replace Steven Woolf.

Sharif, who is associate artistic director at Baltimore Center Stage, will take The Rep post at the end of the 2018-2019 season. 

Sharif’s career includes working as a director, playwright and producer. She is the first African-American woman to head a large professional theater organization in St. Louis.

Washington University announced a medical apprenticeship program, which will teach medical assistants to draw blood and do other clinical tasks.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Washington University has announced it will begin hiring apprentices this fall to work as medical assistants in clinics in the St. Louis region.

Apprenticeships combine on-the-job learning with more traditional instruction. The university’s announcement reflects the growing popularity of such programs in the health care industry.

Mourners gathered Sunday afternoon near Branson to pay tribute to the 17 people who lost their lives Thursday when the tourist boat they were riding encountered a severe storm and sank in Table Rock Lake.

The chapel at College of the Ozarks near Branson was full as civic and religious leaders expressed their grief and praised the community’s response.

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