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Top Stories

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

Great Rivers Greenway

Boston-based design firm Stoss Landscape Urbanism will lead the design of the proposed Chouteau Greenway, a network of trails and green spaces that would connect Forest Park to the Gateway Arch. The firm beat three other finalists in an eight-month-long competition.

Boxes of signatures were delivered to the Sec. of State's office on May 2, 2018, for a ballot initiative that would raise Missouri's minimum wage.
Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

Business owners and workers from across Missouri met Wednesday in Jefferson City to turn in more than 120,000 signatures for a November ballot initiative to raise Missouri’s minimum wage.

The initiative, spearheaded by Missouri Business for Fair Minimum Wage and Raise Up Missouri, would increase the minimum wage, starting next year, to $8.60 from the current $7.85, and gradually increase it by 85 cents a year until it reaches $12 an hour by 2023.

A child looks at one of two grizzly bear cubs at the St. Louis Zoo in September 2017.
File photo I David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Members of the St. Louis County Council are placing an one-eighth of one cent sales tax on the November ballot to benefit the St. Louis Zoo.

While proponents of the measure believe it could enliven a part of the county that’s struggled economically, others believe it places too much of a burden on residents already shelling out property taxes to fund the zoo.

Attorney Al Watkins walks out Tuesday of the Carnahan Courthouse in St. Louis. He's joined by Chuck Hatfield, a Jefferson City attorney who represented him during his two-day deposition.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Eric Greitens’ attorneys finished questioning the attorney for a witness in the governor’s felony invasion of privacy case on Tuesday, but attorneys for both sides didn’t reveal who supplied $100,000 in cash for Al Watkins’ representation.

A capsule of pills.
FDA | file photo

Last year, frustrated with a lack of commitment from state legislators, St. Louis County created its own prescription-drug monitoring program with the specific expectation other areas of the state could join in – and they have.

Medical cannabis related products are sold at a medical cannabis outreach clinic in Shelbyville, Ilinois, on April 29, 2017
Jeff Bossert | Illinois Public Media

Legislation that would legalize marijuana for medical use in Missouri passed the state House on Tuesday.

The bill originally would have only allowed medical marijuana use for terminally ill patients, but the House added amendments last week to expand access to those with chronic and debilitating, but not necessarily fatal, illnesses.

Mayor Lyda Krewson stands with community members at the announcement for the 2018 Clean Up campaign.  The program will kick off this month and will aim at cleaning up four neighborhoods in St. Louis.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

A volunteer effort to clean up north St. Louis neighborhoods is getting a big lift from local construction companies.

Better Family Life began the “Clean Sweep” program last summer to help pick up trash and help revitalize certain areas in the city and St. Louis County. The non-profit and the Regional Business Council announced on Tuesday this summer’s effort will include a dozen construction companies to knock down vacant buildings and pick up large debris.

Albert Kelly, former head of the EPA's Superfund Task Force, and EPA Region 7 administrator Cathy Stepp attend a town hall in Bridgeton about the West Lake Landfill Superfund site in October 2017
File photo | St. Louis Public Radio

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund Task Force resigned Tuesday after one year in the role, leaving residents in northwest St. Louis County unsure about the fate of a proposal to clean up West Lake Landfill.

Albert Kelly, former EPA senior advisor, did not immediately return a call for comment. Media reports say the ex-banking executive resigned after relentless bad press about his financial dealings. Before he joined the EPA, Kelly helped administrator Scott Pruitt get financing to pay for a mortgage and to buy a minor league baseball team. Later, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. banned Kelly from the industry because of a previous banking violation.

University City seniors Alex Cunningham, sitting, and Kyhler Cross work out a new beat as part of the audio production course Cunningham started last year. April 23, 2018.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Alex Cunningham is sprawled across the hallway in a corner of the University City High School music department. His laptop rests on his chest. Headphones cover his ears.

“I was trying to get to the studio but the door was locked,” he explained.

Cunningham, an 18-year-old senior, didn’t feel like doing the four flights of stairs down and up again to find a staff member to let him in. So he plopped down in the hall, outside of what could be considered his classroom.

Gov. Eric Greitens outlines his fiscal year 2019 budget to reporters in his office at the state Capitol in Jefferson City on Jan. 22, 2018.
FIle photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

The Missouri House committee investigating Gov. Eric Greitens said Monday it continues to believe the testimony of the woman with whom the governor had an affair in 2015.

The Special Investigative Committee on Oversight on Monday released a five-page addition to its earlier report refuting the governor’s claim that a taped interview the woman gave to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner directly contradicted what she told the committee.

Greitens' legal team called the latest release "more false information that has not been subject to cross-examination."

Attorney Al Watkins speaks with reporters outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The publisher of a political newspaper delivered $50,000 in cash to the attorney of a key witness in Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ felony invasion of privacy case.

While the source of that money wasn’t disclosed in court on Monday, Greitens’ attorney noted Scott Faughn’s connections to an interest group that the governor greatly upset.

A MetroLink train
File Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

Serious crimes on the three-county MetroLink system have decreased in 2018, according to St. Louis and St. Louis County officials.

Violent crimes and thefts have decreased by 70 percent on MetroLink trains, stations and parking lots in St. Louis County compared to this time last year, according to St. Louis County Police Captain Scott Melies. And, he claims crime has decreased about “10 — 12 percent” in 2018 throughout the system, which stretches through St. Clair County, St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Hawthorn students Lanet Williams, at left, and Lauryn Holmes, center, practice taking each other's blood pressure with Washington University medical student Helen Liljenwall on April 13, 2018.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Washington University students are working closely with staff at Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls in north St. Louis to help students succeed academically and introduce them to new experiences.

As part of the InvestiGirls program, Wash U undergraduates provide after-school tutoring and enrichment workshops for Hawthorn students in sixth through ninth grade. The initiative, which is spearheaded by the university’s Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, recently completed its third year.

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A woman who had an extramarital affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens must turn over her cellphone for a forensic investigation , the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Friday.

Judge Rex Burlison had granted the request made by Greitens' defense team to examine the contents of the woman's phone. Her attorney called the order unduly burdensome” and “a gross violation of her privacy that victimizes her again.”

Mary Ostafi | Urban Harvest STL

A customized cargo bike full of fruits and vegetables will soon make an appearance in north St. Louis.

Urban Harvest STL and the St. Louis MetroMarket, will send the “Veggie Bike” on its maiden voyage next month. The program, which will initially distribute free produce, is intended to promote the MetroMarket’s mobile farmers market in a converted bus.

Wayne Pratt, St. Louis Public Radio

Bad decisions by the parent company and a rapidly changing retail grocery landscape are key reasons why Minnesota-based Supervalu is selling a local chain. That's the conclusion of a prominent food industry analyst, who adds it's too early to say what company might end up acquiring Shop 'n Save.

Attorney Al Watkins represents the ex-husband of the woman with whom Greitens had an affair.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann review what occurred in the Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens saga.

After two particularly bad weeks, it could be argued that there were rays of light on the legal front for the GOP governor. That’s because an investigator who allegedly made false statements during a deposition took the Fifth Amendment — which could place critical evidence in jeopardy.

The Missouri Botanical Garden's Stephen and Peter Sachs museum.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Visitors at the Missouri Botanical Garden are likely familiar with a historic building on the eastern portion of the grounds, where an obelisk stands outside with the words “In honour of American science.”

When philanthropist Henry Shaw founded the garden in 1859, the building served as its first scientific research facility. It contained a library and an herbarium that housed 62,000 specimens. Today, the garden’s herbarium has more than 7 million specimens, one of the largest botanical collections in the world.

Rebecca Wanzo, co-organizer of Dwell in Other Futures: art/ urbanism/ midwest
Rebbeca Wanzo

National and local artists will explore the past, present and future of city life in an upcoming exhibition in St. Louis.

Organizers of Dwell in Other Futures: art/ urbanism/ midwest say the event will expose attendees to the ways urban development constructs and reinforces how people engage, or don’t, with public spaces and the people around them.

Some of the young men and women at Marygrove Children's Home participate in a  tutoring session. "Unheard Voices" features the stories of just the men who are aging out of the institution.
YourWords STL

Actors will tell the real-life stories of young men aging out of a children’s home in a staged reading on Saturday in Ferguson.

The free event at the Ferguson Youth Initiative, 106 Church St., draws on writing by young men who participated in a program of YourWords STL. The organization helps St. Louis youth express themselves, and work through trauma using the written word.

The presentation, “Unheard Voices: You Don’t Know My Story,” is comprised of poetry, lyrics and narratives by residents of the Marygrove Children’s Home in Florissant.  It highlights the human need to be heard, according to YourWords’ cofounder Anna Guzon, a former physician.

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