Top Stories | St. Louis Public Radio

Top Stories

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

A deer tick, one of the most common ticks in the Midwest and the carrier of several diseases, such as Lyme Disease.
Pixabay

A small survey of St. Louis-area physicians found doctors greatly overestimate the prevalence of Lyme disease and underestimate the prevalence of other tick-borne illnesses in Missouri.

Scientists at the University of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville sent a survey to 81 St. Louis-area infectious-disease specialists and family physicians. About a fifth of the doctors responded.

According to the results, published earlier this month in the journal Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases, 82 percent of respondents believed Lyme disease was among the most common tick-borne infections in the state. But state health officials say there were only 10 probable or confirmed cases of Lyme in Missouri in 2016.

Ganga Mongar, left, and Sancha Subba, right, receive help from Mongar's daughter Anjali while practicing for the writing portion of the naturalization test. Both women have learned how to read and write to prepare for the test.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Ganga Mongar’s pencil is covered in hearts and a pink eraser cap. She taps it on the table as she reels off the names of the Supreme Court justices. She’s is in her mid-40s, a mother of five, and a student at the St. Louis International Institute, where she’s enrolled in the Literacy Citizenship Preparation course. She comes three times a week for two hours, where, in addition to being drilled on U.S. civics, she’s learning how to read and write in English.

After many delays, the city’s contract with consultants to explore the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport may be official soon.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

When the Board of Estimate and Apportionment approved a contract with advisors to explore the privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport last month, it appeared the process was ready to take off after months of delays.

The city’s working group held its first meeting.

The first meeting of all the consultants and advisors on the project was scheduled.

But, there was a problem. The contract between the city and the lead consultants had not been signed.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and then-St. Louis interim Police Chief Larry O'Toole address reporters on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
File photo I Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

A former candidate in the running to become the police chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department last year has alleged employment discrimination by the city of St. Louis.

St. Louis Police Lt. Col. Larry O'Toole filed a complaint with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and another with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging employment discrimination.

An active coal-ash pond at the Meramec Energy Center in St. Louis County in February 2018.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

The Environmental Protection Agency has changed its regulations to give states more authority over how utilities should dispose and monitor pollution from toxic waste generated by coal-fired power plants. Environmental advocates in Missouri and Illinois warn that the newly revised rule will not do enough to protect water quality and human health.

The amendments, approved Tuesday by acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler, lowered standards for several chemicals, such as lead, that are found in coal-ash waste. It also extends the deadline for utilities to close its coal-ash ponds and allows state officials to oversee and stop groundwater monitoring at coal-ash waste sites.

14th District state Senate candidates Sharon Pace, Brian Williams and Joe Adams speak at a candidate forum at Beyond Housing. July 17, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In many respects, Missouri’s 14th Senate District is one of the most challenging legislative seats to represent.

With some of the state’s richest and poorest cities, the central and north St. Louis County-based district has been ground zero for high profile education and environmental issues. It also includes Ferguson, which became a national focal point for relations between police and African-Americans.

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair pose for a portrait at EyeSee Me.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

At a bookstore in University City, young people of color can crack open a book and see themselves as doctors, superheroes, historical figures and even princesses.

Jeffrey and Pamela Blair are the co-owners of the EyeSeeMe African American Children’s Bookstore. Jeffrey said he knew there was a need for the store long before they opened their doors in 2015. As they were homeschooling their children, Jeffrey said it was a challenge to find books and educational resources that were reflective of their children and their own experiences.

Geoffrey Soyiantet, Sally Gacheru and Gracemary Nganga compare their Kenyan beed bracelets. Gacheru and Nganga, both 17 year olds from Florissant, will return to Kenya on a service trip through Soyiantet's Vitendo4Africa organization.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Sally Gacheru is wearing a black t-shirt with the Kenyan flag embroidered on it: red, black and green, with a shield in the middle.

“My pride being a Kenyan is so high,” she said, "so I try to wear a lot of clothes and represent myself.”

The St. Louis County Council continued its fight with County Executive Steve Stenger July 18, 2018, overriding three vetoes.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council has overridden three more of County Executive Steve Stenger’s vetoes — part of a longstanding fight over power.

But the stakes may be heightened, as the Aug. 7 primary looms.

Council Chairman Sam Page, a fellow Democrat, said after Tuesday’s votes that the members want to hold Stenger accountable.

Jason Stokes, 10, reaches to make a move Friday, July 13, 2018, during a St. Louis Chess Club summer camp at Saint Louis University.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

The giant chess piece outside the St. Louis Chess Club in the Central West End grew even bigger this spring to regain its title as world’s largest.

It’s a fitting play as the club celebrates its 10-year anniversary on Tuesday.

Volunteer Sam Roth, right, plays chess with a Biddle House shelter resident on July 9, 2018. The chess club began in 2016, the same year the shelter opened.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Terry Austin eyes his opponent across the chessboard, then deftly captures his knight.

A few moves later, opponent Ed Rataj admits defeat.

The two play in the communal living area at Biddle House, a shelter for people who are homless near downtown St. Louis. Austin is a resident. The Biddle House chess club began in 2016, the same year the shelter opened. Twice a week, shelter residents gather to play chess with volunteers from the community.

St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger is heading into the final weeks of his primary campaign with a hefty financial edge over Democratic rival Mark Mantovani as the two continue their expensive battle on TV.

And now, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, is joining them by also going on TV, even though she is expected to easily win the Republican primary.

Wagner’s decision to run ads before the Aug. 7 primary is notable – especially since she didn’t run any TV spots in 2016, according to her campaign staff.

The lobby of the Stifel Theatre, shown in June 2011.
File photo | Provided | Tom Paule Photography

The Peabody Opera House has a new name.

For the next decade, the downtown St. Louis venue will be called Stifel Theatre.

Stifel Financial Corp. signed a 10-year agreement for naming rights at the 3,100-seat venue, which opened in 1934 as the Kiel Opera House.

Washington University's Brookings Hall
Washington University | Flickr

Updated at 2:20 p.m. on July 17 with information on the city's apology. Updated on July 16 at 4:15 p.m. with comment from Clayton Police Chief  – Washington University asked the city of Clayton to apologize to 10 black incoming freshmen for an incident on July 7, and the city has complied.

The city posted a statement including the apology on its website.

CEO Bob Chapman, right, talks to an employee at a Barry-Wehmiller factory.
Provided by Barry-Wehmiller

Barry-Wehmiller’s leadership philosophy is spelled out on a wall outside the company’s parking garage in Clayton. Employees and visitors see it, coming and going:

“We imagine a society in which people care about each other first.”

"When we’re developing strategies to tackle vacancy, we need good data as a base to guide those decisions," says Laura Ginn (right), who has helped develop a data-rich website on vacant property in St. Louis.
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

For the record, St. Louis is home to 20,187 vacant properties. More than half are vacant lots, totaling 1,565 acres. Over the past five years, it has cost the city more than $17 million to maintain the vacant property with services like mowing, removing dumped waste, and boarding up abandoned structures.

The total assessed value of all that property? $79,813,010.

Former St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny speaks after being introduced as the team's 49th manager on November 14, 2011. The Cardinals fired Matheny on July 14, 2018 after six and a half seasons.
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated July 15 at 1 p.m. with comments from Cardinals officials and interim manager Mike Shildt — Mike Matheny, a former Gold Glove catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who would go on to become the team’s manager in 2011, was fired Saturday night after a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said at a press conference Sunday that the decision to remove Matheny was made Friday. Team officials fired Matheny the following evening. The Cardinals also fired hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller.

Andrew D. Martin will serve as the 15th chancellor of Washington University. His tenure as chancellor will begin June 1, 2019.
James Byard | Washington University

Washington University announced on Saturday that Andrew D. Martin will be the university's 15th chancellor.

Martin comes to Wash U from the University of Michigan, where he serves as dean of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. He will replace Wash U’s current chancellor Mark Wrighton effective June 1, 2019. Wrighton has served as chancellor for 22 years. He announced his plans for retirement last fall.

All states experienced an increase in the percentage of interracial and interethnic married-couple households from 2000 to 2012-2016.
U.S. Census Bureau

The rate of interracial marriages in Missouri is increasing at a rate slower than other states, according to a recent U.S. Census Bureau report.

Results from the American Community Survey show the percentage of interracial married-couple households increased from 7.4 to 10.2 percent between 2000 and 2012-2016 nationwide.

SIU President Randy Dunn Will Step Down

Jul 13, 2018

SIU Trustees will meet in special session Monday to vote on a separation agreement for System President Randy Dunn.

Pages