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Top Stories

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

One of the topics of the 2018 Fair Housing Conference was on finding was to reduce the number of evictions in St. Louis.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

At the 2018 Fair Housing conference in St. Louis, panelists on Wednesday discussed ways to reduce the number of evictions in St. Louis, using community-centered initiatives.

The issue is examined in the report, "Segregation in St. Louis: Dismantling the Divide," completed by For the Sake of All and the Equal Housing and Opportunity Council. The report focuses on ways to eliminate housing discrimination with St. Louis and St. Louis County.

The conference at UMSL commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act.

The Men's Story Project takes the stage with 14 meditations on masculinity

Apr 26, 2018
microphone
ante3 | sxc.hu

What does it mean to be a “real man?” Fourteen metro St. Louis men will share their perspectives on an auditorium stage as part of The Men’s Story Project.

The participants, ages 20 to 48, will use spoken word, monologues, poetry and storytelling to examine masculinity and expectations of manhood in a free event at Saint Louis University on April 28 and 29.

Organizers say most of the participants of The Men’s Story Project have never spoken publicly before. They include local artists and activists, students and professors.

This image combines two portraits by different artists in the Metro Trans Umbrella Group's "Transcending the Spectrum" art exhibition.
Metro Trans Umbrella Group

Over the past five years, the Metro Trans Umbrella Group art show has more than doubled in size. This year’s event at Koken Art Factory in south St. Louis on Saturday boasts 35 visual artists and 25 stage performers.

The exhibition has expanded as more transgender artists feel safe to show their creations, according to curator Alex Johnmeyer and artist Eric Schoolcraft. But, they noted, growing visibility also highlights the dangers of being seen. To address that, organizers put a safety team in place to escort attendees to and from their cars.

Chess joins the esport arena

Apr 26, 2018
Watching the PRO Chess League, an online rapid chess league, can be an intense experience.
Eric Rosen

Pressure is a major element in chess. Pressure to find the right move. Pressure to use your clock time wisely. Pressure to beat your opponent. Pressure to win the tournament.

The PRO Chess League, an online rapid chess league, has used these elements to provide a great viewing experience on its weekly Twitch.tv stream.

Taking a programming cue from the fantastically popular esports world, PRO Chess recently hosted its second finals in San Francisco with the top four teams — the Ljubljana Turtles, Chengdu Pandas, Armenian Eagles and Saint Louis Archbishops.

At a rally on Thursday at 4 p.m. on Washington University’s campus, student organizers are expected to demand more staff, funding, training and resources for students who experience assault or harassment.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Nearly a quarter of female undergraduates at Washington University in St. Louis experienced sexual assault after they entered the college, a 2015 estimate by a contracted research agency shows.

Student activists today say the administration has failed to protect people from sexual assault, and that they do not trust the school to investigate complaints.

People protest against the criminalization of poverty in downtown St. Louis in on July 21, 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Forward Through Ferguson is encouraging locals to imagine a St. Louis devoid of racial inequity by the year 2039.

That year will mark 25 years since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

The non-profit group released a preliminary action plan on Wednesday, in which community leaders and residents considered benchmark goals for the next three years. A full report will be available in June.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger faces challenger Mark Mantovani in a race that has started earlier and featured more ad spending than usual.
File photos | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s only April, and already the contest for St. Louis County executive appears to be headed toward the spending record books.

More than four months before the August Democratic primary, incumbent Steve Stenger and Mark Mantovani have – combined – raised and spent more than their predecessors.

Missouri Capitol on April 24
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri Senate committee that handles appointments by the governor has unanimously approved Bill Burkes of Joplin to fill one of the vacancies on the state Ethics Commission.

But he’ll have to wait awhile for the full Senate to confirm him. That’s because Senate President Pro-tem Ron Richard, R-Joplin, wants to keep a 50-50 balance of Democrats and Republicans on the commission.

Cincinnati Health Department

The St. Louis Health Department could soon be looking for someone to replace director Melba Moore, who has led the department since 2015.

A Cincinnati board city board voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Moore as that city's next health department commissioner. According to the board’s chairman, the hire could be done as soon as the end of the week.

Many headstones remained toppled over Tuesday morning as crews worked to re-set them.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated April 25 at 6 p.m. with statement from the Anti-Defamation League of St. Louis —A Florissant man has been charged with knocking over more than 100 gravestones at a historic Jewish cemetery in February 2017.

Prosecutors filed a single felony count of institutional vandalism against 34-year-old Alzado Harris on Wednesday for the damage at Chesed Shel Emeth cemetery in University City.

Students with the Throwing and Growing Foundation take a tour of Good Life Growing in the Vandeventer neighborhood.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Lonza Patrick has lived in the Walnut Park East neighborhood for more than 50 years. He’s seen the area take repeated turns for the worse, as nearby properties became vacant and neglected.

“Oh man, have I had experiences,” Patrick said.

Patrick wants to see the neighborhood improve and it might, with the unrolling of a new initiative to demolish vacant properties to build green spaces. It’s headed by the Green City Coalition, which consists of the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Botanical Garden and several other St. Louis-based nonprofits.

Maliyah Isadora, 2 months, and her mother, Courtney, at their home in Florissant in this 2015 photo
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Regions of the state with combined high poverty rates and concentrated African-American populations have higher percentages of low birth weight babies, according to data from the U.S. Census and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A House committee has passed a measure that would change the date voters would decide on whether to make Missouri a right-to-work state.

House Committee Resolution 102 would move the right-to-work referendum from the November general election to the August primary, which traditionally draws fewer voters. It’s sponsored by Rep. Holly Rehder, R-Sikeston.

The Missouri Sierra Club and its supporters gathered in front of Ameren Missouri's headquarters in St. Louis in April 2018 to protest against proposed regulations that could weaken oversight of coal ash waste.
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

As environmentalists voiced concerns in Washington about possible changes to the Environmental Protection Agency's rules on disposing coal ash waste, some in Missouri chose to express their opposition by staging a protest at a major utility corporation's doorstep. 

The Missouri chapter of the Sierra Club gathered a small band of supporters Tuesday at Ameren Missouri's headquarters in St. Louis. They held large signs that showed images of Ameren's four power plants in Missouri and listed details about the toxic heavy metals that coal ash contains, such as arsenic.

Ameren Missouri announced recently that it plans to close all of its coal ash ponds by 2022. However, activists want the regulators to address the contamination the ponds have already caused and are unhappy that Ameren has chosen to close its ponds by leaving them in place.

The Supreme Court of Missouri
Flickr | david_shane

The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday will consider two cases that could have far-reaching implications for the civil rights protections granted to the state’s LGBTQ community.

The judges will be asked to determine whether the Missouri Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, even though the words are not in the act itself. Lower courts are split on the issue.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner during her oath ceremony on Jan. 6, 2017.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with Judge Rex Burlison taking request under advisement.

Attorneys for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens want to disqualify St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from overseeing the governor’s latest felony charge — and instead appoint a special prosecutor.

It stems from how Gardner has handled Greitens’ other felony case for felony invasion of privacy.

Angela Lewis, left, listens while realtor Gail Brown explains how she arrived at a list price for the Lewis property in north St. Louis, in April 2018.
Holly Edgell / St. Louis Public Radio

Advocates concerned about persistent housing segregation in the region might question why promotional materials for the 2018 Fair Housing Conference use the word "celebrate" in reference to the Fair Housing Act.

"The reality is the racial segregation that we see everywhere in this country is the product of very explicit design by the federal state and local governments, intended to segregate the nation by race," said Richard Rothstein, ahead of Wednesday's meeting.

Rothstein, the keynote speaker, is the author of "The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America."

File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is still getting support from some legislators, despite being charged on Friday with illegally obtaining a list of donors from a charity he founded years ago.

Rep. Diane Franklin, R-Camdenton, who represents portions of Fort Leonard Wood and the Lake of the Ozarks area, said the people she’s talked to in her district think Greitens is doing a good job as governor.

The homicide rate in Missouri from 1999- 2016 continues to rank higher than in surrounding states.
Richard Rosenfeld | University of Missouri-St. Louis

Missouri has the highest black homicide rate in the United States, according to a report by the Violence Policy Center.

The study, called the Black Homicide Victimization in the United States: An Analysis of 2015 Homicide Data, examined federal data from 2015. It found that the homicide rates for blacks in Missouri is 46.24 per 100,000, more than double the national black homicide rate of 18.67 per 100,000. (The national white homicide victimization rate of 2.67 per 100,000.)

Gov. Eric Greitens' defense team outside the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis following a hearing. March 26, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

An investigator who interviewed several witnesses in Gov. Eric Greitens' invasion of privacy case will have to show up to be re-deposed on Thursday.

A judge also ruled that an attorney who represents a key figure in the case can't also be that investigator's attorney.

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