University City | St. Louis Public Radio

University City

Business owners in Jeffrey Plaza on Olive Boulevard say they have not been receiving updates about a proposed development that would displace them.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Residents and business owners in University City are split over whether the city should spend taxpayer money on a plan that would bring a big-box retailer and other amenities to Olive Boulevard.

The divide was apparent at a Wednesday meeting, where city leaders tried to make a case for Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to revitalize the area known as Olive Link.

Business owners in Jeffrey Plaza on Olive Boulevard say they have not been receiving updates about a proposed development that would displace them.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis once had a thriving hub for Chinese immigrants moving to the city. Historical records show in 1894 there were about 1,000 people of Chinese heritage living in St. Louis, many of whom had moved to the region from California in the middle part of the century.

A St. Louis Public Radio listener wanted to know how so many Chinese businesses came to exist at Olive Boulevard near Interstate 170 in University City. The listener also wanted to know why hasn’t there been more expansion of Asian businesses there. 

File photo. Artist Solomon Thurman painted this piece of two African-American men, a police officer and a man wearing a Hands Up Don't Shoot shirt after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown.
File | Provided |Solomon Thurman

The Missouri Arts Council is honoring three St. Louisans and one local hot spot with its 2018 annual awards.

The council chose Solomon Thurman for its Individual Artist award. Thurman is perhaps best known for a piece air travelers see every day: the 51-foot-long “Black Americans in Flight” mural at St. Louis’ Lambert International Airport. He created the work in 1990 with his mentor, the late Spencer Taylor.

Hundreds of volunteers donned stocking caps and work gloves Saturday to clean up empty lots and complete minor home repairs in University City.

Cold temperatures prevented workers from pouring concrete, but city residents and others from throughout the St. Louis region cleared brush, picked up trash, cleaned gutters and painted railings.

Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

 

As tensions rise in the Old City of Jerusalem, hundreds of people gathered on Delmar Boulevard in University City Sunday evening to show their support — some for Palestinians and others for the Israeli government.

Stones painted with ladybugs and hearts now mark the affected headstones. A little girl in Florida painted the stones. May 2017
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

Executive director Anita Feigenbaum is standing in the rain, amid repaired headstones at Chesed Shel Emeth, the historic Jewish cemetery in University City that made international headlines last February after vandals knocked over 154 grave markers.

“Starting here, you would just see rows knocked down,’’ Feigenbaum said, pointing from beneath her umbrella. “There’s an example of a monument that was totally knocked down. And broken.”

University City lions at city hall (2010)
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Fair housing advocates in University City are planning to bring back a bill the City Council killed this week. The proposal would have protected people who use Section 8 vouchers from discrimination.

Had it passed, the bill would have made the municipality the second in the St. Louis region to ban housing discrimination based on a renter’s source of income.

“We’re disappointed,” said Glenn Burleigh, a community engagement specialist at the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council who helped create the bill. "University City has always touted itself as being extremely progressive and pushing forward toward integration, [but] has not taken the charge from the Ferguson Commission and helped moved us forward here.”

Loop Trolley construction in Feb. 2016
LoopTrolley.com

Another busy intersection in the Delmar Loop will be shut down starting Monday for Loop Trolley construction. More than 85 percent of the track for the project has been installed, but traffic won’t be allowed at Skinker and Delmar boulevards for at least the next 12 days.

paper ballot voting places
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

Updated as story develops: St. Louis County’s municipal elections got off to a rocky start on Tuesday, with many polling places quickly running out of ballots. An appeals court extended voting until 9 p.m., but the decision came late. Shortly after 5 p.m., Circuit Judge Maura B. McShane denied a request to extend voting. In a hand-written order, the presiding judge in the county said "the court denies petitioners' request and doesn't believe it has authority to extend the hours."

In an email, Eric Fey, Democratic director of the St. Louis County Board of Elections, said, "Any ballots cast after 7:00 pm as a result of the court order will not be counted tonight."

University City lions at city hall (2010)
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

A University City preservationist group called Heritage Sites Protection Initiative handed over petitions to the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners last week with what it hopes to be enough signatures to take its cause off the streets and front porches of U. City and onto the ballot in April 2016.

The initiative wants to beef up protection for seven historic structures in this inner-ring community.

UCityNeeds.me director Chris Paavola, (left), speaks with a resident during a results party Saturday at the Heman Park Community Center. Paavola and other University Center organizers launched a campaign to link residents with causes they care about.
Kameel Stanley | St. Louis Public Radio

Organizers of UCityNeeds.me had a simple goal in mind when they launched their interactive social campaign this summer:

Find out what residents in University City want and need from their community. It didn’t take long to get the answer.

Over a 30 day period, residents submitted more than 2,000 responses to this prompt: “My #HopeForUCity is…”

University City School District Superintendent Joylynn Pruitt (center), seen here at a district work session, will retire at the end of the 2015-2016 school year after nine years in the post.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

University City School District Superintendent Dr. Joylynn Pruitt will retire at the end of next school year, according to an announcement released Tuesday.

Pruitt has spent eight years so far at the head of the U. City schools, and said by the end of her ninth year, it will be time for someone else to take the district to the “next level.”

voting booth for paper ballot
File photo | Rachel Heidenry | St. Louis Beacon

(Updated 10:45 a.m., Mon., March 10 with filing of Jayson Thornton in Kirkwood.)

A longstanding contract dispute between the union representing University City firefighters and some city officials could influence that city’s April 8 election of new council members.

(Courtesy University City Public Library Archives)

When Edward Gardner Lewis purchased the land that would become University City at the turn of the twentieth century, there wasn't much in the area beyond an amusement park, a race track and the loop of the trolley from which Delmar Loop gets its name. But he had a vision for a magazine empire and needed space to expand his printing presses. He built an iconic octagonal building for his headquarters overlooking the street car line and in view of the site of the upcoming 1904 World's Fair. From there, a bustling street of businesses grew, full of places to eat, shop and have a good time.

Jami Cox
Provided Jami Cox

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: When you think of someone responsible for starting a community outreach program, public speak out sessions with fire fighters, police chiefs, city officials, superintendents and youth engagement events, a seasoned campaign worker with years of invaluable experience is likely to come to mind.

But in this case, the instigator is 17 years old.

University City lawyer sentenced on embezzlement charges

Sep 11, 2012
(via Flickr/Tracy O)

A former lawyer in St. Louis County is going to prison after embezzling nearly $500,000 from dozens of clients.

The U.S. Attorney's office says 53-year-old Jonathan McKee was sentenced Monday to five years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty in March to one felony count of mail fraud.

McKee had a general law practice in University City. Prosecutors said that between 2007 and 2011, he kept more than $495,000 in settlement money from insurance companies that should have gone to about 87 clients.

McKee was disbarred by both Missouri and Illinois last year.

Morning headlines: Monday, April 2, 2012

Apr 2, 2012
UPI/KMOX

Lambert Concourse reopens today

City officials are celebrating the reopening of the C Concourse at Lambert St. Louis International Airport today.

The concourse has been closed since April 22 of last year when a tornado hit causing significant damage.

The concourse is new and improved according to director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge with brighter ceilings, new lighting and new restrooms among the improvements. Hamm-Niebruegge recalls the evening the tornado hit.

View University City Flood Damage in a larger map

A long-delayed buyout of 26 properties in University City that were severely damaged by flash flooding in 2008 has gotten a final level of approval.

Chuck Berry statue installed in the Loop

Jul 1, 2011
Workers set the statue in place near Chuck Berry's star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame and near Blueberry Hill, where he played regular concerts in later years.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

Despite criticism, a statue of rock legend Chuck Berry was installed in University City, Mo. Friday in the Delmar Loop.

The statue was crafted by local artist Harry Weber and a formal dedication is planned for July 29.

Previously, critics voiced concerns that the statue was to be installed on city-owned land and that Berry spent time in jail.

Berry to get St. Louis-area statue despite critics

Jun 28, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The rock legend known for such hits as "Johnny B. Goode" will be getting a statue in suburban St. Louis, but not everyone thinks that's so great.

University City's City Council on Monday night refused to block installation of an 8-foot bronze sculpture by artist Harry Weber honoring 84-year-old Chuck Berry.

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