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A peace march in Kirkwood June 6, 2020
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Peace Rally In Kirkwood Kicks Off 10th Day Of Protest

This is a developing story. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kirkwood Saturday morning to protest police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others killed by law enforcement. Many carried signs reading, “We Can’t Breathe,” “White Silence Is Violence,” and “Defund The Police.” Marchers also used chants that have become familiar in protests throughout the St. Louis region, including “No Justice. No Peace,” and “I Can’t Breathe.” Marchers in Kirkwood...

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Frontier Health and Rehabilitation, a nursing home in St. Charles on March 27, 2020.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

More Than 250 Missouri Nursing Home Residents Died From COVID-19

Protesters March Against Racism Through Predominantly White Freeburg

2 hours ago
People prepare for a Black Lives Matter protest, June 5, 2020
Lexi Cortes | Belleville News-Democrat

Editor's note: This story was originally published in the Belleville News-Democrat.

High school students flying Confederate flags at their graduation parade this week added to Lily Reaka’s urgency to organize a Black Lives Matter protest in Freeburg, her small and predominantly white hometown, for Saturday morning.

Reaka is a 2019 Freeburg Community High School graduate. She called the video “appalling.”

A march against violence towards black transgender Americans that looped through St. Louis' Central West End and Forest Park Southeast neighborhoods was among several demonstrations against racism in the region Friday. 060520
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

White coat wearing-health care workers, teens too young to vote and members and allies of the LGBTQ community were among the groups that showed up by the thousands Friday at more than a half-dozen marches and protests in the St. Louis metro area. 

The protests were the latest large-scale demonstrations to follow the violent death of George Floyd, and they highlighted the different ways that racism and police brutality against black Americans play out.

Anna Blair setup
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Theater and restaurant workers have taken huge economic hits lately, and back before the coronavirus pandemic, Anna Blair was a busy member of both industries as an actor and bartender. Now theaters are closed, and restaurants and bars are seeing little traffic.

But after experiencing some initial deep worry, Blair came up with an idea for how she wanted to spend her time during this crisis. She calls it Curbside Cabaret Cocktails. People looking for “a jolt of joy” can book her to serenade them karaoke-style — and mix them a drink while she’s at it, all in socially distanced, contact-free fashion.

The other day, St. Louis on the Air stopped by one of Blair’s curbside performances in south St. Louis.

Ruth Harris was appointed the president of Stowe Teachers College in 1940.
Via Vanessa Garry

Vanessa Garry is passionate about preparing aspiring administrators to lead today’s schools. As an assistant professor of educator preparation and leadership at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, she often finds herself looking to the past for some of the most important lessons she teaches.

That history is not always easy to grapple with, and Garry knows its ugliness better than most. The Missouri General Assembly’s 1847 passage of an act making it illegal to educate people of color is just one early example. Even after that changed in 1865, public schools were segregated by law.

By the early 20th century, African American communities were leading the way in search of progress and reform. And one of those leaders was growing up in St. Louis’ Ville neighborhood: Ruth Harris.

Katherine Streeter for NPR

Three St. Louis siblings recently had their adoption finalized, even in the midst of a pandemic. The children, ages 7, 6 and 5, were adopted by an Oregon family, with the final hearing taking place by phone due to COVID-19 restrictions on in-person court hearings. 

St. Louis-based foster care recruiter Edna Green, who works for the Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition in Brentwood and the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, played matchmaker for the Oregon family and the three youngsters. She described the process on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air

Their siblings’ newly adoptive mother, Celeste Scott, also joined the program from Oregon. 

Poet Carl Phillips finds inspiration in everyday moments. He published his 15th collection of poems in March.  [6/5/20]
Carl Phillips

Carl Phillips was teaching Latin to high school students when a poet changed his life. 

Phillips had long been an avid reader and wrote poems casually, but he never conceived of poetry as a career path. The poet Martin Espada visited the school where he worked and led a workshop for faculty. He saw what Phillips wrote in an exercise and suggested he apply for a state grant. 

Phillips got the grant. 

Then he won a poetry contest that led to publication of his first collection, “In The Blood,” in 1992. 

The next year he secured a position on the faculty at Washington University, where he remains a professor of English and leads a workshop in the graduate creative writing program. 

An illustration of flooded homes.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

An advisory group Gov. Mike Parson appointed during the record-breaking 2019 floods has released a report that calls for strengthening levees and other structures that control floods. 

The report from state regulators, agriculture groups and navigation industry representatives also recommends that state and federal officials increase funding for levee repairs and provide financial assistance for farmers with property damage from floods. 

Environmentalists called the group’s recommendations short-sighted because the strategies are largely focused on levees than on other solutions, such as wetland restoration and buying frequently flooded properties.

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd of supporters at Kiener Plaza Park in downtown St. Louis on Saturday afternoon. (March 7, 2020)
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Jill Biden, wife of likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, is calling for Americans to be mindful of threats to their votes as they head into this fall’s contest between her husband and President Donald Trump.

During an online fundraising event Thursday with St. Louis supporters, Jill Biden recounted her sister’s experience in Tuesday’s primary in Pennsylvania. She said her sister voted in person and was concerned that when she turned in her sealed ballot, the poll worker took it into another room.

“My sister said to me: ‘Jill, I didn’t see him put it in a box. I didn’t see him put it anywhere safe.’”

All Americans need to ensure that “our votes count,’’ Jill Biden said.

Protesters begin a march from outside the Target in the Promenade at Brentwood shopping center on Thursday, June 4. The group marched east on Eager Road. to South Hanley Road, south to Walmart, north to the I-64/40 access road north of the highway and wes
Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 10:20 p.m. June 4 with the conclusion of the demonstrations

Protesters packed a Target parking lot and marched through Brentwood and Richmond Heights on Thursday, the day a memorial was held for George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Thousands of people have attended rallies over the past week in the St. Louis region, demanding a stop to police violence against African Americans and mourning the violent death of George Floyd, who was killed by Minneapolis police. A smaller protest also occurred in Florissant shortly before the demonstration in Brentwood. 

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft has approved a petition to allow Missouri voters to decide whether to expand Medicaid.
Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday signed legislation allowing people at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus to vote absentee without needing an additional notarized statement. 

“Any Missourian affected by COVID-19 should still be able to vote, including those who are sick or considered at-risk,” Parson said in a statement. “I applaud Senator Dan Hegeman, Representative Dan Shaul, and the rest of the legislature for taking this important step, which provides Missourians with a safe and secure way to vote while still safeguarding our elections and ballot process.”

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Hear The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Rebroadcast Tonight At 8

Stéphane Denève conducts the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and vocal soloists Ellie Dehn, Jennifer Johnson Cano, Issachah Savage and Morris Robinson in works by Puts and Beethoven.

CareSTL Health's COVID-19 testing site in north St. Louis will reopen on April 27.
Nat Thomas | St. Louis Public Radio

Live Updates: Coronavirus In The St. Louis Region

Noon Thursday, June 4 As we said in our note Tuesday, we are suspending the blog to focus our newsroom’s resources on other important stories in our region. Many readers wrote to us asking where or how they can keep up with data about how quickly the coronavirus is spreading in our region.

Consider this a parting gift that will keep on giving: St. Louis Public Radio has built a dashboard that will update daily with information about how many new coronavirus cases and deaths we have in our bi-state region.

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