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Preston Jackson (right) shows the drafts of the Freedom Suits Memorial. Jackson was commissioned to complete the project. August 23, 2019
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

Sculpture To Commemorate Legal Battles Of Slaves Who Sought Freedom In St. Louis

Hundreds of African Americans who fought for their freedom in St. Louis courts will soon be commemorated in front of one of the city's oldest legal institutions. The Freedom Suits Memorial sculpture will be installed on the grassy plaza east of the Civil Courts Building downtown. The art piece, to be sculpted by Preston Jackson, will honor the more than 300 lawsuits filed by slaves and the lawyers who represented them within the St. Louis Circuit Court. City political leaders, judicial officials and civil rights proponents gathered Friday to dedicate the site.

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At least one person has died in Illinois, after they used an e-cigarette product that appears to have caused fatal breathing problems. The death may be the first vaping fatality in the nation.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner details her hopes for St. Louis after taking the oath of office on Jan. 6, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis judge has ruled that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner does not have the authority to ask for a new trial in the case of a man Gardner says was wrongfully convicted of murder.

Judge Elizabeth Hogan’s opinion, issued Friday, also says Gardner’s request in the case of Lamar Johnson was filed well beyond deadlines outlined in court rules and decisions. 

A spokeswoman said Gardner will appeal the ruling, and had no further comment.

9-year-old Cenya Davis puffs on her inhaler in this 2018 file photo. The study followed more than 200 African American children in St. Louis, a demographic that is 10 times more likely to visit the hospital for asthma than white children.
File photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Some kids with mild asthma only need to use their inhalers when they have symptoms, according to research from Washington University.

That’s a major departure from traditional guidelines that recommend patients use their inhalers everyday, regardless of how they’re feeling. 

The study, which focused on African American children in St. Louis, found no difference in symptoms or lung function between kids who used their steroid inhalers everyday and those who used them as needed. Following an “as-needed” treatment strategy may help some patients cut down on the total amount of medicine they need to manage their asthma — and may reduce overall costs for low-income populations.

Provided | Tarlton

A new building at St. Louis Community College will help the region address a shortage of nurses and other health care professionals. 

The college officially opened its new Center for Nursing and Health Sciences on Friday. The $39 million facility is the first new building on the Forest Park campus in 20 years. 

The four-level, 96,000-square-foot building includes simulation labs, classrooms, a teaching area, a dental clinic and a functioning operating room.

Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturist Dave Gunn documents his research trips to Kyrgyzstan via Insagram @davegunn3.
Dave Gunn

Earlier this week, members of the Missouri Botanical Garden horticulture staff returned from a research trip in the Central Asia country of Kyrgyzstan. There, the team’s project involved conserving crop wild relatives of popular fruits like apples, apricots and plums found in Kyrgyzstan’s highly threatened walnut fruit forest.

The goal is to preserve genetic diversity that is often lost in modern agriculture, which is based on a single-crop system. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked to Megan Engelhardt, manager of the Botanical Garden's seed bank, and horticulturist Dave Gunn about how the staff went about bringing seeds back to add to the Botanical Garden’s seed bank to propagate. 

Hunter Richardson, right, explains a tire nut to (from left to right) Juan Peal, Javahn Watkins, Nichelle Davis and Charles Singleton at World Wide Technology Raceway on Aug 22.
Eric Schmid | St Louis Public Radio

MADISON — A program that pairs science and technology education with car racing hit the track at World Wide Technology Raceway on Thursday.

For the first time, the track invited youth teams from school districts and after-school programs throughout the St. Louis region to build and race their own go-karts ahead of the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 IndyCar race on Saturday.

Restaurateur Gerard Craft joined Friday's talk show to discuss mental health in the restaurant industry.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Local chef Gerard Craft is among the most notable restaurateurs in the region. He’s won the coveted James Beard award for "Best Chef: Midwest" for his restaurant Niche; he operated a successful restaurant group; and his eateries included Pastaria, Taste Bar and Brasserie — all of them both popular with diners and restaurant critics. 

But he’s also secretly dealt with intense anxiety. In a new essay published Monday on the website Plate, he wrote that he decided to close Niche in part because he was worried it could only fall in the rankings. 


The XFL is a planned professional U.S. football league with the mission of reimagining America’s favorite sport. The league originally debuted in 2001 and only lasted one season. XFL games are set to begin again in February 2020.

The St. Louis BattleHawks were one of the league’s eight teams announced this week.

A Bird scooter in Forest Park. August 23, 2019.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Scooter riders in Forest Park are cruising at a bit more leisurely pace as of this week. 

St. Louis city officials asked electric scooter rental companies to throttle speeds to a max of about 10 mph within the boundaries of the park.

It could be the first of several changes to how the scooters operate in St. Louis, as officials look for ways to increase the safety of riders, cyclists and pedestrians. 

House Minority Leader Crystal Quade speaks to news reporters after the end of the legislative session in Jefferson City on Friday.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The latest episode of Politically Speaking explores the state of the Missouri Democratic Party — and what some of the party’s leadership say needs to be done to reverse its decline.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies, Julie O’Donoghue and Jaclyn Driscoll chart out why Missouri Democrats went from dominating the state’s politics to being nearly completely out of power. Many Democrats believe that State Auditor Nicole Galloway’s 2020 gubernatorial bid is the first big step toward engineering a comeback.


St. Louis on the Air

Monday: A Close Look At The Dreams Of A Trio Of Athletes

Host Sarah Fenske will talk with a local artist who takes a contemporary look at St. Louis athletes pursuing their dreams as fighters.

Living #Ferguson: 5 Years After The Killing Of Michael Brown Jr.

What has changed?

Listen to the voices of people who experienced #Ferguson and who are directly touched by the issues Michael Brown’s death laid bare.

Sharing America: Profiles

A series about women of color doing local work that highlights an issue of national importance.