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St. Louis County Council established its own prescription drug monitoring program in 2016 to fill the void left by the absence of an official statewide program. Seventy-five jurisdictions across the state now participate in the program.
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County Drug Monitoring Program Continues To Grow Across Missouri

Public health officials in St. Louis are expanding their efforts to reduce opioid addiction statewide. The St. Louis County Department of Public Health unveiled new online resources Wednesday designed to connect doctors with information on opioids, pain management and substance abuse. The toolkit is the latest addition to the county’s prescription drug monitoring program, which was established in the absence of a statewide program.

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St. Louis County Council Chairwoman Lisa Clancy (left) and County Councilman Ernie Trakas (center) both have proposals to change the county's panhandling regulations.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Staff attorneys have told the St. Louis County Council that they need to update their vagrancy and panhandling ordinances because the ones currently on the books might be unconstitutional. 

But the council hasn’t agreed yet on how to proceed.

Missouri Chief Justice George Draper, center, delivers his State of the Judiciary Address on Jan. 22, 2020as House Speaker Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield and Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe listen.
Tim Bommel | House Communications

The chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court says the state needs to properly fund its public defender system to continue the criminal justice reforms it has passed in the last several years.

Speaking to a joint session of the state Legislature Wednesday for his first State of the Judiciary address, Chief Justice George Draper applauded the General Assembly for boosting access to treatment courts and allowing more individuals to enter diversion programs. However, he cautioned those reforms can only go so far.

Barr branch library
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In some ways, the concept behind St. Louis Public Library’s Creative Experience makerspace, located at its downtown branch, sounds pretty simple: It’s a space dedicated to creating things. But as makers of all sorts of stuff know, it can be difficult to bring even the best ideas to fruition without the right tools.

That’s exactly where Creative Experience comes in — providing studio-quality software and equipment to help bring many different kinds of projects to life.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden testifies in committee hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 14 about residency requirement.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 2:10 p.m. Jan. 22 with House committee action

Legislation that would remove residency requirements for St. Louis police officers passed out of Missouri House committee Tuesday evening.

Senate President Pro Tem Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, has a similar measure that was heard in a Senate committee on Wednesday.

Here is the original story:

After years of city officials trying to end the residency requirement for police officers in St. Louis, lawmakers in Jefferson City are expecting to get it done. 

Rep. Ron Hicks, R-Dardenne Prairie, is sponsoring legislation that will lift the requirement, and he said he has the support needed to make it law. 

“Right now, we have a clean bill,” Hicks said in a committee hearing on the proposal on Tuesday. “We have a good path through the House; we have a good path through the Senate right to the governor’s desk. He himself told me he’ll sign the bill if we can get it there the way it is written.” 

Concordance Academy of Leadership provides programming to previously incarcerated and incarcerated individuals that will assist with re-entering into society.
Concordance Academy of Leadership

Before being released from prison, Melvin Hill Jr. was doing everything in his power to secure a sustainable job that would allow him to fulfill his lifelong goals. 

Then a friend told him about the local nonprofit Concordance Academy of Leadership. Hill applied while he was still incarcerated. Last May, he was accepted into the program that supports reentry into society after prison.

Recently, the academy received $1 million to advance its mission of reducing recidivism in Missouri and Illinois with a holistic approach to reentry into society.

Loop Trolley
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The head of the agency that runs the region’s transit network characterized the Loop Trolley as a “troubled project” Tuesday but still said his organization should attempt to turn it around.

State Sen Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, presents his legislation to lengthen sentences for armed criminal action to the Senate Judiciary committee on Jan. 21, 2020.
Jaclyn Driscoll | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri lawmakers are still at odds on how to solve the spike in gun violence and gun deaths in St. Louis and other urban areas. 

On Tuesday, House Democrats held a press conference highlighting gun control legislation they believe will address the violence. 

“Perpetrators of gun violence deserve harsh punishment, but what Missouri needs most are policies that help prevent shootings from ever taking place,” said House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield.

Alejandra Fallows (at left) and Bailey Schuchmann are among Sauce Magazine's picks for "Ones to Watch" in 2020.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

On this month’s Sound Bites segment, produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine, managing editor Heather Hughes Huff gave an overview of the six up-and-comers the publication chose for its annual "Ones to Watch" feature that highlights local culinary talent.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Hughes Huff as well as featured restaurateurs Alejandra Fallows and Bailey Schuchmann

Fallows is the bar manager at Chandler Hill Vineyards. She recently achieved the top score on her certified sommelier exam. Schuchmann is the beverage director at the acclaimed restaurant Farmhaus. She’s also a certified sommelier. Sauce’s profile describes her as a “wine/cocktail/service triple threat.” 

I-255 Closures Begin Next Week: IDOT Warns To Find Alternate Routes, Plan For Extra Time

Jan 21, 2020
Starting Feb. 1, Illinois' major, 10-month rehabilitation project to "one of Illinois' worst roads" begins with a five-month closure of a portion of Interstate 255.
Derik Holtmann | Belleville News-Democrat

Starting Feb. 1, Illinois’ major, 10-month rehabilitation project on “one of Illinois’ worst roads” begins with a five-month closure of a portion of Interstate 255.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced the first phase of repairs to a crumbling section of I-255, one of many projects under the Rebuild Illinois capital plan, will begin by closing down all lanes between I-55/70 and I-64 for five months.

Volunteers with the Salam Clinic hold proclamation that declares Jan. 19, 2020 as Salam Clinic Day in St. Louis County by County Executive Dr. Sam Page.
Fatima Ahmad

Every Saturday, a cohort of physicians carves time out of busy schedules in an effort to fill a gap for health care for people in the St. Louis region. 

Started by members of the Muslim Community Services of St. Louis in 2008, the Salam Clinic is a model of interfaith charity. The initiative was simple: provide free medical care to the uninsured and underinsured. Doctors of various religious backgrounds gladly signed on, including the Deaconess Nurse Ministry.

The first clinic opened in north St. Louis at Lane Tabernacle Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. The second opened its doors in 2013 in Ferguson at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ. Last November, Salam opened its third location at Epiphany United Church of Christ in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood. And this Sunday, the nonprofit’s first Salam Psychiatry Clinic will open at its Ferguson location. 

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St. Louis on the Air

Thursday: Intervening With Empathy In Tense Parent-Child Interactions

We'll discuss useful tips for helping children and parents alike in stressful moments.

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Best of 2019

St. Louis Public Radio's Best of 2019

Our St. Louis Public Radio journalists look back at the most memorable stories from 2019.

St. Louis Public Radio Investigates

5 US Cities Have 3 Stadiums Within About A Mile — St. Louis Will Soon Join Them

When St. Louis' MLS stadium is complete in 2022, the city will have three stadiums within about a mile of each other. So we wondered, 'How common is that?' Here's what we found.

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.