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90 Cities, One Road And A Whole Lot Of Laws

Clockwise from top left, Sister Rose Ann Ficker, Marie Kelly, Chris Kehr and Benjamin T. Allen Sr.
St. Louis Public Radio Staff
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Clockwise from top left, Sister Rose Ann Ficker, Marie Kelly, Chris Kehr and Benjamin T. Allen Sr.

St. Louis County has 90 municipalities.

It’s a fact we’ve heard casually thrown into news stories over the past few months, with little explanation as to how St. Louis County came to be a hodge-podge of towns. In this episode of We Live Here, we talk to Esley Hamilton, a preservationist for St. Louis County Parks, who explains why there are so many municipalities in the region.

Within this system of municipalities, people are largely divided — white, black, rich and poor. They rarely live next to each other.

So, for this podcast, we also wanted to get a sense of how people living in different parts of this jigsaw puzzle think about race and money ... what their hopes are for the future ... and maybe their fears.

With this in mind, we took a long drive up Lindbergh Boulevard. With the help of our pals in the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom, we made six stops along Lindbergh. In this podcast you’ll meet …

  • James Sinclair, who works in Mehlville.
  • Marie Kelly of Kirkwood.
  • Chris Kehr of Frontenac.
  • Sister Rose Ann Ficker of St. Ann.
  • Mallori Barnes in Florissant (or just outside).
  • Benjamin T. Allen Sr. of Black Jack.

Our theme music is composed by Cassie Morgan.

Other music in this podcast comes from Syna So Pro and Middle Class Fashion.

Emanuele Berry is a 2012 graduate of Michigan State University. Prior to coming to St. Louis she worked as a talk show producer at WKAR Public Radio in Michigan. Emanuele also interned at National Public Radio, where she worked at the Arts and Information Desk. Her work has been recognized by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. Berry worked with St. Louis Public Radio from 2014 to 2015.
Tim Lloyd was a founding host of We Live Here from 2015 to 2018 and was the Senior Producer of On Demand and Content Partnerships until Spring of 2020.

Send questions and comments about this story to feedback@stlpublicradio.org.