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A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Behind the Headlines: More Questions — And Answers — About Potential City-County Merger

The St. Louis Public Radio newsroom has been fielding a wide range of questions from listeners the past few weeks concerning Better Together’s recently unveiled proposal for a reunification of St. Louis and St. Louis County. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Don Marsh and several STLPR journalists provided answers to a number of those Curious Louis queries that haven’t already been answered – and took additional questions from listeners as well.

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The U.S. trade war with China has created a financial burden for farmers and companies that import Chinese goods. Consumers, on the other hand, have mostly been spared from the conflict.

That could all change if this month’s negotiations between the U.S. and China don’t go well.

Samuel M. Kennard School was built in St. Louis' North Hampton neighborhood in 1928 and named for a former Confederate soldier and businessman. Parents of the gifted school now located in the building want the school's name changed.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

A multi-year effort to shed a Confederate name from one of St. Louis’ top public elementary schools, Kennard Classical Junior Academy, is gaining momentum.

Both parents of Kennard students and alumni of St. Louis Public Schools’ gifted program are lobbying district administrators to pick a new namesake because the current one belongs to a former Confederate States Army soldier.

A life-sized exhibit of President Abraham Lincoln and his cabinet discussing the Emancipation Proclamation at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

As Illinois celebrates the 210th birthday of favorite son Abraham Lincoln, officials with the Springfield presidential museum created in his honor hope to keep important artifacts from being sold to the highest bidder.

But they’re running out of time.

The relics are part of the 1,400-item Taper Collection bought by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in 2007. The private foundation, which supports the state-owned Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, took out a $23 million loan to buy the historical treasures.

The balance of the loan is due in October, and the foundation is still $9 million short.

More Than 3 Years Later, Fairview Heights Still Hasn’t Filled Its City Administrator Job

Feb 11, 2019
Fairview Heights Mayor Mark T. Kupsky
Belleville News-Democrat file photo

In October 2015, about six months after Mark Kupsky was elected Fairview Heights mayor, the city agreed to part ways with its then-city administrator, Jim Snider.

At the time, Kupsky said he looked to possibly restructure the position and search for a replacement within the next three to four weeks for a home-rule community.

However, more than three years later, there is no formal replacement for Snider, even though the city’s online city ordinances say the mayor “shall” appoint a city administrator with the consent of the council.

Rhetoricians Lauren Obermark (at left) and Paul Lynch joined Monday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the art of persuasion and the study of public discourse have enriched human civilization for millennia, negative connotations frequently surround contemporary notions of rhetoric. Politicians are dismissed as “all rhetoric, no action,” and talking heads on TV make everyday people sigh over “all the rhetoric” of the 24-hour news cycle.

But for those who conduct research in the academic field of rhetoric – and anyone interested in the work that words can do – the term “rhetoric” still holds great hope and possibility for society.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with two local scholars about cultural understandings of rhetoric, its positive uses and the ever-shifting ways in which humans communicate.

A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A group seeking to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County sent a new version of their constitutional amendment to Missouri’s secretary of state’s office Monday that contains mostly minor changes.

Better Together described the changes to the amendment as “technical,” dealing with the handling of pensions and existing debt. It also makes some clarifications to language creating a new fire-protection district encompassing St. Louis. (Click here to read the new petition and here to read the summary of changes.)

Shrinking Medicaid Rolls In Missouri Raise Flag On Vetting Process

Feb 11, 2019
Kaiser Health News

Tangunikia Ward, a single mom of two who has been unemployed for the past couple of years, was shocked when her St. Louis family was kicked off Missouri’s Medicaid program without warning last fall.

She found out only when taking her son, Mario, 10, to a doctor to be treated for ringworm.

When Ward, 29, tried to contact the state to get reinstated, she said it took several weeks just to have her calls returned. Then she waited again for the state to mail her a long form to fill out attesting to her income and family size, showing that she was still eligible for the state-federal health insurance program for the poor.

Provided by Missouri S&T

A two-night History Channel series, “Presidents at War,” will tell the stories of eight men who served in active duty and who would later become presidents of the United States.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with military historian John McManus, a professor of history at Missouri S&T, who is featured in the show. In it, McManus specifically comments on the role of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Shelley House Rededicated By Realtors, Community Groups, Leaders

Feb 11, 2019
Eric Friedman of St. Louis REALTORS; Erich Morris, who grew up in the home; Michael Burns, president of Northside Community Housing Inc.; Alderman Sam Moore; Morris' sister Mary Easterwood; and U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay participated in the rededication.
Steven Engelhardt | St. Louis American

When Mary Easterwood’s family moved into their home at 4600 Labadie St. about 60 years ago, the neighbors had tried to explain the history behind the house.

“But they couldn’t quite get the story together,” Easterwood said. “As we got older and we started to study, then we found out about the Shelley v Kraemer case,” decided in 1948.

Easterwood’s father, Lenton Morris, had bought the home from another African-American man, J.D. Shelley. When Shelley purchased the home, the title included a racially restrictive covenant – which was an agreement that prohibited the building’s owner from selling the home to anyone other than a Caucasian.

State Senator and Board of Aldermen president candidate Jamilah Nasheed poses for a portrait on Jan. 18, 2019.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

State Senator Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, is the newest member of the exclusive Five-Timers Club on the Politically Speaking podcast. She joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum to talk about her bid for president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

Nasheed’s main competitors are incumbent Lewis Reed and Alderwoman Megan Green, D-15th Ward. (You can find Reed’s podcast here. Green has recorded an episode that will air later this month.)

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Hear The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Broadcast Tonight At 8

SLSO Music Director Designate Stéphane Denève conducts works by Prokofiev featuring pianist Yefim Bronfman and the St. Louis Symphony Chorus.

Curious Louis Answers Your Questions About The St. Louis City-County Merger Plan

Readers have submitted dozens of questions about Better Together's proposal to unify St. Louis and St. Louis County. We'll answer as many as we can in the weeks and months ahead.

Fixed Odds: Problem Gambling in America

'Fixed Odds' explores the impact of problem gambling on communities of color and the extent to which states provide money for problem gambling treatment.