The Rundown: St. Louis Entrepreneurs, Old And New
We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.
Taking care of business
The startup scene in St. Louis is grabbing more national attention as the calendar year begins. "Popular Mechanics" has named it the best city in America for startups and the Princeton Review recently placed Washington University’s Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and St. Louis University’s Entrepreneurship Concentration in its list of the top 25 colleges for entrepreneurship undergraduates. Even with the startup momentum, St. Louis is battling a negative national perception among some, especially after last year in Ferguson, but entrepreneurs are confident that they can overcome that image.
St. Louis doesn't have many remaining independent hardware stores -- those places where you could get a key cut or find the "thinga-mi-jig" for a special project. We visited three longtime, family-owned hardware stores to get their thoughts on their staying power of the area's hardware stores: Marx Hardware & Paint Co. in the Old North neighborhood; Rathbone Hardware in the Carondelet neighborhood; and New Market Hardware in the Central West End.
The decade-long effort to require photo IDs in Missouri voting booths is once again under way in the General Assembly, although it’s unclear if the chances are any brighter. The photo ID backers are more confident about their chances this year, since Republicans – the leaders of the effort -- amassed larger majorities in the General Assembly in the November elections.
So long, farewell
Denny Coleman, the head of the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, will step down from his post in August. After noting that the St. Louis has taken "a terrific hit to our image all over the world," Coleman said that his agency and others "have already begun conversations" about turning the tide.
As the Normandy Schools Collaborative begins the process of finding a replacement for Superintendent Ty McNichols, its board is finalizing details of a severance package and educators are wondering who might be available to take his place. Some question why McNichols is received a severance payout because he resigned and had no contract.
A new study released Monday shows Missouri saw a significant decrease in unintended pregnancies in recently measured years. A Guttmacher Institute report found Missouri had 54,000 unintended pregnancies in 2010, 11 percent fewer than in 2006. During that time, the state's unintended pregnancy rate - or the number of unintended pregnancies per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44 - declined from 52 in 2006 to 46 in 2010. One reason: the growing use of long-acting reversible contraceptives like IUDs and implants.
As awareness of human trafficking has grown, lawmakers at the state and national levels have been doing what they can to combat it. But most of the heavy lifting falls on the shoulders of nonprofits, such as the Covering House and Magdalene House. But the services available to people who escape human trafficking still fail to address the full scope of the situation.
A new analysis led by Washington University has shown a possible link between exposure to certain common, long-lasting chemicals and the earlier onset of menopause. Even though some of the chemicals have already been banned in the U.S., they are still present in the environment. "Some of these chemicals, like PCBs, can potentially persist for decades and decades and decades in the soil and in the water," one of the scientists said.
Music as a universal language
Local music producer and sound engineer Louis Wall thinks challenging area international and local musicians to produce a collaborative album will help push artists beyond their social boundaries. The Texas Room is Wall’s attempt to get St. Louisans to engage with cultures outside of their own, while re-examining the culture they come from. He offers both native St. Louisans and immigrant musicians free recording time in exchange for their work on a collaborative song.