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The Rundown: Controversy flares over National Guard in Ferguson

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon talks with reporters in St. Louis. Nixon was on the defensive Wednesday about not having National Guardsmen in Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

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.

Continuing controversy over National Guard

Nixon on National Guard: 'Not the best path forward to get into a gunfight on the street'

Gov. Jay Nixon remained on the defensive Wednesday about his decision not to station the National Guard in Ferguson after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson. “The only other action you could take is go directly after folks that were causing that problem,” Nixon said. “It was clearly not the best path forward to get into a gunfight on the street in November. That would not have been something that would have been useful or helpful.”

Ferguson mayor reflects on impact of unrest — and the future of his city

With a little more than two years left in his term, Mayor James Knowles has limited power as mayor to turn things around. He doesn’t have day-to-day authority over city departments, and his legislative power depends solely on his alliances with city council members. But he says the city has plenty to do before it can turn the corner. In an in-depth interview, Knowles also talks about the issues surrounding the National Guard.

St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar speaks to reporters on Dec. 24, 2014 about the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Antonio Martin by a Berkeley police officer. Berkeley chief Frank McCall looks on.
Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI
St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar

Belmar confirms St. Louis County police wanted National Guard in Ferguson after grand jury decision

A new report finds that St. Louis County Police Department officials were rebuffed when they asked to station National Guard troops in Ferguson after a grand jury decided Darren Wilson’s fate. But while St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar confirmed there were discussions about that move, he added he’s not sure it would have made much of a difference.

Amendment 5

Gun rights amendment had unintended outcomes; high court to decide fate

The Missouri Supreme Court will hear arguments next week on whether voters knew enough about a constitutional amendment expanding gun rights before it was approved in 2014.  Plaintiffs, including St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson, want the high court to throw out the results of the election because they say the summary on the ballot did not provide enough information about how drastically Amendment 5 would affect the state's gun laws.

Say amen, somebody

1920s sermons set stage for televangelism and even reality TV shows

Author of "Preaching on Wax," Lerone Martin, Ph.D,
Credit Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio
Author Lerone Martin

The term "televangelist” was coined in a 1975 TIME magazine article to describe a practice now familiar to many Americans. Lerone Martin said that practice may stem from sermons recorded in the mid-1920s. Martin wants people to imagine a recording session with Louis Armstrong and his musicians in Columbia Records studios as one of the first bridges established between religion and mass media. Last fall Martin released the book "Preaching on Wax," which traces the development of preaching in the African-American religious community. He argues that early sermon recordings are the foundation for much of the current form and content we see in contemporary mass media religious productions

Rolling on the river

George Caleb Bingham painted 'The Jolly Flatboatmen' in 1846. The oil-on-canvas painting is part of the St. Louis Art Museum's Bingham exhibit.
Credit Courtesy of the St. Louis Art Museum
George Caleb Bingham painted 'The Jolly Flatboatmen' in 1846. The oil-on-canvas painting is part of the St. Louis Art Museum's Bingham exhibit.

Bingham’s rivers connect nature and politics, local and national audiences

A new exhibit at the St. Louis Art Museum tackles the personal interests of a Missouri painter known for his depictions of 19th-century elections and politics. “They are the most spectacular paintings he did,” said Melissa Wolfe, the new curator of American art at the museum. “Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River,” highlights the painter’s commitment to capturing river scenes from his home state of Missouri. His portrayals of daily life around the rivers lent dignity to dock workers and boatmen.

The next chapter

Normandy urged to extend transfer deadline: 'Never too late to give a kid a decent education'

Since St. Louis County Circuit Judge Michael Burton has declared Normandy to be unaccredited, all students who live in Normandy are eligible to take advantage of the opportunity to transfer. But the deadline for applying for transfer expired before the ruling, leaving parents up in the air about what to do.

The party is over

Credit Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Last look back at St. Louis' 250th year

The birthday cakes are disappearing from St. Louis streets, and the Missouri History Museum’s 250 in 250 closes up shop this weekend. But here's a one-stop place to find — at any time — the stories inspired by St. Louis' big anniversary about what makes our area special.

Susan Hegger comes to St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon as the politics and issues editor, a position she has held at the Beacon since it started in 2008.

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