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Week in review: What next for Ferguson, a city in tumult?

Ferguson protest 3/12/2015
Lawrence Bryant | St. Louis American

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.

What now?

Ferguson takes stock after a tumultuous week

The recent wave of resignations -- the police chief, two police officers, city manager, the Ferguson municipal court judge and the clerk of the court -- may amount to vindication for protesters and hope for residents. But this week also demonstrated that it would take more than just shuffling personnel for Ferguson to move forward. There's uncertainty over a Justice Department that sharply criticized the city’s government – and a palpable racial divide among residents. Tensions are especially high after two police officers were shot.

Experts say municipal court reforms are coming, but don't know how or what

The Missouri Supreme Court’s decisive and unexpected Ferguson reforms Monday -- on top of the Justice Department’s devastating critique of the town’s municipal courts last week -- have created momentum toward major reform of the St. Louis County municipal courts, experts say. One law professor thinks  the municipal courts may be abolished. Others agree there is momentum for change but not abolition.

Time of introspection

Missouri's political parties look inward as they confront fallout from Ferguson and Schweich's death

For different reasons, both Missouri Republicans and Democrats have found themselves engaged in some introspection -- even soul-searching -- as they struggle to assess and reconsider their words, actions and policies in the face of some direct challenges from within.  The internal conflicts pitting Republicans against Republicans, and Democrats against Democrats, can be as sharp, and divisive, as the usual battles across party lines. As often is the case in Missouri politics, the two biggest issues revolve around religion and race.

Garbage in...

Trucks dump their loads of single-stream recycling on the "tip floor" at Resource Management's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Earth City, Mo.
Credit Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio
Trucks dump their loads of single-stream recycling on the "tip floor" at a recovery facility in Earth City.

Does single-stream recycling really work? Yes! And no

If you recycle at home, chances are you take advantage of a system called “single-stream” recycling: you mix all your bottles, newspapers, cans and containers together in a roll cart or dumpster, and a truck comes by once a week to pick them up. But what happens next? Is that jumble of broken glass, paper, metal and plastic really getting recycled? The short answer is ... mostly, yes. But the system is far from perfect, and some of what could have been recycled ends up in a landfill.

All aboard?

The groundbreaking for the Loop Trolley took place Thursday.
Credit Maria Altman | St. Louis Public Radio
Loop trolley groundbreaking

Loop Trolley breaks ground after years of planning

With bands, balloons, and the clang of a bell, the Loop Trolley project officially broke ground on Thursday. A $22 million grant from the Federal Transportation Administration helped make the $44 million project possible. Mokhtee Ahmad, director of FTA Region 7, took part in the groundbreaking. He said after six years he’ll be excited to see the Loop Trolley start service next year. The story includes an interactive graphic map with all the trolley's stops.

Job description

Normandy asks: What should a new superintendent be able to do?

As Normandy schools search for a new superintendent, residents say they want a strong, experienced leader who can steer the district through tough times and stand up to state education officials who are seen as an enemy, not an ally. To add to the turmoil, the principals of Normandy Middle School and Washington elementary school have submitted their resignations, leaving two more key positions to be filled at a time when many qualified educators already have jobs lined up for the coming school year.

The gee-whiz factor

A model of the heart of a patient with complex congenital heart disease, created at St. Louis University.
Credit Dr. Wilson King
A 3-D model of the heart .

How to build a child's heart … with a 3-D printer

The development of 3-D printers, which use computer designs to create solid objects, are revolutionizing the way engineers make prototypes an models. The practical applications for the health-care industry are huge — and they’re starting to happen in St. Louis with two doctors at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center in St. Louis who are using 3-D printers to build models of their young patients' hearts.

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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