Week in review: Icons of St. Louis, from chocolate bunnies to Indian mounds
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.
Spring has sprung
Bissinger's has new digs in a renovated railroad freight depot at 1600 N. Broadway, near the foot of the Stan Musial Memorial Veterans Bridge. The St. Louis landmark, which has been crafting high-end confections in the city since 1927, moved its operations here last fall from its longtime facility on Gratiot Street. The new manufacturing area is sprawling, with a clean, open-air feel in an industrial space that’s more than a century old. That historic feel was preserved during the renovation work.
The expert Easter egg fillers at Canterbury Enterprises in Shrewsbury packed 5.5 million plastic eggs with candy and toys this year — a new record for the nonprofit sheltered workshop that employs about 100 people with disabilities. Founded in 1983 by the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater St. Louis as an employment program for people with orthopedic disabilities, it now employs people with other types of severe or multiple disabilities, such as Down syndrome and autism.
A past in ruins?
Plans for a new St. Louis football stadium seem to be moving ahead. Just last week, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the stretch of riverfront near the Edward Jones Dome a “perfect” location for the new sports venue. But it is also the site of an ancient Native American city — and that is raising concerns. But archeologists believe that if we were to start digging, we would certainly find Native American artifacts dating back to the time of Cahokia and possibly ancient burial sites.
The former convent of Incarnate Word Academy was built in the 1920s and acquired by UMSL 70 years later. UMSL had planned to knock it down last year, but in response to a community outcry agreed to seek proposals to rehab it instead. But it got only one response and rejected it as inadequate, so the school has reaffirmed its plans to raze the building later this year. A campus spokesman said with $300 million of maintenance and repair needed on UMSL buildings, the convent doesn’t have the kind of “strategic” value to the campus to spend the $11 million to bring it back to proper shape.
Changes ahead in Ferguson
A month ago, the U.S. Department of Justice released a scathing report on the Ferguson Police Department. It found the city's "law enforcement practices were shaped by the city's focus on revenue rather than on public safety needs" and fueled activists' demands that the department be disbanded. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder even told reporters that he would break up the department if necessary. Is that even possible? What alternatives does Ferguson have?
In the days after the August shooting death of Michael Brown, the city of Ferguson was in turmoil. Schools closed. Many businesses closed. But at the city’s public library, director Scott Bonner’s motto was to just say yes. In March, the Library Journal named Bonner a “mover and shaker” for community building. He also received the $10,000 Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Facing Adversity. And donations to the library increased so much that the library’s board has added a second full-time position.
Filling Tom Schweich’s void in the state auditor’s office may be one of the most important decisions of Gov. Jay Nixon’s tenure. He’ll have to pick somebody who can perform the tasks of an important office – and contend with the rigors of maneuvering through statewide politics. The pressure is on: Some want Nixon to select an African-American for the job, which would bring the state to a weighty milestone 194 years in the making. And others feel Nixon, a Democrat, should take the unlikely step of appointing a Republican.
Tthe highest-rated U.S. Chess Championship has opened here in St. Louis and is being held at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis until the closing ceremony on April 13. Here are all the facts you need to know to get up to speed.