Kayla Drake | St. Louis Public Radio

Kayla Drake

Personal injury attorneys Mark and Patricia McCloskey emerge Sunday evening from their Portland Place house pointing guns at protesters who were on their way to protest in front of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's house.| 6/28/20
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated at 5 p.m. with comments from the McCloskeys’ attorney

Hundreds of protesters marching Sunday evening through St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood were greeted by a pair of personal injury attorneys, who stood outside their home brandishing guns. 

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who live in a million-dollar home on the private street Portland Place, came out to their front porch and lawn and shouted at protesters to go away.

Crews lift the Christopher Columbus statue from its pedestal in Tower Grove Park on June 16, 2020.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:50 p.m., June 16

A crew removed the statue of Christopher Columbus from Tower Grove Park in St. Louis with little fanfare early Tuesday morning.

The statue, which has stood at the east entrance to the park near South Grand Boulevard for more than a century, has become the subject of scrutiny in recent years. Petitioners have called for its removal, citing the explorer’s treatment of Native Americans. 

About 100 demontrators, many of them children, walk onto the Arch grounds Sunday June 14, 2020, to protest police violence. It was just one of several such protests over the weekend.
File Photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Activists again took to streets, parks and intersections across the St. Louis region this weekend to call for an end to heavy-handed policing tactics.

At one point Sunday, simultaneous demonstrations were underway in Ballwin, St. Ann and St. Louis. More protests took place at other times throughout the weekend, including a caravan of dozens of cars that drove through the city’s central corridor, and a march in Webster Groves. 

Students cross Grand Boulevard on St. Louis University's campus Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018.
File Photo | David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Universities in the St. Louis region are releasing plans to return students back to campus this fall, but they come with a warning.

School administrators say they are prepared to shift instruction online and send students home like they did this spring if coronavirus cases again spike during the fall semester. Most plan to begin the school year with in-person learning while implementing social distancing measures on campus. 

Nurses greet a patient in their car to be tested for the COVID-19 at the Mercy Virtual Care Center in Chesterfield on Saturday morning. Missouri has four known cases of the new coronavirus virus as of Friday evening. 3/14/20
File photo | Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Updated April 29 with more testing locations

Missouri and Illinois health care providers are ramping up testing capacity in response to COVID-19 projections that the death toll would peak in mid-April.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker predicts the state will be able to test 10,000 people a day by then. The Missouri Health Department said it has the capacity for 2,000 tests a day, not including the capacity of private labs in the state.

To be eligible for a test, you first must be screened by the testing site by phone or online. You cannot bypass the screening, even if a doctor has recommended that you get testing. It is mandatory. 

The Missouri Theater building, right, is adjacent to Powell Hall.
Paul Sableman | Flickr

Concert and event cancellations are stacking up as the St. Louis region tries to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. 

The city of St. Louis banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 people. In St. Louis County, the limit is even stricter: no events with more than 250 people.

Religious services and public schools are exempted from the bans. Some religious institutions are canceling services. Read more for how the Archdiocese of St. Louis is responding: No Handshakes Or Communion Cups — St. Louis Archdiocese Tries To Prevent Coronavirus

A rendering of the Major League Soccer stadium, which is scheduled to be completed by March 2022.
Major League Soccer ownership group

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved financing for the Major League Soccer stadium redevelopment plan on Friday. 

The plan received overwhelming support, passing with a 22-1 vote. The bills were sponsored by 17 aldermen.

Supporters of the MLS team say the $500 million development will bring in millions to the city.

Visitors to North Main Street in St. Charles start to head home after bars close on a Friday night in early August. The street has seen smaller crowds on weekends recently, and bar owners say a new liquor ordinance isn't helping. (Aug. 2 2019)
File Photo | Nicolas Telep | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Charles City Council passed a law Tuesday night that creates a Liquor License Appeals Board and modifies the punitive point system for bars and restaurants. 

Before, penalized owners would appeal to the same commission that issued them the points. Mayor Dan Borgmeyer said that was unfair.

Now, both the commission and the board will each have five members, including restaurant and business owners from North Main Street. 

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced the plan for a $15 hourly wage for the lowest paid county employees on Jan. 30, 2020.
St. Louis County

Updated on Jan. 31 with new information on negotions between SEIU Local 1 and contractors.

The janitorial bargaining team representing SEIU Local 1 has reached a tentative agreement with Clean-Tech, the contractor that employs the union's members to clean buildings around metro St. Louis, including St. Louis County government buildings. The union is not releasing details, but members will vote on whether to accept the tentative agreement in the coming days.

Original Story from Jan. 30:

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page announced Thursday a proposal to raise some county government employees’ hourly wages to $15 by 2022. 

Officials estimate that implementing the change will cost $2.9 million over a three-year period. The pay will be increased incrementally starting with $13 for 2020. Page said the change will take several months to take effect.