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.
Now what? How does our region respond to Ferguson?
The police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson has provoked an intense debate that reveals our nation’s deep divisions when it comes to questions of race and justice. It’s possible that some protesters felt powerless, unconvinced they would be listened to in a city where blacks are woefully underrepresented at every level of government, from police to the city council, even though they are a majority of the residents. And many protesters are on the short end of health disparities, job skills and housing options. And while the demonstrations have focused on justice for all, they are also about quality-of-life issues and resources.
Int the first meeting since the police shooting of Michael Brown, the city council proposed changes, such as creating a citizens review board; restricting the amount of revenue collected from fines that can go toward the budget; and repealing the offense of failing to appear in court. But the most significant aspect of the meeting may have been the tumultuous two hours of public comment following the announcement of those policy changes.
St. Louis is looking to add two new levels of oversight to its police department. Public safety director Richard Gray announced that he will ask the city to look into purchasing body cameras for the city’s 900 patrol officers to wear while on duty. Gray also said that he and police chief Sam Dotson, at the request of Mayor Francis Slay, have been working with Ward 18 Alderman Terry Kennedy to create a citizen oversight board to improve transparency and community relations.
Missouri prison officials said under oath that they would not use midazolam in executions. But a St. Louis Public Radio investigation revealed last week that the state has used it in nine executions since 2013. We developed a graph that shows when inmates were injected with midazolam in the past nine executions.
Governor vs. Missouri legislature
Although the Missouri General Assembly overrode 10 bills vetoed by Gov. Jay Nixon -- and 47 of his line-item budget cuts -- Nixon has opted to look on the bright side of Wednesday’s veto session. He announced Thursday that he’s releasing $143.6 million in money that he had withheld from schools, largely because legislators failed to overturn most of his vetoes of the tax-break bills dubbed the “Friday favors.”
The Missouri General Assembly has made the state the third in the country to require a 72-hour waiting period before a woman can obtain an abortion, after the state Senate killed off a filibuster. The Senate voted 23-7 – along party lines -- to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the bill, but only after deploying a procedural action that it hadn’t used in seven years to end a Democratic filibuster that had gone on for about two hours.
Missouri residents who have concealed-carry permits will be able to openly carry their firearms anywhere in the state, as a result of the General Assembly decision to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a broad gun-rights bill.
Husband and wife Paul and Angelee Brockmeyer have developed a website that helps city parents navigate their choices of schools. It took months for them to plug in data for the 275 schools listed on the site, which encompass neighborhood, charter, magnet and choice school options. The database also holds information on private schools in both St. Louis city and county.