Brendan Kelly | St. Louis Public Radio

Brendan Kelly

Illinois’ weed legalization law won’t take effect until next year, but the Illinois State Police is wasting no time. That agency is preparing to enforce new regulations surrounding legal cannabis.


Susan DeCourcy, with the National Highway Traffic Safety Adminsitration, speaks at the launch of the 2019 Click It or Ticket campaign on May 20, 2019.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Police departments in Missouri and Illinois are joining law enforcement across the nation over this Memorial Day weekend to crack down on drivers and passengers who don’t wear their seat belts.

More than 500 people have died on the roads in the two states combined this year, and in more than half of those crashes, the people who died were not wearing a seat belt. The annual "Click It or Ticket" campaign, which runs this year from May 20 until June 2, is intended to help bring that number down.

A child attends a rally in East St. Louis, a city that averages 24 murders a year, nearly five times the national average.
Zia Nizami | BND

This article originally appeared in the Belleville News-Democrat.

The boy was inches from his mother when she took her final breaths.

The man who shot her ran away, leaving the 3-year-old strapped in a car seat, a vulnerable witness to a horror that still haunts him.

Three years later, the boy’s father was shot to death during a neighborhood barbecue. The boy heard gunshots and saw his dying father lying in the grass, unable to move.

This child was barely old enough to attend school when he saw his father killed.

U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin, speaks to supporters and media on Tuesday night. She defeated Democratic challenger Cort VanOstran in Missouri's 2nd Congressional District.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Reps. Mike Bost and Ann Wagner bucked a national trend to survive tough Democratic challenges Tuesday.

The two Republicans will return to a House that Democrats control after the GOP lost a number of other seats across the country.

Former Vice President Joe Biden greets U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill on stage at a campaign event Wednesday. Oct. 31, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Former Vice President Joe Biden asserted Wednesday that working-class Americans face losing most of their safety net – notably Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act – if Republicans keep control of Congress.

The GOP’s aim, he said, was to make up some of the money that they spent with their massive tax-cut package passed in late 2017.

“If they keep the House and Senate, they will emasculate Medicare,” Biden said at a rally for Democratic candidates Wednesday at the Machinists union hall in Bridgeton.

IL 12th candidates Mike Bost, Randy Auxier and Brendan Kelly participated in a 90-minute debate earlier this week in Carbondale.
Joseph Bustos | Belleville News-Democrat

One of the most competitive congressional races in the country is Illinois’ 12th Congressional District. The district includes a significant portion of the metro-east including all of St. Clair, Monroe and Madison counties as well as part of Madison County.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, is running for re-election against St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, D-Swansea, and Randy Auxier, SIU-Carbondale professor and Green Party candidate.

Congressman John Lewis implores a crowd of Illinoisan's to get out and vote. The 12th Congressional District race is one of a few that are crucial to Democrats retaking the House of Representatives.
Abigail Censky | St. Louis Public Radio

Georgia Congressman and longtime civil rights leader John Lewis came to East St. Louis Tuesday as part of an effort to urge Democrats to vote in November.

Lewis appeared at New Life Church on behalf of congressional candidate Brendan Kelly, who’s running against Republican incumbent Mike Bost.

His presence at the event underscores how important Illinois’ 12th Congressional District is in Democrats strategy to regain control of the House of Representatives. In order to do that, Democrats need to flip 23 seats.

Congressman Mike Bost and St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly are engaged in one of the most competitive congressional race in America.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Even though there are roughly 434 other options, there may not be a more compelling House race in the nation than the contest for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District.

The contest between incumbent Republican Mike Bost and Democrat Brendan Kelly features two candidates with impressive track records of public service. While Republicans have gained ground in the district in recent years, the 12th District, which includes the Metro East, has a rich Democratic legacy and political infrastructure that gives Kelly a fighting chance.

Illinois 12th District Green Party candidate Randy Auxier Oct. 4, 2018
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Randy Auxier, the Green Party nominee in Illinois’ 12th Congressional District, is the latest guest on the Politically Speaking podcast.

Auxier is running against incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Bost and Democratic nominee Brendan Kelly. Both Kelly and Bost recorded episodes of Politically Speaking previously.

Illinois Congressman Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Illinois Congressman Mike Bost joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies on Politically Speaking to talk about his bid for a third term.

The Murphysboro Republican has represented Illinois’ 12th District since 2015. He’s running against Democrat Brendan Kelly, who is St. Clair County’s state’s attorney. The Bost-Kelly race is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Brendan Kelly, the Democratic candidate in the 12th Congressional District, talked extensively with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his decision to enter the highly-competitive congressional contest.

Kelly is squaring off against Congressman Mike Bost, who became one of the first Republicans to represent the 12th District in generations when he captured the seat in 2014. The Bost-Kelly contest is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation this year.

St. Clair County state's attorney Brendan Kelly holds a photo of Quiantez Fair, who was killed in East St. Louis in October. Kelly and law enforcement officials are asking people to help them solve the murder of Fair and 25 other people in the city.
File photo I Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement officials in East St. Louis are making a year-end push for witnesses to come forward in unsolved homicides.

Thirty-four people have been killed in East St. Louis so far this year. But police have been able to solve just eight of those cases. That clearance rate of 24 percent is well below the national average, which was about 60 percent in 2016.

Hannah Westerman | St. Louis Public Radio

Nine people were arrested Monday in the Metro East as part of a state and federal public corruption task force operation.

Known as Operation Watchtower, the joint task force began this spring.

St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly announced the arrests at a press conference at the Illinois State Police Headquarters in Collinsville.

Kelly says his office has prosecuted a large number of public integrity cases but they still present a unique challenge.

East St. Louis gun buyback takes 100 guns off streets

Aug 7, 2016
Four hand guns on a red cloth.
St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department Facebook

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s office is melting down at least a hundred illegal firearms it collected over the weekend at a gun buyback in East St. Louis.

$10,000 in Wal-Mart gift cards were handed out in 39 minutes Saturday in exchange for the guns.

Jamie Case, the executive director of Gateway Pet Guardians, plays with Elvira, one of the dogs rescused by her organization.
Caleb Codding for St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement officials and animal welfare agencies say a new animal abuse task force in St. Clair County is working well.

St. Clair County state's attorney Brendan Kelly developed the protocol with the assistance of the Belleville Area Humane Society and Gateway Pet Guardians, a rescue organization that works primarily in East St. Louis and surrounding communities. It was first announced last March.

Retired Circuit Judge Milton Wharton (left), St. Clair County Sheriff Richard Watson and St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly spoke about ethics violations of the Brooklyn Police Department at a news conference on Wednesday, April 8, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The prosecutor in St. Clair County, Illinois, says he will no longer pursue criminal charges for cases brought to him by the Brooklyn Police Department.

State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly released a list of the Metro East department’s unethical practices confirmed by his office as part of an ongoing investigation into Brooklyn police. Notable items on the list include the inability to account for confiscated cash and drugs, withholding of officer pay unless they meet their quota of towed vehicles, and reports of drunken officers pulling their guns on civilians at night clubs.

Natalie Creamer, the community outreach coordinator for Gateway Pet Guardians, holds a puppy that will be available for adoption through the agency.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Law enforcement and animal welfare agencies in St. Clair County, Ill., are using a new playbook for animal abuse cases that they say will make it easier to prosecute those cases in the county.

U.S., State's Attorney Address Public Safety In Metro East

Oct 11, 2013
Paul Sableman / (Via Flickr/pasa47)

Over the past six decades, the Metro East has gained a nasty reputation for dangerous crime. The news headlines reflect a cycle of poverty and crime made worse by a lack of local resources for adequate governance.

Three government officials charged with tackling these problems joined us to discuss their vision for creating a more positive future for the Metro East: U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen Wigginton; State's Attorney for St. Clair County, Brendan Kelly; and the mayor of Washington Park, Ann Rodgers.

(via Flickr/TheTruthAbout)

The St. Clair County state’s attorney has filed suit against 22 banks for allegedly failing to record the sale of mortgages with the county.

Brendan Kelly alleges in the suit filed today that banks conspired to document those sales on a private network known as MERS, rather than at the county recorder's office in Belleville.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 4, 2011 - For a few cases each year, some St. Clair County prosecutors will be on the standard 24-7 on-call schedule of the police. In recent months, a member of a new Violent Crime Unit has responded with police to a rolling gun battle in Parkfield Terrace and another to a drug trafficking stop at the Missouri border.