Patricia Bynes | St. Louis Public Radio

Patricia Bynes

Ella Jones, center, looks up at the television during last week's election in Ferguson. Jones easily won a city council race in a suburb that's been rocked by strife and discord.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Ella Jones walked into Drake’s Place last Tuesday night, her diverse group of supporters was ready for a celebration.

As her well-wishers munched on tiny sandwiches, the news got better. Jones trounced three other opponents to win a seat on the Ferguson City Council. It was a victory Jones chalked up to a lot of hard work – and a cogent strategy.

More than a thousand demonstrators gather on Canfield Drive on Aug. 30, 2014 as part of a National March on Ferguson.
File photo | Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

The Department of Justice’s report detailing the excesses of the Ferguson Police Department has prompted plenty of analyses and speculation about whether the town of roughly 20,000 would change its ways.

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Seven months after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown, the U.S. Department of Justice today released two investigations - one that cleared Wilson and the other that accused Ferguson police and courts of violating constitutional rights.

Emanuele Berry, Patricia Bynes and the Rev. F. Willis Johnson discuss Ferguson with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Dec. 31, 2014, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Mary Edwards / St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson has emerged as the top local (and national) story of the year. 

The Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson has raised questions about policing, poverty, government policy and funding, and safety. But some of the biggest questions have been about race and equality.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley speaks to reporters after Tuesday's St. Louis County Council meeting. The departing county executive contends that efforts to paint him as "corrupt" had racial overtones.
Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

When St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s political adversaries used a subcontract for the county’s police lab as campaign fodder, the Democratic official saw it as more than just a run-of-the-mill attack. 

Dooley said the attacks were part of a racially motivated effort to make him look corrupt – a tactic he said is an effective way to discredit black politicians. He went so far as to call county prosecutor Bob McCulloch a “liar” who played the “race card” and county executive-elect Steve Stenger as a dutiful patsy that perpetuated an untruth.

Many businesses along South Grand Boulevard suffered glass damage. Nov. 24
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Late Monday, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had voted it would not indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the August death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Protests began soon after the announcement in Ferguson and St. Louis, followed by acts of arson and violence.

Tuesday on "St. Louis on the Air," we tried to get a better idea of how the communities are reacting and what is planned.

Guests

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon speaking Monday at a news conference before the grand jury announcement on Monday, Nov 25, 2014
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

Within minutes after St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that the grand jury did not recommend that Darren Wilson face indictment for the shooting death of Michael Brown, reactions from area politicians came quickly. 

Before and after the grand jury’s decision was made public, area officials made clear Monday night that they understood the stakes.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Police forcibly dispersed dozens of protesters in Ferguson early Wednesday morning after hours of  confrontation and the smashing of a window at the Beauty Town shop. Tensions had been running high since Tuesday morning when a memorial for Michael Brown burned down close to where he was killed.

Pasadena Hills Mayor Geno Salvati won election to his office in 2013 without opposition. It's fairly common for mayors and city council members to get elected without opposition in St. Louis County.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

When Pasadena Hills Mayor Geno Salvati met with this reporter in April at the Ferguson Brewing Co., it was months before Ferguson became internationally known -- or turned into a hashtag.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

As Ferguson’s municipal government continues to face nationwide scrutiny, the city’s council is preparing to make big changes to the town’s police and municipal court systems.

Proposed changes on the agenda for a Ferguson City Council meeting Tuesday night include a citizen review board for the police department and a limit on how much Ferguson will rely on fines for general revenue. Other proposed steps would make it less likely that poor people would end up in jail for violating city ordinances.

Mike Jones, addressing the County Council earlier this year
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

On Aug. 14, Mike Jones wrote in the St. Louis American that black leaders have failed those they represent.

In his commentary, the senior policy adviser for County Executive Charlie Dooley and a member of the State Board of Education wrote: