Todd Swanstrom | St. Louis Public Radio

Todd Swanstrom

Members of the Ferguson Commission lead a moment of reflection on Monday in St. Louis. The Commission held its final meeting in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Since its inception, the Ferguson Commission faced doubters wondering whether a group of gubernatorial appointees could heal decades-long divides throughout St. Louis. And before she joined on as the commission’s communications director, Nicole Hudson shared some of that skepticism.

Professors Robin Hambleton (L) and Todd Swanstrom (R) joined "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh on April 22, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

What happened in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown and the ensuing protests has garnered worldwide attention.

Robin Hambleton works at developing innovative polices and leadership in cities throughout the world. He’s a professor at the University of West England in Bristol and the author of a new book, “Leading the Inclusive City: Place Based Innovation for a Bounded Planet.”

(Flickr, Paul Sableman)

Closing economic disparities in the St. Louis region is one key to moving past Ferguson.

That was the message at a panel discussion Thursday called "Eight Months Post-Ferguson: The Journey from Recovery to Rebuilding." Several of the panelists said sharp economic contrasts contributed to issues in Ferguson, but are even more stark in other communities.

Jeniece Andrews, left, prays with a woman who pulled over her car to embrace her by the rubble of her business, Hidden Treasures. Andrews sank her life savings into her store, which was burned down after a grand jury decided not to indict former Ferguson
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Jeniece Andrews invested her life savings — and her family’s money — into an upscale boutique in Ferguson called Hidden Treasures. Attached to a Little Caesar’s restaurant, the store sold jewelry, clothing and accessories to a diverse clientele throughout Ferguson.

Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, is leading a study for Better Together about how the region's policing agencies should be structured.
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

When Better Together formed last year, it was already planning to examine how the region polices itself — especially because St. Louis County has so many different departments that patrol towns and cities.

But the review became more than just a theoretical exercise after the shooting death of Michael Brown. The roughly 60 police departments throughout St. Louis County underwent intense scrutiny for aggressive ticketing, little racial diversity and the targeting of African Americans. There have been widespread calls for substantial changes.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Chesterfield received plenty of attention recently when it snagged two high-profile festivals away from the city of St. Louis. But the hubbub over the Taste of St. Louis and Bluesweek’s exodus may be part of a larger story. 

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Monday, March 3, 2014 to include audio from St. Louis on the Air.

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar remembers a time when his home city was described by travel writers as “Indianapolis No Place.” 

When the Indiana Republican became mayor of Indianapolis in the 1960s, the city was mired in a “mediocre, flat situation.” He said it received “very little interest to anybody outside who was not involved parochially.”   

Michelle Witthaus came in third in this year's Democratic primary in St. Louis' 6th Ward. But the winner -- Alderman Christine Ingrassia -- is working with Witthaus to implement "participatory budgeting." The process -- which gives residents a direct say
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: One day after coming in third place in a battle for a St. Louis aldermanic seat, Michelle Witthaus says she received a notable text message from a former rival.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is pressing the city of St. Louis to change how it divvies up Community Development Block Grant funds.

Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Nicole Cortes felt the "pull" of Cherokee Street when she was looking for a home.

Cortes, an immigration attorney with the Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project, said she was attracted to "the diversity and the eclectic mix of small businesses" in the south St. Louis commercial hub. She was also heartened by the area's affordable property — and demographic diversity.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 26, 2011 - In 1950, five counties made up the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area, or MSA -- St. Louis, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Madison County and St. Clair County. But since the 1960 Census, the region has added real estate every decade.

Until now.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 8, 2011 - Nearly 40 years ago, Mike Goeke moved into this neighborhood. Forest Park Southeast was then a different place than it is now.

White families had mostly packed up and moved away. There was crime and poverty. But there was also promise. Goeke and the Catholic lay community he was part of saw it then. And depending on how you look at the census numbers, quite a few others have since caught up.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 27, 2008 - Recessions don't take a holiday, and Tuesday's numbers on home sales were more proof of what economists have been warning: This is far from over.