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Top Stories

Editor's picks for the top news stories of the day.

Tim Wolfe delivers a statement on Nov. 9 announcing that he will resign.
UM System YouTube Screen Capture

Updated at 5 p.m. with news of Loftin's resignation - University of Missouri System president Tim Wolfe abruptly announced his resignation Monday morning amid strong criticism of his leadership in handling issues of race. Several hours later, R. Bowen Loftin said he would be leaving his post as chancellor of the system's Columbia campus to coordinate university research.

Detail from book cover

Composer Frank Loesser once explained that a great song is like a train: A locomotive starts it off, a caboose completes it, and different colors fill in the cars in the middle.

But for a lot of music lovers, after the middle of the 20th century, the train had jumped the track, and the era of the great American songbook was over. In his new book, “The B-Side: The Death of Tin Pan Alley and the Rebirth of the Great American Song,” Ben Yagoda explores why and how popular music changed after World War II.

Adrian Clark | Flickr

The state of Missouri is on the line to repay about $100 million in to the federal government, unless the state’s Department of Social Services wins a lawsuit that’s brewing in district court.

The details are a bit wonky, so here are a few items to help outline the basics.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

There is this term that gets thrown around in education circles that we felt needs some exploring.

School to prison pipeline.

It sounds like schools are some kind of factory for future inmates, which is not what most people think of as the mission of our education system. Rather, school is the place that prepares children for work, for life, for being good citizens. And for a lot of students, that is exactly what happens.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ first Bicycle/Pedestrian Coordinator plans to start collecting data on bicycle traffic as the city ramps up its efforts to improve alternative modes of transportation.

Traffic engineer Jamie Wilson began his new post with Street Department Oct. 5. According to Wilson, his work will rely on existing data provided by the city police department and the new data collected on bicycles to focus investments and improvements where they’re needed most in the city.

UM System President Responds to Protests

Nov 8, 2015
University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 29, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

KBIA, Columbia, Mo. - There was a rush of local and national media attention Sunday after the students of color on the Mizzou Tigers Football team’s Saturday announcement that they would not take part in any “football related activities” until University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe either resigned or was removed from office due to his “negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.”

Interim Ferguson Police Chief Andre Anderson listens to audience questions at a neighborhood policing forum after speaking to city council member Wesley Bell on Nov. 17, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

The Ferguson Police Department is asking the public how it should do its job. Ferguson held the first of several meetings Saturday to ask residents and other stakeholders to join a steering committee that will create a neighborhood policing plan.

The idea is to build positive relationships between police officers and the neighborhoods they serve by creating a plan that will build positive community interactions.

Ben Hejkal Photography; Courtesy of the Nevermore Jazz Ball and St. Louis Swing Dance Festival

You can get a day’s worth of live music and dancing on Cherokee Street on Saturday - all for free.

e-MagineArt.com | Flickr

It’s commonly understood that prescription painkillers are a gateway drug to heroin—both drugs are in the opiate family and provide similar highs. But new research from Washington University School of Medicine is redefining what that means.

Rather than switching from prescription painkillers to heroin, the Washington University researchers have found that many people who try heroin also continue to abuse prescription opiates.

Federal office rejects Boeing strike bomber protest

Nov 6, 2015
Boeing FA-18 Super Hornet
Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Stephen G. Hale II | U.S. Navy

Updated 1:33 p.m., Feb. 16 with rejection of protest -  Boeing is considering its options following the denial of a protest over the military's decision to award a lucrative contract to a rival contractor. The U.S. Government Accountability Office says it has found no issues with the Air Force’s move to award the contract for the Long Range Strike Bomber to Northrop Grumman. Boeing's St. Louis-based Defense, Space & Security division still claims the Air Force's evaluation of the competing proposal was "fundamentally and irreparably flawed."

The engineering, manufacturing and development phase of the deal is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion

 

Courtesy of the Hands On Black History Museum

The recent $5 million gift tech company Emerson made to the Missouri History Museum will fund the museum’s first exhibit from its initiative to improve the representation of African-American history in museum programing. The exhibit will attempt to show St. Louis' position as a leading city of the civil rights movement.

Students from the Science Center's YES program examine the slave hold at the Griot Museum of Black History. Notice the rat near the baby on the upper right-hand side.
Nancy Fowler / St. Louis Public Radio

Fifteen-year-old Chassidy Buckner thought she had already learned all about slavery from school and her mother. But at the Griot Museum of Black History, the lesson became personal.

"Because it is my ancestors,” Buckner said.

Looking at the life-sized figures chained together in the hold beneath a slave ship is different than seeing pictures in a book.

"I didn’t know it was that cramped and with, like, blood everywhere," Buckner said.

St. Louis Art Museum website

The St. Louis Art Museum’s exhibition of mid-20th century art, architecture and design, which opens Sunday, should provide an epiphany for visitors unfamiliar with mid 1900's achievements here, and for others, moments of reminiscence. “St. Louis Modern” shines light on a Camelot moment in St. Louis, putting on view representations of Mound City-centric buildings, paintings, sculptures, textiles, prints, drawings, furniture and a made-in-St. Louis Corvette. It’s a triumph of sorts, except for the fact that it tips toward the archeological rather than the retrospective.

We Must Stop Killing Each Other signs are posted on the security gate of a building near where Mansur Ball-Bey was shot by police.
Linda Lockhart I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is nearly ready to be awarded a nearly $1 million, three-year violence prevention grant for the near north side. To receive the money, the Board of Aldermen just have to approve the measure.  

The grant from the U.S. Department of Justice totals $999,858.60 and is known as the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program. It focuses on a neighborhood with a “concentration of crime hot spots.” The proposal under consideration by the Board of Aldermen targets Carr Square and Columbus Square, which have seen four homicides in the past two years, according to police data.

Maliyah Isadora, 2 months, and her mother, Courtney, at their home in Florissant in this 2015 photo
File photo | Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

In the zip codes surrounding St. Louis’ nationally-ranked children’s hospitals, a disproportionate number of babies never make it to their first birthday.

North of the Delmar Loop, in 63113, the infant mortality rate is 20 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the most recent five-year averages kept by the state. That’s more than three times the U.S. rate, and on par with countries like Nicaragua and the Marshall Islands. But just a few miles away from 63113’s empty cribs, less than four out of 1,000 babies born in the Clayton's 63105 zip code die in their first year.

HOK | 360 Architecture

There are few fans in St. Louis quite like Ram Man.

Ram Man — whose real name is Karl Sides — wears a hat molded in the shape of a snarling beast with spiraling horns. His jersey is adorned with patches celebrating the St. Louis Rams' achievements. And his unique admiration was worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But it will take more than extraordinary fan loyalty to keep an NFL team in St. Louis.

Film Festival: How do we measure quality of life?

Nov 4, 2015
Images from St. Louis International Film Festival

This year St. Louis Public Radio is reviewing films from The St. Louis International Film Festival related to prominent issues facing our city.

Yesterday we reviewed films that dealt with crime and crime prevention. Today we’ll provide reviews of select movies that tackle different perspectives on quality of life issues.

It's a broad topic, so it's a big list: "T-Rex," "The Invitation," Good Ol' Boy," "Keeping Rosy," "Unlikely Heroes," "Frame by Frame," "Radical Grace," "Echo Lake," "24/7/365," "Bounce" and "I Can Quit Whenever I Want."

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | 2012 photo

Updated 12:36 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 4 with comments from the Kirkwood School District. Voters in locations throughout St. Louis had a variety of issues to decide at the polls Tuesday, including a special election for a state House district.

Mehlville schools got support for a tax hike, while Kirkwood’s efforts were defeated. The Mehlville proposition will raise rates by 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation. It passed with 17,905 for and 6,783 against. The Kirkwood measure would have added 78 cents to the school levy. It went down 6,884 to 4,776.

stream is constricted by hard rock
Linda Lockhart | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is one of only three Democrats who have signed onto a bill that would scrap a new rule governing the Clean Water Act. Republicans have assailed the so-called “Waters of the United States” rule as Obama administration “regulatory overreach,” a quickly emerging theme for GOP campaigns in next year’s elections.

National Blues Museum announces April opening

Nov 3, 2015
St. Louisan Big George Brock has performed at past Bluesweek festivals.
File Photo | Bluesweek

The National Blues Museum has set April 2, 2016, as its opening day. The project intends to tell the history of blues music through exhibits and community outreach.

Footage of cell phone video of the Aug. 20, 2014, death of Kajieme Powell
Video provided by St. Louis Metropolitan Police

Updated at 5 p.m. Tuesday with comments from prosecutors. Two St. Louis Metropolitan Police officers will not face criminal charges in the death of a 25-year-old man who was killed less than two weeks after the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Kajieme Powell was shot and killed outside a convenience store in the city’s North Point neighborhood on Aug. 19, 2014, after he advanced with a knife on officers who had responded to a disturbance call. 

Here at St. Louis Public Radio we know our listeners rely on us for to provide context, quality storytelling, and deep dives into the characters behind today’s news. We’re applying this approach to bring you reviews from this year’s St. Louis International Film Festival organized by the issues facing St. Louis and the surrounding area.

Each day reviews will be organized by issue as explored in select films from the festival. These categories are not literal representations of how these topics manifest in St. Louis but maintain a broader look into the various perspectives we use to address these concerns.

An underground fire has been smoldering in the Bridgeton Landfill for five years, about 1,000 feet away from tons of nuclear waste in the adjacent West Lake Landfill.
Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio has been following developments at a landfill complex in St. Louis County, where for five years an underground fire has been smoldering at the Bridgeton Landfill, about 1,000 feet away from radioactive waste at the adjacent West Lake Landfill.

The situation is unique, and we thought it merited national attention. You can listen to our national update below, or read the story at npr.org.

U.S. Rep. John Shimkus
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio's Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum welcome back U.S. Rep. John Shimkus to the show to get a first-hand account of the recent turbulence in Congress.

Forest Park Forever president and executive director Lesley Hoffarth said public input will help guide future changes and upgrades at the city's most well-known green space.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Forest Park Forever wants to hear from the public about how people enter, get around and access attractions at the green space in the heart of the city.

(Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio)

A statewide group that advises the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says the federal government needs to be gathering a lot more information about police tactics in Missouri and across the country.

The brief report summarizes two days of public hearings the Missouri Advisory Committee held last year in Kansas City and St. Louis. Members will have until Jan. 11 to comment on the summary. A full report is due in April.  

ConAgra Foods Logo
ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods is giving up on its St. Louis-based private brands unit after about three years. The Nebraska-based company is selling most of what it acquired in the 2013 Ralcorp deal to TreeHouse Foods in a $2.7 billion transaction.

Eileen Myles
Libby Lewis

Writer Eileen Myles’ seems poised on the brink of widespread recognition. This fall she’s publishing two books: “I Must Be Living Twice” and “Chelsea Girls,” which collect new and selected poems and capture the downtown New York of the 1970s in a novel. Much of Myles’ work deals with life in New York City yet the author said her themes and content also exist in cities like St. Louis.

Millennium Student Center at UMSL
File: Dale Singer | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 3:17 p.m. Nov. 2, with reaction: Just four months after announcing the creation of a new School of Public Policy and Administration, the University of Missouri-St. Louis has abruptly decided to dissolve the school because of budget problems.

Word came early Monday from Provost Glen Cope in a campus-wide email, hours before a candidate for permanent dean of the school was to be interviewed.

The five GOP contenders for governor: Peter Kinder, Eric Greitens, Catherine Hanaway, Bob Dixon and John Brunner
St. Louis Public Radio file photos

It’s fair to say that Missouri state Sen. Rob Schaaf has been a thorn in Gov. Jay Nixon’s side over the proposed riverfront stadium in St. Louis.

The St. Joseph Republican was one of the first members of the legislature to raise serious alarm about Nixon issuing state bonds for the $1 billion project without a legislative or statewide vote. More than 20 senators and some key House leaders have threatened to kill any state appropriation to pay off the stadium bonds if Nixon follows through.

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