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Top Stories

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

dleafy | sxc.hu

(Updated 12:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 16,  with additional candidate filings)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster continues to hold a huge financial edge over all of his Republican rivals for governor next year.

Koster, a Democrat with no major opposition from his own party, has banked more than $5 million, according to his latest campaign-finance report filed Thursday.

His bank account is more than twice as fat as that of the top-raising Republican seeking the job, former Navy Seal Eric Greitens., who reported $2.3 million.

Talks fail to lead to agreement in East St. Louis teachers strike

Oct 15, 2015
A crowd of teachers and supporters picket outside East St. Louis School District 189's administrative offices Thurs. Oct. 1, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Oct. 15, 3:04 p.m. -- Another negotiating session that lasted just one hour Thursday failed to reach an agreement to end the teachers strike in East St. Louis. 

The teachers union and the district have met several times with a federal mediator to try to end the walkout that has canceled classes since Oct. 1 for more than 6,000 students.

Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

A Missouri House committee is putting together recommendations that could place further restrictions on abortion providers, namely Planned Parenthood.

Several Republican lawmakers began brainstorming various proposals toward the end of a public hearing Wednesday at the State Capitol.

They included random inspections of any facility that performs abortions, including hospitals.

File | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s not just a change of names and grades that has made the Normandy 7th and 8th grade center a calmer place this year.

What used to be Normandy Middle School now has just two grades, with sixth graders returning to the district’s elementary schools. At a community forum held at the school Wednesday night, the consensus was that a school that had been in the news last year for a host of disciplinary problems has calmed down a lot.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander and U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt are the front runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in the next Senate race.
official photos

The latest campaign-finance reports show that U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., has almost three times as much money in the bank as his Democratic rival, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, as the two prepare to face off next year.

Supporters of raising St. Louis' minimum wage listen to testimony Tuesday at St. Louis City Hall.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Low-wage workers in St. Louis will not be getting the raise they expected on Thursday.

Judge Steven Ohmer ruled Wednesday afternoon that a law boosting the city's minimum wage to $11 an hour by 2018 violated Missouri's Constitution because it conflicted directly with state law. The first increase, to $8.25 an hour, was to take effect at midnight Wednesday.

Ferguson Farmers Market

The oldest, still-operating farmers market in St. Louis, Soulard Farmers Market, has a history that stretches back over 200 years. But it is only in the past 15 that the local food scene has exploded across other municipalities in the region, bringing with it smaller markets and more opportunities for local growers to sell their produce and products.

Rep. Eric Burlison
Scott Harvey I KSMU

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome state Rep. Eric Burlison to the show (with some generous assistance from our friends at KSMU).

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Mississippi River basin got its first-ever report card from the America’s Watershed Initiative ... and it was nothing to write home about.

The overall grade is D+.

Flickr | david_shane

A new commission set up by the Missouri Supreme Court will examine ways to ensure that minorities receive fair and just treatment from the state's court systems and legal profession.

Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge announced the formation of the commission at a recent Missouri Bar meeting in St. Louis. She cited findings in two Department of Justice reports, one on Ferguson and the other on St. Louis County's juvenile division, as reasons for forming the commission.

Detail of 'If a World is a Fair Place Then...' artwork Raqs Media Collective
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

As Laumeier Sculpture Park opens its Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center to the public, exhibited works will be designed to bridge international and local communities. Among those whose work is featured in the first show, which opens Friday, is Raqs Media Collective.

The St. Louis County Council approved a new version of legislation requiring owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council revived stalled legislation requiring owners of rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County to obtain licenses.

Yet even though the legislation went through more alterations, the bill’s critics contended they didn’t get enough time to review the changes before they were adopted.

e-MagineArt.com | Flickr

Missouri hospitals have seen a drastic increase in prescription painkiller abuse over the past decade. According to a study from the Missouri Hospital Association, the rate of hospitalization due to the abuse of prescription opioids has increased by 137 percent since 2005.

The numbers localize a problem usually shown through national statistics. For instance, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 44 people die every day in the United States from prescription painkiller overdoses.

Fashions R Boutique owner Juanita Morris sets out merchandise in her new Florissant location, after her original store burned in the riots following the Darren Wilson grand jury decision in November 2014.
Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

When riots broke out in Ferguson and Dellwood last year following the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown-Darren Wilson case, Juanita Morris' business of 28 years burned to the ground.

In one night, Morris lost the building that housed Fashions R Boutique and almost all of her inventory. But she vowed to rebuild, even in the face of what she called “some dark days.”

Ways and Means Committee Chairman Steven Conway, D-8th Ward, expects a number of hearings on a stadium funding bill. Conway is a CPA and plans to analyze the financial costs of the legislation.
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s fair to say last week produced plenty of copy about St. Louis’ proposed riverfront football stadium.

Traffic changes aim to make streets safer for exercise

Oct 11, 2015
Davion Thompson, 14, clocks the speed of cars passing the intersection of Gasconade Street and Compton Avenue Saturday, Oct 10, 2015 during Trailnet's traffic calming demo.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

Brightly-colored tires simulating flower beds popped-up along a two-block stretch of Gasconade Street Saturday in the Dutchtown neighborhood of south St. Louis.

Bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group Trailnet set the tires up to block the corners of intersections leading up to Marquette Park, shortening the distance people crossing the road were exposed to traffic. Other tires formed a zig-zag route for drivers to navigate.

Rep. Lacy Clay
St. Louis Public Radio

The City of St. Louis would be the first stop on a proposed national trail to mark historic sites in the struggle for African American civil rights, if Congressman Lacy Clay, D-University City, is successful in his efforts to preserve “precious historic waypoints along the routes of that largely untold story.”  

flickr | southtyrolean

With ISIL breathing down our necks, and with political shenanigans raining down upon us from ideological thunderheads; with racism and its various crippling spawn bedeviling us;  with apparently intractable financial, educational, residential and vocational inequities confronting us; with guns, guns, guns everywhere; with the reality of catastrophic climate metamorphoses; with the rendings of the fabrics of families; with contempt for knowledge: In the face of all of this, how is it that the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra would have the cheek to present to its audiences Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9  in D Minor, the Choral Symphony with its “Ode to Joy?”

Bike cops use art to raise awareness of gun violence

Oct 8, 2015
One set of drawings up for sale at 10th Street Gallery
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Downtown Police Bike Unit is hoping to serve the community creatively while addressing gun violence. To this end, officers organized a show of artwork they produced. Funds raised from the sale of this work will be donated to Jamyla Bolden’s fourth-grade class in the Riverview Gardens School District.

Officer Solomon Thurman, III, serves in the bike unit and his parents run the gallery. He hopes the show lets the class know one thing.

“They’re not alone and she’s looking over them and her spirit inspired us as far as to help them,” Thurman said.

Jameela Tidwell (left) and Molicia Hammond dissect a from Tues. Oct. 6, 2015 in the Upward Bound program at SIUE's East St. Louis Center. Both are sophomores at East St. Louis Senior High.
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville | provided

Thursday marked the sixth school day with no class for the more than 6,000 students in East St. Louis School District 189 as teachers continue to strike. Contract negotiations between the district and the teachers' union appear to have hit a stand-still.

Since the strike began, six community centers with after-school programming have extended their hours and opened their enrollment to all students in the district.

St. Louis Metropolitan Police chief Sam Dotson briefs reporters on his department's plans for the 2015 Major League Baseball playoffs on October 8, 2015.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police will have extra personnel in downtown this weekend as the St. Louis Cardinals begin postseason play — a little earlier than usual.

Bill Kreeb, president and CEO of Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House, and Elizabeth Patton-Whiteside, public health administrator at the East Side Health District.
Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio | file photo

It has officially been 100 days without a budget in Illinois, said Amanda Vinicky, statehouse bureau chief at Illinois Public Radio. But the impasse between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled legislature predates that.

Rauner is the first Republican in the governor’s mansion in over a decade. He won election with a business-friendly, budget-balancing agenda and the quest to right the Illinois government’s past wrongs.

Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis
Jim Howard / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is not alone in confronting an increase in violent crime, but what little comfort that may provide city officials is tempered by the fact that there are relatively few resources readily available to help cities across the U.S. confront their own rise in gun and drug related violence.

Mayors from 20 cities along with chiefs of police, an array of federal law enforcement officials, and academics met in Washington on Wednesday for a Department of Justice sponsored summit on violent crime.  St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Samuel Dotson, both attended the day-long session to share ideas, concerns and to make appeals to federal officials for assistance.

File Photo | St. Louis Cardinals

Every year for the past five, Cardinals fans have headed into October knowing all is right in the world: Post-season play is about to commence.

And yet each year, there seems to be a little more pushback against the Cardinals. As Will Leitch noted in 2013, “Over the last eight years, the Cardinals have ended the postseason dreams of the Mets, Tigers, Phillies, Brewers, Rangers, Nationals and Pirates. That's a lot of fan bases spitting in your general direction.”

Last year, we added the Dodgers.

Saturday evening at a Schnucks in Des Peres.
Wayne Pratt|St. Louis Public Radio

The retail grocery industry in the St. Louis region and throughout the country is more competitive than ever.

Local chains that have been around for decades are adapting to customer expectations as they face increasing pressure from big-name national stores and even discount outlets.

Ameren Missouri

Missouri's Department of Economic Development has unveiled 17 recommendations for how Missouri should use and conserve energy.

The recommendations are the end result of an executive order Gov. Jay Nixon issued last year that was intended to "chart a road map toward a more prosperous, secure and sustainable energy future."

These renderings show what it would look like in National Car Rental Field. The car rental company forged a $158 million deal to name an in-flux riverfront stadium.
Courtesy of HOK

Dave Peacock concedes that he undersold a bit to Enterprise Holdings when he talked with some of their top brass about sponsoring a roughly $1 billion stadium.

The co-chairman of a task force angling to keep professional football in St. Louis said on Wednesday he went in with a “lower sponsorship level” to Enterprise, a St. Louis-based corporation that owns a number of car rental companies. What Peacock got in return was a 20-year, $158 million offer to name the stadium “National Car Rental Field.”

(courtesy of Uber)

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission has asked a St. Louis County judge to force Uber to stop operating in St. Louis.

The regulatory body on Monday filed suit against the company, 19 alleged UberX drivers, and anyone else who may have driven a vehicle for UberX, saying the parties are operating in direct violation of the Commission's vehicle-for-hire code. 

Monsanto announced Wednesday it would shed 2,600 employees in the next 18 to 24 months as the company deals with declining seed sales.

The seed giant reported a $495 million loss, or about $1.06 per share, for its fiscal fourth quarter.

It’s not clear how many jobs will be affected at its Creve Coeur-based headquarters. The cuts represent about 12 percent of Monsanto’s workforce, and spokeswoman Sara Miller said they will take place globally across all functions.

The St. Louis County Council rejected legislation aimed at regulating rental property in unincorporated St. Louis County.
File photo | Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis County Council delivered a major blow to a bid to tighten regulations over rental properties in unincorporated St. Louis County.

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