Rachel Lippmann

Reporter

Lippmann returned to her native St. Louis after spending two years covering state government in Lansing, Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University and followed (though not directly) in Maria Altman's footsteps in Springfield, also earning her graduate degree in public affairs reporting. She's also done reporting stints in Detroit, Michigan and Austin, Texas. Rachel likes to fill her free time with good books, good friends, good food, and good baseball.

Ways To Connect

After St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced Monday that a grand jury had decided not to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with a crime in the August death of Michael Brown, he carried out his promise to release thousands of pages of grand jury testimony and evidence.  

A grand jury in St. Louis County has decided not to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson with a crime for the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed, 18-year-old black man.

(Updated at 9 p.m., Mon., Nov. 17)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and called out the National Guard to protect “the two pillars: safety and speech’’ that he says could be tested in the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision regarding the August police shooting that killed teenager Michael Brown. 

"Our goal is to keep the peace and allow folks' voices to be heard,'' Nixon said Monday night in a conference call with reporters.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. with comments from plaintiff Kyle Lawson.

Two days after a state judge in St. Louis came to the same conclusion, a federal judge in Kansas City has struck down Missouri's ban on same-sex marriage.  

When the St. Louis County grand jury completes its investigation into the death of Michael Brown, protests are expected to erupt. And now, the people who participate have a new tool to monitor police.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri unveiled a tool Thursday that allows people to monitor the interactions between police and citizens with their smart phones.

The St. Louis circuit attorney is pledging a thorough and transparent investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Vonderrit Myers. Myers was shot and killed Wednesday night in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis by an off-duty police officer.

(Updated at 5:45 p.m. with quotes from the ACLU and additional information.)

Attorney General Chris Koster will not appeal a Kansas City judge's ruling that ordered the state of Missouri to recognize the marriage of same-sex couples who wed outside of the state. 

A federal judge in St. Louis has ruled that police in Ferguson cannot enforce what became known as the "five-second rule."  

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with comments from Chief Sam Dotson, Jeff Roorda, and Ald. Dionne Flowers.

On Tuesday, two officers from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shot and killed Kajieme Powell, who was 25 years old.

The sound of honking horns became a symbol Thursday night along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.

It was the first night since Saturday -- the day Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer -- that traffic had been allowed to move freely along one of the main commercial strips in Ferguson. There was no line of police in riot gear and armored vehicles facing off against a crowd. The few officers spotted were in regular uniforms. The atmosphere felt more like a party than a protest.

In the days of protests that have followed the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, one fact has been repeated over and over again: Of the 50 or so police officers on the Ferguson Police Department, just three are African-American.

That means a majority white police force patrols a community that, according to the 2012 census estimates, is two-thirds black. 

Updated at 7 a.m. Monday
 
The situation in Ferguson has settled down following a night of destruction.
 
There is no more systematic looting, but small groups are still casing stores, according to St.

Updated with comment from plaintiffs, copy of legal complaint. Updated at 1:35 p.m. to correct spelling of Tameka Stigers' last name. Updated at 2:25 p.m. to correct spelling of Ndioba Niang's first name.

A libertarian advocacy group has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Missouri law that requires African-style hair braiders to get a cosmetology license or face fines and jail time.

Updated with additional comments from Take Back St. Louis, Mayor Francis Slay, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

A St. Louis Circuit judge has permanently blocked a ballot measure that would have allowed voters to put restrictions on which companies could receive tax incentives.

Judge Robert Dierker ruled on Tuesday that the Take Back St. Louis initiative was "illegal and void on its face" because it conflicts with Missouri laws governing tax increment financing and special business districts. 

Two suits were filed Thursday in Jefferson City challenging Missouri officials for failing to disclose information about the drugs the state uses in lethal injections.

The St. Patrick's Day Parade marked the first time the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department relied on a single, statewide radio network to communicate with each other. And, according to all parties, the experience was a success.

Updated with additional information from the press conference, copy of the case.

Eight same-sex couples in Missouri have filed suit seeking to have their out-of-state marriages recognized in the state.

nomadsoul1 / dreamstime

The state of Missouri recovered more than $47 million in fraudulent claims made by Medicaid providers in 2013.

That's about an average year for Attorney General Chris Koster's Medicaid Fraud Unit. The office has recovered as much as $100 million, and as little as $20 million, in a year.

Koster, a Democrat, says those wide variations are triggered by how much money Missouri receives from national settlements. But even though more national settlements means more money for the state's coffers, he says the fraud that concerns him the most is conducted by the smaller providers.

Updated Jan. 13, 2014:

The legal back-and-forth over the release of the names to the plaintiff continues. The state Supreme Court today blocked the Archdiocese from having to comply with Dierker’s order until further notice.

Updated Jan. 10, 2014:

Updated at 10:05 a.m. Wednesday to correct Judge Teitelman's first name.

Updated with comments from the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri.

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that a gay man whose longtime partner, a state trooper who was killed in the line of duty, is not eligible for the trooper's survivor benefits because the two were never married.

The leaders of the Episcopal cathedrals in Boston and St. Louis are using the World Series matchup between the Red Sox and the Cardinals to combat prostitution and sex trafficking in the United States.

Until the start of Game One on Wednesday, Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis and St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral in Boston will be collecting online donations. The money in the pot will go to a non-profit in the winning city that helps victims of sex trafficking.

Businesses that want to expand to new international markets or start exporting their goods for the first time are getting a boost from Gov. Jay Nixon's administration.

Nixon announced his "Export Missouri" initiative in St. Louis on Friday, at a luncheon honoring 20 years of the World Trade Center - St. Louis. The new program uses $2.3 million in state funding to open new trade offices in Canada and southeast Asia; offset the costs to companies of international trade shows or trade missions; and new online resources.

Hazel Motes / flickr

 

 

Missouri state appeals court has ruled that a jury should decide whether a former subsidiary of Monsanto that manufactured toxic chemicals is responsible for illnesses caused by the widespread use of those chemicals in everyday products.

Perhaps in an effort to put an end to an ongoing political battle over the practice, Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation blocking the Department of Revenue from scanning and storing documents required to get a driver's license.

What DOMA means for Missouri

Jun 26, 2013

The Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA Wedensday. It’s  a provision of a federal law that denies federal benefits to married gay couples.

For the states that have legalized gay marriage (12 of them, and the District of Columbia), it’s clear what the impact of this decision will be for same-sex couples in those states.  Their spouses will now be entitled to the same federal benefits as straight couples, which was not the case in the past. But the result is murkier in the other 38 states where gay marriage is not legally protected (like in Missouri).

More than a thousand United Mine Workers of America members were back in St. Louis on Monday, the latest in a series of protests against Peabody Energy and its handling of their  retirement and health care benefits.

Rachel Lippmann / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Department of Transportation says it’s ready for the winter storm that’s supposed to hit the St. Louis area and portions of south central Missouri and the Ozarks over Christmas.

Updated with comments from McCaskill conference call.

The entire state of Missouri is now a federal agriculture disaster area.

Seventeen of the state's counties, mostly in the Bootheel, had already received that declaration. Today's announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture extends that declaration to the other 97 counties and the city of St. Louis.

Baseballs
paul.hadsall / flickr

A group of baseball players is battling triple-digit heat in an effort to set the world record for the longest game ever played. The 52 players will try to compete for 60 hours. The game started at 7:00 Monday morning and is scheduled to end at 7:00 Thursday night.

Money raised will benefit Backstoppers, which supports the families of fallen first responders in the St. Louis area. Organizer and player Steve Pona says they thought about postponing the game due to the extreme weather

Among the dozens of athletes hoping to leap, throw or run their way to London as part of the U.S. track and field team is 24-year-old runner Shannon Leinert.

Leinert, who will compete in the 800-meter dash, has dreamed of the Olympics since she was 10 and winning races in St. Louis, her hometown. If that weren't enough, she's also working on a doctoral degree in special education.

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