St. Louis Public Radio

On Sept. 15, St. Louis Circuit Judge Timothy Wilson ruled that former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley was not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 shooting death of 24-year-old Anthony Lamar Smith.

Updated Aug. 25 with "St. Louis on the Air" audio — An excerpt of a conversation with Dick Gregory from Jan. 2003.

Original story from Aug. 20:

As Dick Gregory’s brother tells it, the comedian and civil rights activist “just saw things that was wrong and decided ‘I was going to do whatever I could and right them.’”

It was that determination, Ron Gregory told St. Louis Public Radio in an interview Sunday, that pushed his brother beyond St. Louis’ confines and onto the national stage.

The fate of a sales tax hike to support the Saint Louis Zoo will be in voters’ hands, as Gov. Eric Greitens signed a bill into law Monday.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. to correct headline — The Missouri Civil War Museum may sue St. Louis if the city challenges the museum’s ownership of the Confederate Memorial in Forest Park, the organization said Friday.

Starting June 1, Missouri residents who want to vote will need to show a photo ID or do one of two other things — sign a statement and show approved types of documents (for registered voters only) or vote a provisional ballot. 

Missouri isn't the first state to enact voter ID law like this — several states, including North Carolina and Texas, have it, too. But such laws haven't been without controversy.

What questions do you have about the new photo ID law? Ask Curious Louis and a St. Louis Public Radio reporter may follow up on your question. 

It may have seemed like a mad-dash finish for Missouri’s Republican-majority legislative body, pushing dozens of bills to Gov. Eric Greitens’ desk before the end of the 2017 regular session.

But St. Louis Public Radio veteran political reporter Jo Mannies, who has covered Missouri politics for 40 years, said the end of the session wasn’t that unusual, when compared to previous ones — with a few notable exceptions. Among those exceptions was the lack of debate on issues that are generally popular with social conservatives, including gun rights and abortion restrictions.

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Gov. Eric Greitens, who has called for ethics reforms, faces a fine from the Missouri Ethics Commission for failing to report that his gubernatorial campaign received a donor list from a charity he founded.

St. Louis’ Metro Academic and Classical High School is again among the nation’s 500 best in making its students ready for college.

U.S. News and World Report issued its annual rankings Tuesday, looking at more than 22,000 public high schools in the country, based on math and reading test scores, graduation rates and college preparedness.

Missouri will receive $10 million in federal grant money to help combat a growing opioid painkiller crisis, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt announced Wednesday.

It comes as the Missouri General Assembly is attempting to set up the nation's last prescription drug monitoring program, though the measures have hit several roadblocks.

Four St. Louis police officers were charged Thursday after an internal affairs investigation accused them of forging documents to collect thousands of dollars in overtime pay for work they did not perform.

Officers Brian Jost, Michael Langsdorf and Emin Talic face felony stealing and forgery charges, according to a release by the police department.  Officer Daniel O'Brien is charged with felony forgery and misdemeanor stealing.

St. Louis won't receive more money to take care of city-owned vacant buildings, and won't sync its election dates with statewide elections.

Proposition NS, which needed two-thirds approval, received 58.57 percent of the vote.

The proposition would have given the city the ability to sell up to $40 million in bonds to go toward stabilizing the more than 3,5000 vacant buildings it owns. That money is equivalent to a one-cent property tax increase per $100 of a property’s assessed value.

St. Louis will keep its Recorder of Deeds office, voters decided Tuesday. That means the city’s police department will have to find another way to help purchase for body cameras.

The measure, which moves the Recorder of Deeds office’s duties to the city assessor, would have needed to pass with 60 percent or more of the vote because it is considered a “county office.” It received 51.58 percent of the vote.

School districts across the St. Louis region sought more money from taxpayers in Tuesday’s election. Also, there were three seats up for grabs for the St. Louis Public Schools’ elected school board., though the state still has oversight.

Here’s the breakdown of what passed and what didn’t:

Missouri's contest for the U.S. Senate between Democrat Jason Kander and Republican Roy Blunt is getting more national attention - and money.

Washington is abuzz about Kander's new TV ad, which shows him assembling an assault weapon blindfolded. Aside from being creative, the ad also highlights the key roles of guns and the military in both campaigns.

Outside groups are running attack ads the claim Blunt hasn't done enough for veterans, while the NRA is accusing Kander of being soft on gun rights.

vote here sign
KBIA file photo

  Governor Jay Nixon continues to criticize legislation that would require Missouri voters to show photo ID’s at the polls. Nixon, a Democrat, vetoed the bill earlier this year, but the Republican-controlled legislature is expected to try an override attempt during veto session two weeks from now. He told reporters yesterday that the state shouldn’t be making it harder for people to vote. 

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

Governor Jay Nixon says more than 100 countries have tried to hack into the state’s computer network at various times. 

He hosted the first-ever Missouri Governor’s Cyber Security Summit yesterday, which drew nearly 500 attendees to Jefferson City from business, government, and education. Nixon noted the cyber-attacks this week that targeted the election systems in Illinois and Arizona. 

WallyG / FLICKR

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is increasingly pessimistic about Merrick Garland being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.

President Barack Obama nominated Garland to the high court earlier this year. But the GOP-controlled Senate has refused to hold hearings, making it increasingly likely that the next president will make the selection.

Speaking to reporters on Monday, McCaskill said it may not be practically possible to consider Garland’s nomination after the presidential election.

JASON ROSENBAUM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The top prosecutor in the city of St. Louis said she’s skeptical about the cries of poverty from Missouri’s public defenders.

 

Earlier this month, Michael Barrett, the director of the Missouri public defender system assigned Gov. Jay Nixon to a case in Cole County. Barrett blames Nixon, a Democrat, for underfunding the system.

 

Eric Greitens has emerged victorious from a bruising, four-way contest to be the Republican nominee for governor. He will face Attorney General Chris Koster, 51, who coasted to win the Democratic primary.

  After a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to press charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the August 9th killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch followed through on his promise to release a wide variety of testimony the grand jury used to make its decision.

Join us here as we live blog from our event Thursday evening, Ferguson and Beyond: A Community Conversation. The event will be from 6-8 p.m. at Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Mo.

NPR's Michel Martin will host and moderate the event.

Steph Mackinnon

The 2014 Gesher Music Festival of Emerging Artists opens this week in St. Louis. This year the festival opening gala features cellist Matt Haimovitz, who is known for pushing the envelope and blurring the lines between classical and popular music.

“I have a range of passions musically, and I tend to just follow my heart,” said Haimovitz when asked about his sometimes unusual musical choices.  He’s been known to take his cello to a bar and play the music of Jimi Hendrix.

Missouri Senate

A long-simmering feud between Gov. Jay Nixon and some black politicians, going back to his days as Missouri’s attorney general, flared up again in Jefferson City this week, fanned by the debate over school transfer legislation.

But not all African-American officials are taking sides against the governor. Some, especially in the state House, are urging Nixon to veto the student transfer bill, because they consider its changes in the transfer law harmful to black students.

 A report from a coalition of church groups in St. Louis says a plan commissioned by the Missouri state board of education to help struggling school districts could result in “an educational ghetto.”

Updated at 1:34 p.m., Mon., Jan. 13 with news of  unexpectedly large turnout at Jefferson City meeting.

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are highlighting their differences when it comes to extending unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans.

On Wednesday, the two held dueling tele-conferences with reporters in which Blunt make clear his opposition and McCaskill underscored her support. 

St. Louis Symphony showcases fast-rising composer, MU grad

Jan 7, 2014
St. Louis Symphony

Composer, musician and MU graduate Stephanie Berg will achieve a rare distinction when the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs her composition, “Ravish and Mayhem” at Powell Hall performances on Jan. 10 and 11. Berg, who is in her 20s, appears to be the youngest composer from St. Louis to have a work played by the SLSO during its subscription series.

roy blunt
TalkMediaNews / Flickr

Missouri’s Roy Blunt was among the Republican Senators signing a letter Wednesday asking President Barack Obama to permanently delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says phone providers should use the latest technology to crack down on the number of so-called “robo-calls.”

McCaskill chaired a hearing Wednesday of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection exploring how to reduce the number of such calls received by consumers.

She says despite the establishment of a “Do Not Call” list 10 years ago, robo-callers have not been deterred.

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