Tim Lloyd

Tim Lloyd grew up north of Kansas City and holds a masters degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Prior to joining St. Louis Public Radio, he launched digital reporting efforts for Harvest Public Media, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting funded collaboration between Midwestern NPR member stations that focuses on agriculture and food issues.  His stories have aired on a variety of stations and shows including Morning Edition, ​Marketplace, KCUR, KPR, IPR, NET, WFIU.  He won regional Edward R Murrow Awards in 2013 for Writing, Hard News and was part of the reporting team that won for Continuing Coverage.  In 2010 he received the national Debakey Journalism Award and in 2009 he won a Missouri Press Association award for Best News Feature.

This story is the second part of A Teachable Moment, a three-part series that profiles how issues raised by events in Ferguson are being discussed in classrooms across the St. Louis region. 

This story is the first part of A Teachable Moment, a three-part series that profiles how issues raised by events in Ferguson are being discussed in schools and classrooms across the St. Louis region.

Students were enjoying the last few weeks of summer vacation when mass demonstrations erupted in Ferguson following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown on Aug 9.

 Updated on Monday, Aug. 25.

After a being delayed for more than a week, about 11,000 students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District started their school year today.  

As kids filed into Ferguson Middle School – which is located about two miles from where protesters violently clashed with police – a stream of students, parents and teachers said they were happy to be back in the classroom. 

Updated 6:54 a.m. Tuesday with cancellations in Ferguson-Florissant, Riverview Gardens and Jennings.

Bobby Lee Brown, no relation to Michael Brown, walked along Canfield Drive on Monday morning. The tall man with a full beard has his hand on the back of his son Donovan. Brown’s off of work Monday and planned on taking Donovan to his first day as a fifth grader at Robinwood Elementary School. 

“This morning he didn’t understand why there wasn’t any school,” Brown said. "So I had to sit him down in front of the TV and tell him to look at the news.”

(Updated 1:29 p.m., Fri., July 18)

Even though the University City School Board has voted to change course and accept students who are qualified to transfer from Normandy, uncertainty surrounding the transfers remains.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Anxiety crept through SheRon Chaney when she heard that the Francis Howell School District would no longer accept about 350 transfer students from Normandy who were signed up to continue in the program. 

“Last year we were hopeful, this year we’re fearful,” she said. 

Chaney transferred her middle school aged daughter BrenNae to Maplewood Richmond Heights last year.  And even though Francis Howell’s decision --  made during a closed session of its school board -- doesn’t affect her directly, it has Chaney and hundreds of other parents holding their breath.

 It’s just after 7 a.m., and SheRon Chaney already has her family packed into an SUV and ready for school.

“On a good day like today, I’m hoping it only takes about 35 minutes,” she said.

Yinzi Liu sat in the café at Washington University’s Medical School and nervously fiddled with the sleeve on her coffee cup.   

computer keyboard
Remko van Dokkum / Flickr

The path to a high school equivalency certificate in Missouri is about to be rewired.

Starting in January the GED exam, which has been used in the state since the 1940s, will be replaced.  It’s a move driven by digital change and an age old consideration -- cost.

Keyboards replace pencils

During the University of Missouri Board of Curators' two-day meeting at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the board unanimously approved the merger of the non-profit news organizations St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon, which is expected to be completed next month.

Leadership at both organizations has been planning the merger for more than a year.

 The Democratic Party of Missouri has a new chairman.

On Saturday the state party committee picked long-time political strategist Roy Temple to replace Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, who is stepping down after less than two years and says he may be interested in running for attorney general in 2016.

Even though Democrats have fared well as of late in state-wide elections, Republicans hold supermajorities in both the state House and Senate.

Even though farm income only saw a slight increase between the second quarters of 2012 and 2013, there continued to be a rapid rise in the value of farmland, according to a new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, which surveyed agricultural banks in parts of seven Midwestern states, including Missouri and Illinois. 

Kevin Kliesen, business economist and research officer with the Fed in St. Louis, says there’s anecdotal reports that some of the money is coming from big, institutional, including foreign, investors.

Comprehensive immigration reform is critical to sustaining the Midwest’s role as a global leader in agriculture.

That’s the message from U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

Vilsack told St. Louis Public Radio today that moving forward with the immigration reform plan recently passed by the U.S. Senate is key to retaining international talent that comes to this country to study in the plant sciences.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Public officials, activists and religious leaders packed into World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park this afternoon to rally for immigration reform, calling on members of the U.S. House of Representatives to move forward with a plan that cleared the Senate last week.

St. Louis native Vin Ko runs a pick up soccer league in St. Louis that he said brings together everyone from CEO’s to new immigrants.

More than just potential economic benefits, he said the nation needs immigration reform because it’s the right thing to do.

Updated with updated details

The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into what caused two freight trains to collided at approximately 2:30 Saturday morning near Chaffee, Mo., severely damaging a bridge on Highway M.

The bridge collapsed after a Union Pacific train hit the side of a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train at a rail intersection. Derailed rail cars then hit columns supporting the Highway M overpass, causing it to buckle and partially collapse.

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) has introduced a new bill that's meant to make it easier for unemployed workers to go back to school. 

Davis said currently unemployed workers risk losing their unemployment benefits if they go to a university or community college to retrain for a new career.

To help close the loophole, Davis said the new bill, called the Opportunity KNOCKS Act, would expand the definition of what constitutes a training program.

Tim Lloyd / St. Louis Public Radio

Despite the winter storm, postal workers rallied against the proposed removal of Saturday deliveries.

Workers and supporters sloshed around in front of the Post Office’s main branch in downtown St. Louis, carrying signs that read “Missourians for 6 Day.”

“These people understand the importance of their job, the importance of delivering six days a week, and the role that we play in the community,” said Kevin Boyer, Missouri state president of the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Democratic Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill, says the so-called sequester will likely go into place this Friday.

On Fox News Sunday McCaskill said the Senate will take action to avoid the spending cuts, she then pointed the finger at the House Republicans for not doing the same.

First things first, Washington University Dermatologist, Lynn Cornelius, said anyone under 18 years old has no business using a tanning bed.  In fact, she really doesn’t like tanning beds at all, and said they’re directly linked to higher rates of skin cancer.

“It’s very similar to smoking,” Cornelius said.  “If you look at how the World Health Organization and how they classify artificial light from artificial devices, it is a group one carcinogen, which means it is the same as tobacco smoke.”

This week lawmakers in Jefferson City are taking another crack at requiring Missouri voters to show a photo ID when they go to the polls.

Opponents of the bills, however, plan to tell legislators the new standards would be unnecessary and unfair.

Denise Lieberman is an attorney for the voting-rights group the Advancement Project.

This week she’s testifying before both the House and Senate committees considering voter ID requirements and says the proposals are flat-out unconstitutional.

On Sunday morning fans gathered at Busch Stadium to remember St. Louis Cardinals legend and Hall of Famer Stan Musial, who died at the age of 92 last night.  

Below is audio of what some of them had to say. 

Updated at 3:35 p.m. on 1/16/13

The St. Louis circuit attorneys's office has identified the shooter at the Stevens Institute of Business and Arts as 34-year-old Sean Johnson, a male from the city of St. Louis. He faces three felonies and a misdemeanor in connection with the shooting of Greg Elsenrath, the financial aid director at the school. The charges are:

It seems like we’re constantly hearing about how the worst drought in decades is threatening barge shipping on the Mississippi River. 

One day we’re facing a shutdown, the next day they say commerce will keep rolling on the river.  

Here’s the latest: The Army Corp of Engineers says it’s done enough work to keep the waterway open until the end of this month.   

After that, though, no one is making any promises, and that uncertainty is giving the shipping industry a lingering headache and could end up with local companies cutting jobs.   

Mayors from 19 cities and towns are in St. Louis this week to launch a new initiative aimed at bringing greater attention to issues affecting the Mississippi River.

A total of 41 mayors, so far, have formally agreed to the partnership, which is set to begin lobbying congress in March of next year.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said mutual interests trump party politics.

At a campaign stop in St. Louis, McCaskill fielded question after question about calls for Akin to step aside. And each time she gave the same answer, McCaskill said the voters of Missouri have spoken.

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a class action lawsuit late this afternoon that takes issue with part of Amendment Two, which deals with prayer and religious expression in Missouri.  

Amendment Two specifically protects public prayer and lets students avoid assignments that violate their religious beliefs.

Tony Rothert, legal director for the ACLU’s eastern Missouri division, said the lawsuit is focused on this specific phrase:

This section shall not be construed to expand the rights of prisoners in state or local custody beyond those afforded by the laws of the United States.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yesterday was a day for people in some states to vote in primary elections. Kansas Republicans unseated some of their own lawmakers who were seen as too willing to cooperate with Democrats, and we'll have more on that in a moment.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We'll also report on a primary vote that affects this fall's contest to control the Senate. Democrats hold an advantage in the Senate now. Republicans have many opportunities to gain seats or even win control.

Three Missouri Republicans are vying for the chance to take on Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill this November.  All three have a strong chance of winning the GOP an extra Senate seat.

Most of the people gathered outside of Washington University’s Edison Theater before a recent GOP Senate Primary debate already knew who they were voting for.  

But Shelby Hewerdine wasn’t sure yet.

So, she drove in from St. Charles to get a better feel for the character of each candidate.

“I don’t know how else people are going to look at it because they are very similar on the issues, so, we’ll see,” Hewerdine said.  

And during the debate, the three main candidates laid out basically the same policy platform. 

jay nixon
File Photo / KBIA

The idea of a health care exchange in Missouri continues to be a political sticking point between Republicans and Democrats. And Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has yet to take a stance on the issue.

The day after Republican Lt. Governor Peter Kinder filed a lawsuit that alleges the wording for a healthcare exchange ballot initiative is misleading; Governor Jay Nixon did his best to sidestep the issue.

In fact, Nixon says he hasn’t really looked at how the ballot measure is written. As for the idea of healthcare exchanges in general, the governor isn’t ready to commit.

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