Rachel Lippmann | KBIA

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.

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The number of African-Americans arrested or facing a summons in St. Louis for all types of crime dropped significantly between 2002 and 2017, according to research released Thursday by criminologists at the University of Missouri - St. Louis.

The data show that about 11,300 black individuals faced some kind of enforcement action in 2017, compared to about 38,000 in 2002. Enforcement is defined as an arrest for a felony, misdemeanor, municipal offense or because the person has a bench warrant, or being issued a criminal summons

Updated at 10:23 a.m. Oct. 10 with state's response — A Cole County judge has rejected a sworn statement that Missouri voters who wanted to use non-photo forms of identification had to sign in order to vote.

But Richard Callahan’s ruling, issued Tuesday, says most of the identification requirement the Missouri Legislature created in 2016 “is within its constitutional prerogative under the Missouri Constitution."

Updated Oct. 1 at 4:30 p.m. with comments from the St. Louis Police Department — Police in Missouri do not know the whereabouts of nearly 1,200 sex offenders who are required by law to register with law enforcement — or nearly 8 percent of the total population who are supposed to be tracked.

An audit released Monday by state Auditor Nicole Galloway found that nearly 800 of those individuals have committed the most serious crimes, such as rape or child molestation in the first degree.

A St. Louis alderwoman who was sprayed with tear-gas in 2017 while protesting the not-guilty verdict in an officer-involved shooting is suing the City of St. Louis over the incident.

The federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by Megan Green, D-15th Ward, is the 18th challenge to the way St. Louis police officers and city authorities responded to protests after the decision in the Jason Stockley case.

Updated at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with Reed saying the governor is receptive to the idea.

The president of the St. Louis Board of Alderman says he is working to bring a widely effective anti-violence program to St. Louis.

Lewis Reed announced Tuesday that he had the backing of the NAACP, the business executive group Civic Progress and local clergy for the program previously known as Operation Ceasefire.

A St. Louis alderwoman wants the city to look at changing the way it authorizes street closures for utility work or other construction.

The resolution from Cara Spencer D-20th Ward, asks for a hearing with “all utilities with underground infrastructure within city limits” to “discuss current and future construction plans,” and for the streets department to change the permitting process for street closures.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen has approved a plan to again use eminent domain to secure the new site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters.

The federal government asked for the condemnation process to ensure the city can turn the 97-acre site over to them by a Nov. 14 deadline. But some aldermen questioned if they had enough information to make the correct decision.

More than a dozen people who were arrested protesting the Jason Stockley verdict filed suit Monday against the City of St. Louis saying police tactics violated their civil rights.

The nonprofit law firm ArchCity Defenders filed the 12 federal lawsuits on the anniversary of the mass arrests near Washington Avenue downtown. The individuals arrested included protesters, observers, an undercover police officer and members of the media.

An eminent domain bill meant to secure the land needed for the headquarters of a federal spy agency cleared a committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Wednesday.

Officials say the move is necessary to protect the city against a lawsuit that seeks to take back some of the land in the 97-acre planned location of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s $1.75 billion facility.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pledged Friday to work with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Sly James to boost workforce development and infrastructure.

“These cities are critical to the state of Missouri,” Parson told the St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday, one of nine stops he made on a tour of the city Friday. “What you do here matters. We’re not going to agree on some things, but I will tell you this. If we will be open-minded with one another, there will be many, many things that we will agree on that will be the best thing in the world for the state of Missouri.”

On Sept. 8, 1998, St. Louis Cardinals slugger Mark McGwire sent a low line drive over Busch Stadium’s left field wall to break Roger Maris’ 37-year-old home run record.

McGwire’s 62nd home run of the season sent the sellout crowd and the city into a frenzy. But for some fans, McGwire’s eventual admission that he used steroids has taken the shine off the record-breaking summer.

Five years ago, control of the St. Louis police department returned to the city.

For more than 150 years, a state-appointed board had overseen the department, even though city residents paid for the services.

Opponents and supporters of the transition have different takes on how the last five years have gone.

Updated September 1 at 4:25 p.m. with response from Gardner — The St. Louis chief of police says none of his department’s leadership was involved in developing a list of officers who will no longer be allowed to bring cases to court, contradicting claims of Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.

“There is no indication that the list was properly vetted,” Chief John Hayden said in a statement released Saturday.” This list is an unnecessary overreach which would be better handled on a case-by-case basis.”

The St. Louis prosecutor’s office will no longer accept cases from 28 St. Louis police officers, and is reviewing the testimony they have offered in others.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner provided no details on why she is excluding the officers. In a statement, she called it her responsibility to defend the integrity of the criminal-justice system.

The St. Louis Cardinals like what they’ve seen from Mike Shildt, and they want him to stick around and keep it going.

The team announced Tuesday they had removed the interim tag from Shildt, and signed him to a two-year deal as manager of the club. The terms were not disclosed.

In 2009, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved developer Paul McKee’s $8-billion plan to transform nearly two square miles of north St. Louis. In exchange for $390 million in tax incentives, McKee promised new housing, parks, schools, churches and major employment centers.

Nearly a decade later, with very little work completed, the city tried to cut ties with McKee. But a 2016 agreement, struck with very little public input, could complicate that effort, and has already led to litigation.

Updated August 13 at 2 p.m. with comments from the city and auditor — A new report from state Auditor Nicole Galloway finds the city of Ferguson has made important changes to its municipal court.

But the audit released Monday also found city officials still have not taken action to secure and repair damaged court documents.

Michael Brown’s mother says she wants to transform the pain of losing her son four years ago into political action.

Lezley McSpadden stood in front of the memorial to her son on Canfield Drive Friday, surrounded by the family’s attorney and supporters, to announce a bid for Ferguson City Council.

Wesley Bell’s victory in the Democratic primary for St. Louis County prosecutor demonstrated an ability to construct a broad coalition of support while also turning out voters in traditionally African-American areas of the region.

Bell, who beat seven-term incumbent Bob McCulloch by 17 percentage points Tuesday, will be the first African-American to hold the post.

In a stunning upset, Wesley Bell easily beat longtime St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.

With no Republican running, Bell’s primary win essentially clinches the office, which will make him the first African-American to hold the St. Louis County prosecutor’s post.

Here's how tonight's live blog is going to work. We'll update this post with the latest numbers, insight from our reporters in the field, and other interesting tidbits we see along the way. The feed is in reverse chronological order, which means the newest information will be at the top of the post. Scroll down to see all our earlier coverage.

Bob McCulloch won a seventh term as St. Louis County prosecutor on Aug. 5, 2014. Four days later, 18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot in Ferguson.

Brown’s death at the hands of a white police officer brought the racial disparities in the region’s criminal-justice system to the forefront and made national figures of both McCulloch and his opponent in the Democratic primary, Wesley Bell.

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch joined the Politically Speaking team to talk about his bid for re-election to an eighth term.

McCulloch is one of the longest-serving elected officials in Missouri. He’s squaring off against Ferguson City Councilman Wesley Bell in the Aug. 7 primary. Because no Republican filed for the position, the winner of the August contest is all but guaranteed a four-year term.

Updated July 15 at 1 p.m. with comments from Cardinals officials and interim manager Mike Shildt — Mike Matheny, a former Gold Glove catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals who would go on to become the team’s manager in 2011, was fired Saturday night after a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Cardinals President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak said at a press conference Sunday that the decision to remove Matheny was made Friday. Team officials fired Matheny the following evening. The Cardinals also fired hitting coaches John Mabry and Bill Mueller.

Supporters of a measure that would reverse a planned reduction in the number of aldermanic wards in St. Louis will use the Board of Aldermen’s summer break to get more support lined up for their bill.

Aldermen adjourned Friday until Sept. 7 without giving final approval to two charter changes. One would eliminate the residency requirement for most city employees — the other would put the 2012 ward reduction back in front of voters.

Updated at 2:25 p.m. July 3 with comments from the ACLU — A federal appeals court in St. Louis has ruled that the way the Ferguson-Florissant School District elects its board members violates the rights of black voters in the district.

A three-judge panel on Tuesday determined that Ferguson-Florissant’s at-large election means black voters have “less opportunity to elect their preferred candidate than other members of the electorate,” even though three-fourths of the district's students are black. The decision upholds a 2016 lower court ruling.

A St. Louis judge on Friday named a local attorney to oversee the investigation into a former FBI agent who worked with prosecutors on the Eric Greitens case.

Judge Michael Mullen agreed with the city that Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner had a conflict of interest when it came to the agent, William Tisaby, and appointed a special prosecutor. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is investigating allegations that Tisaby lied under oath, and Gardner is a potential witness.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday gave its approval to a $1.1-billion spending plan that includes more money for vacant-building demolition and help for the homeless.

The 22-2 vote, with one alderman abstaining, marked the end of what had been a difficult budget process. Aldermen had to find ways to close a $14-million gap, despite several new sources of revenue, and the city’s budget committee often had trouble holding meetings because not enough members showed up.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, Rachel Lippmann and Jo Mannies talked with St. Louis Alderman Shane Cohn, D-25th Ward.

Cohn, who grew up in Clayton, represents the Dutchtown, Mount Pleasant and Carondelet neighborhoods in south St. Louis. He was first elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2009 and is in his third term in office.

The city of Ferguson says it plans to keep prosecuting about 1,500 municipal court cases that attorneys filed before 2014 — a decision that bothers advocates who point out they were the product of a policing system the federal government found unconstitutional.

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