Chad Davis | KBIA

Chad Davis

Chad Davis is a 2016 graduate of Truman State University where he studied Public Communication and English. At Truman State, Chad served as the executive producer of the on-campus news station, TMN Television.  In 2017, Chad joined the St. Louis Public Radio team as the fourth Race and Culture Diversity Fellow.  Chad is a native of St. Louis and is a huge hip- hop, r&b, and pop music fan.  He also enjoys graphic design, pop culture, film, and comedy.  

People throughout the St. Louis region have flocked to grocery stores to stock up on supplies they need while staying home to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

But many people cannot afford food. To help ensure their needs are met, the St. Louis Area Foodbank and other nonprofits are stepping up their efforts to provide food.

Jazmond Dixon celebrated her 31st birthday Feb. 9. That night, when she learned some family members couldn’t make it to her birthday party, she drove around the St. Louis area, dropping off slices of cake to their homes. It would be her last birthday — one her loved ones will forever remember.

On March 17, Dixon started to feel sick. Five days later, she became the first person in St. Louis to die of COVID-19, spending her final moments isolated from most of her family. Only her mother was allowed by her side.

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis will not withhold previously approved grant funding for projects that arts organizations and artists have had to cancel or postpone because of the coronavirus pandemic.

RAC also will distribute $100,000 in emergency assistance to artists who have lost their livelihoods because of the crisis, said Mont Levy, chair of the organization’s board.

As health officials in Missouri and Illinois try to limit the spread of the new coronavirus, they are directing residents who have COVID-19 or who have come in contact with someone who does to isolate themselves from people who are not ill.

Officials in both states say a quarantine is the best way to ensure that exposed people do not put others at risk. In Missouri, public health departments have the authority to quarantine anyone exposed to a contagious and infectious disease.

People under quarantine — even those who do not have symptoms — should stay home 14 days from their last exposure to the virus or to someone who has it. They must follow rigorous guidelines.

A new networking event aims to help St. Louis musicians, visual artists and writers strengthen the local arts scene.

The first semi-annual Business Hours event will be held Thursday at TechArtista in the Central West End. It will feature a panel of three artists who will share advice on how to create a career in the arts.

St. Louis Alderman Sam Moore died Tuesday following a long illness. He was 71.

Moore, a Democrat, had represented the city’s 4th Ward since 2007 and had lived there for more than 60 years.  

“Sam was a dedicated representative, a man of the people, and a good friend,” Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a statement. I send my sincere condolences to his family, his friends, and his constituents who he served with honor. I am thinking of all of you during this difficult time.”

Updated at 12:45 p.m., Feb. 25 with more details about the Maryland Heights shooting

People throughout the St. Louis region are gathering this week to again call for an end to gun violence that has plagued their communities.

Only an hour after marchers in St. Louis and East St. Louis kicked off Peace Week demonstrations urging  people to put down their weapons, a gunman killed a woman working at a community center in Maryland Heights. 

If St. Louis singer and songwriter Katarra Parson had to pick one of her songs to describe her life, it would be “Phoenix Rising.”

She appreciates the song because it's about flight, freedom and rebirth — the story of how she learned to take care of herself.

“'Phoenix Rising' is literally my journey of finding myself, of finding my power, stepping into that power, being comfortable with that power,” Parson said. “Now I'm at a point where I realized I got responsibility with that power.”

The Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District may recommend that its institutions consider consolidating services to save money. 

ZMD leaders will launch its shared services project this year. It will include a comprehensive review of the services and utilities used by each of its subdistricts. They include the St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden and the St. Louis Science Center.

“Of that almost 11,000 vendors, only 6% of the services are supplied to two or more institutions together,” said J. Patrick Dougherty, Zoo Museum District executive director. “It seems like there’s plenty of opportunity for joint services.”

The St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center announced Monday that it will build an $18 million expansion to house more exhibits. 

When finished in 2021, the museum will triple in size to 35,000 square feet and have more room for permanent and temporary attractions. The project also will add a second level to the museum and two classrooms.

Most people in St. Louis likely have never heard of Eliza Haycraft, one of the city's wealthiest citizens in the late 1800s. But a new musical could change that. 

Fly North Theatricals' latest musical, “Madam,” is based on the last few years of Haycraft’s life. At her peak, she ran five brothels, earning a fortune of about $28 million in today’s dollars. And she used that fortune and power to make her own rules and wielded them over men.

The St. Louis County Police Department is changing the way it compiles information to include more specific data on reported crimes.

The department has switched from the Uniform Crime Reporting program to the National Incident-Based Reporting System to comply with a national standard, Police Chief Jon Belmar told the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners on Tuesday.

The FBI updated the standard to help officials gather better information on victims of alleged crimes and on the relationship between victims and offenders.

A community organizing group wants St. Louis and St. Louis County to spend more money on early childhood education.

In a report released Thursday, WEPOWER proposed a ballot initiative in November that would allow St. Louis County voters to consider a half-cent sales tax increase to expand access to pre-K. The group's members said that would raise about $84 million a year.

The report also urges St. Louis officials to designate 2% of the city's general fund budget — about $22 million a year —  to early childhood education.

Normandie Golf Club in Bel-Nor will close its doors Monday after 118 years.

The club’s operator, Normandie 1901 LLC, announced Tuesday that it could no longer continue its lease agreement with the University of Missouri-St. Louis, the club’s owner. 

“The efforts and energies put into maintaining the 118-year-old property and the required capital improvements have just become more significant than the business can sustain,” a company official said in a statement.

The St. Louis chapter of the NAACP and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council are calling on the city to resume talks on privatizing St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis NAACP, said Monday the city should restart privatization talks because it could generate revenue that officials could direct to north St. Louis to reduce blight and poverty.

Drivers with unpaid parking tickets in St. Louis may soon be able to put them on a payment plan.

The St. Louis Treasurer's Office announced Thursday that it will allow people with outstanding parking fees and fines to pay their tickets over time next year.

Treasurer Tishaura Jones wants to allow drivers to pay their fines without having to worry that their cars will be towed.

The St. Louis County Port Authority on Thursday approved pursuing a study on how privatizing St. Louis Lambert International Airport could affect the region.

Port Authority board members voted 4-3 to submit a request for study proposals. 

“I think we don’t have any information, and it’s certainly not been shared to us by anybody that’s with the city,” said St. Louis County Port Authority Board Chairman John Maupin. “We know we can’t tell the city what to do, but we think that they would certainly benefit from having more information.”

When David Kirkman was a boy, he loved to watch episodes of “Static Shock,” an animated series about a black teenage superhero who could shoot electricity out of his hands.

Kirkman was so taken by the show that he began making films. Starting in 2017, he brought the characters to life in his own film, “Static,” a live-action adaptation of the original. The film was uploaded on Youtube this year and has about 900,000 views and attracted the attention of Netflix, which had Kirkman screen the film at its headquarters. It’s also jump-started the 24-year-old’s career.

Lee Phung has owned Egg Roll Kitchen in north St. Louis since 2000. But he’s been a part of the community since 1968, when his father opened the restaurant on North Grand Boulevard.

Although Phung, who was born in China, no longer lives in north St. Louis, he went to Soldan High School and considers the area his second home. He has a close relationship with his customers.

When Alderman Sam Moore, who represents the area, recently suggested that north St. Louis members of the Board of Freeholders should not include Asian Americans, Phung and other Asian Americans in St. Louis described the comments as insensitive. It struck many as another example of their community being ignored.

Community activists in St. Louis are trying to persuade black people to register to vote by reminding them of voter suppression efforts across the country.

Organizers held the first meeting for the initiative We Are The Change this week to kick off voter engagement efforts across the city and St. Louis County. 

The initiative aims to convince those who have long thought that the system does not work for them that their votes can make a difference, said Justin Idleburg, who founded We Are The Change.

Updated at 4:27 p.m., with comments from Mont Levy, chairman of the Regional Arts Commission — Felicia Shaw, executive director of the Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis, resigned today.

The organization announced Shaw’s departure Monday and named Celia Hosler as interim executive director. Hosler, former chief operating officer of COCA, will start immediately.

Shaw could not be reached for comment. RAC officials gave no reason for her departure.

For the past couple of months, 10-year-old Gregory Boyce, a fifth grader at North Side Community School, has gladly stayed after class — to learn the basics of music production.

Using music production software, Gregory has been experimenting with drum patterns. He hopes to add vocals to the mix soon.

“I like how it’s smooth,” he said of the tune he’s working on. “But sometimes you got to concentrate, and focus.”

That kind of attitude is exactly what the music professionals from Mentors In Motion are looking for.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis plans to secure its long-term future, boost artist support and add services through a $12 million fundraising campaign.

The fundraising initiative already has raised $9.7 million from large donations, including $5 million from Emily Rauh Pulitzer.

Other notable contributors include the Centene Charitable Foundation, the Neidorff Challenge and philanthropists John and Alison Ferring.

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and several county council members want an immediate change in police administration following a nearly $20 million verdict against the county in a discrimination lawsuit by a gay officer.

And one council member called on Police Chief Jon Belmar to resign.

Page released a statement Sunday that called for the appointment of new members to the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners. The commission is a civilian oversight board that reviews police department policies and appoints the St. Louis County police chief.

Carmen Guynn has been dancing to Latin music for more than 20 years, and in recent years, she's had a lot more company on the dance floor.

But even though the number of St. Louisans dancing to the music of Latin America is growing, Guynn often finds herself explaining and teaching the different styles of music she focuses on — salsa, merengue and bachata of the Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Sometimes she compares the music to North American styles. 

“Bachata is a dance from the Dominican Republic,” Guynn said. “When people ask me, it’s almost like the blues. It’s kind of sad and lonely, so bachata kind of tells that story.” 

Lamerol A. Gatewood developed an interest in art in the early 1970s, when he was a student at University City High School.

The art class so captured Gatewood’s imagination that he started scultpure work and painting a few years later.

In the decades that followed, Gatewood’s career took him across the U.S. and abroad. But he considers his recent inclusion in a collection of African American abstract art donated to the St. Louis Art Museum a crowning achievement.

Gatewood hopes a growing interest in African American abstract art will give him and other black artists their due.

A St. Louis arts organization is building new exhibit spaces to better showcase local, national and international exhibits.

Barrett Barrera Projects wants to give St. Louis art lovers easier access to traveling exhibits. The company, which owns projects+gallery, will open projects+exhibitions on Manchester Avenue on Saturday.

It also will move to a new office space and open a guest house for traveling artists and curators, both on McPherson Avenue in the Central West End.

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis has received a federal grant to take its art programs to more St. Louis-area schools.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services awarded CAM $193,753 to expand the organization’s ArtReach programs. CAM teaching artists help students create art and photo projects and exhibits.

The grant will allow ArtReach to hire more teaching artists, said Lisa Melandri, executive director of CAM.

When Fox Smith arrived to Rise Coffee House a few weeks ago, she was eager to meet people who, like her, understood what it means to have a broad view of race and identity.

Smith, of St. Louis, was born to a Korean mother and a white father. Like the other multiracial young adults at the coffee house, she wanted to talk about shared experiences.

“I'm biracial, and being somebody who is biracial, when I find somebody else who is multiethnic, and it comes out, we start talking about it with each other, it's like an instantaneous bonding experience,” Smith said.

A report from Forward Through Ferguson concluded that police departments in the St. Louis region have not enacted sufficient reforms to ensure racial equity in the way they police communities. 

The nonprofit organization released the State of Police Reform report late Monday. The report examined the Ferguson Police Department, the North County Police Cooperative and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department between 2014 and 2019.

Among its conclusions are that a growing number of activists engaged in reform are dissatisfied with the current state of policing and that the region needs a public safety model that does not rely on incarceration.

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