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.  

The St. Louis Art Museum is cutting expenses after its projected revenue dropped by 11% during the coronavirus pandemic.

Museum officials say they will have to trim the $37 million operating budget by $4 million to make up for the projected loss. They told members of the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District on Tuesday that the museum must adjust its spending because of a decrease in endowment support and admissions fees lost after officials shut down the region to keep the virus from spreading.

The art museum reopened its doors June 16. The three-month shutdown delayed exhibits and events and led officials to close the museum for three months, said Carolyn Schmidt, the museum’s deputy director and controller. 

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen unanimously passed a bill Friday that will close the north St. Louis jail known as the Workhouse.

The board was also expected to take a vote on asking residents to consider privatizing St. Louis-Lambert Airport but it was tabled. Unless another special meeting is called, aldermen are now on summer recess until September.

The Workhouse closure is a major win for activists and advocates who have fought to close the jail for years. The bill calls for the development of a plan to close the jail by Dec. 31. The Close The Workhouse Campaign has spearheaded reform efforts and includes ArchCity Defenders, the Bail Project-St. Louis and Action St. Louis.

The Trump administration has rescinded a policy that would have required international students to take in-person classes or risk deportation.

U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement announced last week that international students in the U.S. could not remain in the country if they are taking only online courses, the only option at many universities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The administration’s reversal of that order on Tuesday comes as a big relief to international students in the St. Louis region.

“A lot of these policies affect real people in real lives,” said Jiwon Yi, a student from South Korea who is pursuing a doctorate in neuroscience at Washington University. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Monday that international students in the U.S. cannot remain in the country if they are only taking online courses. 

The decision comes as universities are weighing how to hold classes during the coronavirus pandemic.

That worries Victor Putinier, a 24-year-old from Lyon, France, who’s pursuing a doctorate in French at Washington University. He’s attending on a student visa and is concerned that the new guidelines could force many international students to return home.

Putinier said he and many other international students face a difficult and expensive reality. Attending classes in person could expose them to the virus. But he said going back to the European Union would be a financially risky decision.

The Contemporary Art Museum will reopen its doors July 9 with new social distancing measures to reduce the risk of contracting the coronavirus. 

Only about 50 people at a time will be allowed to enter the museum every 15 or 30 minutes. Visitors and employees will be required to wear face masks, and workers will disinfect public spaces every two hours as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CAM Executive Director Lisa Melandri said.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot arbitrarily end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, known as DACA.

President Barack Obama implemented the program in 2012 to allow people who entered the U.S. without authorization as children to remain in the country. The high court’s 5-4 decision protects about 800,000 immigrants known as Dreamers, at least temporarily, and comes as a relief for St. Louis-area DACA recipients.

A now-fired Florissant police officer has been charged with first-degree assault after officials said he drove his unmarked police vehicle into a man earlier this month.

St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Lohmar also charged former officer Joshua Smith with assault in the fourth degree and armed criminal action. Lohmar took over the case after the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office cited a conflict of interest.

“This is a case where we have had these situations before where a police officer was not involved but where someone used a vehicle as a weapon,” Lohmar said Wednesday. “In those circumstances we’ve always charged it with assault first degree and armed criminal action.”

People across the St. Louis region are taking to the streets to protest police brutality as officials lift restrictions put in place to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

But the virus hasn’t gone away.

The St. Louis region saw an average of 142 new coronavirus cases per day in the week ending June 11. Health experts say the spike isn’t surprising as businesses across the region open their doors. Even though people are able to leave their homes, health experts say the coronavirus is still a threat — and protesters should take precautions to stay safe.

Before 19-year-old Sydney Alexander goes out to protest in the St. Louis area, she makes sure she has all of the protective gear necessary to prevent contracting COVID-19.

That means wearing a mask and gloves and trying her best to remain socially distant from others. As an African American woman whose father contracted the coronavirus in April, she’s afraid. But she’s determined to make her voice heard because she’s tired of hearing about and watching horrific scenes.

For Alexander, this season of pain points to a difficult reality for black people.

“Are you going to be killed by the virus, and that’s a big if, or are you going to be hurt or brutalized or killed by the police?” Alexander asked.

Kyla Hawkins sat on the steps of St. Louis City Hall and tried to wipe the sweat off her face and the emotion off her mind. 

She leaned her forehead against her cardboard sign and collected herself.

Hawkins, who goes by Sunshine, had just walked nearly two miles Sunday afternoon under a 93-degree June sun along with thousands of others who gathered in downtown St. Louis to protest police brutality toward minorities, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day.

Residents across the St. Louis area came out to vote Tuesday in Missouri's first elections since officials enacted stay-at-home orders to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Tuesday’s municipal elections were originally scheduled for April 7. Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order in March to postpone the election to June as the virus spread across the state. 

On Tuesday, many voters wore masks and other personal protective gear and stayed socially distant from others waiting to vote.

Hundreds of demonstrators marched in downtown St. Louis on Friday evening as people took to the streets in many major U.S. cities in solidarity with days of protests that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. 

Protesters blocked both eastbound and westbound traffic on Interstate 70 for nearly three hours beginning around 11:20 p.m. They also started a fire on the highway pavement. Police did not clear protesters off the highway, and those blocking traffic eventually dispersed after 2 a.m. 

An online concert to benefit artists and communities affected by the coronavirus around the world will also raise money for Tent Mission STL, which helps homeless people.

Justice Beats will feature performances by 14 musicians, poets and DJs from the U.S. and other countries, all performing from their homes. 

The livestreamed performances will benefit advocacy groups and causes across the globe, including New York City, Palestine, Miami and St. Louis, and will feature local artists from each region. St. Louis-based artists scheduled to perform include poet and rapper Tef Poe, DJ Agile One and poet Pacia Elaine.

Carla Harris sent her 15-year-old daughter to stay with a family member in St. Louis County several weeks ago. Harris is a certified nurse assistant and patient care technician who works in a St. Louis-area hospital. Her husband works in a nursing facility. 

Like many African Americans with pre-existing health conditions, they worry that they're vulnerable to the coronavirus, which has disproportionately hit black communities in the region. She lives with diabetes and takes medication for heart palpitations, and he has bronchitis. Harris said they know quite a few people who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.

More than half of people who frequently visit performing arts venues operated by the Kranzberg Arts Foundation said they'll feel comfortable returning once there is a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a recent survey.

The foundation created the survey to gauge when its patrons would be comfortable returning. The organization, which operates the Kranzberg, .ZACK, the Dark Room and other spaces, sent the survey out last week and posted it to social media, receiving 915 responses.

Many St. Louis buildings will have to meet new energy standards to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. Building owners will be required to start meeting the standards by May 2025.

The Building Energy Performance Standards ordinance passed by the Board of Aldermen and signed by Mayor Lyda Krewson last week will set energy-usage requirements for commercial, institutional, municipal and multi-family buildings 50,000 square feet or larger.

St. Louis Cinemas owner Harman Moseley isn’t sure when he can reopen the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas and MX Movies and Bar. But as St. Louis prepares to loosen its restrictions on businesses during the coronavirus crisis, he's preparing a reopening plan in case theaters are allowed to open in time for summer blockbusters.

Like many theater owners, Moseley is trying to figure out how a movie theater will operate during the pandemic, when social distancing is key to preventing the virus from spreading.

“How does that work in the time of coronavirus?” Moseley asked. “It’s a tricky thing to figure out at the moment.”

The Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University are starting a fund to help St. Louis-area visual artists whose livelihoods were disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

A Sustaining Arts Practice Fund was announced Monday by the two organizations. It will distribute $100,000 in grants to visual artists. 

The organizations will grant $2,000 to 50 artists, designers and architects who have lost income because their events, contracts and teaching engagements were canceled. The money comes from an endowment Emily Rauh Pulitzer established at Wash U to support the arts through a collaboration between the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School.

SSM Health is furloughing about 2,000 workers across its health care system starting May 1.

The St. Louis-based health care system announced Monday that employees would be off 13 weeks without pay. The furloughs will affect employees in all four states in SSM’s system: Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

The Moolah Theatre and Lounge will not reopen once the coronavirus crisis ends.

The theater at 3821 Lindell Blvd. has been in business for 15 years but in recent years has seen declining business and higher overhead costs. It closed because of the stay-at-home order in St. Louis, but its declining fortunes would make it difficult for St. Louis Cinemas to reopen it, owner and operator Harman Moseley said.

St. Louis Cinemas only has enough revenue to keep open its two other theaters, the Chase Park Plaza Cinema and MX Movies and Bar, Moseley said.

African Americans in St. Louis County are about four times more likely to become sick from COVID-19 as white people, according to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.

The most recent data showed that 316 African Americans per 100,000 county residents become sick from COVID-19. About 80 white residents out of that population become sick with the disease. As of Friday, there were 70 deaths in the county.

When the Rev. Carl Smith preached his last sermon from the pulpit of New Beginning Missionary Baptist Church on March 22, he told members of the congregation that because of the stay-at-home orders they might not see each other for a while.

But he commended those who came to the service and said he understood that some stayed at home to protect themselves from the virus.

“The bottom line is, I don’t hold it against nobody who didn’t come,” Smith said to those in his church, whom he would address via computer the following week. “It’s probably good that some are not here.”

Less than two weeks later, Smith became a victim of COVID-19, leaving his family and friends to cope with a deep loss.

Updated at 8:18 p.m. with more information from St. Louis officials

All 12 people in St. Louis who have died of COVID-19 were African Americans, the city’s health director wrote today in the St. Louis American.

Dr. Fred Echols wrote in an op-ed that the pandemic points to the local health disparities; black residents often lack access to health care and have a high incidence of diabetes and heart conditions.

With St. Louisans stuck in their homes as they comply with stay-at-home orders to prevent the coronavirus from spreading, the city’s musicians are disconnected from music-loving fans.

But a couple of horn players have found a way to reach an audience — from a safe distance. For the last week, trombone player Dominique Burton and tuba player Benjamin Kosberg have hit the streets of the Tower Grove South neighborhood to deliver homebound neighbors some New Orleans-style brass.

“This whole lockdown’s got everybody going stir-crazy,” Burton said while walking down Juniata Street. “It’s just good to get out, stretch your legs and do what you love.”

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.”

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