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.  

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.

St. Louis County prosecutors charged a St. Louis man with murder in the death of 13-year-old Clifford Swan III.

Jabari Lowery, 18, faces charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Authorities say Lowery shot Swan on Thursday as he and two other people walked through an apartment complex on Oak Parkway Lane in north St. Louis County. 

Emergency personnel rushed Swan to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after. 

"I just feel like my son was stolen from me,” said Clifford Swan Sr., the boy's father. “He was nothing but a baby." 

The first phase of a project to restore the childhood home of famed trumpeter Miles Davis in East St. Louis is now complete.

The House of Miles East St. Louis opened its doors in June 2018. The first phase included the creation of a Miles Davis museum, an art gallery and a classroom setting for musicians and children. The space, which includes concert posters and artifacts, is a fitting tribute to the jazz musician, his family and friends said this week.

Two days after Gov. Mike Parson rejected calls for a special session to address gun violence, elected officials, faith leaders and doctors in St. Louis asked him to reconsider. 

On Friday, more than two dozen St. Louis leaders urged Parson to seek a special session so lawmakers could pass legislation allowing municipalities to enact their own gun regulations. That's unlikely, given that a state law bars cities from passing local gun control laws.

They also called for an emergency meeting between local elected officials and community leaders before the Legislature meets in September to consider overriding Parson’s vetoes of bills that state lawmakers passed in the regular session.

Fidencio Fifield-Perez’s art details moments in time. He uses paintings and paper cuttings that reflect his early life in Oaxaca, Mexico, his childhood in North Carolina, and his struggle as a young adult who applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

The Obama administration program gave temporary relief to young adults who entered the United States without authorization as children and have grown up in this country.

Fifield-Perez works on art in Columbia, Missouri, but his affinity for using cuts of paper began as a child. Now, he uses those techniques to pay homage to Oaxacan traditions and as a commentary on the current state of immigration.

When the St. Louis Symphony begins its 2019-20 season in September, concert-goers will notice changes orchestra managers hope will broaden its appeal. 

With a reduced base ticket price of $15 for classical shows, a change that will allow patrons to bring drinks into the concert hall and diverse musical offerings, the SLSO's new season aims to better attract younger listeners, people of color and first-time attendees.

In making the changes, the symphony is joining orchestras across the nation that are experimenting with ways to grow their audiences and expand interest in classical music.

Michael Brown Sr. is asking the St. Louis County prosecutor to reopen the investigation into the death of his son, Michael Brown Jr.

Brown requested the reopening of the case Friday, five years after Brown, 18, was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. 

“I stand here today to discuss the unsatisfaction with the way my son’s death was handled, and I am demanding evidence to be re-analyzed and accountability to be followed,” Brown said.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell did not say Friday whether he would reopen the case.