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 County Council is looking into eliminating pensions for county officials who commit a felony.

The proposal came from Councilman Tim Fitch, R- St. Louis County, who said it would apply to those who pleaded or are found guilty of a felony while in office.

The proposal comes a few weeks after former County Executive Steve Stenger pleaded guilty to federal public corruption charges. He resigned as county executive in late April. Fitch said the proposed legislation could affect Stenger’s pension.

Nayla Nava and Maya McGregory took to the stage at the St. Louis Science Center on Tuesday to pitch their business idea for Afrospanic Atmosphere. It’s a plan they’ve been working on since the beginning of the year.

“We’re an apparel and accessory line that encourages black and Hispanic communities to pursue STEAM careers,” McGregory said. “We want to inspire black and Hispanic people to just go after their dreams and pursue their goals.”

Caleb Smith is 100 miles away from a goal he’s been planning for about a month. It’s a in-line skating challenge that will take him throughout the St. Louis area this Saturday.

“I’m going to be starting at 4:45 in the morning,” Smith said. “I project that it’ll take right around 10 hours.”

Soul music fans who turned on the radio in the 1960s and ‘70s were bound to hear a song from the influential group, The Isley Brothers. The world-renowned band has released both ballads and funk anthems that have now shaped generations of music.

On Wednesday, Ronald and Ernie Isley joined the likes of Maya Angelou, Stan Musial, Nelly and other St. Louis celebrities with their addition to the St. Louis Walk of Fame. The brothers were honored at a ceremony outside of The Pageant. 

Updated 7:45 a.m., April 23, with comment from a Unite STL spokesperson — More than 30 African American political leaders from the St. Louis metro area are calling for the resignation of St. Louis County NAACP President John Gaskin III.

The announcement came Monday afternoon at the Cool Valley City Hall, several days after political leaders accused Gaskin of having a conflict of interest after he revealed he is being paid by Unite STL. The organization is the political arm pushing for the Better Together’s city-county merger recommendations. Gaskin announced the St. Louis County NAACP was in favor of the merger on April 18.

Updated 5:30 p.m., April 19, with Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones calling for the resignation of the St. Louis County NAACP president — Better Together’s city-county merger proposal received a significant endorsement from the St. Louis County branch of the NAACP.

The announcement came Thursday from St. Louis County Branch NAACP President John Gaskin III, who faced blowback following revelations that he is a paid consultant for Better Together's political advocacy arm.

Gaskin said he believes the proposal will result in significant social change across the metro area.

St. Louis County Council held the first of two hearings Tuesday concerning the regulations and procedures for detainees at the St. Louis County jail. The hearings come in response to the deaths of three inmates this year.

Council members listened to testimony from advocates and family members of Lamar Catchings, 20, an inmate who died of leukemia in March.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Thursday that five special assistant U.S. attorneys have been deputized to focus on the prosecution of federal crimes in the St. Louis area.

The newly sworn-in attorneys are a part of Schmitt’s Safer Streets initiative. The program was launched in January with the aim of reducing violent crime across Missouri.

The group Better Together submitted its proposal for a merger of St. Louis and St. Louis County in January. The plan calls for a statewide vote in 2020, when Missouri residents would decide on the future of the city and county. The plan would consolidate several municipal functions including police departments, a prosecutor and an assessor.

Residents of the city and country continue to have question regarding the merger, which would consolidate several key functions of the St. Louis and St. Louis County region.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson on Friday met with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson, U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-University City, and other state and city leaders in St. Louis to tour new real estate developments in low-income communities.

Carson came to St. Louis to highlight Opportunity Zones, a federal program that encourages investment in neglected communities by offering incentives to developers, including tax breaks. The program was established as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen is forming a Ward Reduction Advisory Committee to get public input as to what going from 28 to 14 wards would mean for the city.

The committee will study the effects of ward reduction on the Board of Aldermen, budgets and constituent services. The group will then be tasked with providing recommendations.

A man who confessed to damaging more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery has been sentenced to three years’ probation.

Alzado M. Harris, 35, of St. Louis County, admitted to knocking down more than 100 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the state, in February 2017.

For the past 30 years, Keith Winstead has been tracing the many generations of his family history.

“When I first started genealogy, I thought I’d be lucky to go and find a third great-grandparent. I got pictures now of 10 generations,” Winstead said.

On a cold and windy day he was at Bellefontaine Cemetery with about 15 other family members who hail from different parts of the U.S., such as Louisville, Atlanta, New York and Cincinnati.

A local nonprofit aims to attract diverse voices to participate in the local film and media-production scene.

Continuity, a nonprofit media company, is recruiting applicants for its third-annual film-training program. It prepares people of color, women, and members of other underrepresented groups for jobs in the industry. Continuity will accept applicants through the end of April.

A total of 10 participants will be selected for the one-year program, which beings in August. The free training, which takes place at Continuity's Cortex location, will teach participants a wide variety of skills, from the basics of editing to how to create non-narrative projects. The participants will also recieve a paid stipend.

Attendees at a town hall meeting on Better Together’s plan for a St. Louis city-county merger peppered the group’s representatives with questions Wednesday night, including why the plan didn’t include schools, and concern about a statewide vote deciding the issue.

Greater St. Mark Family Church in north St. Louis County hosted the first of a series of area town hall meetings on the merger. Better Together capped registration at 150 people.

The St. Louis County Council took the first step Tuesday in an attempt to remove County Executive Steve Stenger from office for not attending council meetings.

Harris-Stowe State University professor Reynaldo Anderson has spent years nurturing and cultivating a black creative community around speculative art.

In early February, members of that community showcased their musical work and celebrated Black History Month at Harris-Stowe State University. It was the first night of the 2019 Black Speculative Arts Movement (BSAM) in St. Louis.

“The term Black Speculative Arts Movement is kind of an umbrella term,” said Anderson, the co-founder of BSAM. “We’ll talk about philosophy, technology, even cosplay and performance.”

It’s the early to mid 1800s in Missouri. The state’s German population is seeing an increase, especially in the cities of St. Louis and Hermann. Many are traveling to the U.S. to seek a better life, free of injustice from German rulers. Amongst those immigrants is Arnold Krekel.

Krekel’s story is not known to most St. Louisans.  He arrived in America at 17 years old and eventually became a federal judge. He was also one of many from his region to fight for the abolition of slavery in Missouri.

Questions about Better Together's proposal to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County continue to pour in from St. Louis Public Radio listeners and readers via our Curious Louis project.

Some St. Louis municipal leaders are continuing to look into potential alternatives to the Better Together proposal that would merge St. Louis and St. Louis County.

Chesterfield City Council members voted to direct city staff to look into possible steps for Chesterfield that could lead to an independent Chesterfield County or a Chesterfield merger with St. Charles County.

Better Together’s proposal to create a unified St. Louis and St. Louis County is expected to be on the November 2020 ballot.

Under the proposal, residents would elect one mayor, one prosecutor, one assessor and a 33-member council to represent the region.

St. Louis Public Radio answered 11 of the biggest questions about Better Together's proposal on Monday, but many questions remain.

Readers and listeners submitted dozens of questions about the proposal to our Curious Louis project. We'll continue to answer more in the weeks and months ahead.

Updated at 7 a.m. on Feb. 11 with answers to 11 more questions about the proposed metro government structure — Better Together has released its report recommending a St. Louis-St. Louis County merger. The proposal would create St. Louis Metro — a unified government that would merge city and county offices — and restrict the taxing authority of St. Louis County municipalities.

The proposal would also combine municipal courts and police departments.

Donna Rogers hasn’t received a paycheck in weeks. An Army veteran who works at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) office in St. Louis, she’s among the 800,000 federal employees around the nation working without pay or on furlough.

The lack of a paycheck is weighing on her. The partial government shutdown is now the longest running in U.S. history, with no end in sight.

“Being a single mom, bills are still due, period,” Rogers said. “So whether you have kids or no kids, you have teenagers, grown folks, whatever; I mean, bills are still coming through.”

Military veterans who work for the federal government are among the federal employees facing the loss of their first January paychecks due to the partial government shutdown which started Dec. 21.

A report from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management estimates that about one-third of federal employees are veterans. Although the exact number of local veterans who are government workers is unclear, a number of St. Louis-area veterans work for agencies like the National Park Service and the Transportation Security Administration.

New St. Louis County Councilman Tim Fitch wants to reinstate nearly $5 million in funding for the police department to hire more officers.

The proposal comes a month after the county council voted to cut $35 million from the 2019 budget, including the money for the new officers.

Federal employees throughout metro St. Louis are feeling the brunt of the partial government shutdown two weeks in, as agencies and departments have placed workers on furlough or have required them to work without pay.

In metro St. Louis, the shutdown includes the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the National Park Service (NPS).

A new St. Louis University course is aiming to give law students hands-on experience with immigration law.

The course, Removal Defense Project: Sheltering Vulnerable Immigrant Families and Children, will begin spring semester 2019. It centers on providing aspiring attorneys with the skills necessary to defend those in jeopardy of facing removal proceedings.

A St. Louis non-profit is creating opportunities aimed at reducing homelessness in the city.

Project Outreach St. Louis launched in early December with a goal to cut homeless rates among youth aging out of foster care, veterans and previously incarcerated people in the St. Louis area.

But the goal of Project Outreach St. Louis isn’t just to provide housing to these groups; it’s to give the individuals the resources and skills to retain and invest in their own housing.

Carlos Restrepo estimates he’s about one year away from achieving a dream: having his father permanently in the U.S. after 13 years of living apart.

“It would be awesome if by next Christmas he was here,” Restrepo said.

Determined to make it happen, Restrepo is aiming to raise $10,000 to cover the many costs associated with his father’s green card application and travel from Medellin, Colombia to the United States.

When the Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education weighed a plan to redraw boundaries and consolidate the district’s footprint this fall, residents in Berkeley heard a familiar threat in the undertow: a further washing away of their community identity and erosion of the city’s population.

Ferguson-Florissant School District plans to close two elementary schools — one of which is in Berkeley — and transform the high school Berkeley teenagers attend into a selective magnet school.

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