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As the host of "The Splendid Table," a cookbook editor and food journalist, Francis Lam has explored cuisines from all around the world. That may be one reason he’s not at all disconcerted by St. Louis’ method of slicing bagels as if they were loaves of bread.

“They’re like bagel chips, but not toasted,” he said, laughing, during a conversation with St. Louis on the Air that aired Thursday. “I get it!”

And when you put it that way, really, wasn’t the whole “St. Louis-style" bagel controversy earlier this year just a bit overblown? Lam, a New Jersey native who lives in New York City, certainly thinks so.

Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Kansas City's Sondern-Adler Home went on the market last year for $1.65 million. No one bought it, so it's going up for a no-reserve auction, with no minimum starting bid, on August 12.

Knowing the challenges that lie ahead is important for any buyer, says John H. Waters, an architect and preservation programs manager at the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy in Chicago.

On the latest edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Julie O’Donoghue and Rachel Lippmann take a look at how politics and policy has changed in five years since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson.

This show looks at how the slow change picked up last year with the election of Wesley Bell as St. Louis County prosecutor. That ushered in a new political coalition that’s affecting other parts of county government.

Chess players can picture a tournament victory 1,000 times in their head. One can prepare, have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, and show up to the event ready as you can possibly be.

Once the first move is played, however, those plans often get thrown out the window. 

Five years ago, Kevin and Danielle McCoy were making art that wasn’t particularly political.

“We made a lot of safe work,” Kevin McCoy said, “but it didn’t have a lot of meaning. It didn’t get to the crux of the issues.”

Then white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown Jr., an unarmed, 18-year-old black man. Brown's death sparked weeks of protests in Ferguson, unrest that reverberated in the local arts community. Black artists formed new alliances and reached new platforms, but also bumped up against enduring divides over race in this community.

Three women gymnasts from the Kansas City area — Leanne Wong, Kara Eaker and Aleah Finnegan — have a shot at making the United States' Olympic team when the USA Gymnastics national championships get underway at the Sprint Center on Thursday.

None of the three is scheduled to graduate from high school until 2021.

St. Louis County is about to become the largest police department in Missouri to equip all of its officers with body cameras.

“I think this is an example of how we’re forward-looking and how we try to set an example for law enforcement in the state,” Police Chief Jon Belmar said in an interview on Wednesday updating the status of the body camera plans.

After taking in $4.2 million in early application fees, Missouri’s medical marijuana program is off to a slow start since it began accepting full applications on Saturday.

Roughly 600 applicants chose to pay their required fees in advance, but so far only 27 full applications have been submitted. The application process is extensive, and the deadline isn’t until Aug. 17. Still, Lyndall Fraker, the director of the state’s medical marijuana program, said he was surprised by the low numbers. 

Clay County Sheriff Sgt. Scott Archer walks down the hallway of Antioch Middle School and claps two blocks of wood together.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

The sound of simulated gunfire always gets Chris Edman’s blood pumping. Immediately, she and the other North Kansas City teachers Archer has trained begin to barricade the door with tables, chairs, filing cabinets, even a mini-fridge.

Since Kansas City, Missouri, transferred its inmates from the Jackson County jail to the Heartland Center for Behavioral Change in late June, one inmate has died and two have escaped.

An inmate was found dead Tuesday at the facility at 15th and Campbell, according to police. They have not disclosed the inmate's identity or provided other details. The incident is under police investigation.

Another inmate escaped from the facility overnight Tuesday.

For the fourth year in a row, St. Louis businesses say their biggest barrier to expanding employment is a lack of skilled workers. That’s according to St. Louis Community College’s annual State of the St. Louis Workforce report released Wednesday. 

The new report, which surveyed over a thousand local employers, found that 1 in 3 is still having a hard time finding skilled workers. 

Segment 1: Creating a winning bid for major events

The U.S. Gymnastics Championship this weekend and the NFL Draft in 2023— what do they have in common? They will both take place in Kansas City, Missouri. Visit KC and the Kansas City Sports Commission played roles in bringing these events to town. The CEOs of both explained a process that can take years and described what they think makes the metro appealing to those looking for a host city. 

Last week, St. Louis attorney Michael Kahn won over a federal jury in a case looking at whether the Katy Perry song "Dark Horse" infringed on the copyright of a 2009 rap song “Joyful Noise” by St. Louis artist Marcus Gray, who is known as Flame. The jury decided that Katy Perry and Capitol Records must pay Gray $2.78 million in damages.

“There’s an old joke [that] when you say, ‘This is not about money, it’s about principle,’ it’s really about money,” said Kahn. “But for our clients, it was really about principle. They almost didn’t care about the money part of it. They felt that they’d been mistreated, and they wanted their day in court.”

Copyright 2019 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

The longer a woman smokes during pregnancy, the more likely she is to have a low birth weight baby, a study by a St. Louis University epidemiologist has found.

The link between smoking and low birth weight babies has been well-established. But the study published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal is one of the first clear indications that quitting smoking during pregnancy can have health benefits for a developing fetus throughout the third trimester, said Pam Xaverius, an assistant professor of epidemiology at SLU.

“So a pregnant mom should not say, ‘Oh well, I’ve already been smoking; it’s not going to do any good now to quit,’” said Xaverius, who serves as director of the school’s maternal and child health program.

A MetroBus driver shortage that prompted two days of delays for riders last month may be part of a larger, nation-wide problem.

On July 21 and 31, Metro told St. Louis mass transit customers on both sides of the river to expect delays due to a shortage of drivers.

The shortages were caused when Metro found its workers were unwilling or unavailable to work an extra shift.

Segment 1: A hopeful billboard has a story behind it.

When artist Nicole Leth lost her father to suicide, she told herself she would focus all her energy on spreading positivity. Now a billboard in Kansas City stands testament to that promise.

  • Nicole Leth, artist

Segment 2: A Kansas City musician rocks the violin in her new EP.

Missouri workers providing care for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities make less than a Walmart or Target worker, even after a pay increase that went into effect last month. 

The low pay is the main reason about half of Missouri workers quit each year, according to Missouri Developmental Disabilities Division Director Val Huhn.

St. Louis County elected officials and employees who are found guilty of corruption will not be able to collect their pensions. 

The County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to revoke the pension benefits of those convicted of public corruption such as bribery. 

“The offenses had to occur while they were in office or in their county employment,” said Councilman Tim Fitch, R-St. Louis County, the sponsor of the bill. “Once you’re convicted, that’s when the ordinance would kick in.”

Updated at 10:50 p.m., Aug. 6 with comment from Rita Days and Kelli Dunaway —

Two Democrats captured vacant St. Louis County Council seats Tuesday, giving their party control of the governing body that was shaken up by Steve Stenger’s resignation as county executive.

Former state Sen. Rita Heard Days easily won the race in the heavily Democratic 1st District, which takes in parts of central and northern St. Louis County — including Ferguson and University City. Days beat Republican Sarah Davoli with 84% of the vote. 

In the 2nd District, which includes municipalities like Maryland Heights, Hazelwood, St. Ann, Chesterfield and Creve Coeur, Democrat Kelli Dunaway bested Republican Amy Poelker with nearly 60% of the vote.

A Jackson County judge on Tuesday railed about Kansas City’s decades of gun violence, state government’s “encouraging” the use of weapons, and his own futility in trying to bring justice to the “senseless, thoughtless and ultimately cruel” murder of a young mother.

Judge John Torrence sentenced Deandre “Day Day” Jackson to 26 years for the second-degree murder of Maryanna “Pretty” Pennington, 25, after a two-and-a-half hour emotional hearing where the victim’s family packed the room.

Hog producer Smithfield Foods has completed a pipeline in Missouri to transport natural gas derived from pig manure. 

The company announced Monday that it finished building a pipeline that connects one of its farms to Milan, a city located 130 miles north of Columbia. Smithfield Foods also captures methane, or natural gas, at two other Missouri farms, near Bethany and Princeton.

For an hour and a half every Wednesday, the International Institute of St. Louis transforms into a restaurant. By partnering with a rotating list of local immigrant caterers, the institute continues its legacy of supporting immigrant and refugee populations. 

On July 24, La Fuente, a Mexican food caterer, was at the helm, featuring staples such as tamales and pan dulce. Common wisdom says come early, and it was clear why: One line formed, and then another, until much was sold out. 

St. Louis has the smallest Latino community of the nation's 25 largest metro areas — the only one that's less than 5% Latino. So how do local Latinos deal with being not just a minority, but one that’s dwarfed in size by other communities? And how do they straddle the Spanish-speaking worlds of their parents and grandparents in addition to life in the Midwest? 

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske delved into ways that St. Louis’ Latino community continues to grow and influence the city – artistically and otherwise.

Joining the program were Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, business counselor at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in St. Louis and co-host of the bilingual Auténtico Podcast, and Valeria Rodriguez, a Dominican-American multidisciplinary artist and member of the Latinx Arts Network – a collective of local artists. 

Segment 1: Normally obscure ballots in Kansas county drawing greater attention

Without a high-profile race for governor or Congress, the Johnson County, Kansas, primary elections are usually on the sleepy side. Not so this time around as controversies have made even the community college's open seats on its Board of Trustee highly-contested.

The first few minutes of Tanner Craft’s new film pair a seemingly everyday scene – a mother and her young son at a doctor’s office – with an unsettling soundtrack. There’s a looming, ongoing hum audible beneath the dialogue as the physician tells the mother that her son has autism spectrum disorder.

“It’s a developmental disorder,” the doctor says, the mother appearing overwhelmed. “It impairs his ability to communicate and interact with others.”

But “Diagnosis,” which Craft wrote, directed and produced, doesn’t stop there. The short film goes on to highlight a mother-son journey from early diagnosis, to learning more about autism and existing resources, to finding new ways to connect with one another and thrive.

TOPEKA ― State officials have told one of the key players in Kansas’ privatized Medicaid system that it stands in danger of getting fired for not living up to its contract.

Aetna Better Health has until Wednesday to tell state officials how it is addressing chronic complaints about delayed payments to hospitals and other problems.

A formal letter from the state to Aetna says failure to fix the problems so far means the company’s contract “is in jeopardy of being terminated for cause.”

Mass shooters killed 31 people last weekend in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, and three people in Gilroy, California last month, including two children. The week was the deadliest for mass shootings and fatalities this year, whichever way one chooses to count them.

In the wake of these incidents, we often hear “no one could have seen this coming,” or “this person just snapped." But what do we know about the perpetrators of mass shootings?

Missouri schools will start much closer to Labor Day beginning in 2020, creating a dilemma for many working parents: What to do with the kids?

Some have already begun asking summer camps whether they’ll stretch their season longer next summer. Yet camp organizers warn they may struggle to keep costs down for families while providing enough counselors to lead activities for two extra weeks. 

Michael Brown’s 2014 death at the hands of a Ferguson police officer painted a clear picture of the troubled relationship between the police and the community, and also abusive municipal court practices that disregarded defendants’ rights.

Defendants were held in jail for weeks or months because they couldn’t afford excessive bonds. Others were arrested because they couldn’t pay the fines and fees, some of which were illegal. Some courts were little more than cash cows for their cities.

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