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The Rundown: Local Leaders, Elected And Not, Set Off In New Directions

St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger talks to St. Louis Public Radio reporters Nov. 5, 2014, during a recording of the 'Politically Speaking' podcast.
Chris McDaniel
St. Louis Public Radio

We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.

Once and future leaders

Stenger In-Depth Interview: 'We Need To Move Forward Together ... Now'

A day after his narrow victory, St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger says he’s “certainly willing to extend an olive branch’’ to those fellow Democrats who had opposed his election. But that said, Stenger made clear Wednesday that he expects those critics — many of whom were African-American officials in north St. Louis County — to do their part as well.

A New Form Of Leadership Takes Root In Ferguson

As organizations and events around Ferguson have evolved after a Ferguson police officer killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, the calls for action are starting to resemble a movement. But if the continued pressure for justice, systemic and social change is in fact a movement, who’s in charge? The short answer is everyone.

Koster Lays Out Proposals For State Economy, Education And Ferguson

Attorney General Chris Koster – a Democratic candidate for governor in 2016 -- laid out his plans in a detailed address Thursday before the St. Louis Regional Chamber that was arguably his most specific to date on an array of policy issues. He spoke on a wide range of issues, including taxes, higher education and a new tobacco tax.

Back to the grass roots

Monsanto Looks To Re-engineer Its Image

When you ask people what they think of Monsanto, it doesn’t take long for the four-letter word to come out. The company is now embarking on an effort to reach out, especially to moms and millennials. The company is encouraging its employees to talk about their work on social media; there’s a new director of millennial engagement; and Monsanto had a presence at last month’s SXSW Eco conference in Austin. Yet, the biggest move to date is the launch this week of a national advertising campaign

Tarnished ivory tower

Washington University's Brookings Hall
Credit (via Flickr/Washington University/with permission)

In Unions There Is Strength? Adjunct Instructors Hope So

For many university instructors with a Ph.D. following their name, the letters might stand for Pretty Hefty Disillusionment. They’re the ones who, after working for years to earn a doctorate in their field, sadly find that the higher education system has no job openings for them to teach students what they know. So they bounce around from course to course, sometimes from campus to campus, working one part-time gig to another, never quite sure where their next classroom will be or how much money they will make next semester – if any. Now some adjuncts are thinking about unionizing.

After justice, mercy

Chaplains: Juveniles Need Support Outside To Maintain Changes Learned In Detention

Credit Criminal Justice Ministry pamphlet

Prison chaplains wear hope on their sleeves. Many talk about ex-prisoners who transform their lives in prison and, after release, become contributing citizens and good parents. One of the chaplains, the Rev. Dietra Wise Baker said that most judges and others who work in the justice and corrections systems are “loving,” but the system is flawed.

Chaplains: Thrownaway Inmates May Flourish With Pastoral Attention

When volunteer prison chaplain Tom Cummins knocks on the door of a prison cell, the inmate’s voice is nearly always welcoming, sometimes delighted. Cummins listens and asks simple questions to encourage inmates to think through their current decisions. “My primary role is to be present to them, reveal a different way of life, “he said. “It seems to work.”

Credit The Funhouse Gallery

 Three-ring art works

Life Hasn't Always Been A Circus For New Funhouse Gallery Artist Theresa Disney

Theresa Disney’s been working in St. Louis for 30 years. But her home town hasn’t always embraced her bright, whimsical style. She doesn’t have formal training and is sometimes dismissed as a less-than-serious artist.This Saturday, she'll debut her new Funhouse Gallery in the Clifton Heights area of south St. Louis.  The opening event is billed as a “Circus Party.”

Susan Hegger comes to St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon as the politics and issues editor, a position she has held at the Beacon since it started in 2008.