The Rundown: Should We Build A New Stadium?
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.
If we build it...
As the St. Louis Rams consider moving to Los Angeles, one question has gotten lost in the flurry of reaction: whether it makes sense to have a football team at all. Backers say the NFL provides an economic boost to the region and a dose of pride for St. Louisans. Others aren’t so sure that having a team is worth the price – especially if it requires an more public investment. And the overall economic impact of a new stadium is up for some serious debate.
Weighing in on how to keep the St. Louis Rams from moving back to Los Angeles, former St. Louis Mayor Vince Schoemehl supports building a new stadium for the team. But "this building needs to be built in Illinois,” Schoemehl told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh. “We are never going to recapture downtown or reestablish downtown as the center of this region until we create a impetus to rebuild the Illinois side of the river." The stadium, he said, "could be a great economic driver for Illinois."
Small is still beautiful
The idea of consolidating the county's tiny municipalities has come to the forefront since Michael Brown’s death. Some state lawmakers have proposed eliminating small cities by fiat. But advocating for and actually accomplishing consolidation are two completely different propositions. Black mayors of small north county towns have begun pushing back against the idea that they shouldn’t exist. It was a reaction to what they see as an unrelenting attack on them on the issues of municipal courts and policing standards.
Show me the money
During 2014, wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield cemented his place as Missouri’s top political donor — by far — by distributing close to $10 million to candidates and political groups. His top recipient was Grow Missouri, a fiscally conservative political action committee, which received $4.25 million. The Democrats' top donor was U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who gave almost $1 million.
Right before she won back an office she held for more than 30 years, St. Louis Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter applied for her pension. Carpenter served as the city’s recorder of deeds from 1980 to mid-2014. After she resigned, she started receiving a monthly benefit of $4,238.76. But even though she’s no longer retired, Carpenter continues to receive the monthly pension she earned largely from the job she currently holds – along with her salary. The pension adds roughly $50,000 a year, before taxes, to her take home pay.
The NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s request for a St. Louis County judge to consider a new grand jury and special prosecutor in the death of Michael Brown calls for an action that is without precedent. No Missouri court has appointed a special prosecutor and empaneled a second grand jury over the objection of the local prosecutor whose first grand jury did not indict, legal experts say. Nor does there appear to be a precedent anywhere else in the country.
In what one member called a “hotly divided” decision, the Archeological Institute of America - St. Louis Society narrowly voted to retain its board, even though that could allow the national organization to revoke the chapter’s charter. The controversy stems from the local group’s sale of Egyptian and Mesoamerican artifacts it had owned for decades. At its recent meeting in New Orleans, the Archaeological Institute of America voted to revoke the St. Louis charter unless the chaptere replaces its entire board by Feb. 1.
People in the news
One year after "cancer goggles" were first used in a successful breast cancer operation, Dr. Samuel Achilefu is still getting emails from surgeons all over the world, hoping for a chance to use them. Achilefu counts 27 surgeries doctors wearing his glasses were operating on patients with breast cancer, liver cancer and melanoma. The goggles help surgeons locate the tumor and separate it from healthy tissue.
The Zoo-Museum District is welcoming new board members Christine Chadwick and Michelle Harris at a time of heated debate. We asked them about the issues -- proposed changes to the ZMD Code of Ethics, questions regarding the budget review process for ZMD subdistricts, and an increased call for transparency surrounding ZMD decision-making.
Happy birthday, Dr. King
Looking for a way to honor Martin Luther King? Here's a list of community events over the weekend and on MLK Day itself in case you want to participate.