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St. Louis Public Radio's Edward R. Murrow entry for writing


HOST INTRO: A St. Louis church hit during a string of arsons against predominantly black churches this past fall is now in a new building. St. Louis Public Radio's Stephanie Lecci reports.

REPORTER: United Believers in Christ Ministries' new home is literally just that - a converted house, its kitchen removed to make way for rows of chairs and decals that look like stained glass on the windows.

"I'm so proud of our little windows."

Pastor David Triggs welcomed churchgoers to the first service at the new space yesterday/SUNDAY.

"You are here celebrating our first day in our new building" (applause fade out)

Speaking on the front porch, Triggs says his church did have to move to a new neighborhood.

"There's also a lot of work to do here in Baden, so we're looking forward to reaching out to get to know this community and for them to get to know us."

Triggs says membership has been growing since the fire, so while his ministry is settled for the time being, he hopes to move again in a few months to a larger space - one that's already designed as a church.

::singing underneath::

I'm Stephanie Lecci, St. Louis Public Radio.

HOST INTRO: Along with remembrances and barbecues, the Memorial Day holiday is also known as a time for gardening projects. St. Louis Public Radio’s Stephanie Lecci found some gardening hacks unique to St. Louis.

REPORTER:   It can be tough to decide WHAT to plant in your garden. How about…

“Hot peppers, bell peppers, a couple different varieties of eggplant…”

Gateway Greening’s Executive Director Mike Sorth says the new Perfect Picks program highlights locally grown crops and native ornamentals that grow well in St. Louis’ climate.

“These are the very plants that we provide to community gardens and school gardens, so we’ve sort of weeded out the ones that we’ve had a hard time with in the past.”

But where can a brown thumb get gardening questions answered?

The Missouri Botanical Gardens’ Plant Doctors can diagnose your problem plants.

(run ambient underneath: “And these leaves here…I mean they are so skeletonized.”)

MoBOT’s Glenn Kopp says some garden mysteries are harder than others to solve:

“Someone brought in this orange caterpillar of some sort, they suspected maybe something eating their plants. Looked at it for a while…And suddenly said, ‘This is a Cheetos.’”

So now you know what you’re doing …but what if you have no space?

Brightside St. Louis offers grants to groups of residents to beautify public spaces – like city owned lots, medians and parks.

Executive Director Mary Lou Green says Neighbors Naturescaping grants help grow more than just gardens.

“If you’re connecting neighbors with each other, with the natural environment, then you’re also creating a stronger, more stable neighborhood.”

With these resources at the tips of your gardening gloves, St. Louis makes it easy to get your garden on.

I’m Stephanie Lecci, St. Louis Public Radio.

HOST INTRO: About 20 protesters gathered today outside St. Louis University’s Law School to challenge St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch’s role on a panel on policing post-Ferguson. St. Louis Public Radio’s Stephanie Lecci reports.

REPORTER:  ::sound playing underneath:: Almost as soon as McCulloch began speaking, protesters began singing a requiem for Michael Brown.

That included Jonathan Pulphus.

“We were attending the conference not to hear Bob McCulloch speak, so much as to allow him to get the opportunity to face an audience that won’t sit and stare and bask in his glory.”

The group was – as one protester put it – “gently escorted out” – to some applause.

::applause sounds underneath.::

But once outside, protesters called for McCulloch to be held accountable and decried police aggression.

::singing underneath and chants::

The couple dozen protesters then briefly shut down Tucker Boulevard.

Police helped a couple cars through the protest line – but mostly hung back as protesters dispersed themselves.

Sgt. Michael Marks says the department’s approach was textbook.

“No one got hurt and I thought it went perfect.”

No arrests were made.

I’m Stephanie Lecci. St. Louis Public Radio.