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Sherman A1

Sherman A1's Journal
Sherman A1's Journal
March 31, 2019

Missouri bill could exempt 1 million cars from inspections

Mandatory safety inspections would no longer be required for more than a million vehicles on Missouri’s roads under legislation passed by the state House

Mandatory safety inspections would no longer be required for more than a million vehicles on Missouri’s roads under legislation passed by the state House.

Safety inspections currently are required every other year for all vehicles more than five years old. Legislation passed Wednesday by the House would require inspections only for vehicles more than 10 years old or with more than 150,000 miles.

Legislative staff estimate that almost 1.2 million vehicles would become exempt from inspections as a result of the bill.


March 31, 2019

Stenger, elected on 'swirling rumors,' eats a subpoena in public

In the earliest hours of Sunday, March 24, as far as the public knew, St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger was a made man. An organization funded and driven by a billionaire was pushing for a statewide ballot initiative that would make him (in effect) mayor for life of a newly merged and expanded metro St. Louis, where he would rule over what is now the City of St. Louis even though none of what would then be the former city’s citizens had ever voted for him for mayor – or dog catcher, for that matter.

Two days later, retired financier Rex Sinquefield’s Better Together had dropped Stenger like the bad investment he was and is, deciding – in a sudden flourish of democratic spirit – that all of the people of the newly merged and expanded metro St. Louis should have an opportunity to elect their chief executive, rather than letting Sinquefield knight Stenger with the grinning support of what would be the last mayor of old St. Louis, Lyda “Let Clayton Have the city” Krewson.

Three days later, not only did Stenger no longer have Sinquefield by his side, but he suddenly also felt the need to have the notorious defense attorney to the stars Scott Rosenblum covering his suddenly exposed hindquarters. Among the many good jokes about Rosenblum, there is this one: If you wake up and there is a dead body in your house and you don’t know how it got there, call Ed Dowd. If you wake up and there is a dead body in your house and you do know how it got there, call Scott Rosenblum. The kicker to this joke is then-Gov. Eric Greitens called them both when he was under investigation by everybody but Robert Mueller and Gerard Carmody.

The very, very troubling news for Stenger is he is now ending up the butt of the jokes and stories that Greitens ended up in. The man who was supposed to be the unelected king of the metro St. Louis of the future is now scrambling simply to stay on the safe side of orange jumpsuits and nightly lockdowns. What happened?


March 30, 2019

America's Center $175-million expansion stalls out at St. Louis County Council

The plan for a $175-million expansion for the America’s Center Convention Center in downtown St. Louis has stalled – after NAACP leaders raised concerns about employing minorities and county residents on the construction site.

Councilwoman Hazel Erby tabled her bill (#73) on Tuesday night that would authorize the county to continue contributing $6 million annually in bond payments over 40 years, using funds from a 3.5 percent hotel tax passed in 1990. The City of St. Louis and the county currently pay a combined $12 million annually on the debt used to construct The Dome, that’s connected to the convention center – and the state matches it with $12 million. However, those commitments expire in 2021, and the expansion can only move forward if both the city and county agree to continue making those $6 million annual payments. The city passed the necessary legislation earlier this year, and County Executive Steve Stenger supports the plan.

Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis City NAACP, said Bill 73 does not ensure that the county’s minority participation goals would be enforced on the convention expansion project. Because funds from both governments are at play, Pruitt is pushing the council to establish regional goals for employing minority workforce and contractors on the project.

“As a council you have the full authority to negotiate a better deal, and you have a fiduciary responsibility to allocate county funds in a way that benefits county residents,” stated Pruitt in a March 18 letter to the council.


March 30, 2019

Integrating Rosati-Kain: Norma English Thompson among 1st group of black girls admitted to local CHS

Norma English Thompson helped pave a new path that allowed black girls to attend Rosati-Kain Catholic High School in St. Louis. She transferred from Kinloch High School to Rosati-Kain in 1949 – before school integration was mandated by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision.

After attending two years at Kinloch, she was chosen by Holy Angels Parish to be one of six or so outstanding black students to attend the white all-girl’s school.

“Norma English was one of our esteemed graduates of the Class of 1951. Among Gloria Waters White and Rose Marie Banks, to name a few, she graduated in 1951 as one of the first African Americans to become Rosati-Kain Alumnae. Coming from a most difficult, but historical time in our nation's history, Norma English is an Alumna our students are very proud to call their R-K sister,” a school spokesperson told The American.


March 30, 2019

St. Louis Area Diaper Bank recognized at Health Salute on April 26

As a broke graduate student with four children, Jessica Adams was barely squeaking by financially after her divorce. She was able to provide for her children – and stay in school – with the help of food stamps and utility assistance. But there was one expense that she couldn’t find help with.

Adams’ youngest child was in diapers, and families can’t use food stamps or the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to buy diapers. Adams remembers going to the food pantry one day and asking if they had any diapers. She immediately felt embarrassed and ashamed when the woman told her that they never carried them.

“If a food pantry is there to help people,” Adams said, tearing up at the memory, “and if they didn’t have diapers, I felt like maybe good moms could figure out how to get diapers.”


March 30, 2019

'Proposition S' Would Bring New Era Of Widespread, Free Preschool And Update Decaying Buildings

On Tuesday, people living within the boundaries of the Springfield R-12 school district will be asked to vote on Proposition S, an 18-cent increase to the debt service levy that would fund 39 projects, including renovating and rebuilding several schools. Proposition S would also make entrances more secure and improve accessibility for people with disabilities.

The list of projects that would be funded was developed by a task force of 30 people across the district.

“And one of the needs was an equity issue from a facility standpoint," said Stephen Hall, chief communications officer for Springfield Public Schools.

“Just the quality of the facilities within our district. And the task force felt very strongly that Proposition S should address that, both from a quality learning environment standpoint, from a safety and security standpoint, and accessibility,” Hall said.


March 30, 2019

Competition -- And Community -- Awaits Athletes At Missouri Special Olympics

Special Olympic gold athlete Lynna Hodgson was two years old when the Hodgson family from outside of Oak Grove, Missouri, adopted her. The baby had been abused and suffered a permanent traumatic brain injury. She was able to speak parts of only two words: one syllable of her name and one syllable of "water."

Her path to adulthood was often lonely; her severe speech delay and subsequent shyness kept her from socializing.

"I don't think she was ever invited to one birthday party in high school or grade school," says her mother, Darla Hodgson. "There's such an isolation with kids who are special needs, and isolation for their families."


March 30, 2019

80 Years Post-Pendergast, Kansas City Mayoral Hopefuls Wonder If Local Control Of Police Is Worth It

Kansas City, Missouri, is the only major city in the country that does not control its own police department. Regaining that control from the state may be a big issue for Kansas City’s next mayor — if they decide it’s worth the effort.

The city lost control of its police department because of rampant corruption. In 1932, boss Tom Pendergast’s political machine challenged Missouri law to regain local control of the police department. It only lasted seven years.

Kansas City and St. Louis’ department had been under state control since the years after the Civil War.

Kansas City historian Monroe Dodd said Pendergast effectively ran the police out of his office on Main Street. He says police wages were kept low back then — so officers would be more likely to accept bribes.


March 29, 2019

New York to Introduce State-Wide Ban on Plastic Bags

New York lawmakers have reached an agreement to implement a state-wide ban on single-use plastic bags, due to take effect in March 2020. The goal of the deal, which is part of the state budget plan due on April 1, is to encourage consumers to instead rely on reusable tote bags. But as Jesse McKinley reports for the New York Times, the ban has drawn criticism from both business groups and environmental advocates.


March 29, 2019

In One Kansas City Council Race, Experience Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

The two men vying to take over Quinton Lucas’ Kansas City Council seat agree there are challenges when it comes to tackling the 3rd District’s issues such as crime, affordable housing and access to jobs. Where they diverge is their career experiences.

State Rep. Brandon Ellington is touting his record as a state legislator and community organizer as positives for the at-large seat, which is one of seven contested city council races in Tuesday’s election. The Rev. Wallace Hartsfield II cites his long experiences in activism for equity and civil rights.

The 3rd District encompasses a large area east of Troost Avenue and north of Swope Parkway, including the 18th and Vine District and the sports stadiums. It includes sections that have some of the highest poverty and crime rates in the city.

Ellington won re-election to his House seat in November and is the House Democratic Whip. Because he was first elected in 2011, it’s his final two-year term. He said he had planned to run for the Missouri Senate in 2020, but decided to focus on Kansas City instead.


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