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Dr. Shilpa Babbar, an OB-GYN physician for SLUCare in St. Louis County.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio.

Missouri doctor grapples with state's high rate of deaths in childbirth

Twice as many United States women are dying in childbirth today as in 1990, even though all other wealthy nations have seen declines in maternal mortality rates. And, at over 28 deaths per 100,000 live births between 2010 and 2014, Missouri’s maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the country. Illinois measured 16 deaths per 100,000 births, according to America’s Health Rankings . The national rate was 20 deaths per 100,000. Dr. Shilpa Babbar, who specializes in high-risk pregnancies at SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in St. Louis County, said that rising rates of obesity and women having children later in life may help explain these figures.

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A view of the old North Side YMCA building from the old Sportsman's Park in JeffVanderLou. Mission: St. Louis, a local non-profit, recently moved to the building and has uncovered some unexpected surprises and historic elements.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’ve undertaken any kind of home renovation project, you’ve probably encountered a few, well, we’ll call them pleasant surprises.

But they’re likely nowhere near the size of the surprises that Josh Wilson and Jason Watson, the executive director and Beyond Jobs director at local nonprofit Mission: St. Louis, have found in a move they recently made from a 5,000 sq. ft. building in Forest Park Southeast to a historic 87,000 sq. ft. building in JeffVanderLou.

Josh Hawley takes part in a debate.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri attorney general’s office said late Tuesday that it wants a federal appeals court to reinstate a ban on political action committees transferring money to each other during campaigns.

Fred Firestone poses with the Clap-O-Meter, which was handmade for the Punderdome, a pun competition event.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Puns. You may laugh. You may cry. And if one is particularly bad, you may even groan.

For St. Louis punny-man Fred Firestone, a well-done pun should never be considered the lowest form of humor.

“Commonly-held wisdom is that you hear a pun and associate it with a groan, but our objective is that it can be knee-slapper if done right,” Firestone told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is the largest local branch of any other Urban League in the country.
Jenny Simeone | St. Louis Public Radio

If you want to know why the National Urban League conference is in St. Louis this week, look no further than Michael Brown’s fatal shooting. The local chapter of the organization, which champions civil rights and economic empowerment for African-Americans, said it wanted to call attention to what it’s done since August 2014, and the work that remains.

But the location is also symbolic of the dilemma that the Urban League, which has been in the St. Louis area since 1918, and other long-standing organizations like the NAACP face: finding ways to stay relevant as movements like Black Lives Matter continue to rise to prominence.

Joe Finnigan, a former longtime VP at FleishmanHillard, discusses the ins and outs of his time as "an old PR warhorse," including work with Anheuser-Busch.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

For 35 years, Joe Finnigan spent time at the top of the FleishmanHillard food chain, handling such prestigious and controversial accounts as Anheuser-Busch in the 1970s and 80s and growing the public relations firm to national prominence.

In his recent memoir, “Feisty: Chronicles & Confessions of an Old PR Warhorse,” Finnigan shares what it was like as a VP and senior partner at the St. Louis-based company.

More than a thousand demonstrators gather on Canfield Drive on Aug. 30, 2014 as part of a National March on Ferguson.
File photo | Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 4:45 p.m. to correct that the ruling may have violated Johnson's constitutional rights — A federal lawsuit filed by Dorian Johnson against the city of Ferguson, former officer Darren Wilson and former police Chief Thomas Jackson can go forward, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.

St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green takes the oath of office during an inauguration ceremony at City Hall in April. (2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Darlene Green first became St. Louis’ comptroller in 1995, making her the first most politically powerful African-American woman in the region. Twenty-two years and seven elections later, she’s still in office, and has lots of company, putting St. Louis on the leading edge of a national trend.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar on July 24, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 10:45 a.m. July 25 with County Council expected to consider a related resolution — St. Louis County’s police chief disputed allegations Monday that his officers aren’t working hard enough to keep MetroLink trains safe.

schoolbus
Vipal | Flickr

Updated at 11 a.m. July 25 with statement from House Speaker Mike Madigan — Illinois lawmakers must hold the summer’s second special session due to disagreements over state’s K-12 school funding formula.

Mike Venso and Daniel Gonzales joined St. Louis on the Air on Monday to detail Jefferson Barracks' and Missourians' involvement in World War I.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This April marked 100 years since the United States declared war on Germany and officially entered into World War I. But before the United States officially entered the war, the country was preparing heavily for involvement. An exhibit at the St. Louis County Parks’ Jefferson Barracks Historic Site highlights those efforts and what eventually drew the country to war.

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St. Louis on the Air

Wednesday: A Missouri-born NASA astronaut's view of the Aug. 21 solar eclipse

Dr. Janet Kavandi, who was born and raised in Missouri, has made 535 earth orbits as a NASA astronaut. On Wednesday, we'll learn about the Aug. 21 solar eclipse from a former astronaut's perspective.

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