With just one more day left in the year, we took the opportunity to reflect on the top St. Louis news stories of 2013. St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon's Editor Margaret Wolf Freivogel joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh in a discussion about the top regional news of the year with education reporter Tim Lloyd, political reporters Chris McDaniel and Jo Mannies, and statehouse bureau chief Amanda Vinicky of Illinois Public Radio.
Two ongoing news stories stood out. Both had major developments in 2013, both are nuanced, multi-faceted issues, and both have implications about how we as a region seek to define ourselves.
One is the quest for quality K-12 education, regardless of zip code, which came to a head this year in Missouri with the implementation of school transfers.
The other is the new execution process in Missouri. Political reporter Chris McDaniel and science reporter Veronique LaCapra, who have been providing ongoing coverage on the topic, published a new story just today revealing that the compounding pharmacy providing the new drug used in Missouri executions is not licensed to do business in the state.
2013 was also a year of change for Illinois. The state legislature passed a pension reform bill, approved concealed carry and medical marijuana, and made Illinois the 15th state in the nation to permit gay marriage.
For political reporter Jo Mannies, the biggest issue in 2013 was Medicaid expansion. Also important in her book were the re-election of Mayor Francis Slay and the return of the police force to city jurisdiction.
Other important headlines of the year included:
The death of baseball great Stan Musial
The death of southwest Missouri politician Ike Skelton
The death of St. Louis musician and disc jockey Bob
The resignation of Father Lawrence Biondi as president of Saint Louis University
The retirement of St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch
The opening of the new wing of the Saint Louis Art Museum.
The Boeing incentives passed by the Missouri State Legislature
The state fair rodeo clown