When the customer is always right, it’s hard to suggest they wear a mask. Francis Rodriguez, like many restaurant owners, is having a tough time balancing hospitality and social distancing at his Cherokee Street businesses Yaquis and The B-Side. He fears that by strictly enforcing the rules — making sure that customers wear masks when they’re not eating or drinking and that they keep their distance from others — he’s discouraging business he desperately needs.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order last month freezing green cards and some temporary work visas for new immigrants through the end of the year. The White House framed the move as a way of protecting workers who lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. But Jim Carrington, president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, said the move will do more harm than good for cities like St. Louis trying to grow high-tech industries.
The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Monday released the names of businesses that received more than $150,000 in federal loans through the Paycheck Protection Program. For-profit construction and manufacturing companies, along with health care entities, took some of the largest multimillion-dollar loans in the St. Louis area. More than 90,000 Missouri businesses received federal loans to help meet payroll costs during the coronavirus pandemic. Businesses reported that the loans supported about 900,000 jobs in the state, accounting for 85% of the state’s small business payroll.
The pandemic has led to an increased demand for food delivery services, like DoorDash and Postmates. In March, Chipotle Mexican Grill announced it would expand its delivery services by partnering with Uber Eats. But for local eateries, the price of working with a third-party delivery service can be steep. Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air , local restaurateurs Melanie Meyer, of Party Bear Pizza and Tiny Chef, and Kurt Bellon, of Chao Baan, shared their experience working with third-party delivery services. They also talked about how they are approaching the reopening of their facilities.
ROLLA — As part of its efforts to reopen campus and slow the spread of the coronavirus, Missouri University of Science and Technology is expecting students, faculty and staff to take their temperature every morning before coming to campus this fall. Colleges and universities across the country are struggling to find ways to both resume in-person classes and protect the campus community’s health. Officials at Missouri S&T are calling the daily temperature checks a reasonable and important safety step.
More businesses and public places in Illinois opened Friday as the state moved into its next phase of reopening since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Under phase four, movie theatres, zoos, museums, bowling alleys and some other establishments were able to open their doors to patrons for the first time since March. Restaurants and bars could also start offering indoor dining, too.
The aldermanic committee that oversees the city of St. Louis’ finances endorsed a proposal on Thursday that would allow voters to decide whether to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport. After a sometimes contentious three-hour discussion, the Board of Aldermen's Ways and Means Committee approved an amended version of the bill by a margin of 11 to 1. Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, cast the vote against the bill. The proposal will now advance to the city’s full Board of Aldermen for a vote. If approved there, voters could decide in November whether to privatize the region’s major airport.
Updated 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, with comments from Mayor Lyda Krewson. St. Louis could be on the hook for more than $44 million in airport privatization consulting fees if it strikes a deal to lease St. Louis Lambert International Airport by July 2021. Mayor Lyda Krewson killed the consultant contract in January , but it stipulated that consultant fees must be paid in full if the city goes through with a lease within the following 18 months.
Updated at 6 p.m. June 24 with comments from a USDA local union president More than 1,000 federal jobs will relocate to downtown St. Louis from a north city facility where workers for years have been exposed to asbestos and lead contamination. On Tuesday, the General Services Administration, which contracts properties for federal agencies, signed a $72 million contract for over 160,000 square feet of office space at One Metropolitan Square. Payments will be made over the duration of the 20-year lease. Workers are expected to move into the new offices by September 2021, according to an official familiar with the deal.
Updated at 5:30 p.m. with no charges against other officers The St. Charles County prosecutor will not charge two Florissant police officers who were with a detective who ran over a man with his car. Earlier this month, St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar charged former Florissant detective Joshua Smith with first-degree assault. He was the driver of an unmarked police car that ran over a man earlier this month.
A group of St. Louis economic development and civic leaders released a plan Tuesday detailing how the region could turn the geospatial industry into a global hub over the next 10 years. The plan, dubbed GeoFutures, outlines next steps for developing the workforce, infrastructure and entrepreneurship needed to attract more companies and investors in the industry.
Earlier this month, Yousef Shawish woke up at 4 a.m. to a call from the police. They told him his convenience store, Quick Shop One Market on Natural Bridge Road, had been broken into and damaged. When he got there the next day, Shawish saw bricks from the outside wall scattered everywhere, and he noticed the ATM and boxes of cigarettes were gone. “Whatever we made in the past three months we spent on fixing the store,” Shawish said.
Proponents of airport privatization are back with a new message — and it’s about helping north St. Louis. St. Louis Rising, a joint organization involving the St. Louis City NAACP and the St. Louis-Kansas City Carpenters Regional Council, is working to collect 20,000 signatures to put the question of privatization before voters in November. Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis City NAACP, said leasing St. Louis Lambert International Airport could bring in at least $1.7 billion, and he has a plan to earmark at least $1 billion of that money to address decades of underdevelopment in predominantly black neighborhoods.
Today marks 100 years since the inception of St. Louis Lambert International Airport. On June 18, 1920, Major Albert Bond Lambert and the Missouri Aeronautical Society leased 170 acres of farmland in north St. Louis County to serve as an airfield for St. Louis. Today, it is the oldest continuously operating commercial airport in the U.S. In addition to being a commercial airport, the Lambert site has proved useful for manufacturing companies. From 1928 to the present, more than 10,000 airplanes have been built there, including parts of the Gemini and Mercury spacecrafts. Daniel Rust says it’s unprecedented to have this kind of manufacturing at a major hub for commercial air traffic.
Their Parents Fear For Their Jobs, So Children Of Meatpacking Workers Speak Out On COVID-19 For Them
Nebraska’s largest COVID-19 hotspots are meatpacking areas with deep immigrant roots. But many workers feel they can’t speak out about ongoing concerns with working conditions. Instead, the families of workers have organized, alleging many plants still aren’t socially distancing workers and don’t have enough PPE. Nhu-Y Ngo is a lawyer in New York City, but she grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, having moved there with her family from Vietnam in the early 1990s. Her father, who does not want to be named to protect his position with Smithfield Foods, eventually took a job at the company’s plant in Crete, Nebraska. According to the Migration Policy Institute , two-thirds of plant workers statewide are immigrants. Advocates like Ngo say immigrant communities have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, and state officials have not risen to the challenge of protecting them during the crisis. When asked what she remembers about his work, Ngo says the sound of his alarm clock comes to mind.
In many cases, real estate transactions are a happy occasion. First-time homebuyers smile and hold up keys. Families move from one locale to another and begin exciting new chapters. But for others, selling or buying a home can be an enormous headache that’s just one part of a bigger mess: a divorce. And with the COVID-19 crisis, some lawyers have reported an increase in inquiries from people thinking about splitting up. St. Louis native Kathy Helbig has spent 25 years working in the region’s real estate industry. In that time, she’s helped many clients make these complex shifts as they try to work together — separately and as cordially as possible. And now, she’s Missouri’s first certified “divorce real estate specialist,” having recently undergone 40 hours of virtual training toward that end. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air , Helbig joined host Sarah Fenske to talk about what makes real estate transactions particularly tricky while divorcing. She also touched on the housing market
Brandin Vaughn didn’t intend to get in the mask-making business. In fact, he was kind of dreading it. “It’s really not something that I like doing. You know, I want to create fashion — I’m a fashion designer,” said the owner of Cherokee Street boutique Brandin Vaughn Collection. But these days, customers are only calling him for one product — face masks. Vaughn has made nearly 1,000 since reluctantly making one for his aunt in early April.
The coronavirus pandemic is hammering ridership levels and the bottom line of Metro Transit. The organization that operates Metro says ridership is down 50% over last year. Bi-State Development adds that sales tax revenues that support the system are expected to be down 20% over the next fiscal year, which begins in July.
Updated at 10:30 p.m. with a march in St. Charles. Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kirkwood on Saturday morning to protest police brutality and the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others killed by law enforcement. The protest was among several in the St. Louis region Saturday, including demonstrations in St. Charles, University City, Clayton, Freeburg and O'Fallon, Illinois.
Updated at 11:45 a.m. June 5 with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson's letter requesting the FAA withdraw the city's application. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says she has formally withdrawn the city’s application with the Federal Aviation Administration to consider leasing St. Louis Lambert International Airport. But a spokesperson with the FAA said the agency hasn’t gotten it yet. The spokesperson said the correspondence may still be in transit. Krewson halted the city’s controversial exploration of the issue six months ago. She has previously said she intended to withdraw the application but first wanted to be sure there wasn’t a reason to keep it alive.