Author

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas covers civil rights, criminal justice and immigration. She has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, most recently as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation's leading African-American newspaper.

Kim Gardner to face disciplinary panel Monday over claims stemming from Greitens probe

By: - April 8, 2022

Three years ago this month, a dozen police officers raided the office of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner. They were executing a search warrant connected to the ongoing investigation of William Tisaby, an ex-FBI agent Gardner had hired to assist her in the 2018 investigation of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.  Tisaby would eventually […]

Lincoln University to see a bipartisan push for equitable land-grant funding in state budget

By: - March 28, 2022

Just 30 minutes apart in central Missouri, Lincoln University and University of Missouri have long been close partners in agricultural research and instruction.  Lincoln runs the state’s largest organic research farm in Jefferson City, and MU researchers often participate in studies there. For 50 years, the two university systems have had a “unified extension program,” where […]

Investigator in Greitens’ case pleads guilty to evidence tampering

By: and - March 23, 2022

An ex-FBI agent who conducted the criminal investigation of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens in 2018 pleaded guilty Wednesday to evidence tampering and was sentenced to a year of probation. William Tisaby, 69, was hired by St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner to assist in the investigation of allegations that Greitens threatened to release a […]

St. Louis official: Inquiry finds no wrongdoing in death of Cora Faith Walker

By: and - March 21, 2022

There is no evidence of foul play in the death of former state lawmaker and St. Louis County official Cora Faith Walker, and there is no continuing investigation, St. Louis Director of Public Safety Daniel Isom said Monday. Walker died March 11 at age 37. News of her passing sent shockwaves through the St. Louis […]

Protesters at Medicaid expansion rally

Medicaid enrollment backlog persists as advocates say Missouri could be doing more

By: and - March 16, 2022

Applying for health insurance through Medicaid expansion took Raven Cole just 10 minutes. But the wait to see if she’s approved has dragged on for months. The 23-year-old legal assistant applied for coverage, “well over two to three months ago.” “And I haven’t heard anything back,” Cole said. Cole is one of 72,657 Missourians who […]

St. Louis jail inmates file class action lawsuit alleging guards torture them with mace

By: - March 15, 2022

Inmates at St. Louis’ primary jail filed a federal class-action lawsuit Tuesday accusing guards of torture with mace and depriving them of water for days. The inmates are represented by a team of attorneys from the MacArthur Justice Center, ArchCity Defenders, the SLU Law Legal Clinics, and Rights Behind Bars.  “They spray chemical agents on […]

Mike Parson speaks to the General Assembly

Hispanic leaders ask for Missouri governor’s support in fighting voter ID laws

By: - March 11, 2022

Six years ago, Sal Valadez’s mother decided she wanted to take a U.S. citizenship test after living in the country for more than 60 years. “I said, ‘Mom, you’re 80 years old. Your English isn’t fantastic. Why?’” said Valadez, co-chair of the language access committee with the Missouri Voter Protection Coalition. “And she goes, ‘Because […]

With legalization looming, Black Missourians worry about losing out in marijuana industry

By: - March 9, 2022

Abe Givins sunk into a leather armchair at the Cola Private Lounge in St. Louis on Saturday afternoon, where his company hosted a panel of doctors speaking about medical marijuana. Givins is co-owner of Village, which advertises itself as the only vertically-integrated medical marijuana company in Missouri that’s 100% minority owned — meaning they have […]

Missourians can now apply for mortgage assistance via federal COVID-relief funds

By: - March 1, 2022

Missourians who experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic and are struggling to pay their mortgage can now apply for help through the State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) program. Starting March 1, the federally-funded SAFHR for Homeowners program will begin to provide nearly $140 million in assistance to homeowners to pay past-due mortgage balances […]

Missouri has only met minority participation goal for contracts four times in 30 years

By: - March 1, 2022

Every year, Missouri makes what it calls a “feasible effort” at spending 10% of state agencies’ expenditures with minority-owned businesses. In the past three decades, the state has only reached that goal four times. In fiscal year 2021, minority contractors earned 8.2% of the $1.5 billion that Missouri spent in contracts, according to an annual […]

St. Louis tries to block lawsuit against police officers from going to trial

By: - February 25, 2022

The City of St. Louis is asking a panel of federal judges to reconsider a January decision to allow a lawsuit against city police officers to go to trial.  Short of that, the city is asking for a rehearing in front of the entire U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Eighth District to stop […]

Federal lawsuit targets Missouri’s ‘dysfunctional’ food assistance program

By: - February 22, 2022

Mary Holmes, a 55-year-old St. Louis resident with cancer and other health challenges, says she has struggled to put food on the table for more than a month. Holmes relies on food assistance, but she hasn’t been able to get through the state’s call center line to maintain her federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) […]