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.

Tishaura Jones announces bid for St. Louis mayor

By: - November 4, 2020

St. Louis city is divided by one long road — Delmar Boulevard.  Walk south of Delmar, and you’ll find a vibrant business district and affluent residential neighborhood. Walk north, and it looks like a country that’s been bombed out in a war decades ago and never rebuilt.  This inequity is at the heart of the […]

Ann Wagner prevails over Jill Schupp to hold on to St. Louis-area Congressional seat

By: - November 3, 2020

Republican U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner will continue representing Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District for another two years, defeating Democratic state Sen. Jill Schupp on Tuesday night in a race that has drawn national attention.   With all precinct reporting, Wagner defeated Schupp 52 percent to 45 percent. In an interview with reporters prior to voting Wagner said, […]

Eric Schmitt defeats Rich Finneran in Missouri attorney general race

By: - November 3, 2020

Attorney General Eric Schmitt secured his position as the state’s top legal officer for four years on Tuesday night, defeating his Democratic challenger Rich Finneran.  With around half precincts reporting, the Republican incumbent was declared the winner by the Associated Press around 10:15 p.m., leading Finneran 62 percent to 35 percent.  “You wanted a tough on […]

Can Missourians turn in unsent mail-in ballots at the polls? Depends on where you live

By: - November 3, 2020

Lauri Ealom was still hard at work at the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners office on Friday at 7 p.m. ― as was most of the staff.  And, they were exhausted. “This is a nightmare,” said Ealom, the board’s Democratic director, in a phone call with The Independent Friday night. “This particular election has […]

Missouri Election Day FAQ: What you need to know to make sure your vote counts

By: - November 2, 2020

Across Missouri, local election officials have received 628,395 mail-in and absentee ballots, according to the Secretary of State’s Oct. 27 report. Already, that’s more than twice the total absentee ballots counted in the November 2016 election. While many Missourians have already voted by mail or in-person absentee, many more will head out to the polls […]

Missouri DOC, Corizon agree to spend $50 million to treat inmates with hepatitis C

By: - October 29, 2020

Michael Postawko’s attorneys say he contracted hepatitis C at the Jefferson City Correctional Center in 2012. At first, he didn’t have any symptoms. But then two years later, he began experiencing chronic fatigue, fever and abdominal pain. While the prison medical staff provided him medication for his symptoms, they didn’t treat him for the virus, […]

More than 67,000 convicted felons in Missouri can’t vote in 2020

By: - October 28, 2020

About 67,800 convicted felons in Missouri cannot vote in the November election because they are on parole and probation, according to a new study. The Sentencing Project’s new study found that Missouri is among 16 states that don’t allow convicted felons to vote if they are on parole or probation. It estimates that about 22,900 Missourians […]

Missourians fight to keep their homes with end of eviction moratorium looming

By: - October 28, 2020

Phone calls from families on the verge of losing their homes have jumped 300 percent at Catholic Charities of Southern Missouri. “And we’re getting more and more phone calls every day across the whole southern Missouri in our offices — not just Springfield, but it’s Poplar Bluff, over in Cape Girardeau and in Joplin,” said […]

Want to vote by mail in Missouri? The deadline to apply is today

By: - October 21, 2020

Election Day is only 13 days away. But if Missourians want to vote from home, they have until 5 p.m. today (Oct. 21) to request an absentee or mail-in ballot.  To help answer voters’ questions, The Missouri Independent held a Q&A on Twitter with three local election officials: Greene County Clerk Shane Schoeller, Boone County […]

Nonprofit law firm hosting free educational session on sealing criminal records

By: - October 21, 2020

Criminal records often create barriers for employment, education and housing. So how do people get their criminal records sealed, including records of conviction, arrests and even arrest where charges were not filed? That legal process is called expungement. And the ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit law firm, is hosting a free virtual education session tonight to […]

Missouri Attorney General candidates divided on key criminal justice reform

By: - October 21, 2020

St. Louis-native Lamar Johnson has spent 26 years in prison praying that someone would hear his case. In August 2019, that day almost came. “I finally got taken back to St. Louis, and freedom is just right there,” Johnson said in a phone call with The Independent from Jefferson City Correctional Center. “And it was […]

Rev. Michelle Higgins speaks to canvassers

Groups work to energize Missouri’s Black voters in election’s final weeks

By: - October 20, 2020

All summer and into the fall, the Rev. Michelle Higgins has set aside any thought of leisurely weekends with her family. Instead, she and her two children have been out knocking on doors. “My children’s weekend outings are canvassing and getting to know neighbors around our church building for a specific purpose — and that […]