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.

GOP eyes bill forcing Kansas City to put more money toward police as session nears end

By: - May 9, 2022

After the Democratic mayors of Kansas City and St. Louis last year moved to shift police funds towards community outreach and crime prevention initiatives, Republican lawmakers in Jefferson City vowed a response.  GOP-backed legislation filed this year would increase the portion of Kansas City’s budget it must devote to its police department. Another bill would […]

Lincoln University poised to receive full state match for land-grant funding

By: - May 6, 2022

Missouri lawmakers took the historic step Friday of voting to allocate the full state match that Lincoln University needs to receive the maximum amount of federal land-grant funding available. The funding, included in the state’s $45 billion operating budget passed Friday by the House and Senate, now heads to the governor’s desk. “This is the […]

Republicans tussle over bill to provide warm meals to some Missouri SNAP recipients

By: - April 27, 2022

When state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder was 18 and struggling to raise a baby, she applied for federal food assistance to help her get back on her feet.  “I can cook a pot of beans and cornbread and make that last a couple of days,” Rehder, R-Sikeston, said during Monday’s Senate debate.  But some people […]

Missouri Supreme Court reaffirms ruling on 2015 law capping revenue from court fines

By: - April 26, 2022

Following the 2014 uprising in Ferguson, the U.S. Department of Justice found that city’s police department and municipal court had intentionally worked together to increase revenue through fines and traffic tickets. Responding to public outcry, Missouri legislators passed a law limiting the amount of revenue St. Louis County municipalities can collect from court fines to […]

Missouri Republicans push plan to prohibit local eviction moratoriums

By: - April 21, 2022

Eviction moratoriums designed to keep people in their homes during the pandemic have drawn the ire of Missouri lawmakers, with Republicans pushing a plan to prohibit them in the future.  State Rep. Chris Brown, R-Kansas City, is sponsoring a measure that would prohibit any county, municipality, or political subdivision from imposing or enforcing a moratorium […]

St. Louis mayor vowed to transform public safety. Her first year saw progress, pushback

By: - April 19, 2022

A year ago, a movement of organizers hoping to curb police violence and transform public safety claimed a major victory – helping Tishaura Jones get elected mayor of St. Louis. In her first week, she signed an executive order to close loopholes in the civilian oversight process of police misconduct investigations and redirected $4 million […]

Missouri House advances funds for doula training program named after Cora Faith Walker

By: - April 18, 2022

After 28 hours of labor, Adrianne Blakemore remembers the incredible joy she felt when her first son came into the world in 2017.  But she also felt completely exhausted. She wished she would’ve had a doula – someone dedicated to caring for the mother during and after pregnancy. Last year, Blakemore decided to take doula […]

Kim Gardner unlikely to lose law license over claims stemming from Eric Greitens probe

By: - April 11, 2022

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner will likely face a reprimand, but not lose her license to practice law, as a result of alleged misconduct during the investigation of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.  In an agreement between Gardner and the Chief Disciplinary Counsel Alan Pratzel unveiled Monday during a hearing in St. Louis County, […]

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 […]