Author

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas

Rebecca Rivas is a multimedia reporter who covers Missouri's cannabis industry. A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she has been reporting in Missouri since 2001, including more than a decade as senior reporter and video producer at the St. Louis American, the nation’s leading African-American newspaper.

St. Louis leaders call for ban on assault rifles following school shooting

By: - October 26, 2022

The first time St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones publicly spoke about the tragic shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, it was just hours after a shooter took the lives of a 15-year-old student and a health teacher.  Jones was so visibly shaken with grief she could barely get out the words. Now […]

Missouri voters to decide if the state can dictate increased Kansas City police funding

By: - October 24, 2022

If Missouri voters approve Amendment 4 in the Nov. 8 general election, Kansas City will be required to increase funding for its police department.  But many voters may not understand that from the language they’ll see on the ballot.  Amendment 4 reads: “Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to authorize laws, passed before December 31, […]

Election deniers ramp up public records requests in Missouri, across the country

By: - October 24, 2022

Like most people, McDonald County Clerk Kimberly Bell had never heard of a “cast vote record” before this summer. It’s not a report she’s ever generated after an election in the small county in southwestern Missouri, where she has administered elections for eight years.  But like many county clerks and election officials across the country, […]

St. Louis advocates optimistic the city’s reparations effort will advance

By: - October 14, 2022

Reparations is often something people hear about in an international setting — such as ongoing reparations that are paid to Holocaust survivors or reparations South Africa paid to apartheid victims. This weekend, elected officials — including St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and Congresswoman Cori Bush — will gather for a “Reparations Block Party and Teach-in” […]

Judge tosses Missouri voter ID lawsuit, plaintiffs call ruling a ‘procedural pit stop’

By: - October 13, 2022

A Missouri judge dismissed a lawsuit Thursday that argued a new law requiring Missourians present a government-issued photo ID to vote is unconstitutional. Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem ruled that the plaintiffs — the Missouri NAACP and League of Women Voters of Missouri, along with two voters — didn’t have the standing to bring […]

St. Louis judge orders civilian oversight of city jails to continue, but not of police work

By: - October 11, 2022

A St. Louis judge issued an order Tuesday walking back part of his decision to block a city ordinance that expanded civilian oversight of local law enforcement.  In September, three police organizations were successful in convincing St. Louis Circuit Judge Jason Sengheiser to issue a preliminary injunction ordering the city to stop implementing its new […]

COMMENTARY

The ‘Adelante method’ helped me succeed as a Latina journalist

By: - October 10, 2022

A Mizzou student asked me last month how I was able to succeed as a Latina journalist in a white-dominated industry. The question followed a similar theme of those asked by other members of the Latin American Student Association, which had invited me to the university’s Columbia campus to speak as part of Hispanic Heritage […]

Prosecutors’ biggest roadblock in wrongful conviction cases? Missouri’s attorney general

By: - October 6, 2022

Up until last year, if elected prosecutors believed a person was wrongfully convicted, there wasn’t anything they could do about it.  A state law, passed in May 2021, changed that, giving them a pathway to present evidence of innocence to a judge. And since then, three prosecutors have filed motions to set people free from […]

Legal fight over civilian oversight of St. Louis police could have statewide implications

By: - September 22, 2022

A St. Louis ordinance aimed at transforming the way the city investigates allegations of police misconduct went into effect on Sept. 2.  A week later, three police organizations successfully got a preliminary injunction, putting a pause on the city’s expansion of civilian oversight of police work.  In a decision with statewide implications, St. Louis Circuit […]

Missouri Court of Appeals revives ‘old school’ self-defense law in resisting arrest case

By: - September 19, 2022

Two Newton County sheriff deputies were dispatched to a trailer park north of Neosho to evict a man and his wife on Nov. 13, 2017. According to the deputies, the man refused to leave, fought off the deputies and stole a patrol car that he would later crash in town. The local prosecutor would go […]

Voters, local election officials working to navigate Missouri’s new voting law

By: - September 15, 2022

The first time Maureen Loyacono voted was in 1960, when she cast a ballot for John F. Kennedy. “And I’ve never missed an election since,” said Loyacono, 84, a Kansas City resident who also served as a poll worker for 40 years.   But she’s worried this might be the first election where her vote won’t […]

Conservationists celebrate milestone in effort to save Missouri’s endangered hellbenders

By: - September 5, 2022

In dripping black wetsuits and scuba masks, standing in the middle of a southern Missouri river last month, a state herpetologist and two zookeepers hugged each other and cheered. “Number 10,000!” That day, state herpetologist Jeff Briggler with the Missouri Department of Conservation and two Saint Louis Zoo keepers released into the wild the 10,000th […]