The Civic News to Know This Week

Keeping you informed on the latest happenings in the Lou.

Photo Courtesy of Jazz St. Louis

Photo Courtesy of Jazz St. Louis

1/ Together with the Boys & Girls Club of St. Louis, G-Revae’z Studio Salon hosted “Barbers for Boys” on Monday, Aug. 1. This event ensured that incoming students have the perfect haircut for the 2016-2017 school year. Volunteers, along with 15 barber shop workers, helped to provide free haircuts to boys who are members of the Club and attend Ferguson Middle School. This portion of their Back to School registration event gave these students an extra boost of confidence for the new year.

2/ A local pastor is leading the fight for Clean Power in Missouri. Reverend Rodrick Burton, pastor of New Northside Missionary Baptist, represented his city at a clean energy hearing in Chicago last Wednesday. There challenged Environmental Protection Agency policymakers to consider plans that take the needs and interests of low income communities into account. According to the Reverend, many of his congregants struggle to pay their utilities. Switching over to more renewable energy sources could ease their financial burden.

3/ University City public schools are joining 84 school districts around Missouri to provide free meals for their students, regardless of income. Rather than relying on a decades-old method of individual qualification, this program will ensure that all students have access to a healthy breakfast and lunch. 2016 marks the third year that qualifying districts provide free meals through the federal program: Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act.

4/ Thanks to Jazz St. Louis and renowned national institution, Jazz at Lincoln Center, local high school students get to experience the magic of Jazz in their schools. The partnership of these organizations will provide personal encounters with jazz and its rich social history in St. Louis. The program, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, displays the improvisational nature of jazz and its importance in the 21st century. Performers reach out to schools in underprivileged areas and hope to reach up to 10 area schools this year.

5/ St. Louis is full of innovative problem-solvers. Orion Genomics, a local startup focused on cutting edge scientific discovery, displays this creative energy in their latest project. The company is developing technology that will shake up the palm oil industry.

Currently, this industry wipes out rain forests throughout Malaysia as the oil is harvested from tree fruit. Orion’s new technology will enable harvesters to find the best fruit without destroying entire forests. Rather than planting in the ground, growers will plant tree seeds in pots. They will then collect samples from the leaves to send to Orion’s labs. Lab workers will examine the leaves to evaluate their yield potential. From then on, their results allow tree farmers to determine with seedlings to plant in the ground, saving farmers countless hours and dollars.

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