An election that saw Republicans gain power in Missouri and the departure of the Rams were among the top 10 stories in Missouri in 2016. Here is the full list as compiled by the Associated Press:
NOV. 8 ELECTION
Republicans won from president on down the ballot in the November election, sweeping statewide races and giving the party unprecedented dominance in Missouri. Eric Greitens survived a tough four-person Republican primary, and upset Democrat Chris Koster to become the next governor. In the U.S. Senate race, Republican Roy Blunt held off Democrat Jason Kander in a spirited campaign.
The state also played a key role in the presidential race, with Washington University hosting the second presidential debate, just days after release of the “Access Hollywood” video in which Donald Trump made sexually predatory comments.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
NFL owners in January approved the Rams’ move back to Los Angeles after 21 seasons in St. Louis. The decision stunned some, who thought plans for a $1 billion riverfront stadium would persuade the NFL to let the Rams stay.
The St. Louis suburb that’s working to move away from its racial unrest sparked by Michael Brown’s 2014 death at the hands of a white officer reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice, agreeing to pay millions to enact reforms. City leadership continued to be reshaped, with the appointment of new police chief Delrish Moss and the resignation of embattled city attorney Stephanie Karr. The year also saw a jury convict a man of shooting two police officers during a 2015 protest in Ferguson, as well as a ruling that barred a grand jury member from speaking about the decision not to prosecute the officer who shot Brown, who was 18 and black.
It was a tough year for police in Missouri and across the county. St. Louis County officer Blake Snyder was fatally shot in October while responding to a disturbance call.
The next month, a St. Louis police sergeant was critically injured in a shooting that the police chief called an “ambush”; the suspect was later killed in a shootout with police. That same weekend, a Kansas City officer was wounded and a suspect killed in a confrontation in the suburb of Gladstone.
And in July, Ballwin officer Mike Flamion was paralyzed from the neck down after being shot during a traffic stop.
TALCUM POWDER LAWSUITS
Three women won verdicts in talcum powder lawsuits in St. Louis, with nearly $200 million total awarded. Jurors found that talc in Johnson & John son’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. Johnson & Johnson maintains that its product is safe, and is appealing all three losses.
The University of Missouri System hired new leadership, a year after turmoil erupted over racial concerns on the Columbia campus. The appointment of Mun Y. Choi, a University of Connecticut provost, came nearly a year after his predecessor stepped down amid student protests in November 2015, which included a hunger strike and the football team threatening not to play a game.
Prosecutors allege that a Mexican national killed his neighbor and three other men in March at his neighbor’s home in Kansas City, Kansas, and later gunned down another man in Missouri while on the run.
Pablo Serrano-Vitorino was charged with five counts of first-degree murder — four in Kansas and one in Missouri — among other charges.
A 24-year-old Missouri man was charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the February deaths of four family members whose bodies were found outside a home he shared with them, including a 3-month-old nephew. Grayden Denham was arrested after he was spotted walking naked in northern Arizona two days after the charred bodies were found near Edgerton, 30 miles north of Kansas City. Denham was later returned to Missouri; he has pleaded not guilty.
There was only one excution in Missouri this year. Earl Forrest, who killed two people in a drug dispute and a sheriff’s deputy in a subsequent shootout, was put to death in May. The 66-year-old declined to make a final statement before he died by injection for the December 2002 deaths of Harriett Smith, Michael Wells and Dent County Sheriff’s Deputy JoAnn Barnes.
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY DIES
Phyllis Schlafly, the outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group, died in September. She was 92.