Ferguson Braces for First Anniversary of Michael Brown’s Death

So, Alderman French wonders, how can you justify pumping $300 million into what could be a quixotic effort to keep an NFL franchise in town, when Normandy High School is happening in St. Louis’ backyard?

Well, it doesn’t sound like much compared to the $300 million that could be invested in a new NFL stadium, but Gov. Nixon has committed $1 million for “an intensive reading instruction program” in the Normandy District and the equally troubled Riverview school system.

Nixon also met with St. Louis-area education leaders Aug. 4 to receive an update on efforts to improve the educational performance of the Normandy and Riverview Gardens school districts. In June, Nixon announced St. Louis-area superintendents would provide a range of resources aimed at ensuring all students “receive a quality education and putting Normandy and Riverview on a path to regain state accreditation.”

“Education leaders in this region have stepped up, in real and specific ways, and marshaled their collective resources to improve opportunities for students in struggling school districts,” Gov. Nixon said. “In doing so, they are sending a clear message that this is one region where every child matters and where all students deserve an equal opportunity to succeed.”

So, there is that. But, still, plenty of people are worried that the simmering pot of Ferguson is about to boil over as the 21,000 residents and who knows how many out-of-town activists will mark the death of Michael Brown.

The St. Louis Police Department will have officers on duty this weekend in Ferguson, to help the smaller department that was overrun by protestors in the hot, steamy days of August 2014.

Ferguson officials said they have been meeting with representatives of groups that plan to stage protests and the Greater St. Mark Family Church has been holding “de-escalation” training sessions to help people prepare for clashes with police.

"We are not anticipating any violence,” Pastor Tommie Pierson Sr. told Reuters. “However, you have to always be prepared."

Ferguson and its residents are also going to spend this weekend like they have spent every day of the past year: rebuilding after months of riots that ripped apart the fabric of their lives.

Soon they will have this: the New York Times reports the community is getting its first Starbucks.