Celeste Bott

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Columbia, Missouri

Celeste Bott

Highly caffeinated political reporter currently covering the Missouri statehouse for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and trying very earnestly to adjust to the Missouri humidity. Formerly with: The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Monthly, Gongwer News Service and Bridge Magazine.

News tips and love letters to:
cell: (586) 216-9318



No more felony stealing charges after Missouri Supreme Court ruling?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Link to Story

Medicaid expansion supporters who staged protest found guilty of trespassing

JEFFERSON CITY • A jury found 22 clergy members guilty Wednesday of trespassing for a protest at the state Capitol over Medicaid expansion, a culmination of three-day trial some advocates have deemed wholly unnecessary and even racist. The jurors, who deliberated for nearly four hours, found the protesters not guilty of a second charge, obstructing government function.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Link to Story

More than 100 children in limbo with no new money to expand St. Louis foster care adoption program

JEFFERSON CITY • Foster care advocates are hoping Gov. Jay Nixon will release funding to replicate successful, St. Louis-based programs that accelerate adoptions for foster care children in central Missouri, where more than 100 children are still stuck in the system. “In order to protect our shared priorities like public education, college affordability and mental health, a number of new and expanded programs will have to be pared back or put on hold,” Nixon said this month while announcing the cuts.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch Link to Story

Rauner vetoes bill to free up $721M in college funding, including scholarships

Bruce Rauner on Friday followed through on his vow to veto a measure that would free up $721 million for community colleges and scholarships for low-income students, saying again that the state can't afford to pay for it. The Republican governor presented his veto as a matter of priorities, saying the bill would take away money from social service providers who care for the state's most vulnerable residents.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

Rauner to close troubled downstate youth detention center

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Friday that he'll close a troubled downstate youth detention center, citing a drop in juvenile offenders in state custody after a series of new laws aimed at keeping young offenders out of the corrections system. Located in Kewanee, about 150 miles southwest of Chicago, the center houses mentally ill youths and those charged with sex crimes.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

Rauner, Madigan battle again on labor bill a day after Obama urged compromise

Less than 24 hours after President Barack Obama spoke to Illinois lawmakers about the need to compromise, Democrats and Republicans have reignited a high-stakes fight over contract negotiations with the state's largest union. At issue is a labor-backed measure that would prevent a lockout or strike if talks with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and other unions reach an impasse and instead send the matter to binding arbitration.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story

State lawmakers push wave of police measures in wake of Laquan McDonald case

Despite the flood of legislation, the ideas are in the early stages and likely would face many changes should they move forward at all. It's an election year, meaning lawmakers frequently introduce bills to garner headlines even as the General Assembly is loath to take up controversial issues before facing voters.
The Chicago Tribune Link to Story


Victim. It’s not a word that comes to mind to describe Sen. Gretchen Whitmer, the Senate Minority leader and the first woman to lead a caucus in the Michigan Senate. It’s not a word that comes to mind walking the marbled halls of the Capitol to Whitmer’s office, with her bustling staff and the phones ringing off the hook.
The State News, Michigan State University Link to Story

Libraries strained by budget cuts

When librarian Devan Green first read the policy on proper behavior at the Pontiac Public Library, she couldn’t believe some rules didn’t go without saying. The rules prohibited everything from offensive body odor to panhandling – extreme policies written in response to day-to-day problems at the library.
Bridge Magazine Link to Story

In a game ruled by PACs, Michigan higher ed stays on the bench

One represents a special interest group of about 20 property owners. The other serves an institution known around the world, with thousands of employees, tens of thousands of current users and hundreds of thousands who once passed through its doors. Both have an abiding interest in how Michigan’s state government sees their activities.

Preserving history, mitigating climate change, saving forests

A small contribution to “Save the Globe” could help save the equivalent of 20,000 trees and keep from adding 8,000 tons of carbon to the atmosphere of a warming planet. The historic Globe Elevator in Superior, Wis., was once the biggest grain storage elevator in the world. Perched on the edge of Lake Superior, the elevator’s three buildings are made up of 5 million board feet of now extinct old-growth Eastern white pine.
Great Lakes Echo Link to Story


Celeste Bott

I'm a storyteller and political junkie who loves finding the human interest features that are so often buried in political mud-slinging and data reports.

I joined the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in June 2016, where I'm covering state politics and the 2016 election.

Before that, I covered the Illinois statehouse for The Chicago Tribune and handled social media for The Washington Monthly in D.C.

From Detroit originally, I've written about Michigan policy and environmental issues for Gongwer News Service, Bridge Magazine and Great Lakes Echo.

I have an M.A. in public affairs from the University of Illinois and a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University, where I was editor-in-chief of MSU's daily independent newspaper, The State News.



  • Environmental reporting
  • Political journalism
  • Breaking news
  • AP Style
  • Copy editing
  • Video editing
  • Video production
  • Social media
  • News writing