Proposed Laws in Missouri, Kansas Would Take Guns from Convicted Abusers, Stalkers

Rep. Stacey Newman.
Two state representatives from Missouri and Kansas are coming together across state and partisan lines to implement new anti-gun violence legislation.

The bills -- sponsored in Missouri by Richmond Heights Democrat Stacey Newman and in Kansas by Republican Barbara Bollier -- bolster current state laws by requiring people with stalking or domestic violence convictions to surrender their firearms, instead of just barring them from buying new ones.

"This is a way to save lives," Newman tells Daily RFT. "You can say (to convicted abusers), 'You can't own a gun,' but if there's already a cache in your house or you know this person already owns a gun, this takes it a step further."

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St. Louis Theater Circle's 2015 Award Nominees

Categories: Arts

John Lamb
Stray Dog Theatre's Cabaret, one of the nominees for outstanding production of a musical.
From tales of the Marquis de Sade to a groundbreaking production of Tennessee Williams' rarely performed early work, Stairs to the Roof, 2014 was an exciting year for St. Louis-area theater. Although the town lost one of its best theater companies when HotCity Theatre called it quits, several new companies have rushed in to fill the void. Stalwarts like St. Louis Shakespeare's Donna Northcott and Prison Performing Arts' Agnes Wilcox announced they were stepping down, while newcomers like Sarah Porter and Caroline Amos brought exciting new energy to St. Louis stages. Through it all, there have been some marvelous ensemble performances -- everything from the St. Louis Actors' Studio production of Pinter's masterpiece, The Homecoming, to new plays like Rebecca Gilman's Soups, Stews and Casseroles: 1976.

The best in St. Louis theater will be honored at the 2105 St. Louis Theater Circle Awards ceremony on Monday, March 23 at the COCA auditorium (for those who can't make the event, the ceremony will also be televised on HEC-TV).

Here, then, is a list of the nominees:

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Juanita Morris' Boutique Was Torched During Ferguson Unrest, Now It's History

Categories: Ferguson

All photos by Danny Wicentowski
Juanita Morris stands in front of the remains of her store, Fashion R Boutique, which was burned down in the rioting over Michael Brown's death.
It was an overcast Saturday in August, eight days after Michael Brown's death, when Juanita Morris rushed barefoot out the front door of Fashions R Boutique to watch hundreds of protesters surging north on West Florrisant Avenue. She was too excited to remember her shoes.

"I was working and I saw my people out here, I'm for it, I'm supporting it, so I came out," said Morris, who moved her boutique to this spot in Dellwood ten years ago. She said she wasn't afraid of the looters and vandals that struck other business the previous night. She refused to board up her shop's windows.

"God has got me covered," she said.

Much has changed since that day in August. On Thursday morning, Morris welcomed researchers from the Missouri History Museum to pick through the twisted and charred remains of Fashions R Boutique. The shop had been torched on November 24, shortly after the announcement that a grand jury's would not indict former Ferguson cop Darren Wilson in Michael Brown's killing.

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"It's Still Her Body": Anti-Abortion Lawmaker Defends Abortion Rights [VIDEO]

Progress Missouri via YouTube
"When my wife saw it, she was like, 'What?!' and I was like, 'Uh-oh.'"
They say behind every strong man is a strong woman. Let's just hope the woman behind Republican state representative Ron Hicks is strong enough to keep him from voting for a uniquely egregious anti-women's-health bill currently before the legislature.

Hicks, who represents St. Charles, brought up his wife's shocked reaction to House Bill 131 at a lobbyist-comped dinner "hearing" at the upscale, jackets-only Jefferson City Country Club. (Don't worry, lawmakers aren't allowed to do that anymore.)

The bill, sponsored by Republican Rick Brattin, says women should only have access to abortion services in Missouri if the father grants written permission, or if they can prove they were victims of "legitimate rape."

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Rumor Alert: Jim Edmonds, Wife Meghan Start Filming for Real Housewives of Orange County

Categories: Media

buzbeto via flickr
Jim Edmonds gets his red jacket as a new member of the 2014 Class of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.
Some unfortunate soul "close" to the cast members of The Real Housewives of Orange County is whispering rumors to the gossip rags, and if the rumors are true, it's big news for St. Louis.

Us Weekly, E! and People are all reporting that Meghan Edmonds, wife No. 3 of former St. Louis Cardinals player Jim Edmonds, is a new member of the hit reality show's Orange County cast.

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Skirmish Erupts Between Police Supporters, Protesters During Hearing

Categories: Ferguson, Politics

via Ustream
Jeff Roorda, police union business manager, grabs Cachet Currie's arm as the scuffle begins.
A St. Louis city meeting about police oversight devolved into a skirmish between police supporters and citizens seeking reform Wednesday in yet another sign of how overtly factious the St. Louis region has become since the police shooting of Ferguson teen Michael Brown.

The meeting stayed relatively calm for the first hour as attendees testified to the aldermanic public-safety committee about a proposal to create a civilian oversight board, which would review complaints against police. Both Kansas City and Columbia already have similar review boards.

But when a police officer's testimony drew loud whispers and angry mutterings from the packed room, Jeff Roorda, the business manager for the police union, lost it.

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[VIDEO] After Grief and Loss, Tracy Frank Finds Peace Through Fire-Spinning

Categories: Video

Tony Barsanti
Tracy Frank performing her fire-spinning as Rosy Glow.
The only reason Tracy Frank's young daughter Hadley is still alive is because of a stranger's quick thinking.

An army paramedic who happened to be on the road that day in 2012 cut Hadley out of her car seat after an accident killed Hadley's father, Frank's ex.

"She's still here," Frank says, holding back tears that come when she remembers that fateful accident. Between her ex-husband's death and their divorce two years earlier, "I've definitely been through most of the hardest things that adults can go through in their life in the span of about four years."

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Former Boy Scout Leader Created Female Alter Ego to Trick Teen Boys Into Making Sex Videos

Ian F. Burow, 25.
A former Boy Scouts of America leader who pretended to be a woman to convince minors to send him sexually explicit photos is going to prison after pleading guilty to child pornography charges.

A federal judge sentenced Ian F. Burow, a 25-year-old Columbia man and former University of Missouri student, to twenty years in prison followed by a lifetime of supervised release Tuesday, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Burow pleaded guilty in February to seven counts of receiving and distributing child porn involving boys ages fourteen through seventeen. He also pleaded guilty to one count of producing child porn after transmitting images of him having sex with a fifteen-year-old victim live over the Internet using Skype.

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Missouri Lawmakers Can't Hold Dinner "Hearings" at Fancy Country Clubs Anymore

Categories: Politics

YouTube/KRCG 13
For these Missouri representatives, lawmaking also comes with a lot of free food.
There's a fresh controversy in the Missouri legislature, and this time, for a change, it doesn't involve the return of "legitimate rape."

Instead, the ire is being directed at the four Republican members of the Missouri House Telecommunications Committee who last night grabbed dinner at the posh, jackets-only Jefferson City Country Club. Over drinks and a sumptuous entrée selection (saffron sea bass, honey miso chicken or an eight ounce filet au poivre), the elected officials proceeded to accomplish, well, nothing, since no bills have been assigned to the committee. The dinner tab was footed by the Missouri Telecommunications Industry Association, a lobbying group for the industry the four lawmakers are tasked with regulating.

Enjoying a lobbyist-funded meal is hardly excessive for the Missouri legislature, but the stink raised after last night's hearing got so bad House Speaker John Diehl announced this morning that, effective immediately, all house committee hearings must take place at the capitol, according to PoliticMO.

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Ideological Differences Spark Controversy Inside Missouri's Marijuana Movement

Categories: Longform

Courtesy Keith Stroup
NORML founder Keith Stroup disbanded the organization's Kansas City chapter last month after investigating complaints.
November 5 marked a milestone for the marijuana-reform organization Show-Me Cannabis. In the months leading up to that date the group had busied itself meeting with attorneys, conducting polls and closely monitoring legalization efforts in other states. Now, a day after the mid-term elections, Show-Me Cannabis was ready to formally submit its proposed constitutional amendment allowing the sale, taxation and regulation of marijuana in Missouri for those over the age of 21.

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