[PHOTOS] IKEA Begins "Steel Erection," Lays Pipe for New St. Louis Store

Categories: Bidness

Mitch Ryals
Man slides steel into place.
Roll up your sleeves, St. Louis, it's time for your quarterly IKEA fix.

In a very enthusiastic press release, IKEA announced this week that "steel erection is underway" for the mammoth furniture retailer's first St. Louis location (and second Missouri location because they decided to build one in Kansas City first, not that we're bitter or anything).

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Dime Bag Kingpins: How Two Grams Can Get You Twenty Years

Categories: Longform

Adria Fruitos
Michael Mayo was on his way to get some new braids. He didn't know he would end up spending the next two decades in prison.

Police were watching as Mayo, then in his early twenties, made his way through his north St. Louis neighborhood back in July 2001. And Mayo, a street-level drug dealer, decided to do a little business before getting his hair done. That's when police say they saw Mayo make a hand-to-hand transaction with somebody in the middle of the road. Without hesitation, the cops jumped out of an unmarked vehicle and placed Mayo in handcuffs.

On his person, police found roughly two grams of crack, a joint's worth of marijuana and $176 in cash. Mayo said the money was for the braids he was on his way to get, not profits from drug sales. Besides, what kind of legit drug dealer has only a couple grams of crack?

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Michael Sam Dropped from Dallas Cowboys, Will Look for New NFL Spot

Categories: Sports

Michael Sam.
Almost two months after being cut from the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam has been dropped again, this time from the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.

Sam, the first openly gay man drafted into the NFL, spent seven weeks on the 10-man squad in Dallas, and the team announced Tuesday it waived him when he didn't make the 53-man roster.

See also: Michael Sam Cut from St. Louis Rams Roster, Practice Squad

Sam practicing with Dallas didn't make nearly as big of a media splash as when the Rams drafted him in the seventh round, especially when Sam celebrated by smooching his boyfriend. At Sunday's game against the New York Giants, a USA Today reporter asked fans how they felt about having a gay man on the practice squad; more than half of fans didn't even know Sam was on the team.

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William Lynn Gunter Sentenced to 30 Years for Murder of Wife Suzanne

Categories: Crime

Google Street View
The Gunters' former Town & Country home.

The March 2013 murder of Suzanne Ball Gunter, allegedly by her husband, William Lynn, piqued the interest of many across the country -- even international press covered her death. Perhaps it was their seemingly comfortable life in Town & Country, or their reputation as a fun-loving couple with lots of friends.

"I knew them both forever. It's a terrible thing, a big shock," says Mark Vinson, a long-time family friend and former colleague of the couple who lives in Kentucky.

The case, which was headed for a November 3 jury trial, ended on Friday when Mr. Gunter -- who goes by Lynn -- pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. A judge sentenced him on Monday to 30 years in prison.

"The evidence was overwhelming. Lynn did not want to put his family through a trial," his attorney John Rogers tells Daily RFT. "All these things were involved in the decision-making process and the enter of a guilty plea."

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San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence Didn't Know Kansas City Is in Missouri

Categories: Sports

Andy Rusch via Flickr
Hunter Pence is a little confused about where he is.
Hunter Pence is not in Kansas anymore.

The outfielder for the San Francisco Giants says he didn't realize the Kansas City Royals were based in Missouri until he saw a Royals fan's sign that read: "Hunter Spence thinks he's in Kansas."

"We're not?" Pence thought to himself, he tells Yahoo Sports.

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"Ferguson Commission" Will Study St. Louis' Challenges in Wake of Michael Brown: Nixon

Categories: Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called for an "unflinching" study of the St. Louis region's challenges in the wake of Michael Brown's death.
The death of Michael Brown and weeks of sustained protests exposed a host of ailing social and economic conditions in the St. Louis region -- like sprawling municipal court systems that prey on the poor, racial divides and, of course, police brutality.

On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced his first direct action to untangle and resolve the broad issues raised by Brown's death. That work will be helmed, initially, by an independent "Ferguson Commission," a roughly fifteen-person body charged with sending specific recommendations to the governor. Nixon said he'll name the commission members sometime next month.

"The men and women selected to serve on this commission must be willing to come together in good faith, endure the fierce crucible of public opinion, and lead the hard work of change," Nixon said in a prepared speech at St. Louis Community College. "This work is not for the faint of heart."

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A Midsummer Night's Dream: The Rep Delivers a Visually Spectacular Show

Categories: Arts

Jerry Naunheim Jr.
A lush foray into A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Will someone please take the glitter gun from Susan Branch Towne?

Actually, don't.

Her costumes in the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' shimmering production of A Midsummer Night's Dream are a marvel, imbuing Shakespeare's work with a signature aesthetic that's at once elegant, whimsical and transportive — the sort of interpretive thumbprint that not only unifies the tale, but makes this otherwise superb production sublime.

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Diary of Anne Frank: New Jewish Theatre Proves Why This Story Bears Repeating

Categories: Arts

John Lamb
The Rep delievers a heartwrenching Diary.
It ends badly.

But we already knew that. When Wendy Kesselman's adaptation of The Diary of Anne Frank opened on Broadway in 1997, critics hailed it as a powerful new version that improved on Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett's original play, giving a fuller account of the Franks' Jewishness and Anne's transformation into a young woman. Nearly twenty years later, it's a testament to Kesselman's work that many now consider her stage adaptation simply as The Diary of Anne Frank, which the New Jewish Theatre has brought to heartrending life in its season opener at the Wool Theatre.

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Here's the Agreement that Ended the Occupation of Saint Louis University

Danny Wicentowski
Hundreds of protesters swarmed the Saint Louis University campus last week, demanding action. It seems the university's president listened.
The sit-in dubbed Occupy SLU ended quietly this weekend. By Saturday afternoon, not a tent could be found near the clock tower where protesters massed during the early morning hours of October 13, waving upside-down American flags, raising fists in the air and calling to Saint Louis University students -- "Out of the dorms, into the streets!"

The movement to occupy the private, Jesuit institution kicked off last week's "Moral Monday," and by that day's end more than 50 people had been arrested in a series of protest events around St. Louis. On October 18 protesters and school officials agreed to end the sit-in. In a written statement, SLU president Fred Pestello attributed the end Occupy SLU to "many intense hours of outreach and conversation" with protesters and other community activists.

However, it seems that those intense conversations yielded more than just a broadly worded statement from SLU's president. Shortly after protesters left the campus, a photo of a printed agreement between the school and three protest groups began circulating on social media and right-wing blogs.

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Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed Arrested in Ferguson Protests

Categories: Ferguson

via Vine
State Senator Jamilah Nasheed is arrested in Ferguson.
Jamilah Nasheed, a Missouri state senator, was still in jail Tuesday morning after police took her and another man into custody in front of the Ferguson Police Station Monday night.

Update, 11 a.m. - Nasheed has been released. She says she was arrested trying to demonstrate non-violent disobedience and denies she was just pulling a publicity stunt. More below.

Police warned the group of protesters gathered at the station -- the site of near-constant protests since a Ferguson officer shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown -- that officers would arrest anyone who stood in the roadway.

But that didn't stop Nasheed. At 8:35 p.m. she and Jefonte Nelson stepped into the street and refused to move when the on-site St. Louis County police commander threatened them with arrest.

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