Taxi Commission Delays Decision On Key Issue Keeping Uber from St. Louis (UPDATE)

Uber wants to open its premium sedan service, UberBLACK, in St. Louis.
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: Read below the jump for a statement from Uber.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission voted today to change its ride-for-hire and allow room for Uber to launch in St. Louis, the largest U.S. market the app-based car service.

But the MTC delayed deciding on the biggest obstacle barring Uber from St. Louis: charging a $25 minimum fare.

Uber, which hasn't officially applied for a taxi license, has said its business model can't function under some of the rules and proposed rules the taxi authority wants to enforce, including a proposed $25 minimum fare. Before Tuesday's meeting even started, Uber sent emails to supporters warning them that forcing a $25 minimum fee is a non-starter.

"St. Louis is the largest city in the U.S. that does not provide residents and visitors access to transportation options such as Uber," the email says. "Imposing fare minimums and other protectionist regulations driven by the taxi industry are the reason why."

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Andres Wiltz Gets Probation for Beating Kitten to Death

Categories: Animals, Crime

Krzysztof P. Jasiutowicz/Wikimedia
This is not the kitten who died, but it was probably just as adorable.
A St. Louis man pleaded guilty to hitting a kitten so hard, that it had to be euthanized. He'll serve probation for the cruel deed.

On December 9, 2013, Andres Wiltz brought a five-month-old, short-hair feline into the St. Louis Cat Clinic. According to a probable cause statement, "the feline was pale, cold, and straining to breathe." Veterinarians determined that the suffering kitty had a bruised chest, a large hematoma on its kidney and a torn lung.

The animal docs took x-rays, too. That showed a broken pelvis and broken ribs.
The kitten was too far gone, and the decision was made to put it to sleep.

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Vines Brothers Bring STL Style to St. Louis Cardinals, Modern Family

Allison Babka
Randy and Jeff Vines are bringing STL Style to the Cardinals and Modern Family.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Modern Family like to do it in style -- STL Style, that is.

This summer, the baseball team with the best fans and the television show with the biggest audience are turning to a small design and print shop in St. Louis for some of their biggest fashion needs. STL Style owners Jeff and Randy Vines and their team of city-proud designers are on deck to provide winning looks for the Cardinals' "Christmas in July" T-shirt giveaway for the Wednesday, July 23, game and for Modern Family's upcoming baby and toddler line.

"We're thrilled! Sometimes we pinch ourselves," Jeff Vines tells Daily RFT. "We can't believe we'd have this broad of a reach when we started out so many years ago, just the two of us."

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"You Just Don't See That In New York:" MTV Exec Studies the Millennials of St. Louis

Categories: Hipster News

Jon Gitchoff
What do the milennials have to teach MTV?
Alison Hillhouse doesn't like to use the word "hipster."

As MTV's vice president of Insights Innovation, Hillhouse, 37, is tasked with studying young people -- including those who fall under that deprecatory label -- and glean new truths or trends that guide developers to create the popular network's new hit show.

So when she arrived from New York to study the revitalization of a city she'd once called home, she didn't ask where the "hipster" hang-outs were. She asked to talk to the artists, the entrepreneurs, the gadflies, the city-dwellers, the movers and shakers, the tastemakers of the millennial generation.

And her search took her to Cherokee Street.

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Braland Norman Goes to Prison After Clever Escape from Delmar Loop Shooting

Categories: Crime

Red light camera footage of the shooting. Watch the video below.
Braland Norman needed a way out.

He'd just been shot in the back, and his friend, who'd been shot numerous times, had rammed their car into oncoming traffic at the busy intersection of Delmar and Skinker boulevards. Covered in blood and carrying a gun he's not allowed to have, Norman pulled himself out of the shot-out car window and ran to the Moonrise Hotel.

Norman managed to weasel his way into some get-away wheels by convincing a valet he left something in a car the valet had just parked for a different patron, but freedom wouldn't last long. On Monday, a judge sentenced Norman to six-and-a-half years in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

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Why Same-Sex Marriage Will Probably Be Legal in Missouri By Next Year

Categories: LGBT

Mayor Slay's Office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis are the first lesbian couple to be married in Missouri.
Arkansas. Florida. Oklahoma. Idaho.

Courts across the country are striking down bans against same-sex marriage so quickly that it's become a running gag in the Midtown offices of PROMO, a leading LBGT advocacy group in Missouri.

"Almost every Friday, we see something major moving forward -- another state, another decision comes down," says A.J. Bockelman, PROMO's executive director.

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Anti-Abortion Protester Beats Charge for Trespassing at Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood
Protesters from the "40 Days for Life" campaign regularly demonstrate outside Planned Parenthood's Central West End clinic.
When is one woman's free speech another woman's harassment?

The question continues to fester at the front gates of Planned Parenthood clinics across the county. That includes Columbia, Missouri, where last week lawyers successfully defended an anti-abortion protester charged with trespassing on the local Planned Parenthood clinic's property.

"This case was brought with no evidence that Kathy trespassed," says attorney Daniel Baker, whose client, New Bloomfield-resident Kathy Forck, had been cited for crossing the clinic's property line during a "40 Days for Life" sidewalk protest on July 24, 2012.

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Fundraiser Created for Ad Campaign Asking Gov. Nixon to Free Jeff Mizanskey

Categories: Politics

Show-Me Cannabis
The fundraiser hopes to create more ads like this.
Efforts to free Jeff Mizanskey, Missouri's only prisoner serving life without parole for marijuana charges, are continuing with an online fundraiser that seeks to raise money for a media blitz that would aim to persuade Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency.

The goal of the Indiegogo campaign is to raise $21,000 -- a symbolic amount to represent the 21 years that Mizanskey has been imprisoned -- for a series of ads for print, radio, TV, online and billboards. The radio and TV ads will feature Mizanskey himself.

The fundraiser was created by Aaron Malin, a researcher for Show-Me Cannabis (although this is not a project directed by the marijuana reform group). Mizanskey's brother, Mike Mizanskey, is also assisting with the fundraiser.

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Startup Voodoo: Can a New Tech Conference Make St. Louis the Tech Hub of the Midwest?

Categories: Tech

Startup Voodoo
There's something special, a secret ingredient that separates successful startups from ideas that never get off the ground.

Aaron Perlut, founder at Elasticity, says it's more than just having a great idea or being able to share your idea with investors. Perlut calls it "special sauce," but it might as easily be called luck.

Startup Voodoo, a Midwest tech conference coming to Ballpark Village in September, is named for that special, galvanizing force that propels motivated and imaginative entrepreneurs to launch new services, products and apps.

"People think about startups like there's some sort of magic, there's some sort of juice that makes it sexy," says Edward Domain, chief executive operator at Techli and a founder of Startup VooDoo with Perlut. "With a startup, you start with nothing and you work your ass off to make something grow. You can start your own path in life, live the way you want. [Entrepreneurs] tend to reject the status quo, and I think 'voodoo' is a fun play on that."

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St. Louis Cardinals Fan Drops Beer on Crowd at Busch Stadium [VIDEO]

Categories: Cardinals

Just wait for it...
Talk about a party foul.

A St. Louis Cardinals fan with an almost-full cup of delicious golden brew accidentally dropped his beer onto a group of baseball fans at Busch Stadium during Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

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