One Last Ride on the Ancient Mayan Kingshighway Viaduct

Photo Courtesy of Flickr/Paul Sableman
The Kingshighway Viaduct, circa 2013

Earlier today, the Kingshighway Bridge closed over the Union Pacific Railroad tracks between Southwest/Vandeventer and Shaw Boulevard. Over the next two years, the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt.

We found ourselves getting nostalgic for the Kingshighway Skate Park after a properly joyous send-off this weekend.

See also: Things Got Rowdy at the Kingshighway Skate Park

But after watching an oddball video that recently surfaced on YouTube, we're also getting oddly nostalgic for the bridge itself.

More »

The Cherokee Geyser Is Real -- We Have The Videos to Prove It!

Categories: Community

Image courtesy of Ben Gathard of Brevity
A nighttime shot of the "Cherokee Geyser" at Cherokee Street and Texas Avenue
Ever heard rumors of the "Cherokee Geyser," that 30-foot tower of water that erupts from the sewer at Cherokee Street and Texas Avenue after a hard rain?

It ain't no urban legend. The geyser is real. We have video proof.

And frankly, it looks unsafe.

More »

9 Ways to Celebrate July 4th Weekend for $11 or Less

Categories: Arts, Holidays

This weekend features more fireworks than you could possibly ever witness.

If you're like us, you're settling into a three-day weekend, which means you have an extra day to pack in some fun. And whether you intend to hit Fair St. Louis for some Blondie, catch the fireworks down at St. Charles' Riverfest or see some star-spangled burlesque, there are plenty of possibilities.

Here are our picks for nine ways to celebrate our nation's birthday this weekend, all for $11 or less. Bonus: At least eight of them involve exploding pyrotechnics. The Chinese may have invented fireworks, but to us, nothing says America risking life and limb just to witness the pretty colors.

More »

The Overnight Features Laughter, Squirms and Helicopter Parents

Categories: Movies

Courtesy Sundance Institute.
Taylor Schilling in The Overnight.
A contemporary riff on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Patrick Brice's The Overnight ups the sexual ante (and hetero anxiety) by emphasizing same-sex attraction over old-school wife-swap. Co-producer Mark Duplass — who co-wrote and co-starred in Brice's first film, Creep — clearly exerts some influence: As an actor, Duplass had comic fun with a similarly charged situation in Lynn Shelton's bromantic Humpday, and The Overnight takes the same low-key, naturalistic approach to comedy as Duplass' writer-director collaborations with brother Jay (The Puffy Chair, Jeff, Who Lives at Home and Cyrus).

More »

Uber Dispute Leads to Nasty Words, "Douche" Allegation From Taxi Commission Chair

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Scott L
Taxi drivers in Chicago protest Uber.

Last night, St. Louis Metropolitan Taxi Commission Chairman Lou Hamilton sniped on Twitter that fellow commissioner Chris Sommers was "an insufferable douche" and suggested Sommers should go to work as a lobbyist for Uber.

Sommers, in response, jabbed at Hamilton for his affiliation with Jeff Roorda, the former police union honcho, Darren Wilson apologist and failed candidate for state senate. Oh, and he made fun of Hamilton's previously reported affinity for outfitting his SUV with red lights and a siren.

This, apparently, is what Twitter does to grown men -- Twitter, and a high-stakes battle over whether Uber can enter the St. Louis market.

More »

For 10 Immigrants, St. Louis Is Home — and Citizenship Is Now Theirs

Categories: Immigration

Photo by Shelby Kardell
Adetola Olayefun, who became a U.S. citizen on June 12.

A gleaming white smile breaks across Adetola "Tola" Olayefun's face as a stream of five elementary-age boys and girls stroll into the burnt red courtroom rotunda. These children, accompanied by several teachers, are from St. John School in Ellisville, where Olayefun works as a janitor.

They've come to celebrate Olayefun's new United States citizenship.

Olayefun, a native of Nigeria, was selected along with nine other immigrants to participate in the June 12 Naturalization Ceremony at the Old Courthouse downtown. U.S. District Court Judge John A. Ross presided over the event.

- See also: Slideshow: Meet 6 of St. Louis' Newest Citizens

More »

Why Did This 21-Year-Old Woman Die in the Pagedale Jail?

Categories: Police

Image via
Kimberlee Randle-King, 21, about two months before her death in a Pagdale jail cell.
Last September, Pagedale police arrested 21-year-old Kimberlee Randle-King for getting in a street fight. Noting several "failure to appear" warrants for her arrest, the officers put her in jail.

Within minutes, she was dead in her cell.

The cops called it a suicide. But in the post-Ferguson climate, not everyone believed them. Many family members and protestors gathered in Pagedale a few days after the death.

"We need answers," Rachel West, Randle-King's god-sister, told KMOV (Channel 4). "We need how. We need why."

A police report obtained yesterday by Riverfront Times sheds much light on the "how," although the "why" is debatable -- and soon to be the center of a lawsuit.

More »

Magic Mike XXL Has Pecs and Abs. A Plot? Not So Much.

Categories: Movies

Claudette Barius. 2015 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment
One guess as to what happens next.
If you want a picture of the future, imagine Channing Tatum grinding his crotch in a human face, forever. You think I exaggerate? Between this cringe-worthy jamboree of dim-bulb manflesh (and that of the first film, which wasn't even this embarrassing) and Fifty Shades of Grey's celebration of abuse as romantic, Hollywood has gotten a warped idea about What Women Want. Expect more of it, soon. Because plenty of women have embraced these things. I console myself with the thought that we women are so unused to being catered to by The Movies that many of us welcome even distorted attempts at it. Like how black audiences embrace Tyler Perry's minstrel shows.

More »

Missouri Voters Approved Amendment 5 -- But It Took Jeffry Smith to Test Its Limits

Photo by Theo Welling
Jeffry Smith: armed, but, he says, not at all dangerous.

It's just another day at the Saint Louis Zoo, a Saturday in June, and the air is thick with humidity, sweat and sunscreen. Children drag parents along winding pathways to see the new polar bear, to get another soda, to find a bathroom, to have their faces painted like tigers. But something is amiss outside the zoo's south entrance.

There, five police officers stand guard near the turnstiles. Just down the sidewalk a dozen people — nearly all women — wave signs reading "Animals not Ammo" and "Gun-Free Zone." The protesters stare daggers toward Jeffry Smith, a towering, pot-bellied bear of a man stuffed into a pink polo shirt and white shorts. He wears a maroon visor cap stenciled with the name of a Florida country club. He also wears a pistol holster on his waist, but it's empty. It looks like a chunky cell-phone case sold at a mall kiosk.

Smith, 56, has stationed himself in a patch of shade beneath a pedestrian bridge near the entrance, a slightly more comfortable spot to field questions from the gaggle of reporters on scene. He's surrounded by cameras and microphones.

"So, it's my understanding that you're from Cincinnati," begins a FOX 2 reporter. "Why come all the way here to Missouri to make this statement?"

Smith, who at six-foot-nine looms over the man, grumbles back, "I didn't."

More »

Uber Says Regulators Blocking Plan to Give St. Louis Free Rides This Weekend (UPDATED)

Photo Courtesy of Flickr//State Farm
Uber plans to offer free rides in St. Louis for the July 4th weekend.

UPDATE at 1:20 p.m. on July 1: The Metropolitan Taxi Commission has responded to Uber's offer -- and free rides will not be happening in St. Louis this weekend. We've updated our story and headline accordingly.

Scroll to the bottom of the story for the very latest.

Original story follows.

UberX could be coming to St. Louis as early as tomorrow -- whether regulators are ready or not. And for this weekend only, the rides would be free.

That's the sales pitch made by the ridesharing app's general manager in a letter to the Metropolitan Taxi Commission on Monday, offering to give free lifts to riders throughout St. Louis city and county from Thursday, July 2 to Sunday, July 5. All Uber needs to extend its generosity, the letter suggests, is the commission's blessing.

But for Uber, that has proved the trickiest part of all. The company has stated for a few months now that it's ready to set up shop in the area -- but it has yet to get regulatory approval. It fears an impasse on two key issues: the type of background checks performed on drivers, and whether those drivers must undergo drug tests.

More »