Gun Incident at Faraci Pizza Leads to Confrontations with Protesters [Updated]

Danny Wicentowski
Protesters claim the owner of Faraci Pizza pointed a gun at them Thursday night, but the restaurant owner's wife says that's a lie.
Tensions spiked in Ferguson this weekend following two officer-involved shootings Saturday night and early Sunday morning. However, the earliest signs of trouble perhaps began at Faraci Pizza, a few blocks south of the Ferguson police headquarters on South Florissant Avenue

When Daily RFT arrived at Faraci Pizza around 6:30 p.m. Saturday, the pizza joint was being guarded by two police cruisers and officers near the door. Protesters chanted about "racist pizza" and demanded the officers investigate Jim Marshall, the eatery's owner. Many protesters claimed Marshall had pulled a gun on a group of non-violent demonstrators on Thursday night.

But Marshall's wife, Dawne, tells Daily RFT the protesters have it all wrong and her husband never brandished a gun at anybody. She says their business has endured days of harassment over a "lie that went wildfire" on social media.

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Billionaire's Conservative PAC Tries, Fails to Buy St. Louis Journalists

Rex Sinquefield, Missouri's version of the Koch brothers.
Grow Missouri, the conservative political-advocacy group founded entirely by a billionaire bent on paying less in taxes, recruited five Missouri journalists last week, offering $250 a pop to anonymously write one-sided political articles.

In an email that is completely deaf to the ethical code that prohibits journalists from accepting money from groups they cover, Grow Missouri representative Molly Berry -- who describes herself as a "crazy mother trucker, undercover lover" on Twitter -- offers to pay for blog posts "with a focus on tax reform, political news, family life in Missouri and Grow Missouri's 'Create a Great State' initiative" from reporters who cover state politics, including some from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Public Radio (90.7 FM).

The posts could be published without a byline, meaning a reporter could write anonymously for the group, pocket the money and then return to covering Grow Missouri or its funder, Rex Sinquefield, without disclosing a conflict of interest to readers.

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High-Speed Fiber Internet Is Coming to the Loop

Categories: Tech

Photo by Mitch Ryals
The fiber-optic cable goes inside the blue tube, which will go under the streets.
Gigabit Internet is coming to the Loop, thanks in part to the $43 million Loop trolley line. The 1,000-megabit Internet connection should be available within the next eighteen months.

David Sandel, the program director for the Loop Media Hub, the nonprofit company that will bring one-gigabit fiber Internet to the Loop, helped implement a similar plan for the Google Fiber initiative in Kansas City. When he attended an economic impact meeting for the Loop Trolley four years ago in St. Louis, a light bulb clicked on.

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Webcam Girl Sasha Pain Comes to Ferguson, Will Donate Sex Video Proceeds to Protesters

Categories: Ferguson

Lindsay Toler
Sasha Pain (L) joins the protests in Ferguson with friend Jessica Bella Hollie.
This time, Sasha Pain is the one behind the camera.

The cam girl says she and two friends drove for 34 nonstop hours from San Francisco to help demonstrators in Ferguson by filming protests and sharing them with her audience.

"I want people who follow me to have to see it," Pain tells Daily RFT while live streaming as demonstrators played instruments and sang chats in front of the Ferguson Police Department. "This isn't something that happened to me or in my town, but it's something that happened to a citizen of my country and a son to somebody. That's enough for me to be here. This is what people need to focus on."

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Ferguson Police Officer Shot Away From Protest Area, Suspect Still At Large [UPDATE]

Categories: Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
The scene immediately following the shooting last night.

This post is being updated live, includes information on second officer shooting on I-70.

Law enforcement authorities confirmed with Daily RFT that a Ferguson police officer was shot near the intersection of Stein and West Florissant on Saturday evening.

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson appeared briefly on the scene to address protesters and reporters. He told the group that the officer was the only person shot -- this seems to be an attempt to squash rapidly spreading rumors that the shooter was killed by police.

"A police officer's been shot tonight," he said. "That's the only person that's got shot."

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All in the Timing: St. Louis Actors' Studio Opens Season With Clever Plays on Language

Categories: Arts

Photo: John Lamb
Behold! The Mighty Loaf. The Actors' Studio cast computes the existential implications of bread buying in Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread.
Language, to paraphrase Mark Twain, is a treacherous thing.

Sure, we carve it in the rough shape of our thoughts. We hone its edges with commas and periods, paragraphs and pauses. But words are unfaithful little instruments, prone to miscalculations and misunderstandings, miscommunications and misapprehensions, misconstructions and misinterpretations... OK! OK! Somebody hand me a thesaurus.

Call it Language and Its Disconnects. Call it the Tour de Babel. But whatever you call it, the St. Louis Actors' Studio opens its eighth season on a high note with All in the Timing, David Ives' fizzy collection of semantically warped one-act plays.

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Mayor of Pine Lawn Sylvester Caldwell Arrested by FBI, Charged with Extortion [UPDATE]

Categories: Crime

Thumbnail image for sylvestercaldwell_arrest.jpg
Jennifer Silverberg
Mayor Caldwell in 2006.

Updated 1:40 p.m. with a copy of the indictment.

Mayor Sylvester Caldwell of Pine Lawn, the tiny north-county town just southeast of Ferguson, was arrested on Thursday by the FBI, according to the U.S. Attorney of the Eastern District of Missouri. He's been charged with extortion which could carry a penalty of up to twenty years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.

The charges center on an alleged bribery scheme, where a tow-truck company owner paid Caldwell for the privilege of hauling away vehicles identified for towing by the Pine Lawn Police Department. The case was investigated by the FBI.

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Ferguson PR Representative Devin James Fired (Sort Of) After Revelation He Shot, Killed Unarmed Man

Categories: Ferguson

Devin James
Devin James, the public-relations representative brought in to repair the flawed image of Ferguson and its police department has been fired from a St. Louis development group after it was revealed that he has a felony conviction for fatally shooting an unarmed man in 2004.

The Post-Dispatch revealed Thursday night that James, 32, was convicted of reckless homicide ten years ago in Memphis, an act he claimed was done in self-defense. Shortly after the Post contacted the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership (which officially pays James), his contract was ended, according to the report.

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Post-Dispatch Reporter, Ferguson PR CEO Get in Twitter Tussle Over Deadlines, Clothes

Categories: Media

When Ferguson changed from a quiet St. Louis suburb to ground zero for a renewed battle over civil rights, the town quickly learned it needed a full-time public relations team to manage press inquiries and community outreach.

First, the city hired a bunch of white ladies. That didn't go so well. So the city shifted to Devin James, CEO of the eponymous, minority-owned firm the Devin James Group.

(UPDATE: Not anymore. Here's our story on that: Ferguson PR Rep. Devin James Fired (Sort Of) After Revelation He Shot, Killed Unarmed Man)

But James isn't just a public-relations CEO. He's also a clothes horse with an Instagram feed filled with pre-/-post-workout and workday selfies, each meticulously labeled with a host of hashtags. (Our favorites: #malemodel, #maturity, #communicationthatbenefitspeople.)

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Woman Attacks Bingo Buddies with Scissors Over $200 Winnings, Goes to Prison

Keees on Flickr
Careful, bingo lovers, put those weapons away!
If prisons have bingo nights, there's one new inmate who probably shouldn't be invited.

Margaret Thomas, 52, of Jefferson City, was sentenced to five years in prison Monday for assaulting two people with scissors after a winning night at the bingo hall.

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