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

Categories: Crime

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SLMPD
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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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YouTube
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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5 Ways Uber Could Change Ride-For-Hire Rules in St. Louis

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Uber
Will St. Louis allow Uber Black? It's up to the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission.
After months of slow negotiations, the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission released proposed rule changes that could pave the way for Uber to open in St. Louis.

While many of the proposed code revisions seem like minor updates -- such as allowing electronic ride tickets as well as written ones -- they'll have an impact on premium sedan ride-for-hire services across the city and county.

In May, Mayor Francis Slay threw his hat into the ring, personally encouraging the taxi authority to adopt alterations proposed by Uber.


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Cute Kitties and Kinky Pups: The Best Photos From a Wild Weekend in St. Louis

Categories: Animals

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Caroline Yoo, Jon Gitchoff
In the most serendipitous of schedule sync-ups, the St. Louis debut of two nationally renowned, animal-themed events -- the Internet Cat Video Festival and the International Puppy Contest -- made last weekend an historic and exciting one for the city.

Both events let animal lovers glory in the public exhibition of what might typically be a private pleasure, whether it's the chance to lolz at YouTube clips of kitties or to compete in paraphilic puppy play dressed in kinky leather straps.

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What the Hell Is St. Louis Thinking? Book Finds Upstart Publisher for November Release

Categories: Arts

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Kickstarter/STL Curator
If you give Henry Goldkamp a typewriter, coffee and cigarettes, he'll give you a poem on the spot.
Nearly a year has passed since local poet Henry Goldkamp began dropping off typewriters around St. Louis. Each acted as a prompt, of sorts: Signs asked passersby to participate in a collective book writing project, titled What the Hell is St. Louis Thinking?

Five-thousand submissions and a Kickstarter campaign later, that book -- curated by Goldkamp and designed by a local graphic artist -- has finally found a publisher, Bottle Cap Press, and a release date: November 22.

"Maybe only a 1,000 were worth a second look," says Goldkamp, a scraggly bearded 25-year-old who spent months reviewing and transcribing messages that ranged from a paragraph to multiple pages in length. Some were short and sweet. Many were short and dumb.

"There were 250-plus that just said 'Poop'," laughs Goldkamp. "But some of them were laid out so beautifully that we're thinking of just scanning them and using those as pages."

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Lucky Break for Missouri Professor Who Made Bad Joke That Led to Arrest for Growing Pot

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Bastique/Wikimedia
A Missouri communications professor who broke the first rule of modern-day communications -- don't joke on Facebook about killing people -- got busted for growing marijuana. But the loose-lipped, green-thumbed prof got a break when a judge quashed the search warrant that led to the discovery of the homegrown operation.

The story started in August of last year when Matthew Rouch, who teaches at Northwest Missouri State, decided he'd do a little comedy. According to the Associated Press, Rouch responded to a colleague's post that he's always optimistic at the beginning of the semester, but "By October, I'll be wanting to get up to the top of the bell tower with a high powered rifle with a good scope, and probably a gatling gun as well."

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