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Dirty Dancing: Movie-Turned-Stage-Production Is All Left Feet at Fox Theatre

Categories: Arts

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Caroline Yoo
A scene from Dirty Dancing, with Penny (Jenny Winton) and the omnipresent video-screen backdrop.
So, I've just had "the time of my life"?

Someone, please! Shoot me now.

Rolling into town for a twelve-day stand at the Fox Theatre comes Eleanor Bergstein's Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story On Stage, the overstuffed but underwhelming adaptation of the 1987 sleeper hit that made Patrick Swayze a household name.

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Police Violated Human Rights, Press Freedom During Ferguson Protests: Reports

Categories: Ferguson

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Danny Wicentowski
A family watches police in riot gear move into Ferguson in the early days of the August protests.
Two major human-rights watchdog organizations have released reports documenting how the police response to protests over the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson violated rights of protesters and journalists.

Amnesty International, which exposes human rights abuses worldwide, and PEN American Center, which defends free expression, published troubling reports Friday and Tuesday, respectively, detailing restrictions on peaceful protesters and journalists covering demonstrations ranging from curfews to arrests and physical harm.

"Standing on West Florissant Avenue with my colleagues, I saw a police force, armed to the teeth, with military-grade weapons," said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "I saw a crowd that included the elderly and young children fighting the effects of tear gas. There must be accountability and systemic change that follows this excessive force."

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Hauling the Dead in a Harley: Family of Undertakers Takes Clients For One Last Ride

Categories: Bikes, Code Dead

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Photo by Steve Truesdell
Mike Sutherland in front of his Harley hearse at Monster Mass at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Mike and Judy Sutherland are busy people. The phone never seems to stop ringing, and it's usually sad news. But when your business revolves around one of the two guarantees in life -- death, not taxes -- that's how it goes.

Mike and Judy own and operate Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home and Hillcrest Funeral Home, Cemetery and Cremation Center in Centralia, Illinois, about 60 miles east of St. Louis. Last year they added one more reason for their phone to keep buzzing -- a Harley-Davidson Heritage trike and motorcycle hearse.

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Attorneys: Darren Wilson Indictment Unlikely

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Theo Welling
Any indictment might be hard to get, say attorneys, especially a murder charge.
Darren Wilson will not be charged with first-degree murder, and there's a good chance he won't be indicted for any crime, say attorneys who are following -- but are not directly involved -- in the grand-jury investigation of the Ferguson police officer.

Last week, Daily RFT gathered the thoughts of several legal experts (criminal defense lawyers and former prosecutors) as leaks from the grand jury once again stoked controversy surrounding the August 9 shooting of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. Those leaks, including allegations that Brown tried to take Wilson's gun, as well as an autopsy report of Brown's body that suggested the victim was shot once at close range and may not have had his hands up when killed, all seem to the bolster the case for the cop.

See also: Michael Brown Family: Media Leaks Show Pro-Darren Wilson Bias, Bungled Investigation

"It's almost like they are trying to prepare the general public to accept a no true bill," says criminal defense lawyer Nick Zotos of the leaks.

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Missouri's Married Same-Sex Couples Get New State, Federal Benefits

Categories: LGBT

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Courtesy Mayor Slay's Office
Miranda Duschack and Mimo Davis complete the paperwork portion of their marriage ceremony.
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013, it was a major victory for same-sex marriage supporters.

There was dancing in the streets and rainbow flags were a-wavin' as the highest court in the land said it was unconstitutional for the federal government to deny benefits to married gay couples. Now, fifteen months later, that ruling is having an aftershock effect in Missouri where, for the first time, same-sex couples married in other states can access the federal benefits they've been denied for years.

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St. Louis Is Still Having Trouble Getting Rides from Uber, But That's Changing

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Uber
St. Louis only has 119 black cars to split between Uber Black rides, business trips, airport pickups, wedding shuttles and more.
Does this sound familiar?

You're all glammed up, ready to hit the town on a weekend night, and you check your phone to book a ride. You click the Uber app to find a disappointing disclaimer: "There are no cars available at the moment." You hope things will be different at the end of the night, when you'll be in no state to drive yourself. But the Uber app falls through again: "No black cars available."

Uber Black technically launched in St. Louis October 9, but several Uber enthusiasts say they still haven't been able to catch a ride with the new, app-based service.

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Bill Maher: Michael Brown "Was Acting Like a Thug," But Wilson Is a "Plain Murderer"

Categories: Blowback, Ferguson

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YouTube
Bill Maher talks about Michael Brown and Darren Wilson on his HBO show.
While a St. Louis grand jury deliberates indicting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, it seems like everybody else wants to have their say on the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The latest celebrity to weigh in is comedian and talk show host Bill Maher, known for not shying away from controversial opinions.

During his HBO show Real Time with Bill Maher, Maher angered Brown family supporters by implying that Brown was acting like a thug before his fatal encounter with Wilson.

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Open Carry Gun Walk Through Citygarden and Gateway Arch Angers St. Louis Mayor Slay

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Courtesy of Jeffry Smith
A group of gun-loving compatriots took their firearms for a walk through downtown St. Louis on Saturday.
Own a gun in Missouri? Legally? With a concealed carry license? Well, congratulations are in order, because you can open carry that gun all you want, seemingly anywhere, and nobody -- not St. Louis mayor Francis Slay, state legislators or the cops -- will stop you.

That's the takeaway from Saturday's open carry demonstration through Citygarden and the Gateway Arch, which attracted around 50 local and out-of-state activists to the heart of downtown St. Louis. Participants wore holstered pistols or carried long rifles slung over the shoulder, drawing both stares from passing tourists and the ire of the city's mayor.

"What you saw on the streets of downtown St. Louis today was like a scene out of a bad Western," Slay said during press conference Saturday afternoon. "We can dismiss the people who protested this morning as extremists who should not be taken seriously. I agree with that. But we have to take this law seriously."

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9 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Dressing like a Ferguson Protester for Halloween

Categories: Ferguson

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Steve Truesdell
A demonstrator protects his face from tear gas in Ferguson.
Halloween has always been an excuse to wear costumes that would be offensive and inappropriate on any other day of the year: dead Trayvon Martin, "terrorists," Boston Marathon bombing victims.

(We've already seen way more Ray Rice and battered Janay Palmer costumes this year than we ever needed to, and we haven't even clicked on the blackface ones.)

This year offers a new threat: the Ferguson protester costume, complete with "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" sign, live-streaming smartphone and anti-tear gas mask.

See also: 15 Signs You're a Ferguson/Shaw Protester

Before you decide to translate anger over police shootings in Ferguson and Shaw into your get-up for the scariest night of the year, Daily RFT requests that you give a little thought to your choice.

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St. Louis Comes Last on List of Happiest Cities in Missouri

Categories: Lists

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Danny Wicentowski
Washington University student protesters march against police brutality in University City.
There's a lot to love about living in St. Louis, especially when the toasted raviolis are hot, the craft-brewed beer is cold and the dogs are dressed in Halloween costumes for pet parades.

Here at Daily RFT, that's typically all we need in life to put a smile on our faces. But the truth is the problems facing River City lately have been too staggering for our city to describe itself as "happy."

Since August 9, the day Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown, St. Louis has become the epicenter for protest in the fight against police brutality and racism. Now the city waits for a grand jury to announce whether Wilson will go free -- potentially setting off more violent unrest -- or charge him with a crime.

The pursuit of happiness in St. Louis and across Missouri was the subject of one of the latest Show-Me State studies from real estate blog Movoto, which uses data from the census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Centers for Disease Control to produce semi-scientific reports.

Movoto's latest study says that while eight St. Louis suburbs (and two Kansas City suburbs) are the happiest places in Missouri, St. Louis comes in noticeably last.

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