NFL Insiders Trade Conflicting Rumors On Rams Moving to Los Angeles

Categories: Rams

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Flickr/Dave Herholz
The throwback jerseys of the Los Angeles Rams are pretty, but St. Louis fans worry that the team's uniforms aren't the only thing that will be thrown back to LA.
There's not much sunshine in Ramsland these days, and that's only partially connected to the team's horrible, no good, very bad tendency to collapse at the worst possible moments.

This past Monday's game against the San Francisco 49ers was particularly painful. The Rams rookie quarterback scuttled a comeback with a late interception. The loss also appeared weirdly symbolic: Although the game featured a reunion of former players from the Superbowl-winning Greatest Show on Turf, the Rams team that took the field Monday night was wearing its Los Angeles throwback jerseys.

Ugh. Los Angeles. The name has been thrown around this month in a series of "insider rumors" that describe how Rams owner Stan Kroenke and the NFL are set on moving the team west. But St. Louis Rams fans aren't taking these rumors sitting down.

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"This Is What Jim Crow Looks Like": A Day in North St. Louis County Courts

Categories: Ferguson

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Better Together
After visiting courts in north county, where cities can earn more than 30 percent of budgets through court fines and fees, a Brooklyn lawyer calls St. Louis County's courts system "the new Jim Crow."
David Menschel, a criminal defense attorney and criminal justice activist from Brooklyn, New York, spent Wednesday visiting municipal courts in north St. Louis County. What he found, he says, was "the new Jim Crow."

Menschel tweeted what he saw: predominantly black defendants, most without defense attorneys, arguing against dominant prosecutors in front of deferential judges on minor charges, such as sleeping in an apartment without an occupancy permit.

The effectiveness of north St. Louis County municipal courts was thrust into the spotlight in August, when a police officer from Ferguson, a north-county municipality, shot and killed unarmed teen Michael Brown. Protesters who took to the streets in Ferguson say Brown's shooting was the ultimate expression of the contemptuous, preying nature of criminal-justice systems there.

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SLU Professor Sues Rock 'n' Roll Marathon for Fraud, Exploiting Volunteers

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Elvert Barnes via Flickr
"So, wait, this isn't a charity?"
When Yvette Joy Liebesman biked to the starting line at the 2012 St. Louis Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, she knew she wouldn't get paid for spending the morning escorting half-marathoners along the route.

She didn't mind. She was a volunteer, and she thought her free labor would help charities and not-for-profits officially associated with the popular race.

But that's not really what happened. The time and effort Liebesman and thousands of other race volunteers in 27 U.S. cities don't directly benefit any charities. Instead, profits go to the race's owner, a for-profit company called Competitor Group Inc. -- something Liebesman didn't realize.

Now Liebesman, a professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, is suing for minimum wages for her and all other Rock 'n' Roll Marathon volunteers. In a class-action lawsuit filed last month, Liebesman's lawyers say race operators are "exploiting a volunteer labor force" by hiding behind a "veneer of community service."


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Billboard for Jeff Mizanskey, Man Serving Life for Pot, Placed Near Governor's Mansion

Categories: Drugs, Politics

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Show-Me Cannabis
Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for nearly 21 years.

Governor Jay Nixon is the only person in the world who has the authority to release Jeff Mizanskey from prison. And activists want to make sure he's reminded of that every time he leaves his house.

The marijuana reform group Show-Me Cannabis recently purchased billboard space less than two miles away from the governor's mansion. The billboard urges people to call Nixon directly and ask for the release of Mizanskey, who is 21 years into a life-without-parole sentence for marijuana-only charges.

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Paul Rudd Invites All of Kansas City to a Kegger at His Mom's House After ALCS Sweep

Categories: Baseball

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YouTube
Paul Rudd wants you to party at his mom's house.
For the first time since 1985, the Kansas City Royals are headed to the World Series. That means it's time to party, and you're invited -- to Paul Rudd's kegger.

Rudd, the impishly handsome movie star originally from Overland Park, joked that he wanted to party at his mother's home during a post-game interview with KMBC-TV.

"I'm going to be partying at my mom's house," Rudd tells Johnny Kane of KMBC. Kane adeptly asks just who's invited, which is when Rudd opens the party up to all KC fans.

"Hey, party at my mom's, man!" Rudd says. "She's out of town. I've got a keg. It's going to be sweet. Five-dollar cover!"


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St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay Agrees to Meet Protesters, Address Demands [UPDATED]

Categories: Ferguson

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Danny Wicentowski
On Monday, Young Activists United organizer Kennard Williams (holding a megaphone) sent a list of demands for St. Louis mayor Francis Slay.
After days of symbolic demonstrations and civil disobedience against police brutality, one group of protesters can now boast of nabbing a more tangible victory: Landing an appointment to meet St. Louis mayor Francis Slay.

Today's 5 p.m. summit will include a contingent from Young Activists United, the same group that led around 60 protesters to rally and hang banners inside the City Hall rotunda on Monday, which resulted in one arrest. Organizers of that protest issued a list of demands to Jeff Rainford, Slay's chief of staff, and promised future disruptions in City Hall until the mayor addressed those demands.

The group wants Slay to force police officers who have "any interaction with the public" to wear body cameras, establish a civilian review board and independently investigate all fatal police shootings. The group also asked Slay to break ties with the federal government's 1033 program, which sends military hardware to police departments. Maggie Crane, the mayor's chief spokesperson, tells Daily RFT that the city has no relationship with the program.

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Another Polar Vortex Winter? Experts Say Probably Not in St. Louis

Categories: Weather

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Accuweather
"Cold" is better than "polar vortex cold."
The polar vortex is coming, but this winter, it may miss St. Louis.

The U.S. winter forecast from Accuweather stirred up some national headlines this week by predicting that a winter like last year's, complete with extremely low temps and high snowfall, is likely in some parts of America -- but not so much in the Midwest.

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Phyllis Schlafly: Obama Let Ebola into America So We'll Be More Like Africa

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Gage Skidmore via Flickr
Phyllis Schlafly has her own conspiracy theory about Ebola.
Forget monkeys or careless quarantines. Conservative activist and St. Louis native Phyllis Schlafly knows who's really to blame for the first-ever transmissions of Ebola on American soil: President Barack Obama.

Schlafly says Obama purposefully allowed Ebola-infected people into America because he wants the U.S. to look more like the rest of the world.

"Obama doesn't want America to believe that we're exceptional," Schlafly says in an interview with the right-leaning WorldNetDaily. "He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too. That's his attitude."

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Michael Brown's Mother: Do Not Write in My Son's Name for St. Louis County Executive

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Bryan Sutter
Lesley McSpadden, center, Michael Brown's mother.

Yesterday, the family of slain teenager Michael Brown and their attorneys incorporated a new organization: the Michael O.D. Brown We Love Our Sons & Daughters Foundation. The group's first order of business came today in the form of a plea from Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, and was titled "Regarding Unauthorized Use: Name and Likeness of the Late Michael O.D. Brown":

"I am asking all well-intentioned family members, neighbors, businesses, associations, organizations or individuals associated with social media or any activists or affiliated groups, and any and all Missouri politicians NOT to add any additional drama into our lives," she wrote in a statement. "We ask that no flyers, wearing apparel, print or video usage of Michael's name, image or likeness, be used in connection with a WRITE-IN candidate campaign."

The statement refers to the upcoming November 4 St. Louis county executive race between Rick Stream and Steve Stenger. Some activists feel that neither Stream, who is Republican, nor Stenger, a Democrat who's publicly stood by County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, will address their concerns about racial injustice in Ferguson and the county. For many weeks, calls to "write in Michael Brown" have been heard at marches and county board meetings.

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Sunset Hills Mayor Won't Resign, City Considers Impeachment After Car-Bike Collision

Categories: Bikes, Politics

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Tom Carlson
Mayor Mark Furrer's Mercedes parked outside Sunset Hills City Hall.
Things just keep getting worse for Sunset Hills mayor Mark Furrer.

After Furrer was accused of intentionally hitting a cyclist with his car, the board of aldermen voted 6-1 Tuesday night to hire an attorney to start the impeachment process. By the same margin, the board also approved a vote of no confidence in Furrer.

"So much for the presumption of innocence," he told the board, according to Call Newspapers.


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