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No Answer on Lyft in St. Louis Until August 2015. Yes, 2015.

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Lyft
Lyft says its working with city leaders to bring its services to St. Louis.
What was supposed to be a quick trial over a restraining order has grown into a larger case after the ride-share app Lyft and the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission agreed to delay their court case until August 2015.

Judge Joan Moriarty already issued a preliminary injunction against Lyft earlier this week barring the company from operating in St. Louis.


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Taxi Commission Delays Decision On Key Issue Keeping Uber from St. Louis (UPDATE)

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Uber
Uber wants to open its premium sedan service, UberBLACK, in St. Louis.
UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.: Read below the jump for a statement from Uber.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission voted today to change its ride-for-hire and allow room for Uber to launch in St. Louis, the largest U.S. market the app-based car service.

But the MTC delayed deciding on the biggest obstacle barring Uber from St. Louis: charging a $25 minimum fare.

Uber, which hasn't officially applied for a taxi license, has said its business model can't function under some of the rules and proposed rules the taxi authority wants to enforce, including a proposed $25 minimum fare. Before Tuesday's meeting even started, Uber sent emails to supporters warning them that forcing a $25 minimum fee is a non-starter.

"St. Louis is the largest city in the U.S. that does not provide residents and visitors access to transportation options such as Uber," the email says. "Imposing fare minimums and other protectionist regulations driven by the taxi industry are the reason why."

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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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Ex-Cop Sentenced to Probation for Harassing LGBT Couple At Home, On Craigslist

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SLMPD
Jeffrey Leveque.
A former St. Louis police officer will spend a year on supervised probation after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of harassing an LGBT couple in the Tower Grove neighborhood.

If Jeffrey Leveque, 45, breaks his probation, he'll be sentenced to six months in prison, according to court documents. Judge Steven Ohmer also barred Leveque from contacting the victims and ordered him to attend anger management services.

Leveque was charged with felony harassment in January after police said he and another man parked outside the home of Meg Hensley, 27, and her partner Kendan Elliot, 34, and yelled threateningly at them as they tried to leave for work. Hensley told Daily RFT afterward that Leveque was angry at the couple's gay pride flag, which looks like a rainbow version of the American flag.


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Judge Denies Archbishop Carlson's Motion to Dismiss Abuse Victim's Lawsuit

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SLMPD
Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang.
A Lincoln County judge has refused to dismiss the civil lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Robert Carlson by the family of an underage girl who alleges priest Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang sexually abused her.

Lawyers for the archdiocese wanted the judge to dismiss charges that the church failed to supervise Jiang and intentionally inflicted emotional distress by arguing that the church isn't responsible for the abuse if it isn't on church property. The judge denied their motion.

See also: Lawsuit: Priest Asked Teen to Dress Like a Woman, Not a Child, Before Sexual Abuse

"We are pleased with the court's ruling that the case against the archdiocese can proceed despite the defendants' argument that it should be dismissed because most of abuse happened off church property," says the family's lawyer, Ken Chackes. "We argued that the archdiocese still had control over Jiang even when he was molesting the victim at her family's home in Lincoln County."

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St. Louis Archdiocese Dismisses Victim's Abuse Claims as Lies, "Personal Issues" (VIDEO)

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Katie Pesha: "We simply do not believe her allegations are true."
Immediately after the Archdiocese of St. Louis settled a civil lawsuit Monday from a woman who accuses a priest of molesting her as a child, church officials went after the alleged victim, discrediting her claims and dismissing her as mentally ill.

The archdiocese admits that the accused ex-priest, Joseph Ross, sexually assaulted at least one boy before being defrocked in 2002. But in Monday's statement, executive director of communications Katie Pesha says the woman, known in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe 92, lied about her abuse and has "very personal issues" regarding her mental health.

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The Guy Walking Across St. Louis with a Goat Needs a Volunteer

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Courtesy of Needle2Square
Steve Westcott and LeeRoy Brown.
Steve Westcott, the man walking across the country with a goat to raise money for an orphanage in Kenya, needs some help.

After about a month in St. Louis talking to people about his mission, getting a tattoo of his goat and even receiving his first ever animal-control citation (thanks, St. Charles), Westcott is amping up his social-media presence and aiming for a spot on a late-night talk show.

And he's looking for a videographer.

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Larry Conners Goes Back On Air Tonight, Will Make IRS Scandal His First Story

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Larry Conners.
For the first time since he was fired by KMOV (Channel 4) in 2013, St. Louis broadcaster Larry Conners goes back on air tonight as a full-time host for KTRS (550 AM).

Ever true to his devil-may-care style, Conners says he's launching his return to the airwaves at 9 p.m. Monday with a story about the topic that got him canned: the Internal Revenue Service, which recently came under fire when thousands of e-mails went missing.

"Make sure you are listening, and I won't be fired this time," Conners tells his 5,550 Facebook fans.


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IKEA Officially Breaks Ground in St. Louis

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Shovel-ready. | Lindsay Toler

It's official.

Construction for St. Louis' IKEA store is underway as of Tuesday morning, when public officials and store representatives broke ground with emblematic blue and yellow shovels.

The groundbreaking marks the official start to construction on the 380,000 square-foot store scheduled to open in fall 2015 in the Cortex Innovation District.


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Mo. Supreme Court Takes On KMOX Host Charlie Brennan's Traffic Camera Case

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David Shane on Flickr
The Missouri Supreme Court will hear KMOX host Charlie Brennan's case.
After rejecting several similar cases, the Missouri Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on the legality of traffic cameras, specifically KMOX (1120 AM) radio host Charlie Brennan's case over his $124 ticket from a speed camera.

The court's verdict could have a statewide impact on laws for both speed cameras and red-light cameras, which are currently regulated by a patchwork of conflicting rules after years of legal and electoral challenges. Brennen's case could be the first camera case to reach the high courts, according to the Associated Press.


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