15 People Who Can't Believe How Cheap Gas is in St. Louis Right Now

Categories: News

Phillip Leara on Flickr
The gas prices are as small as the Amoco sign is large.
If you've filled your car up with gas recently, you may have noticed that prices have been amazingly low recently.

Gas prices dropped to an average of $2.70 per gallon Monday, the lowest point since 2010. Gas prices typically dip as summer ends, but throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and around the country, drivers have been finding finding prices at less than $3 per gallon for weeks.

Experts say a slowdown in China and domestic production here in the U.S. is to thank. When the U.S. produces more oil locally and China pulls back on how much it is consuming, the supply of gas on the international market opens up, driving prices down, Isaac Arnsdorf of Bloomberg News tells PBS.

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German Shepherd Sodomized, Shot and Left for Dead Gets Rescued, Adopted

Categories: Animals

Stray Rescue
Shep gets help after being shot and sodomized.
Randy Grim still remembers when the veterinary neurologist gave him "the look," the one that meant Shep, a German Shepherd, wouldn't survive.

Shep had been sodomized with a tree branch, shot near his spine and left for dead in north St. Louis city. Grim, founder of the animal rescue group Stray Rescue, calls Shep's case "one of the cruelest acts of animal abuse" he's ever seen.

"What makes it so horrible for me is the sodomy," Grimm tells Daily RFT. "All of this is so sick and twisted. It definitely should be a wake-up call to St. Louisans to act, to speak up."

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Ex-STL Archbishop Raymond Burke Confirms Ouster from Top Courts Post, Criticizes Pope

Via YouTube
Cardinal Raymond Burke says he's being transferred out of his powerful post in the Vatican courts.
Cardinal Raymond Burke doesn't know exactly when he'll be ordered to step down from the Catholic church's highest court, but he's disappointed to be leaving his post for a smaller, less influential role.

That's according to an interview former St. Louis archbishop Burke gave to Buzzfeed, a rare instance of Burke sharing with the secular media, as the two-week, worldwide meeting of church leaders, the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, came to a close in Rome.

Burke says he's been informed he'll be transferred to his new role as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, but he's yet to receive his official orders.

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Gun Rights Supporters Head to Gateway Arch, Citygarden to Test Missouri's New Gun Laws [UPDATE]

Courtesy of Jeffry Smith
Who wants to get strapped for a stroll?
The current landscape of Missouri gun law is confusing.

Last month, state legislators overrode Governor Jay Nixon's veto on a bill that instantly erased all regional bans on open carrying firearms. Then, add the passing of Amendment 5, which enshrined all Missouri gun laws as "unalienable," and it would appear that gun rights in the Show Me state have never been stronger.

But nobody in Missouri -- including law enforcement and St. Louis city officials -- seems to understand the true scope of these new gun laws, says Jeffry Smith, a firearms activist and instructor from Ohio. Smith is leading an "Open Carry/Firearms Educational Walk" this weekend in downtown St. Louis, saying he wants Missourians to know their constitution provides a fundamental right to open carry firearms, even without a concealed carry permit. He and potentially dozens of local and out-of-state activists want to prove their point by taking a "friendly" jaunt with their guns through Citygarden and the Gateway Arch on October 25.

Update Tuesday 4:30 p.m.: See update below for an interview with a federal ranger at the Gateway Arch.

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Homicides No. 109-110: Brother, Sister Killed in Nearby Shootings Hours Apart

Google Maps
The 5700 block of Saloma Avenue, where Jermaine Jones was shot to death. Police found gunshot damage to an unoccupied house and a vehicle behind the camera's perspective.
The two people found dead of gunshot wounds in separate St. Louis city shootings Saturday night are brother and sister, according to St. Louis police.

Margaree Dixon, 35, and her brother Jermaine Jones, 29, were both shot to death within three hours of each other late Saturday and early Sunday. Their bodies were found less than half a mile apart in the Walnut Park East neighborhood.

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Darren Wilson Tells Why He Feared For His Life Before Shooting Michael Brown: NYT

Jessica Lussenhop
Michael Brown Sr., far left, visits the spot where his son died.
Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson testified to investigators that Michael Brown pinned him in his police vehicle and struggled over his gun before Wilson shot Brown six times and killed him.

That's according to the New York Times, who quote "government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation" and FBI reports in the first public account of the altercation from Wilson's perspective. Wilson has already testified to the St. Louis grand jury investigating his case, and the FBI is running a concurrent criminal investigation while the department of justice performs a civil rights investigation.

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If America Reacted to Keene Pumpkin Fest Rioters Like They Were Ferguson Protesters

Categories: Ferguson

Keene State students start to get rowdy before violence and rioting breaks out at the Keene Pumpkin Festival.
Clouds of tear gas. Cars overturned. Street signs torn down. Fires in the streets. Helicopters circling. Scores of arrests and injuries -- It all sounds a little like a Ferguson protest.

But it's not. While Ferguson and Shaw demonstrators made it through the weekend without any massive disruptions, the mostly white (and clearly drunk) students at Keene State College in New Hampshire lost their shit Saturday night at violent parties near an annual pumpkin festival where families try to set a world record for the largest number of lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place.

The Keene Pumpkin Fest riot and the weekslong demonstrations in Ferguson and St. Louis don't have much in common: Ferguson protesters say they're organizing against institutionalized racism and police brutality and won't stop until demands -- like the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson -- are met, while Keene students seemed to just jump on a wave of destruction that probably smelled like a popular spiced latte.

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North St. Louis Facility Agrees Not to Accept Ebola Waste [UPDATE]

Google Street View
The Stericycle facility in north St. Louis.

Update 3:45 p.m.: Daily RFT just received this statement from Stericycle: Stericycle has reached a voluntary agreement with the Missouri Attorney General confirming that it has not and will not accept, store or treat Ebola-contaminated waste in its St. Louis facility. Should healthcare facilities in Missouri encounter a suspected or confirmed Ebola case, Stericycle will be available to work with these facilities to find other disposal options. At present, each Ebola waste generating incident is being handled on a case-by-case basis with primary emphasis placed on protecting the general public, healthcare workers, and our team members.

A medical waste management facility in north St. Louis has applied for permits that would allow it transport and dispose of material that's been in contact with the Ebola virus, according to a press release from Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster's office this morning. A copy of the permit application provided by Koster's office says it is a "special permit [which] authorizes the transportation in commerce of certain Ebola-contaminated medical waste for autoclaving or incineration."

Now Koster is trying to block the facility, Stericycle, from bringing Ebola waste to St. Louis because the company has violated the Missouri Solid Waste Management law several times.

"This facility has a history of violations in the handling of medical waste," Koster writes in the release. "We should not allow this company to transport Ebola waste into our state without absolute assurances of safety."

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NFL Insiders Trade Conflicting Rumors On Rams Moving to Los Angeles

Categories: Rams

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

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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