Californian Busted Smuggling 400 Pounds of Pot Chocolate into Missouri

Kansas City Star via YouTube
Pot chocolate: It's the munchie that give you the munchies.
Channeling equal parts Hunter S. Thompson and Willy Wonka, a California man found himself behind bars earlier this week after Missouri police ended his cross-county quest to sweeten the lives of stoners.

On Tuesday, Jeffrey J. Woo, 42, of Ladera Ranch, California, was stopped by a Missouri Highway Patrol trooper while driving east on Interstate 70 in Lafayette County, around 30 miles from Kansas City. The trooper pulled over Woo's 2015 Infiniti QX60 for a traffic violation, and repordedly noticed Woo's "inconsistencies and deceptive behavior."

When the trooper searched the vehicle, he uncovered 400 pounds of marijuana chocolate bars stashed in boxes in the SUV's cargo area.

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Gunman Kills Seven, Himself in Shooting Spree in Tyrone, Missouri: Police [UPDATE]

Categories: Violent Crime

Google Maps
Tyrone is a small rural town in south-central Missouri.
Police investigators are piecing together the details of a shooting spree in south-central Missouri that left eight people, including the suspected gunman, dead from gunshot wounds in at least four different homes.

One victim was injured and taken to the hospital, and an elderly woman found dead in one of the possible crime scenes died of natural causes, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

The gunman, described by police only as a 36-year-old man, shot himself in a car in Shannon County.

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MO Auditor Tom Schweich Dead at 54, Reports Suggest Suicide [UPDATED]

Categories: Politics

Missouri State Auditors office/UPI
Missouri auditor Tom Schweich.

Missouri auditor Tom Schweich died today in an apparent suicide inside his Clayton home. The Republican gubernatorial candidate was reportedly hospitalized for self-inflicted gunshot before official statements from his office confirmed his death.

"What we know at this point suggests an apparent suicide," Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy said during in a news conference this afternoon. He added that there is "nothing to support anything other than that at this point." He said Schweich died from a single gunshot wound.

According to the Post-Dispatch, a 911 call was placed from Schweich home at 9:48 a.m. reporting a gunshot wound. That was minutes after he'd left a voicemail with Post-Dispatch editorial page editor Tony Messenger requesting an interview in with one of the newspaper's reporters.

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Ferguson Protests and "Outside Agitators" Factor in Race for 15th Ward Alderman

Categories: Politics

Danny Wicentowski
15th ward Alderwoman Megan Ellyia-Green (holding mic) debated challenger Beth Branzell Wednesday night at the Royale. The two Democrats are facing off during the March 3 primary.
With St. Louis city's primary election less than a week away, candidates are rolling out their their juiciest negative ads to rally their backers and, they hope, to sway those last undecided voters. That's politics as usual.

But supporters of incumbent 15th ward Alderwoman Megan Ellyia-Green say challenger Beth Braznell's campaign has gone too far. For the past week, residents of the ward -- which includes Tower Grove South, Tower Grove East, and Tower Grove Heights -- have been finding flyers on their doorsteps that criticize Green's participation in protests on November 24. That night, hundreds of people marched along South Grand Boulevard after a grand jury chose not to indict former-Ferguson officer Darren Wilson for killing an unarmed black teenager.

Some of the flyers claim Green "openly embraced outside agitators and invited them into the ward" during the protests. In response, Green's supporters showed up to a Wednesday night debate wearing t-shirts bearing the words "Outside Agitator."

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Todd Akin Considers Running for Senate, Is Working on a Mysterious "Invention"

Categories: Politics

Todd Akin apologizes for his comments on "legitimate rape." He took the apology back in his book, published last year.
Todd Akin, the former Republican congressman who famously wrecked his 2012 Senate bid by taking an unintelligible stance on "legitimate rape," says he may challenge Senator Roy Blunt for his seat in 2016.

In an interview with U.S. political news site The Hill, the GOP pariah says he's considering another bid for the Senate.

"I have not ruled anything out," Akin told The Hill Wednesday.

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Moline Acres Police Start Giving Out "Cop Cards," Like Baseball Cards for Cops

Categories: Police

Next time Officer Adam Stevens pulls you over, ask for his card.
Gotta catch 'em all.

Moline Acres police will announce at a press conference today that officers will start carrying "cop cards," which resemble baseball cards, in a new effort to improve relationships between police and the community, especially with young people.

Reverend Larry Rice, who runs the New Life Evangelistic Center, says he pitched the idea to local police departments after hearing about a similar program in Vancouver. Moline Acres is the first city to take him up on the idea.

"The biggest problem we have in this area is the big gap that exists between police and youth, particularly African American youth," Rice tells Daily RFT. Especially after last year's unrest in Ferguson, Rice says, the St. Louis area needs a creative way to connect youth and police. "We've got to do things differently than what we are doing right now. We've become infamous around the world, and we continue to do things in a bad way."

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St. Louis Ranked 4th Most Creative City in U.S.

Categories: Lists

Bryan Sutter
St. Louis ranked No. 9 for the percentage of the working population in arts, entertainment and recreation.
St. Louis' love for music and abundance of art-supply stores earned the city a No. 4 ranking on a list of the most creative cities in America.

San Francisco tops the list of most creative cities, published by the rankings-happy real estate blog Movoto. St. Louis ranks between No. 2 Orlando and Portland (tied) and No. 5 Atlanta.

"Given that this Missouri city has such a strong tie to music (come on, even its hockey team is called The Blues) it makes total sense that the locals would embrace creativity," according to Movoto. "There were a ton of music instructors and stores, the third most art supply stores, and even the 11th most performing arts."

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Police Discover Suitcase Full of Weed In Car of Guy Peeing In Stranger's Front Yard

Categories: Crime

erix via flickr
Yeah, you can put your weed in there.
If you're driving around town with hundreds of grams of weed in your trunk, here's some free advice: Think twice before taking a leak in public, especially when your house is only a three-minute drive away.

A Florissant man faces a felony drug charge after police discovered more than 375 grams of marijuana in his car, according to St. Louis County circuit court.

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How to Send Story Tips to the Riverfront Times

We know St. Louis has a love-hate relationship with the Riverfront Times.

You love when we call out government officials for sentencing a man to life in prison for non-violent marijuana offenses or for forgetting to send a convicted man to prison for his entire thirteen-year sentence. You love when we alert you to hilariously shaped weather maps or write pickup lines tailored to your civic pride. You also love to take full advantage of our uncensored comments sections. (And we love that about you.)

We also know you hate it when we're not covering stories and topics that matter the most to you. That's why we're asking for your help.

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Drowning of Handcuffed Suspect Still Baffles Family, Friends and Witnesses

Categories: Longform

Courtesy Brody Baumann
Brandon Ellingson and Brody Baumann at the lake in 2012.
Larry Moreau and his family were cruising the Lake of the Ozarks on a sunny Saturday last May when they noticed a Missouri Highway Patrol boat race past them. Moreau, an engineer from nearby Jefferson City, recalls looking down at the speedometer on his boat and seeing that it read 32 mph. The patrol boat, containing a trooper and another man standing next to each other, was traveling much faster than that.

A few moments later the patrol boat came into view again. This time it was stopped in the middle of the lake's main channel. In front of the boat, a few hundred feet away, was something else.

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