Video: Watch MODOT Make a Bridge Disappear in 30 Seconds

Categories: News

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...for some time-lapse destruction porn?
Demolitions are part of daily life for the hardworking folks at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Sure, they can try to preserve or repair aging infrastructure, but sometimes they can't. Sometimes obliterating the old and broken is necessary, and from the rubble emerges a better, safer place for people to travel.

Then again, demolitions also look really, really cool.

Case in point: the Route B bridge over Business Loop 70 in Columbia. It was there on Friday, and by Monday it was gone. Erased. Lucky for us, MODOT captured the entire proces on a time-lapse video, shrinking a weekend's worth of work to 30 seconds.


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After 112 Years, Society of American Magicians Elects First Black President in St. Louis

Categories: News

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Caroline Yoo
Kendrick "ICE" McDonald was inaugurated on Thursday as the first black national president in The Society of American Magicians's 112-year history.
"Illustrious compeers!" shouts magician Dal Sanders, his mic-amplified voice booming across a 21st floor meeting hall within the Renaissance Grand Hotel in downtown St. Louis on Thursday.

"It is my duty to govern with mission and unity," he continues, "to expound the law, to obligate neophytes and to instruct in the mysteries. By the power invested in the presiding officer of The Society of American Magicians, I now declare open and ready for business this regular meeting of the Society."

"To the honor of our most illustrious," intones an audience of roughly 120 other magicians. Little has changed in the Masonic-style rituals of The Society of American Magicians since its founding in 1902, but this year's annual convention, which happened to be held this week in St. Louis, was very different: At the Thursday meeting's conclusion, Sanders passed the national presidency of the Society to Kendrick "ICE" McDonald, the first African American to ever hold the position.


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Four Rescued from Sinking Tugboat in Mississippi River Near Stan Musial Bridge

Categories: News

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St. Louis Fire Department Twitter
A tugboat sank in the Mississippi River near downtown St. Louis Tuesday.
As a tugboat began to sink just north of the Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge, a nearby tugboat heard the distress call and rescued four crew members on board Tuesday.

No crew members were injured as they evacuated the sinking boat, owned by the Osage Marine Co., and transferred to the towboat Miranda Page.

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Rare, Stinky "Corpse Flower" Blooms, Garden Stays Open Late for Special Smellings

Categories: News

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Missouri Botanical Garden
It's weird looking and smells bad. What a flower!
A flower that blooms only once every few years to emit a smell like death's dirty socks just opened its lettucelike petals at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Garden staff and stinky-flower enthusiasts have been waiting patiently all weekend for the Amorphophallus titanum to unfurl for the first time since 2012. It finally unfurled Monday afternoon.

Since the flower's rather unfloral smell only lasts less than a day, Missouri Botanical Garden has extended its Monday hours. Visitors can smell the stench at a special evening viewing from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. (Last entry is 1:30 a.m.) through the Linnean Plaza gates to the east of the garden's main visitor entrance.

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Vandalizing Signs with Auschwitz References Doesn't Help St. Louis' Homeless

Categories: News

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KSDK
One of the defaced signs removed by city road crews.
Someone with horrible taste wants the city to stop arresting the homeless for begging.

That appears to be the rationale behind whoever pasted official-looking stickers to signs originally meant to discourage panhandling at busy intersections. Before road crews removed them on Tuesday, a half dozen signs along I-55 suggested motorists join the city's "Final Solution" by sticking homeless people on trains to Auschwitz.

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Steve Westcott is Walking Across St. Louis, and America, With a Goat

Categories: News

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Courtesy of Needle2Square
Steve Westcott and LeeRoy Brown.
Steve Westcott gets asked about his goat a lot.

After two years walking across the country with trusty LeeRoy Brown the goat by his side, Westcott has come up with a few comparisons to offer the curious: A goat is like a toddler in a shopping mall, because it walks so slowly. It's like a good girlfriend, because it keeps him company but doesn't complain.

But most of all, it's like a pack mule, because it carries Westcott's gear as he travels by foot from the Space Needle in Seattle to Times Square in New York.


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IKEA Construction Stops When Workers Find Human Body

Categories: News

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IKEA
Don't worry, workers didn't find the body in the spot where the IKEA store will go.
Construction workers had to stop bulldozing and call in homicide detectives after finding human bones near the site of St. Louis' future IKEA store.

Luckily, there wasn't any foul play. Rather, the human remains were most likely buried when the land was still the old Rock Springs Cemetery back in the mid-1800s.

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Got Kids? There's a Highly Contagious Diarrhea Disease Going Around in Daycare Centers

Categories: News

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Wikimedia/Dwaipayanc
This was a bad number two.
If you have kids in a St. Louis-area day care, make sure to tell them to wash their hands -- otherwise, they might get a bad case of the Shigellas.

The St. Louis County Department of Health says these cases are on the rise, and Shigellosis infections are sharply on the rise this year. While only 2 cases were documented in 2013, there has already been 71 reported cases in the county and 55 in the city this year. Shigellosis usually affects children, and this increased number has been most notable in day-care centers.

Shigellosis is an intestinal disease caused by bacterial infection. It causes severe diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramping and bloody stools. It's highly contagious and the most common way of transference is through the fecal-oral route. And according to Dr. Faisal Khan, the St. Louis County Department of Health's director of communicable disease control, that's why kids need to wash their hands.

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St. Louis' "Executive Transvestites" Lobby Eddie Izzard to Attend Fringe Fest (Photos)

Categories: News

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Kimberly N. Photography
Brian Dooley, making his best "Come to Fringe Fest, Eddie Izzard" face.
The scheduling gods have not always smiled on the St. Lou Fringe Festival. In 2012 founder Em Piro inadvertently launched the event the same weekend as PrideFest, hurting attendance. This year, she faces yet another confounding scheduling coincidence:

Eddie Izzard, the self-styled "executive transvestite" comedian who broke out in the 80s at the original Fringe festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, will grace the stage of the Fox Theatre on June 19, the same weekend as the St. Lou Fringe Festival. Piro says she tried inviting Izzard to visit St. Lou Fringe, but his public-relations people passed on the idea.

Undaunted, Piro and portrait photographer Kimberly Schroeder created a campaign called "Executive Transvestites for St. Lou Fringe," which involved filling the festival's Tumblr page with gender-bended portraits in the hope of directly catching Izzard's interest.

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St. Louis County Wants to Expand Forensic Computer Lab to Fight Online Sex Trafficking

Categories: News

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West Midlands Police via Flickr, cropped
St. Louis County Police are fighting more and more human trafficking cases.
The Internet has revolutionized sex trafficking, moving pimps and their (mostly) female victims off the streets and onto online social networks, including Backpage.com and even Craigslist.

That's why County Executive Charlie Dooley is asking the St. Louis County Council for $250,000 to build up the police department's computer forensics laboratory and hire two forensic examiners. Dooley will present his proposal to the council for a second reading Tuesday night.

Pat Washington, the county's director of communications, says expanding the forensics lab is a priority that came from the police department, where officers are catching more and more human trafficking and child pornography cases. The plan is to ask for $250,000 now and then work an additional $500,000 into the 2015 budget for forensic equipment and staff.


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