5 Ways Uber Could Change Ride-For-Hire Rules in St. Louis

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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Stenger Makes His Case for County Executive, Dooley Calls Criticisms "Foolishness"

Categories: Politics

Lindsay Toler
County Executive Charlie Dooley poses with supporters at the debate before the August 5 primary.
In what is likely to be the only debate in the race for St. Louis County's top spot, four of the candidates for County Executive attacked ten-year incumbent Charlie Dooley for two hours over the problems facing the county, including FBI investigations, mismanaged projects and a shrinking population.

Dooley grimaced through the beating, dismissing the criticisms as "foolishness" and "falsehood."

"There is nobody on this platform that has more experience and knowledge about St. Louis County," Dooley told the crowd of about 200 people. "I'm the only one at this table who truly understands what it takes to be leadership, and sometimes it's not pleasant."

And his opponents? "They don't even know what they don't know," Dooley says.

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Dooley Attack Ad Accuses Stenger of Defending Human Trafficking Ring [VIDEO]

Categories: Politics

The Charlie Dooley campaign's latest ad.
After weeks of running feel-good, "Team Dooley" campaign spots, County Executive Charlie Dooley went on the offensive Wednesday with a campaign ad accusing challenger Steve Stenger of using victim-blaming tactics when he defended human traffickers as an attorney.

Stenger has released two attack ads of his own accusing Dooley's administration of turning victims of domestic violence away from the county shelter. Now, Dooley's campaign is trying to turn Stenger's words against him, casting his professional defense of an egregious prostitution ring as proof of his personal leanings.

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Alderman Florida Takes Charge After Recorder of Deeds Resigns Over Nepotism Claims

Categories: Politics

Sara Levin
Jennifer Florida, the new Recorder of Deeds for St. Louis.
Recorder of Deeds isn't the most exciting position in City Hall. Recorders don't typically make much news while officiating the city's official records, including birth, death and marriage certificates.

But the last month hasn't been typical.

After making a splash in the headlines for signing four same-sex marriage certificates in St. Louis last month, former Recorder of Deeds Sharon Q. Carpenter was forced to resign from the post she's held for nearly 34 years after admitting to nepotisic hiring practices.

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At Vigil for Palestinians Killed in Gaza, Protesters Criticize Media, U.S. Aid to Israel

Categories: Politics

Ray Downs
Activist Suhad Khatib addresses the crowd.
People gathered in front of the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church on Lindell Boulevard Sunday to mourn the nearly 200 Palestinians killed by Israeli military attacks over the past week. But they also came to protest what they claim to be is unfair media coverage and a U.S. government that sends vast amounts of money in military aid to Israel.

The battle between Israel and Hamas has been bloody. But in the past few days, nearly all of that blood has shed from Palestinians. Hamas is guilty of firing hundreds of rockets into Israel, but Israel has been criticized for being too heavy-handed with its attacks in Gaza, one of the most densely populated cities on earth. Those attacks have resulted in 172 deaths, according to Sunday night reports. Most of the dead are civilians, including young children. Israel, meanwhile, has no deaths reported in this latest battle.

And while the violence in Gaza might be a long way from St. Louis, the Palestinian population here, as well as many other supporters, had something to say about it.

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Todd Akin Returns, Takes Back Apology, Uses the Word "Legitimate" A Lot

Categories: Politics

via Facebook
Welcome back, Todd Akin.
After eighteen months of sitting in the corner like a pouting toddler, former Missouri Representative Todd Akin thinks he's paid his dues for telling rape victims their wombs magically divine the difference between "legitimate rape" sperm from dirty, out-of-wedlock sex sperm.

Sick of feeling like a scapegoat and a punchline, Akin has back in a big way. His book, Firing Back: Taking on the Party Bosses and Media Elite to Protect Our Faith and Freedom, comes out tomorrow, and Akin is promoting it by talking about rape, using the word "legitimate" and taking back his apology for his notorious 2012 remarks.

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Missouri Lawmakers Want to Drink Booze in the Capitol, But Gov. Nixon Says "No"

Categories: Politics

Sergeant Ian Forsyth RLC/Wikimedia
Missouri lawmakers wanted to get their drink on at the capitol, but Governor Jay Nixon shut down that idea with a buzzkill of a veto.

The hardworking legislators in Jefferson City were able to successfully get HB 1359 passed and on Nixon's desk. The bill would have allowed alcoholic beverages to be sold "at events held in the state capitol commemorating anniversaries of the state capitol and the state of Missouri." Revenue earned from lawmakers knocking back a few would have gone into the state capitol commission fund.

But despite the bill's attempt to be fiscally responsible, Nixon wasn't too keen on bipartisan imbibing.

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Disturbing Survey Shows Colleges are Terrible at Handling Campus Sexual Assaults

Categories: Politics

Jirka Matousek via Flickr
Sorry, students, but your school probably doesn't even have a trained sexual assault nurse examiner.
Three months after an independent report criticized how the University of Missouri's handled a scholarship athlete's claim that she'd been raped by football players, a new survey from Senator Claire McCaskill reveals glaring shortcomings in how America's colleges and universities nationwide handle on-campus sexual violence.

McCaskill -- who calls the study results a "wake up call" for the 440 surveyed schools and beyond -- is leading the charge against campus assaults with the same fervor she brought to the fight against assaults in the military. Her bill to overhaul how the armed forces manage sexual assault allegations passed the senate in a rare unanimous vote in March.

See also: Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt Co-Sponsor Military Sexual Assault Legislation

Higher education institutions are required by federal law to investigate sexual assault claims from students. McCaskill's survey found 41 percent of schools hadn't conducted a single investigation in five years. Of the schools that did investigate, several reported that they had seven times more reported assaults than open investigations.

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Jeff Mizanskey, Missouri Man Serving Life for Pot, Asks Public to Write Letters to Gov. Nixon

Categories: Politics

Jeff Mizanskey wants you to write the governor.

The only person in Missouri serving a life without parole sentence for nonviolent, marijuana-only charges, Mizanskey says he is overwhelmed by all the attention his case has received over the past year, which included nationwide coverage and a petition with nearly 500,000 signatures asking Governor Jay Nixon to give clemency to the 61-year-old prisoner.

But Mizanskey is still in the same place he has been in for the past 21 years. So he called Daily RFT to ask readers for a favor: Write Nixon a letter. Here's Mizanskey's official statement:

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State Rep. Candidate Natalie Vowell Kisses Ladies, Not Babies, On Campaign Trail

Categories: LGBT, Politics

All photos by Allan Crain
Natalie Vowell hot on the campaign trail.
While other politicians were sitting in parade floats and booths at PrideFest St. Louis, House of Representatives candidate Natalie Vowell was putting her support for LGBT rights where her mouth is.

Vowell, challenging incumbent Penny Hubbard for a seat in the 78th district, toured Pride this weekend, giving smooches to any lady who'd let her. She got the idea when a woman asked for her number and tried to kiss her.

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