As authorized by law, the director of the Missouri State Public Defender office just used his authority to appoint the state's governor, Jay Nixon, as public defender counsel to an indigent. The director is authorized to appoint *any* member of the state bar to represent indigent defendants as a public defender; Jay Nixon is a member of the Missouri bar. This move is the latest in a battle over the governor's big cuts to the public defender department: $3.5 million cut from a $4.5 million budget, leaving the public defender system unable to provide anything other than brief, cursory counsel, which may not meet the requirements of the law.
Eight Democrats are filibustering the latest attempt to legalize anti-same-sex-marriage discrimination, known as SJR 39, which "Prohibits the state from penalizing clergy, religious organizations, and certain individuals for their religious beliefs concerning marriage between two people of the same sex". The filibuster has been going since Monday afternoon, and you can listen here.
This collection of six Saturday Evening Post from decades past depict a significant change in grocery shopping, from the time when grocers picked and weighed all items for the shopper, to the modern "self-service" stores we know today, including the now ubiquitous (to the point of invisibility) tool that lead to this change. The shopping cart (or shopping carriage, buggy or trolley, seen here in its original form) is far from glamorous, but when he invented the combination basket and carriage, Sylvan Goldman changed how people shopped: an Oklahoma Story. [more inside]
What do student protestors want? College students have for weeks led protests over race relations on campuses across the country after well-publicized confrontations at the University of Missouri and Yale University. A list of formal demands made at 51 U.S. campuses has been collected on a website called The Demands. [more inside]
Of the many concerns unearthed by the protests at two major universities this week, the velocity at which we now move from racial recrimination to self-righteous backlash is possibly the most revealing. The unrest that occurred at the University of Missouri and at Yale University, two outwardly dissimilar institutions, shared themes of racial obtuseness, arthritic institutional responses to it, and the feeling, among students of color, that they are tenants rather than stakeholders in their universities. That these issues have now been subsumed in a debate over political correctness and free speech on campus—important but largely separate subjects—is proof of the self-serving deflection to which we should be accustomed at this point.
After several high-profile incidents of overt racism at the University of Missouri, the student organization Concerned Student 1950 (named after the first year that African-American students were allowed to enroll at UM) held protests and demanded the resignation of Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri System. Graduate student Jonathan Butler started a hunger strike, and student members of the football team have boycotted all team activities until Wolfe resigns. [more inside]
People sometimes say the story of Ferguson began with a body in the road. But Ferguson attracted attention not because of a body but a person, Michael Brown, and those who loved him—a community who took to the streets in anguish and grief. On a hot August day, Brown’s family, friends and neighbors surrounded the scene of what they deemed murder by cop. They refused to remain silent about Brown’s death, but at the same time were hesitant to speak out. Before Ferguson became a buzzword dropped by pundits and politicians, it was a tale told with reluctance.
The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods — a ProPublica investigation into racial disparities in debt collection lawsuits [more inside]
An 8:44 long timelapse in 4K resolution on Vimeo and YouTube. Includes Yosemite, Yellowstone, Olympic, Banff, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Acadia, Rocky Mountains, Mesa Verde, Arches, Mount Rainier, Mount Revelstoke and Zion. Also Seattle, Los Angeles, Vancouver, St. Louis, San Francisco and Las Vegas. Plus Mount Rushmore, New Orleans, Toronto, Boston, Calgary, Springdale, Three Rivers, Pagosa Springs, Swift Current, New York, Niagara Falls, Lake Palourde, Keene Lake, Horseshoe Bend, White Mountains, Hobson and the Mississippi River. [more inside]
From rotten meat to startup porn sites to a solicitous Snickers bar, what I saw inside the prison-industrial complex—and what it taught me about our criminal justice crisis. Former Missouri state senator Jeff Smith writes about his time in prison. [more inside]
Gerrymanders Miss One Person The City Council of Columbia Missouri recently created the Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District in the interest of raising taxes in that area to allow for improvement projects. The district boundaries were carefully created to exclude any actual residents of Columbia, giving the property owners the exclusive right to vote on property assessments. They almost got it. [more inside]
One year later:
- A year after Michael Brown’s fatal shooting, unarmed black men are seven times more likely than whites to die by police gunfire
- Ferguson and beyond: how a new civil rights movement began – and won't end.
- In Ferguson, Anniversary of Killing Begins Mostly Quietly
- 11 Striking Photos That Show A Forever-Changed Ferguson.
- A Year After Ferguson: Obama Tells NPR He Feels 'Great Urgency'.
- 'Things will never be the same': the oral history of a new civil rights movement.
"Here are some essential readings from several astute activists, journalists and writers that have inspired, angered and challenged readers everywhere this past year. While this is in no way an exhaustive list, the following offers insider and outsider views of Ferguson, pushing all of us to consider the radical spirit and collective beauty illuminated in mass mobilized protests. "
Only a few weeks after becoming an independent media company, This American Life covers "The Problem We All Live With" -- namely, why desegregation is still the only proven way to improve bad schools, and what happens when one school district accidentally has to attempt it.
In some parts of America, the accessibility of abortion has remained unchanged, but not in great swaths of the country — not in places such as Texas, where more than half of the clinics have closed since 2013, or in South Dakota, where the single clinic has a mandatory 72-hour waiting period between appointment and procedure, or in Wyoming, where there is one private provider and no clinics in all the state's 98,000 square miles, and where the nearest facility Emily could find an appointment was six hours away.One woman's long drive to end a pregnancy. [more inside]
...it might look something like this." Located in Missouri, Bonne Terre was an active mine until the early 1960s. In 1980, Doug and Cathy Goergens purchased it, flooded the 88 miles of passages on its three lowest levels, and turned into a scuba diving destination. Guests can take guided diving tours along dozens of underwater trails, past mining carts and other abandoned equipment.
Tom Schweich, Missouri's state auditor and a candidate in the Republican gubernatorial primary, died in an apparent suicide on Feb. 26. [more inside]
A black teenager two miles outside Ferguson, Mo. has been shot by police and subsequently died. [more inside]
Missouri state court judge Rex M. Burlison has ruled that Missouri cannot keep St. Louis officials from marrying same sex couples. [more inside]
Republican legislators in Missouri are pushing to expand abortion restrictions in the state. A bill mandating a 72-hour waiting period, vetoed by Governor Jay Nixon in July, is likely to become law on Wednesday in a special legislative session. [more inside]
Drive along an approximately 10-mile stretch along the east-west Route 115 (also known as the Natural Bridge Road), and you’ll cross through sixteen different municipalities. “Theoretically, you could be driving home from work on this road, and if you have expired tags or no inspection sticker, you could get pulled over 16 different times in 16 different towns, and written up for the same violations each time”. How St. Louis County, Missouri profits from poverty.
We are now entering day 10 of protests in Ferguson, MO, protesting the murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by local law enforcement officer Darren Wilson on August 9th. [more inside]
Why Did Michael Brown Die in Ferguson? - According to the police of Fergusson, Missouri it was because he reached for an officer's weapon, necessitating that he be shot multiple times as he ran away empty handed. Eyewitness tell a different story. Whatever happened the killing has prompted demonstrations and looting. Ferguson police responded in full force, firing teargas and wooden rounds into crowds of protestors and sealing the area off from the media. In the wake of the tragedy questions of racial profiling, the paramilitarization of police and media depictions of black shooting victims have been raised. Meanwhile the shooter has not been named to preserve his safety.
Michael Sam blazes a trail. Michael Sam, University of Missouri star football player, Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year and prospective draft pick in this spring's 2014 NFL draft, may become the first publicly gay player in the NFL. [more inside]
Nightmare in Maryville - The Kansas City Star investigates the backlash against the victims family after rape charges were brought (and dropped) against local atheletes. The pattern of victim blaming and local indiference have brought comparisons to the Steubenville, Ohio case (previously) and anger on the internet. Meanwhile the Grand Jury investigation into Steubenville has brought it's first charges against an adult involved with the cover-up.
Between July 28 and November 10, 2003, Ron Haines canoed down the entire length of the Mississippi. Eight years later, he wrote it up as a series of blog posts with lots of interesting photos and observations: Lake Itasca to Minneapolis-St. Paul. Minneapolis-St. Paul to St. Louis. St. Louis to New Orleans. He also wrote up his logistics and some of the press coverage he got along the way. [more inside]
"Over the years in animation, there have been a lot of great animators. Ub Iwerks was one of those people. We know his work, but we don't necessarily know the man." The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story (in 5 parts on DailyMotion: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) tells of the life of Ubbe Eert Iwerks, from the formation of the friendship with Walt Disney when they met at advertisement studio in Kansas City, their artistic collaborations and Ub's 20 years of animation, to Iwerk's technical creations that kept Disney animated pictures ahead of other studios. [more inside]
One year ago today, a tornado devastated Joplin, Missouri. Photographer Robert X. Fogarty's "Dear World" project commemorates the survivors of that day with two galleries of portraits. Each survivor has a short message written on his or her skin: "I survived Joplin's EF-5." "Together these work miracles." "Survived."
Ozark Giraffe Rock architectural exteriors are a common sight along Route 66 in the Ozarks region of the United States, as they were a popular building choice between 1910 - 1940. The construction materials for giraffe rock exteriors were inexpensive and produced locally from materials found in plentiful supply in the Ozark Mountains, and the style was most predominant on small houses, usually bungalows. [more inside]
Bishop Robert Finn and the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have been indicted by a Jackson County, MO grand jury on misdemeanor charges of failure to report child abuse. Finn is the highest-ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to face criminal prosecution in a child sexual abuse case, and faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine (the diocese only faces the fine). Both Finn and the diocese entered not guilty pleas. [more inside]
A Missouri school board has voted to remove Slaughter House Five and another book from the library for "teaching principles contrary to the Bible." [more inside]
On April 12th, prior to the Alabama outbreak and about 6 weeks before a tornado tore through the middle of mostly basement-less Joplin, MO, Colleen Bogener wrote a short editorial on the need for public storm shelters in Joplin. There was a short bit of discussion in response.
Joplin, Missouri was hit by a tornado on Sunday evening, leaving at least 89 people dead and an estimated 2,000 buildings destroyed, as much as 30 percent of the town.
It's not quite the Nile, but there is political strife there too. The Illinois river town of Cairo (KAY-row), IL, is surrounded by the Ohio and the Mississippi, and is in danger of being flooded. The Army Corps of Engineers wants to activate a flood mitigation plan by breaching some levees into spillways designed to mitigate such a flood. Unfortunately, those floodways are in Missouri, and they would rather not have a bunch of farmland flooded just to save some little town in Illinois. Judge Limbaugh (yes) gave the OK, but the battle isn't over yet.
Liger cubs attack a zookeeper while an uncle and nephew have a conversation. Liger Channel has a number of videos, so does Big Cat Rescue's ligers, tigers and lions section. For answers to the basic liger and tigon questions, Timothy J. Fuller has got you covered. I leave you with these tigon cubs: 1 and 2.
Missouri is facing a state budget deficit, much like many other states. One state representative has come up with an interesting possible solution to Missouri's financial woes: the Powerball Lottery. Missouri HB 2131 would deduct $2 twice a month to purchase a Powerball ticket with any winnings being placed in "Governor Nixon's Scratch-off, Match-off Fund."
Missouri's lack of conflict of interest rules for its teachers' pension funds creates predictable problems [more inside]
"Anyone under 18 can be eligible? Can’t they get a job during the summer by the time they are 16? Hunger can be a positive motivator. What is wrong with the idea of getting a job so you can get better meals? Tip: If you work for McDonald’s, they will feed you for free during your break." Missouri State Rep. Cynthia Davis (R-O’Fallon) is staking out a strong position on child hunger: she's for it. (via).
Dennis Skillicorn was sentenced to die in 1996 for the murder of businessman/good Samaritan Richard Drummond and two other deaths in connection with a 1994 crime spree. Yesterday morning, local news outlet Missourinet, with a slight time delay, tweeted his execution. Elyria, Ohio's Chronicle Telegram is discussing plans to tweet an upcoming execution, but they are not sure if they should.
Jim, The Wonder Dog. During the height of the Great Depression, a "plain black and white setter" entertained and mystified the citizens of Missouri with his "extraordinary cleverness" and his seemingly inexplicable ability to foretell the future. [more inside]
"Those who desire to peruse works that tell about Heaven only, are urged to drop this book and run."
GUILTY! This word, so replete with sadness and sorrow, fell on my ear on that blackest of all black Fridays, October 14, 1887. And so begins John N. Reynolds' The Twin Hells: A Thrilling Narrative of Life in the Kansas and Missouri Penitentiaries, a very detailed and eventful memoir originally published in 1890, archived online in its entirety (including illustrations). [more inside]
Meet Dora DuFran and her cat house of Deadwood; Perle De Vere and the working girls of Cripple Creek; Annie Chambers of Kansas City; and Squirrel Tooth Alice of Sweetwater. In the wild west, prostitution was one of the few career options for women. Western history is filled with many colorful tales of shady ladies and legendary madams. [more inside]
"Q: What the hell is this site about? This is a site about urban exploration in the Ozarks." Abandoned water slides, underground tunnels, abandoned buildings and half-demolished malls throughout Missouri were all once fair game for this blog, and remain fair game for those who post in Underground Ozarks' forums.
When the town of Excelsior Springs, Mo. decided in the 1930's to create a shrine to its renowned mineral waters, they turned to the WPA, which built an Art Deco masterpiece, the Hall of Waters.
Kaskaskia: The western Illinois town stuck in eastern Missouri. First state capital, bustling economic center and a leading town in the state. That is, until the flood of 1881 cut a new river channel, destroying most of the town and leaving the remnants on the Missouri side of the Mississippi. Whether or not the disaster was due to a murdered lover's curse, the (remaining) residents petitioned that the state line be kept along the older riverbed. The town's population, once about 7000, now consists of a meager nine. [wiki]
Loving v. Missouri: In February, Olivia Shelltrack and Fondrey Loving were denied an occupancy permit because they have three children and are not married. "This ordinance is outdated. We are a family," says Shelltrack, 31. "There's a mom, there's a dad, there's three children. We are a family." Whether Shelltrack, a stay-at-home mom, and Loving, 33, who works for a payroll-administration company, are married "should not be anybody's business, if I pay my taxes, if I'm able to buy the house," she says.
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