Like it or not, Pharell Williams' "Happy" is likely to be the top-selling single of 2014. And yes, its buoyant '60s soul vibe and simple, positive message is modern pop perfection. But scanning the rest of this year's biggest hits, one is struck by a consistent theme: All of these songs are distinct ... More >>
When is one woman's free speech another woman's harassment? The question continues to fester at the front gates of Planned Parenthood clinics across the county. That includes Columbia, Missouri, where last week lawyers successfully defended an anti-abortion protester charged with trespassing on th ... More >>
Marijuana legalization is one step closer to finding a place on your 2014 ballot. Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander released 13 petitions Wednesday asking whether Missouri should legalize sale and consumption of the drug, including for medical purposes, expunge marijuana-related offenses fro ... More >>
The American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri is getting involved in the intense school transfer controversy in the state, arguing that two local districts have a legal obligation to accept outside students looking to enroll. "All children, regardless of their race, where they live, or the ... More >>
via Wikimedia CommonsIn the city of St. Louis, about 51 percent of individuals who commit crimes are repeat offenders -- a recidivism rate higher than the average across Missouri. And city officials hope they can curb this problem, with the help of two new federal grants announced today that aim to ... More >>
The debate around the privacy of gun owners has dominated the legislature this session, with Republican lawmakers' persistent outcry regarding record-keeping in the state. The worry is that the Missouri license bureau, under the direction of Democratic Governor Jay Nixon, could be collecting and st ... More >>
Last week, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen passed a marijuana reform proposal that would reduce the punishment for minor pot offenses. The policy change is supposed to save police resources and the mayor is expected to sign it into law. While officials with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Depart ... More >>
Missouri, the Meth Capital of the United States, this week launched a campaign against purchasing cold and allergy medicines and selling them to methamphetamine cooks. It's the "anti-smurfing" initiative. "Missouri law enforcement officials will tell you that smurfing is one of the biggest chall ... More >>
In what Wired magazine is calling "the patent case of the century," Apple is suing Samsung for "slavishly" copying Apple's tech and design as seen in -- among other things -- the iPad. Apple believes Samsung is trampling on its patent rights. The local-ish connection is this: Earlier this wee ... More >>
On Tuesday, Missourians overwhelmingly voted for Amendment 2, more commonly known as the "right to pray" amendment. The amendment ensures that everybody in the state has the right to express their religious beliefs, acknowledge God in public, and pray whether they're in a school, public building or ... More >>
Former Kansas City Star columnist Steve Penn filed a ballsy little lawsuit this week. First off, as a journalist, Penn surely knows how difficult it is to prove that his former employer defamed him, as it is with all defamation cases. But the crux of his complaint is even more controversial. Penn ... More >>
When Jeff Klearman of Ladue went surfing online for tongue vibrators this past year, the only part of him to become roused was his ire. Several websites, he discovered, were selling tongue vibrator models dubbed, "The Tiggler." But Klearman owns the "Tiggler" trademark, as well as the patents on the ... More >>
Looks like peaceful protest still works. On Saturday morning, St. Charles City Attorney Mike Valenti officially dropped charges against two Show-Me Cannabis Regulation volunteers who were cited by police for "soliciting without a permit" on Sunday, January 15. The two were in fact gathering signa ... More >>
Attention, high school students: You have to read the book now. Tonight at midnight, Wikipedia shuts down for 24 hours to protest both House Bill 3261, more commonly known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and its related bill in the Senate, the PROTECT IP ACT (PIPA). SOPA and PIPA have raise ... More >>
This no longer exists. Don't even mention it.This week's review of twinOak Wood Fired Fare (1201 Strassner Drive, Brentwood; 314-644-2772) mentions the controversy surrounding the restaurant's original name, Taste Wood Fired Fare. In discussing the dispute between what is now twinOak and Gera ... More >>
Tonight, the American Civil Liberties Union of Eastern Missouri hosts its 40th annual Bill of Rights Celebration. Three local activists will be honored for their work in diverse areas of civil liberties.
Marcia Fudge: The Cleveland congresswoman wants the Justice Department to investigate photo ID laws like the one planned for Missouri ballots in 2012Next year, Missouri voters will be asked to consider an amendment to the state's constitution, requiring voters to bring an unexpired Missouri or fe ... More >>
Don't drink the Kool-Aid, warn plaintiffs.In November 2012, Missouri voters will be asked to approve an amendment to the state constitution, titled Religious Freedom in Public Places. According to the sponsor of the resolution, Republican Mike McGhee of the western Missouri town of Odessa, the am ... More >>
'Cause you'd hate to see these guys dote on a baby.Congratulations, Illinois' LGBT community. Beginning tomorrow, you can proverbially tie the knot in the "Land of Lincoln." True, you can't technically call it marriage, but Illinois' new civil-union law provides you many of the benefits enj ... More >>
More than a hundred Missouri Muslims visited Jefferson City Wednesday to voice concern over anti-Islam legislation.Jim Hacking of the St. Louis chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) sent Daily RFT the photo above. Would you look at all those frightening people! Thank God (t ... More >>
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon: He's no Scott Walker.Catching up on the news from Wisconsin -- where Democratic state senators have gone on the lam rather than give Governor Scott Walker the quorum he needs to gut state workers' collective-bargaining rights -- we found ourselves wondering: Could suc ... More >>
thedefendersonline.comAnother set of numbers has been compiled that suggests the Missouri justice system is plagued by racial disparities. This time, the stats indicate that a disproportionate number of black kids are transfered to adult courts, where they're threatened with prison time in pl ... More >>
Live in Clayton and hate the smoking ban in parks? Call this guy at 314-726-2322.The 25-page complaint against the city of Clayton is already written and ready to be filed in federal court. All attorney Bevis Schock needs now is a couple more plaintiffs. "I have one person confirmed, but would li ... More >>
New proposals would allow Missouri employers to really crack that whip.The question above immediately comes to mind when considering a spate of "pro business" proposals currently being debated in Jefferson City. One of the proposals would repeal Missouri's minimum wage law, allowing employers to ... More >>
Got questions about the recently-passed bill allowing civil unions for same-sex (and opposite-sex) couples in Illinois? Sure you do.So head on over to Bellville, Illinois, on Thursday to hear some experts speak and answer any questions you may have about the unions, which will be available to fol ... More >>
The new law bans strippers from appearing nude. They can't even wear thongs. Attorneys for sexually oriented businesses argued yesterday in court in central Missouri that the state legislature violated its own rules in passing a strict new law on sexually-oriented businesses. The law that went in ... More >>
2:45 p.m. Sunday, November 14 at Plaza Frontenac
In the 2010 legislative session, Missouri, along with several other states, passed new laws placing major barriers between women and their Constitutional right to obtain abortions. The Center for Reproductive Rights, a New York-based pro-choice legal advocacy group, Tuesday released a report on t ... More >>
Leon Pullen, 32, a former police officer employed by the north St. Louis County suburb of Uplands Park has pleaded guilty to civil rights violations stemming from several incidents where he sexually assaulted and stole money from prostitutes. According to court documents, on July 15, 2009 Pu ... More >>
Kornhardt was paid for the murder from the victim's life insurance policy.Eighteen years after the fact, the family of Danny Harold Coleman finally got some justice. Yesterday a federal jury convicted James K. Kornhardt and Steven A. Mueller of conspiracy to commit murder for hire and murder fo ... More >>
In the summer of 1964, hundreds of young northerners descended upon Mississippi to register black voters and teach in "Freedom Schools." Among them were Charles McLaurin, Chris Hexter and Tracy Sugarman, who were all based in the town of Ruleville in Sunflower County. McLaurin was the project direct ... More >>
Lost amid last week's allegations of abuse and mistreatment in St. Louis City jails, was a bit of good news about an area correction's program.On Friday the New York Times published a glowing article on the so-called "Missouri Model" of juvenile justice that stresses rehabilitation in small groups w ... More >>
Opponents of red-light cameras are celebrating a ruling earlier this month in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri. In a broad-ranging order handed down February 3, Judge Thomas C. Mummert III denied defendant American Traffic Solutions' (ATS) motion to dismiss the RICO claims filed against i ... More >>
Earlier this week the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics, a narcotics advocacy group in the vein of the ACLU, released a study entitled Life Sentences: Collateral Sanctions Associated With Marijuana Offenses, which compares the stiffness of marijuana penalties from state to state. The research ... More >>
The importance of the great Number 42.
The former Mrs. Vinson sues her ex-hubby to rid the airwaves of his famous cornpone voice.
There must be something in the water over at Lynch and 12th Streets. A-B, King of Beers, announced yesterday that it's making friends with the Czech brewer Budejovicky Budvar, a staunch and longtime foe. No, the two companies have not put to rest the dozens of pending trademark cases over the name ... More >>
Washington U. gags on a plan to screen a controversial Karen Carpenter biopic
Dr. William J. Catalona built an unrivaled repository of blood and tissue samples. Washington University wants to keep it. Now a judge will decide: Who owns the prostates?
Vandalism isn't a crime in St. Louis. Just ask the police.
He's for tort reform but takes trial lawyers' money and sues docs
Week of January 1, 2003
Missouri has been pouring millions into prisons that aren't being used. But stay tuned: If politicians have their way, there will be plenty of inmates to go around.
Marvel Comics isn't going to give up Captain America without a fight
When Wendy Huddleston fell $1,370 behind in child-support payments, she was jailed indefinitely. She needed money or a lawyer -- and she had neither.