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The University of Missouri Health Care won’t hire nicotine users and
will test prospective employees for the drug beginning Jan. 1. Current
employees are exempt from the policy, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune.


That’s longtime Ferguson resident and Metropolitan Congregations United organizer Rev. Susan Sneed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and the BBC explaining how churches throughout the metro area plan to open their doors for protestors when the grand jury decision comes down.


Budweiser’s World Cup spot on “Puppy Love” gets high marks among the “best loved”, according to Ad Age. . .Mizzou lands $1 million in gifts for community journalism. . .Nostalgia buffs might recall that on Nov. 23, 1904, the third Olympic Games – on what is now Francis Field at WashU – came to a close. During that time at the Worlds Fair in Forest Park, the ice cream cone and iced tea were first introduced. . .Our town’s Danny Meyer debuted his newest restaurant on the New York City landscape. It’s dubbed Marta and located on Madison Avenue. One of the raves: “. . .an elegant balance between what New Yorkers look for in their pizza (comfort, pulchritude, familiarity)  and the slightly racier more adaptable Roman model.”


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has released a video this morning as the grand jury weighs charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson: “History has shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to nonaggression and nonviolence.”


Heads are wagging over Guv. Jay Nixon’s nixing Chris Nicastro for his Ferguson Commission. The soon-to-be-retired state education chief dramatically diversified two north St. Louis county school districts – Hazelwood and Riverview Gardens – as superintendent of each. She also has a  good rapport with Jeff City officials and lawmakers whose backing is needed for resources and laws that might help the root causes of the crisis.


“There is a growing ambivalence to Pope Francis in conservative circles, especially in the states,” writes John Allen in his upcoming book on the Pope. Meanwhile, Pope Francis is drawing rock star status for softening the Vatican image such as homosexuality, capitalism and divorce. Conservatives revolted and the most vocal critic – Cardinal Raymond Burke, who described the church under Francis as “a ship without a rudder.” Now, Burke has been demoted to a purely ceremonial post from a powerful Vatican post.


Despite allegations of rape, Bill Cosby hopes to launch a tour beginning at the Treasure Island in Vegas. Website: “Bill Cosby will continue to bring joy to the people” (tilt!). . .Among the best new cars under $25k – the Chevrolet Sonic LT; the worst – Nissan Armada Platinum, sez Consumer Reports. . .According to the Religion News Service, “The Show-Me State takes no prisoners with the execution of Leon Taylor early Wednesday morning, the state has killed nine men this year, a mark not matched since 1999. Another execution is scheduled for December, so Missouri looks to break that record”. . .”What You Get for $2 Million” in The New York Times: “A midcentury modern, 5 br, 5,493 sq-ft house in Chesterfield, designed by Ralph Fournier . . .With a little help from friends, I predicted on Sept. 16 that Guv. Nixon would elevate Sarah Farragut-Hemphill to the Circuit bench. Quite a prediction in that the commission interviewed 31 applicants all of whom obviously wasted their time since this decision was a foregone conclusion. . .Five alleged clergy abuse victims are filing suit today against Fr. Gerald Funcheon who’s accused of molesting kids in Indiana, Minnesota and Hawaii. He’s now at St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer.



The year was 1957 when the improvisational comedy duo of Mike Nichols and Elaine May burst on the stage with the Compass Players at the Crystal Palace in Gaslight Square on Olive Street. They wowed audiences with their brand of topical humor and some skits left the crowds in convulsive laughter. Nichols, a master crafter of such films as “The Graduate” and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” stage director, writer and producer is dead at 83. Nichols and May were later followed at the Crystal Palace by the comedian Lenny Bruce and later – an unknown Barbra Streisand.  The late Harry Fender regaled his fans with how Streisand appeared in the lobby of the Chase Hotel and asked Fender to loan her a few bucks.


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