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If you’ve been enjoying the sweeping Ken Burns multi-part documentary, “The Roosevelts,” raise a bully salute to our town’s Jack C. Taylor for helping make it possible. The Taylor family patriarch and billionaire and founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, is credited in the opening and closing titles as a major benefactor of the Burns production. The acclaimed filmmaker gives us an in-depth look at not only Presidents Theodore and Franklin, but the independent life of Eleanor. Among the little-known stories: Teddy Roosevelt was shot in the chest by an attempted assassin while campaigning – and he insisted on going ahead with an hour-long speech before being taken to a hospital.


In what a noted Vatican journalist calls a “decapitation” and “a move without precedent,” Cardinal Raymond Burke – who ran the St. Louis archdiocese for five tumultuous years, “is on the verge of being demoted” from head of the church’s highest court to an “ecclesiastically very modest title” and “an honorary role at the behest of Pope Francis.”  So says veteran church observer, Sandro Magister, who adds “Burke would be completely removed from the curis and be without any influence on the governance of the universal Church.” Late last year, Magister wrote, “Pope Francis “humiliated Burke by crossing him off from among the members of the congregation” and now “seems right at the point of giving the go-ahead for Burke’s second and more grave demotion.”


All hometown heroes: Scott Bakula now starring in the new CBS-TV series, “NICS: New Orleans,” while still insisting that his name is pronounced “Backula” and not “Bakoola”. . .Jon Hamm is voicing the role as Herb Overkill in the movie, “Minions”. . .Kevin Kline stars in “My Old Lady”. . .”Goodbye Girl” winner Marsha Mason is at liberty and the 72 year-old has been a director while selling herbs from her company.



Edwin Pepper Interiors sold inventory of fine furniture yesterday by Atec auctioneers. . . It seems quiet in the St. Louis Catholic world because Arch. Robert Carlson and his priests are at Tan-Tar-A resort at the Lake of the Ozarks this week at their annual “convocation”. . .Thirty-one have applied for County Circuit  judgeship, which is open after Judge Mark Siegel’s retirement. The so-called “non-partisan” Commission will interview all the candidates at October’s-end, but word on the street is that the commission which nominates the “panel” of three to Gov. Nixon, who gets to choose the winner, is certain to include Sandra Farragut-Hemphill, an African-American associate judge, in the three and two whites for the other two spots. It puts Nixon in the position, where, in view of the Ferguson situation,he will have to appoint Judge Farragut-Hemphill who is not considered an exceptional associate judge. The commission will meet beginning at 8:30 a.m., Oct. 22-23 at the St. Louis County Council Chambers to conduct public interviews to select three nominees from the applicant pool for the guv’s consideration. Members of the 21st Judicial Circuit Commission: Chief Judge Angela T. Quigless; Christine Bertelson (former P-D editorial page editor), Matthew J. Rossiter; Rev. Anthony Witherspoon and Richard Wuestling, IV.


Effective Dec. 31, Chris Nicastro will step down as commissioner of state education to spend more time with her family. She writes, “They have been patient, and, as you well know, patience is not a family trait.”



For $2.5 billion, Microsoft has bought the popular video game,
Minecraft, from its Swedish founders. There are reportedly at least 100
million users of the game throughout the world.



SLU has returned to U.S. News and World Reports’ top 100 national universities. . .Mizzou today: officials from the Italian government and the university and a power company are combining research involving priceless Italian artifacts. . .Speakers this year at WashU Student Union are: Kevar Burton of “Star Trek” fame and Michelle Kwan, the Olympic figure skater.
Speaking of higher learning institutions, we’re now being inundated by ad campaigns from accredited universities as well as diploma mills. Think WGU University, U of Phoenix; St. Louis College of Health Careers; Missouri College; Capella. Turning to the 100 year-old and highly respected Central Institute for the Deaf, it now has upped its tuition to $27,000 a year and as little as $10 per month for those whose families cannot afford the big bucks.


the family of the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, N.Y., Cardinal Timothy Dolan refuses to release the remains of Sheen’s body from St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The archdiocese of Peoria, IL – Sheen’s hometown – wants to bury his remains in a tomb being constructed in its museum. The first American-born male who may reach sainthood, Sheen will also be honored by Peoria’s plan to build a campus in his name surrounding the museum and tomb.
“How the Catholic Church Masterminded the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Debacle” is the title of an explosive article on the Salon blog. The story: “While evangelical Christians ultimately brought down the contraception mandate, they had big help from Catholics.” It continues about a Missouri father who’s looking to keep his daughters from access to birth control.


Susan Levinson with Harlan Levin at Show Stoppers

Susan Levinson with Harlan Levin at Show Stoppers

The St. Louis Show Stoppers musical revue at Clayton HIgh’s theater raised the roof to a rousing presentation of numbers from “Show Boat,” “Gypsy,” “The Pajama Game” and “Meet Me in St. Louis” – all to benefit the Siteman Cancer Center. Directed by Barbara Parker Helmer, the cast included: Vickie Horton; Debbie Burkemper; Mary Schwandt; Walter Schultz; Pepi Parshall; Mike Sander; Marvin Cohen; Ginny Weiss; Niki Newcomb; Barry McClintock; Herb Seidel; Ron Hollander; Margie Hermelin and Stefanie Kluba among others.

Show Stopper's Director Barbara Parker Helmer

Show Stopper’s Director Barbara Parker Helmer

Parker and Monica Burtis at Show Stoppers

Parker and Monica Burtis at Show Stoppers

Show Stopper's president Mike Sander and daughter, Leah Sander

Show Stopper’s president Mike Sander and daughter, Leah Sander


Onward a few blocks away at Giovanni’s Kitchen, a toast to the upcoming (Nov. 9) wedding of Jennifer Csengody to Zach Novetsky, Her parents and sis, Tom, Susan and Dana couldn’t have been more pleased. Nearby, Nancy and Dr. Robert Taxman enjoyed the good life with pals. Bob is a celebrated internist and coronary specialist.

Susan Tom and Dana Csengody at Giovanni's Kitchen

Susan Tom and Dana Csengody at Giovanni’s Kitchen

Dr. Bob and Nancy Taxman at Giovanni's Kitchen

Dr. Bob and Nancy Taxman at Giovanni’s Kitchen



The Ferguson beat goes on. Saturday’s news led in some media outlets with: the 5,000 (many Fergusonites) who attended the Urban League’s job fair; Dellwood unity parade and protests calling for the arrest of the police officer who shot Michael Brown. A viewer of this column shot off a missive to the Huffington Post: “The picture you posted on 9/13 shows Michael Brown with his hands up is fake! That photo shows Brown was wearing long pants and an orange shirt. He wore baggy pants when he was killed and there was no big truck beside him. Check out the pictures that show Brown stealing cigars a few minutes before he was shot – no long pants as shown in your picture.” On slow news days you can still see the press corps falling all over each other like a pack of beagles – noisily barking, sometimes at the fresh scent of a new lead, but often at the scent and sight of each other. Known for his work on social injustice, not even George Orwell might have been there to outdo the others.
Two attorneys will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Missouri Supreme Court’s restrictive 1997 Drewer ruling, which protects institutions that are sued for child sex crimes by their employees. And they’re challenging a more recent decision in the Fr. James Tierney abuse case in which Catholic officials are seeking thousands of pages of records from SNAP about clergy sex abuse victims.
Ted (Theodore J.) Flicker died Friday at 84. He was producer, director and performer with the Compass Players in Gaslight Square. Then he was able to create the Crystal Palace Theater in 1959. He and Fran Landesman wrote the musical, “The Nervous Set,” which eventually became a Broadway and London hit. RIP.


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