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Sherman A1

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Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
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Escape Rooms Open In Smaller Towns As Industry Booms

The escape room experience sounds a lot like putting yourself in a stressful situation for the sake of fun. These are games in which a group of people are put in a room. A clock counts down. The players have to find clues and solve puzzles hidden in the room before time runs out.

The popularity of escape rooms has increased dramatically, with just a handful in existence in 2015 to more than 2,300 nationwide operating today. There are national chains that operate rooms in dozens of big cities across the country, including St. Louis. But they are so popular that they are opening in smaller cities, usually run by individuals and families.

Great Xscape in Rolla is one of those rooms. Recently retired, Donald and Cynthia Brookshire were looking to move back home to Rolla and open a business.

"We played some escape rooms, and we loved it," said Donald Brookshire. "Then we started the long process of research to see if we could run one successfully and if this community would support it."

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/escape-rooms-open-smaller-towns-industry-booms

Missouri S&T Engineers Use Artificial Intelligence To Help Drivers Avoid Flooded Roads

Engineers at Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla are developing algorithms that could provide early warnings for motorists about flooded roads.

The system could warn drivers to stay off flooded roads. Researchers began the yearlong project to use artificial intelligence to enhance flood evacuation plans in February for transportation agencies in the Midwest, including the Missouri Department of Transportation. The work focuses on the Meramec River basin in eastern Missouri and the areas of Nebraska and northwest Missouri that experienced record-breaking floods in late March from the Missouri River.

Artificial intelligence could help deliver that information to motorists faster so to prevent people from being stranded on flooded roads, said Suzanna Long, the chair of engineering management and systems engineering at Missouri S&T.

“What we would be able to do is determine how far down the roadway do we need to start this rerouting to make sure no one’s sitting trapped on a roadway,” Long said.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/missouri-st-engineers-use-artificial-intelligence-help-drivers-avoid-flooded-roads

Stop & Shop Strikers Are Standing Up for All Grocery Workers

The current New England grocery workers’ strike will likely have long-lasting national significance. The strike that started April 11 with 31,000 Stop & Shop grocery workers at about 240 supermarkets in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut is about to enter its second week. It is the largest private-sector strike in the United States since 2017 and the largest strike in the U.S. retail sector since the Southern California grocery workers’ strike of 2003-2004.

The strike is an important political event. Over the past few days, several Democratic presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Corey Booker, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, have expressed support for the strikers, with Warren, Biden and other state and national politicians, including a couple of Republican lawmakers, meeting with workers, who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, on the picket lines. On Thursday, Biden and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh headlined a rally for striking workers in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

The striking workers have also gained support from other quarters of the labor movement. Almost 2,000 Teamsters who work as truck drivers for Stop & Shop or its vendors and suppliers are refusing to make essential food deliveries during the strike, leading to bare shelves, early closings and shuttered stores. Virtually no Stop & Shop workers have crossed the picket lines – local management and “striker replacements” are attempting to do their work — and formerly loyal customers are staying away in droves. Coming during the critical Easter holiday retail period, the Stop & Shop strike threatens to hurt the finances of the company, which generated $44 billion in sales from all its U.S. supermarket chains in 2018.

The workers are fighting against sweeping contract concessions demanded by Shop & Shop (owned by the Dutch giant Ahold Delhaize, which was formed in July 2016 from the merger of two existing retailers). The outcome of the strike will have national implications: If the company succeeds in weakening the workers’ health care and pension plans, and lowering the rate for Sunday pay, it will try to impose concessionary contracts on its workers in other states (New York State has more than 200 Stop & Shop stores, and the company also owns the Giant and Food Lion grocery chains). A management victory would also give encouragement to other unionized food retailers seeking to reduce costs and boost profits by slashing employee benefits.

https://truthout.org/articles/stop-shop-strikers-are-standing-up-for-all-grocery-workers/

Empty Pews May Mean It's Time To Downsize, Religious Leaders Say

Declining church attendance is forcing some religious leaders to make difficult decisions — namely, what to do with outsized or vacant places of worship.

Many U.S. churches were built decades ago during times of religious growth. In some communities, however, shrinking congregations no longer have the financial resources to maintain these large church properties. Eden Theological Seminary will host a two-day symposium this week focused on ways religious and community leaders can repurpose these buildings.

Many old churches have “substantial value,” said Robert Simons, professor of urban planning at Cleveland State University.

“For the most part, there’s a pretty short list of prohibited uses most faiths subscribe to,” said Simons, who will speak Wednesday at Eden Theological Seminary. “If you decommission the building and take out the sacred objects, it becomes a piece of real estate.”

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/empty-pews-may-mean-it-s-time-downsize-religious-leaders-say

First Look: Design For Proposed Professional Soccer Stadium In St. Louis Unveiled

Architects of a proposed future home to a professional soccer team in downtown St. Louis unveiled designs for a 22,500-seat stadium Saturday morning.

The renderings show a rectangular, open-air stadium with a translucent canopy to protect spectators from weather and a field that sits 40 feet below street level. The design features entrances on all sides of the stadium and open views of the city to the north and east. It would be built just west of Union Station.

The design by Snow Kreilich Architects and HOK also includes an area of mixed-use retail, restaurants and gathering spaces that would be open year-round, according to a press release from the MLS4THELOU ownership group.

The release of the proposed stadium design comes just days after Major League Soccer officials announced the organization would expand to include 30 teams. That decision came as a relief to soccer fans in St. Louis and Sacremento, California, two cities that were widely viewed as the top contenders for the league's final 28th expansion-team bid.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/first-look-design-proposed-professional-soccer-stadium-st-louis-unveiled

Emails About Lindenwood's Belleville Campus Imply School Is In Trouble

After Lindenwood University unexpectedly dismissed the leaders of its two campuses, several people — especially at the Belleville location — have been left to wonder what the departures mean.

The city of Belleville made a $3 million taxpayer commitment to Lindenwood University’s Belleville campus. So it’s understandable that Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert was concerned about the future of the campus when Lindenwood Belleville President Brett Barger was placed on administrative leave Nov. 1 without explanation.

The community’s concern was evident in several emails obtained by St. Louis Public Radio under an Illinois Freedom of Information Act request.

One of the emails stated: “I was told by someone who used to work at (Lindenwood University-Belleville) and is pretty well connected that the reason behind Barger’s dismissal was that he and (Lindenwood University President) Michael Shonrock ‘got into it’ at a board retreat a few weekends ago. If the story I was told holds water, they supposedly argued over the future of the Belleville campus.”

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/emails-about-lindenwoods-belleville-campus-imply-school-trouble

Business Owners In 'Unofficial Chinatown' Remain In Limbo As U City Ponders New Development

As the University City City Council decides whether to pass a proposal to redevelop a section of the St. Louis region’s “unofficial” Chinatown, business owners who would be displaced are deciding whether to begin relocating.

The city council had planned to vote in January on Webster Groves-based Novus Development plans to redevelop the area at Olive Boulevard and Interstate 170 — often referred to as Olive Link.

But the proposal returned to negotiations in February after a University City resident found a roughly $24 million miscalculation in the development’s projected sales-tax revenue. The real estate developer’s plans include building a big-box store — rumored to be a Costco — luxury apartments and a senior living facility.

Novus Development is seeking tax increment financing (TIF), which would allow future sales and property taxes generated by the project to help finance it.

https://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/business-owners-unofficial-chinatown-remain-limbo-u-city-ponders-new-development#stream/0

Who Might Make The Democratic Debate Stage?

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-might-make-the-democratic-debate-stage/

Presidential primary debates are a major media spectacle in American politics, so candidates, naturally, want to participate lest they become irrelevant. And with a historically large Democratic field in the 2020 cycle, the race is on to qualify for the first two debates, which are taking place this summer.1

Democratic hopefuls have two ways of getting onto the debate stage, according to a February news release from the Democratic National Committee. They can earn at least 1 percent of the vote in three different national or early-state polls conducted by qualifying pollsters, or they can receive donations from at least 65,000 unique donors, with at least 200 individual donors in at least 20 different states. And as you can see in the table below, of the 16 major candidates FiveThirtyEight is tracking — plus former Vice President Joe Biden, who hasn’t yet entered the race but is widely expected to — 15 have already met at least one of those two criteria, according to our research.

According to the chart at the link the candidates below are the only ones who have qualified via both methods (poling and number of donors) as of 4/19/19

Pete Buttigieg
Kamala Harris
Beto O’Rourke
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Andrew Yang

Man facing felony charges of enticing a child

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Mo. - A man is facing charges of enticement of a child and sexual misconduct involving a child after court documents show he had intimate conversations with a 14-year-old in 2017.

Antwan Megale Guthrie is said to have tried to entice a girl via conversations on his cellphone, according to the probable cause statement.

Documents said Guthrie sent pictures of himself, as well as a 15-second video.

https://www.abc17news.com/news/man-facing-felony-charges-of-enticing-a-child/1070793279

Lake-area legislator won't face further discipline

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Missouri's House speaker says he doesn't plan on taking further action to discipline a House member who was investigated for sexual harassment.

Republican Speaker Elijah Haahr on Thursday said he is following the House Ethics Committee's recommendations on Rep. Rocky Miller, a Republican from the Lake of the Ozarks area.

The committee investigated Miller and concluded he created a false rumor that another lawmaker was having an affair with an employee. Miller underwent additional sexual harassment training and wrote an apology letter to the House employee who filed the complaint.

https://www.abc17news.com/news/lake-area-legislator-wont-face-further-discipline/1070676170
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