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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 06:37 AM
Number of posts: 35,304

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'Election Insiders' Goes Behind The Scenes With St. Louis County Elections Board

From hanging-chad jokes to complaints about absentee ballots, election workers have heard it all. But there’s one question Gloria Shur Bilchik says they dislike the most: “What do you do the other 364 days of the year?”

Bilchik’s new book answers that question with eye-opening detail. And, in the final chapter, the Creve Coeur resident explains what they do on Election Day, too.

“Election Insiders: Behind the Scenes With the People Who Make Your Vote Count” is the result of the 18 months Bilchik spent observing the St. Louis County Board of Elections. It is her first book, and in it, she presents St. Louis County as a microcosm of the challenges faced by election boards across the country.

Those challenges are especially acute this year, as the coronavirus continues to ravage the nation.


Maritz lays off hundreds in wake of coronavirus, but former employees say problems have been brewing

FENTON — Against a backdrop of bare, finished wood, a somber Steve Maritz had bad news to share with his thousands of employees.

“I thought I’d seen a lot in my years, but I’ve never seen anything like this,” Maritz said in a video recorded in early April, as the scale and severity of the coronavirus crisis began coming into focus.

“Furloughs work like this: if you don’t have work, you’re going to get furloughed,” Maritz said in the five-minute video obtained by the Post-Dispatch. “For those continuing to work, we’re all going to get a 20% pay cut. I’m taking a 100% pay cut.”

“I know this is tough medicine and I really hate to do it,” he said, pausing with a sigh. “But I think it’s what we need to do, I believe it’s what we need to do to survive and get through to the other side, where opportunity awaits.”


New life in Old Town Florissant: a bakery, pizzeria and brewery take form amid a pandemic

FLORISSANT — A few new businesses cropping up in Old Town Florissant are defying the often-bleak picture painted of north St. Louis County, and they’re doing it amid a pandemic that’s keeping people home.

A craft bakery is set to open for to-go orders in the coming weeks. A wood-fired pizza place began carryout in June. And a brewery making its beer in the basement of a mainstay Italian restaurant is readying to open its own tap room sometime next year.

Florissant has struggled to keep some of its larger retailers. While the population of the county’s biggest city has stabilized, it was hit by a wave of brick-and-mortar closings in recent years, including Lowe’s, Pier 1, Kmart and Shop ‘n Save. And in scenes reminiscent of its neighbor Ferguson, Florissant has been a major target of protests this summer after one of its officers was caught on camera striking a Black man with a police vehicle. The officer has been fired.

But the owners of these three Old Town businesses all live in Florissant. Some grew up here. And they are investing in the town they love even as the coronavirus decimates shops and restaurants here and everywhere.

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