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Protesters blocked Brentwood Blvd. outside of the Galleria mall on Wednesday night as they chanted “for Anthony Smith and Michael Brown, shut it down, shut it down.”
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Protesters gather in streets near St. Louis Galleria instead of Clayton as advertised

Updated at 7:45 p.m. with mall closure — The advertised gathering spot Wednesday for people wanting to voice their displeasure with the Jason Stockley verdict was downtown Clayton. That was a decoy, as protesters converged on the St. Louis Galleria and blocked traffic on busy Brentwood Boulevard in Richmond Heights, about a mile away. Both Clayton and the mall were targeted because of protesters’ strategy to disrupt business as usual in affluent communities.

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Truesdale, MO – A car that was fleeing police struck and killed an officer in Warren County yesterday afternoon.

Investigators say Truesdale police officer Vernon Seals died at a St. Louis area hospital after the crash on I-70. Police say they briefly stopped a car after a home invasion in Fulton, but the suspects fled. Their car then swerved out of control and hit Seals as he stood in a ditch.

The driver of the suspects' car was also killed, and a passenger is hospitalized. He faces possible charges.

Jefferson City, MO – After three years of legal challenges by abortion opponents, Planned Parenthood has been awarded about 600-thousand dollars in state contracts for family planning services.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services contracts awarded late last month include $352,000 to Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri and more than $243,000 to Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region.

Sedailia, MO – Eight years after impeachment ousted her from office, Democrat Judi Moriarty-Ebers is making a political comeback bid, trying to win a seat in the Missouri House.

Moriarty-Ebers was the state's first female secretary of state, and the only statewide official ever to be ousted after impeachment.

She's running against Republican incumbent Todd Smith, who voted to impeach her. Smith says he has no plans to bring up the past.

Creve Coeur, MO – Washington University researchers are using an area of St. Louis County as the site for a study on what elderly people need to live independently.
The area near the Jewish Community Center in Creve Coeur has a large percentage of elderly people and has been named one of nation's first Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities, or NORC's.
John Morris with Washington University's Center for Aging says no one has studied such communities to see what elderly people need to continue to live independently.

Springfield, IL – Lee Daniels says he believes House Republicans will choose a new leader who will unite the party in the face of a looming budget crisis.

He says he made the decision not to seek another term as leader of the Republican caucus in the Illinois House with a heavy heart.

But he says he's proud of the legislative accomplishments he and his colleagues have made.

St. Louis – Indian-born novelist Salman Rushdie was in St. Louis yesterday to talk about his writing and his views on religious violence.

Rushdie went into hiding after the Iranian government put a price on his head following the publication of his 1989 novel, The Satanic Verses.

St. Louis, MO – They may be waiting a long time. Half a dozen St. Louis-area citizens are staking out the offices of House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt in hopes he will change
his stance on war with Iraq.

Anti-war advocates showed up at Gephardt's St. Louis office at 9 a.m. They say they will wait until he announces publicly that he is withdrawing endorsement of a war resolution authorizing use of force on Iraq.

St. Louis, MO – Two undercover police officers were injured last night after a speeding car they were not pursuing collided with their car.

Uniformed St. Louis police officers were chasing a Firebird that made a U-turn and hit a car driven by undercover drug officers. One officer is in critical condition with broken ribs and bones; the other is in fair condition. The conditions are not thought to be life threatening.

Police arrested three men after the incident.

Jefferson City, MO – Laclede Gas customers can expect slightly higher bills soon. Thursday, Missouri's Public Service Commission approved a rate increase for the company.

That means within the next month, the typical natural gas customer will start paying about $1.80 more per month. Laclede originally sought an increase of almost $4.50 a month. As part of the plan, the company also agrees to freeze rates until March of 2004.

Laclede serves more than 600,000 customers in and around St. Louis.

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St. Louis on the Air

St. Louis Symphony begins 138th season

On Thursday's St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh will talk with SLSO music director David Robertson about the new season.

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