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Offering 50 “stylish rooms”, 12 suites, 2 premium suites and The Order, “a destination restaurant,” the Hotel Vandivort has opened in downtown Springfield. It’s the result of a complete restoration by Billy, Karen and John McQueary of the 1906 Masonic Temple.



The timing is exquisite for Donald Trump fans. His support has soared to 19 percent, according to the Wall St. Journal/NBC News poll. Wisconsin Guv. Scott Walker at 15 percent; former Fla. Guv. Jeb Bush at 14 percent and Fla. Guv. Marco Rubio a measly 5 percent. Perhaps Trump has become the anti-establishment candidate – the symbol of America’s disdain for politicians.
ST. LOUIS-BASED Associated Press reporter Jim Salter “recalls origins of Ferguson movement” in today’s edition of The New York Times:
OBSERVATION: Coming to light. Mayors, who order no crime news until after the elections.
FUJIFILM’S NEW X-T1 TR CAMERA might be able to see through thin clothes via infrared light that’s invisible to the human eye.
FAMED BARRISTER GERRY SPENCE’S 18th book (via St. Martin’s) due out Sept. 8: “Police State: How America’s Cops Get Away with Murder.”
ALMOST FORGOT: The risk factor of Alzheimer’s disease doubles every five years and 40 percent or more of people 85 and older, according to researchers Drs. Randall Bateman and David Holtzman of WashU Med. Center. The main ingredient of Alzheimer’s is brain plaque. They seek to clear the brain of amyloid beta 42, a factor in plaque.
BARRISTER KEN CHACKES is now repping the mother of a young boy who police say was sexually violated by a priest at the Cathedral parish school in the CWE. That cleric, Fr. Joseph Jiang, recently became the first religious figure in Missouri to sue police, prosecutors and other claiming they “conspired” to violate his constitutional rights because of racism and anti-Catholic animus. Meanwhile, SNAP (also being sued by Jiang) says in a new court filing that Archbishop Robert Carlson is behind the priest’s lawsuit.
OVERHEARD AT FLEMING’S: “Queasy about summer tornados? Ask your doctor for earth control pills!”


The New York Times’ front page story on Oct. 17, 1973: “Major Landlord Accused of Antiblack Bias in the City.” The story details the Dept. of Justice’s lawsuit against Donald Trump and his father in alleged violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. As the sun cocks an eye on Republican presidential hopefuls heading for Thursday night’s debate, they can be found testing their skills against Trump. Even the girl-watchers at country club pools are interrupted with chat about Trump. One of the St. Louis C.C. guys staring at a bikini-clad swimmer: “She looks great except for two little things.”
On the Four Seasons deck, a customer orders a Bullshot (beef consomme and vodka over ice) aka Ox on the Rox.
Peering out at the naked city that shrinks to small town size as the sun oozes through the blue, cops and cabbies shed their jackets, and only the furriers are furious. Wandering around the town, spearing items with an imaginary pointed stick, you find the glorious parties in mansions on Lindell Boulevard and Litszinger Road. Not since the golden age of Hollywood had I seen mile-long drawing rooms, butlers with silver trays moving through the crowd. The only people missing are Gloria Swanson, F. Scott and Zelda, but they are there in spirit.
High school students returning to classes include those who’ll be recruited to emote in either “Our Town” or You Can’t Take It With You,” the most-popular school plays in the last 75 years. The summer sun heads for the zoo where window washers are wiping off smudges on glass enclosures put on by those nosing around. Forest Park is the place to be on a hot day. The green is strewn with bodies, like a battlefield.
The summer sun heads to Clayton, where you can sip iced-tea and get hit by a passing truck at the same time. There’s the thrill of the first glimpse of the skyline after a long trip as you drive from the airport and speed home via I-270 (where no cop can hide). There’s a hook-n’-ladder weaving through the traffic as a thousand admiring, childlike eyes follow it.
The sun dips a toe into the Missouri River and you know you’re leaving our town. In a flash, you’re reminded St. Louis has become The Total City, the city that has EVERYTHING.
AUGUST 3 in 2000, the GOP Party nominated George W. Bush to run for president; 1981: 13,000 air traffic controllers (PATCO) began their strike; 1941, St. Louis Browns pitcher Johnny Niggeling got Joe DiMaggio in 4 at bats to stop DiMaggio’s streak of 74 games in reaching base


Diploma mill? The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the Apollo Education Group, parent of the University of Phoenix, the largest for-profit higher education institution. Can the FCC topple the university that has campuses on North Broadway and in Maryland Heights? Stand by!. . .”Communities like Ferguson – which received harsh criticism in the wake of last year’s protests for a largely white police force over a majority black city – are less the exception than the rule,” according to Politico’s Mayors Survey. . .Vegas oddsmakers on 2015 World Series: Cardinals 12/1; Rockies 150/1; Cubs 12/1; Royals 8/1. . .Tomorrow, Aug. 2: 1986 Jackie Joyner-Kersee set a record for heptathlon (7161 pts); 1961 Cardinals beat the Toronto Argonauts 36-7 in Toronto; 1776 Formal signing of the Declaration of Independence. . .Cardinal William Baum was buried yesterday. He once ran the Springfield, MO Catholic diocese before rising through the church hierarchy to be Washington, DC archbishop. Attending the funeral was another, more widely known ex-Springfield bishop, the now-infamous Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned his post as head of the Boston archdiocese in the wake of abuse and cover up scandals. It was only Law’s second trip back to the states from Rome since he stepped down. (The second prelate to resign over the crisis was also from Missouri: KC Bishop Robert Finn).


Aug. 1, 1936: The Summer Olympics was opened in Berlin by Adolph Hitler. The official Nazi Party newspaper called for Jews and “black people” to be disallowed participation. Threatened by a boycott, Hitler relented and allowed all ethnicities to participate. African-American Jesse Owens won four gold medals in the long jump much to the anger of Herr Hitler.
Aug. 1, 1972: The first article exposing the Watergate scandal by Woodward and Bernstein broke in the Washington Post.
Aug. 1, 1960: The Chubby Checker single “The Twist” was recorded.


Ballwin’s own N.Y. Cardinal Timothy Dolan dropped a bombshell on prez hopeful Donald Trump through his submission to the New York Daily News. Dolan’s missive is both “incoherent and a defamatory political hit piece,” says Fr. Marcel Guarino.  Wrote Dolan: “Trump is the revival of nativism, an organized white Protestant antagonist toward the Catholic immigrant.” Guarino continued, “Dolan is not known for his intellectual depth but his aides should consider reading over his public statements to spare American Catholics some embarrassment.”
TERRY SCHNUCK, a successful Broadway producer and 1980 grad of St. Louis University Law School, is the second SLU law grad to make it big on Broadway. The first? David Merrick, SLU law class of 1937.
TED SIMMONS, BOB FORSCH, CURT FLOOD, GEORGE KISSELL will be inducted into the 2015 Cardinals Hall of Fame at 2 p.m., Aug. 15 at the Fox Sports Midwest Live in Ballpark Village.


State Sen. Bob Dixon, who is running for the Republican nomination for governor, isn’t talking much about what he would to do if elected. Instead, the senator from Springfield has kept alive publicity about the five years he once publicly said he spent as a homosexual man before an unspecified religious experience in October, 1988 prayed him straight. In a 50-minute interview with his hometown paper, The Springfield News-Leader, Dixon said he was abused as a 9 year-old. But he now backs away from earlier statements blaming the abuse for his former gay orientation and sexual “confusion.” On Wednesday, Dixon said that while childhood abuse caused his sexual “confusion,” he doesn’t believe abuse turns people gay. “Do I think child abuse makes people gay? The answer is no,” Dixon told the paper. He also clarified this earlier comment: “I have put the childhood abuse, and the teenage confusion behind me,” he said in a prior statement, adding: “What others intended for harm has resulted in untold good. I have overcome, and will not allow evil to win.” On Wednesday, Dixon said the comment on “evil” referred only to child abuse and was not an indictment of homosexuality. Dixon has opposed marriage equality and declined to say where he stands on legislation that would keep Missourians from being fired just because they’re gay.


Help is on its way for victims of sexual harassment in government and private industries to understand their rights and personal options. The idea was hatched by Sen. Claire McCaskill and Alissa Hembree, who quit working for State Sen. Paul LeVota. He will resign Aug. 23 over allegations of harassment.

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