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A Mizzou graduate teaching assistant has been arrested for felony child abuse. Youssif Omar, 53, has been accused of pulling the child’s hair and taking her out of Columbia, MO’s Hickman High for her failure to wear the traditional headscarf worn by some Muslim women.



Jerry with Cary Grant

Jerry with Cary Grant

Twenty-nine years ago this week, actor Cary Grant died at 82 in Davenport, IA. The next evening he was to appear in our town in his solo performance. In 1931, he performed in a season of musicals at The Muny. Still pondering his future, he bonded with the receptionist at the old Gatesworth Hotel on Union Boulevard, where he lived that summer. She recalled to this columnist how he would sit daydreaming on a curbstone. In the 1970s and 1980s, Grant and I became friends via many occasions in L.A. and in Vegas. Once, I showed him and his wife, Barbara Harris, some memorabilia of his performances at The Muny, that included his frequent co-star Gladys Baxter. He teared up when I gave him a copy of his payroll record: “Archibald Leach, $35 per week.” One of the greatest stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, Grant once was teamed up with another Muny alum, Irene Dunne, in the 1941 melodrama, “Penny Serenade.” Other films starring Grant that continue to entertain on TMC: “An Affair to Remember”; “North by Northwest” and “Charade.”During his early years in Hollywood, he lived on-and-off with Randolph Scott for about 12 years. “They were madly in love,” reported Richard Blackwell. Talullah Bankhead jokingly referred to Grant as “a lesbian.” Grant’s daughter, Jennifer, has furiously denied that he was gay. 



MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” this morning, the coalition of African-American evangelical leaders’ press conference with Donald Trump has been scrapped. Trump: “I think what happened, probably, it gets publicity, unfortunately, as everything I do gets publicity.” One of the clergy members on Facebook: Trump “is an insult and an embarrassment.”


If there were any future to nostalgia, it figures we’d be up to our ears in it. We’d have horse-drawn hansoms in Forest Park. That pitiful excuse for a City Hall would have been torn down years ago, to be replaced by a proper Victorian beauty, with strolling violins and acres of red flocking. We’d expand a fleet of streetcars and make the crewmen wear handlebar moustaches. We’d shove the Police Dept. back to the 1890s: a chief who is respected by all cops, helmets, uniforms that button under the chin and horse-drawn paddy wagons.
WE’D HAVE PALACES OF FINE CUISINE like Tony Faust’s, Dorr & Zeller, the original Coal Hole, Shumacher’s, Washington Cafe and Busch’s Grove. There’d be department stores called Scruggs, Grand Leader, the William Barr Co. and Nugent’s. Movie houses: New Grand Central, Wehrenberg-Kaimann, Skouras and Fanchon Marco theaters. We’d have the Coliseum, where VP parades,  boxing matches and the Democratic 1916 Convention were held. There’d be ice skating at the Winter Garden, Rubelman’s Hardware, Enna Jetick’s and Red Cross shoe stores, Wolf-Wilson drug stores, Pevely Dairy, Piggly Wiggly and Moll’s grocers, S.G. Adams stationery and news racks brimming with Collier’s, Saturday Evening Post and Liberty magazines.
Now, it’s only when the drizzle steals in to blot out their replacements that you dare think of the past – alone in bittersweet reverie.


Another pain in the disaster! A new emerging drug, flakka, a synthetic cathinone similar to bath salts and takes the form of white or pink. The National Institute for Drug Abuse reports it’s now found in many cities. Into the bloodstream, fakka causes an “excited delirium, violent aggression, self-injury and sometimes death”. . .On Dec. 16, Hillary Clinton will hit the Omaha stump with Warren Buffett, who has endorsed her for president. She’s expected to talk about tax reform of which Buffett has called for income tax increase for the wealthy. . .Rush Limbaugh’s email missive on Thanksgiving: “The pilgrims were early-17th century socialists who created a forerunner to the communes we saw in the 1960s-1970s. Their supposed socialist experiment didn’t work. They really starved”. . .Missouri ranks fifth among the states most likely to have fights over discounted merchandise during Black Friday week, reports


Taking a cue from the Bravo comedic series, “Real Housewives,” WashU students Evan Gates and Alexander Chen have scribed a parody of the show, “The Real Suitemates of the South 40.” The pilot is part of WUTV’s new direction to include more serialized content.


John J. Canally, chief economic strategist at LPL Research: “The last couple of years, Black Friday disappoints has been the usual story.” Seems that some fed-up shoppers cheered this year when the retailer REI declared it was opting out of Black Friday sales altogether. The relentless race for holiday dollars has blunted the day’s oomph since year-round deals in stores and online are causing sales fatigue.


Nobel Prize laureate and WashU professor Douglass C. North has died at 95. The Olin professor emeritus of law and liberty in arts and sciences joined WashU in 1983. . .Missouri is one of the states suspected of the E.coli outbreak from Costco stores’ chicken salad and consumers are asked to dispose of any packages containing it. . .What? You haven’t seen the movie classic, “Casablanca,” at least twice? If you’ve lived in outer space that would explain it. The Humphrey Bogart/Ingrid Bergman film has been hailed by critic Leonard Maltin as “The best Hollywood movie of all time.”
NOV. 26, 1942, “Casablanca” was first unreeled in N.Y.C. and since then, it’s had a lasting influence and has grown in popularity. In fact, the Brattle Theater near Harvard continues to screen the film during the week of finals every year. Iconic songs: “As Time Goes By”; “It Had to be You.” Memorable lines: Bogart to Claude Rains as they walk away in the fog, “Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”; Rains to the cops: “Round up all the usual suspects.”
WHISTLEBLOWER DOUG LAY, the student body’s 2015 Teacher at St. Louis Christian College, has written a self-published book on his experiences with the school and with First Christian Church of Florissant. Lay was given a choice – remain silent or be suspended and then dismissed – after raising questions about the way the church’s senior pastor, Steve Wingfield, handled allegations of sexual abuse against now-imprisoned ex-youth minister Brandon Milburn. It is for sale on Meanwhile, Wingfield is on a sabbatical and church attendance has reportedly slipped to less than 400 from 1,200.

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