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Sherman A1

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Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 32,452

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More layoffs at Maritz as firm pivots focus to events, automotive divisions

FENTON (MO) — Maritz, the beleaguered corporate events, travel and incentive company, is laying off hundreds more employees, spinning off a portion of its legacy business, and refocusing on two of its stronger business units.

The company filed a notice with Missouri officials on Wednesday announcing that 475 furloughed employees at the Fenton headquarters will be permanently laid off beginning in October. Then, on Friday, Chairman and CEO Steve Maritz sent an internal announcement to employees detailing “Project Phoenix,” which he said symbolized the “coming rebirth and future rise” of the company.

“These decisions reflect our need to focus our efforts to ensure the sustainability of our business,” he wrote.

A Maritz spokesman declined to comment.


After 50 years, Children's Zoo at St. Louis Zoo will close for good this fall

The Children’s Zoo, a St. Louis Zoo mainstay for more than 50 years, will close.

The attraction, formally named the Emerson Children’s Zoo, will remain open with free admission through the end of October, the zoo announced Thursday.

In spring, a dinosaur exhibit will open in its place and will stay there for a couple years as the zoo figures out what to do next with the area, which occupies 3˝ acres on the north side of the zoo. It will include something suitable for families and children.

The Children’s Zoo opened in 1969, celebrating its 50th anniversary last year.


Sad to see this feature close, but happily the Zoo itself will remain open to the public and free of charge as it always has.

Victim in Florissant killing was prominent rapper Bizzie Gambino

27-year-old man who was shot to death in Florissant, allegedly by his brother, was a prominent and promising rapper.

Derrick J. Ayers, who was killed Thursday in the 600 block of Starlet Drive, used the stage name Bizzie Gambino. Several of his songs garnered hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, including one, "Can't Stand It," that surpassed 1 million views.

Ayers' former manager, Cortez Robinson, confirmed the rapper's identity on Facebook and in an interview with KTVI. Robinson owns Murda Management, which represented him during the release of at least four songs.

Ayers' brother, William T. Miller, 22, was charged Friday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. A witness told police they heard two male relatives arguing just before the shooting, according to Florissant police.


Grocery workers say morale is at an all-time low: 'They don't even treat us like humans anymore'


This spring, for the first time, Angel Manners found purpose and pride at the supermarket where she has worked the past decade.

Customers praised her as a hero for putting herself at risk during the pandemic. Bosses boosted her hourly pay by $2. Suddenly, her job was essential.

Nearly five months in, and it is all gone.

“We’ve lost our hazard pay, and people are quitting every day,” said Manners, 43, who processes vendor deliveries at a Meijer store in northern Kentucky. “Those of us who are left are really stretched thin — working so much harder for $11.50 an hour.”
Grocery workers across the country say morale is crushingly low as the pandemic wears on with no end in sight. Overwhelmed employees are quitting mid-shift. Those who remain say they are overworked, taking on extra hours, enforcing mask requirements and dealing with hostile customers. Most retailers have done away with hazard pay even as workers remain vulnerable to infection, or worse. Employees who took sick leave at the beginning of the pandemic say they cannot afford to take unpaid time off now, even if they feel unwell.

Environmental Groups Say They Support Black People But Struggle To Advocate For Them

At least twice a week, Donna Washington tends a 15,000-square-foot garden of native flowers, fruit trees and several rows of vegetables at Jubilee Community Church in north St. Louis.

The church has received nearly $40,000 from The Nature Conservancy since 2018 to build the garden, which provides produce to local restaurants and nearby residents. But largely white mainstream environmental groups like The Nature Conservancy and the Sierra Club often are not present in predominantly Black neighborhoods and spend most of their time advocating for policies and outdoor recreation programs that do not address the needs of Black communities.

Washington, 63, has lived in the area near Jubilee Community Church for her entire life and grew up gardening with her mother and neighbors. Before working on the church’s garden, she was not aware of the conservancy. Environmental groups likely avoided Black neighborhoods like hers for decades, she said.

“They probably think we are not interested,” Washington said. “That’s because of the crime and the stereotype that Blacks don’t want anything. I think that’s mainly what it is.”


Opera Theatre Staffer Quits After Child Sexual Trafficking Arrest

Damon Bristo, Opera Theatre of St. Louis director of arts administration, resigned from the position after police arrested him last month on sex charges.

St. Louis County Police arrested Bristo on July 22 in Brentwood on suspicion of child sexual trafficking in the second degree, according to a police spokesperson.

Opera Theatre put Bristo on unpaid leave after learning of the arrest, and he later resigned, the organization said Tuesday in a statement. The disclosure came after opera singer and journalist Zach Finkelstein posted Bristo’s mugshot on Twitter and Facebook earlier in the day.

“We were shocked by the allegations of criminal activity, which have no link to his employment or role with us,” the organization’s statement reads.


Ethical Society Of Police Report Details Systemic Racism in St. Louis Police Department

The Ethical Society of Police is calling for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department to confront the systemic racism within its department.

In a report released Tuesday, the organization detailed complaints by current and former officers and other employees of corruption within the department and unfair hiring practices.

The report includes 25 recommendations to the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the city’s Department of Personnel. They include a grand jury review of in custody deaths and shootings by officers and requiring all undercover officers to wear body cameras.

Current and former officers and other police department employees worked on the report for about two months. It notes that the police department has inconsistently followed the city’s civil service rules since the city regained control of the police department in 2013 from the state.


St. Louis City SC Is The Official Name Of The Region's First Major League Soccer Team

Time to add a new team jersey to your St. Louis sports collection — St. Louis City SC.

That’s the official name of St. Louis’ Major League Soccer team. The ownership group, previously known as MLS4TheLou, announced the name, crest and colors during a virtual event on Thursday. The team’s colors are red, blue, white and yellow. The crest contains those colors, playing off the city's flag, and a graphic of the Gateway Arch.

The St. Louis City SC name was selected from a pool of thousands submitted by fans to the ownership group. It beat out suggested names like Lazer Snakes, Kicky McKickertons Football Club and the St. Louis T-Ravs.

The ownership group originally planned to release the team details at a large in-person event in March but switched to a virtual event showing cardboard cutouts of fans due to the pandemic.


Wash U Researchers Genetically Engineer Coronavirus Lookalike

Scientists need a lot of safety equipment to study the coronavirus in a research lab: biohazard suits, respirators, custom airflow systems.

Not every lab meets the safety standards to work with potentially lethal viruses — and getting certified can take years.

“There isn't really enough capacity for the current demand to work with SARS-CoV-2, so it’s created a bottleneck,” said Sean Whelan, a microbiology professor and virologist at Washington University.

To allow more labs to conduct coronavirus research, Whelan and a team of Washington University researchers devised a workaround: a genetically engineered virus.


Mark Twain National Forest Turns To Goats To Manage Invasive Plants

Removing nonnative plants from the glades and fields in a vast forest can be expensive and harmful to the environment.

That’s why Mark Twain National Forest is deploying a herd of goats to eat their way out of the problem.

Plants like blackberries and kudzu can turn a field from a grassy habitat for turkeys and quail into an overgrown thicket.

“They create a large canopy. They compete for nutrients. And then they push out and eliminate a lot of the desirable native species that we have,” said Brian Davidson, Botany and Invasive Species program manager at the Mark Twain forest.

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