Overheard on CNN.com: Santorum shakes up GOP race, but will he last?
Rick Santorum's mix of fury and folksy is working for him, says Timothy Stanley.
February 8th, 2012
01:00 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Santorum shakes up GOP race, but will he last?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Rick Santorum was thrice victorious in Tuesday's GOP contests, leading some to wonder if he's gaining momentum. Some, like opinion writer Timothy Stanley, are wondering what real impact he will have. Is Santorum the "coulda, shoulda, woulda" candidate, as Stanley asserts?

Santorum, the 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' candidate

We heard from a few Santorum supporters, who said they believe the candidate could be a good option for Republicans.

AngelThree: "He is looking better each primary. He is a devoted family man who appears to have no skeletons in his closet. He is a devout Christian who puts family first. He is a moderate who is not aggressive militarily. He truly cares about our country. He also seems to have a bit of that Kennedy mystique about him that will attract the independent voters. He does not attack the other candidates. Like all humans, he will have faults, but they seem minimal as opposed to the other candidates or the incumbent. I believe he has a chance to serve."

This reader didn't think Santorum's success over Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich would carry over in other places.

Evilchicken: "Of course the surge isn't real. States like Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota do not reflect popular opinion anywhere outside of the Midwest. Romney will win ... sadly."

There were quite a few comments from those who are not fans of Santorum, as evidenced by this comment addressed to Stanley. It was the most-liked response.

angie412: "A professor at Oxford, huh? Do you study past speeches of candidates, sir? Mr. I-Want-to-Ban-All-Abortions and Amend-the-Constitution-to-Suit-My-Own-Personal-Religious-Beliefs is the most frightening candidate I've ever seen. I can't believe, given his terrible track record of crazy, that you'd even suggest he's an appropriate candidate in any party for the President of the United States. I'd vote Bush in for a third term before I'd vote for Santorum!"

Some of the posts were about a dissatisfaction with the choices available for Election 2012. FULL POST

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Filed under: Colorado • Elections • Minnesota • Missouri • Overheard on CNN.com • Politics • Republican Party • Rick Santorum • U.S.
February 8th, 2012
01:45 AM ET

Santorum sweeps Tuesday's three GOP contests

Rick Santorum swept the three Republican presidential contests Tuesday in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado, reshaping the race and raising questions about frontrunner Mitt Romney's ability to attract broad conservative support.

Santorum's trifecta halts front-runner Mitt Romney's momentum after the former Massachusetts governor had won the previous two contests and three of the first five prior to Tuesday.

Santorum claims momentum after 3-state sweep

FULL STORY
January 28th, 2012
04:17 PM ET

Flag-waving parade crowd in St. Louis honors veterans

Sunny skies, a large billowing U.S. flag and an appreciative crowd greeted hundreds of Iraq war veterans who marched Saturday in St. Louis in a first-of-its kind "welcome home" ceremony.

Some participants rode motorcycles, while others rode in military trucks or on floats.

Many more veterans walked, waving to thousands who lined downtown streets.

Even a local institution, Anheuser-Busch's Clydesdale horse team, took part in "Welcome Home the Heroes."

Grassroots organizers billed the parade and related activities as the first such event in a major U.S. city.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Military • Missouri • U.S. • Veterans
November 16th, 2011
04:33 PM ET

Prosecutor: Mother will be charged in boy's slaying

[Updated at 7:42 p.m. ET] The mother of a 1-year-old boy found dead in Missouri will be charged with killing him, the St. Louis County prosecutor told reporters Wednesday.

The mother, Shelby Dasher, will be charged with second-degree murder, prosecutor Bob McCulloch said.

The accusation comes after the medical examiner ruled that Tyler Daniel Dasher died from multiple blunt force trauma, McCulloch said.

"Ms. Dasher during the interrogation has acknowledged ... she repeatedly struck the baby, primarily because the baby was not cooperating; the baby was crying, the baby was not laying down and wouldn't go back to sleep," he said.

Tyler's body was found in a wooded area about a mile from his home Tuesday. He was reported missing earlier that day.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Crime • Missouri
Ex-Cardinals star dies days after ceremonial Game 7 pitch
Former Cardinal Bob Forsch throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the World Series in St. Louis on October 28.
November 4th, 2011
03:37 PM ET

Ex-Cardinals star dies days after ceremonial Game 7 pitch

Bob Forsch, the only St. Louis Cardinal to throw two no-hitters and the third-winningest Cardinal pitcher ever, died Thursday after collapsing in his Florida home, the team and MLB.com reported.

Forsch’s death came six days after the 61-year-old threw the ceremonial first pitch at the seventh and deciding game of the World Series in St. Louis. The Cardinals won their 11th championship that night, defeating the Texas Rangers 6-2.

"Having been with Bob just last week, we are all stunned by this news," Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said in a Cardinals news release.

“Bob was one of the best pitchers in the history of our organization and a valued member of the Cardinals family," DeWitt said.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Baseball • Missouri • Sports
Cardinals' La Russa retiring
October 31st, 2011
12:17 PM ET

Cardinals' La Russa retiring

Tony La Russa, the manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, announced Monday he is retiring after 33 seasons as a manager in professional baseball. The Cardinals capped an improbable comeback last week by defeating the Texas Rangers to win the World Series.

"It's just time to do something else," he told reporters at Busch Stadium. "I know if I came back, I'd come back for the wrong reasons, and I couldn't do that."

La Russa, 67, ranks third in baseball history in managerial victories with 2,728, behind Connie Mack (3,731) and John McGraw (2,763). He is the only manager in Major League Baseball history to win multiple pennants in both leagues and the second to win a World Series title in each.

After 16 years as manager of the Cardinals, he broke the news to the team Sunday night in the weight room. "I was encouraged that some grown men cried," he said. "I kinda liked that because they made me cry a few times."

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Missouri • Sports
October 23rd, 2011
09:48 PM ET

Surveillance video from night girl disappeared turned over to authorities

Friends and family gathered Sunday for an emotional prayer vigil for a missing 11-month-old Missouri girl as new surveillance video surfaced from the night Lisa Irwin disappeared.

The video, taken from a BP gas station less than two miles from the home where Lisa was last seen, shows an unidentified person walking along the road around 2:15 a.m. October 4.

The station manager, Anuj Arora, said it's unusual to see anyone walking at that time of night in the region.

Arora, who shared the video with CNN on Sunday, said he also turned it over to authorities investigating Lisa's disappearance in hopes it will help in the search for the girl.

The FBI and Kansas City police declined to comment on the video, citing the ongoing investigation.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Missing Children • Missouri
October 17th, 2011
10:58 AM ET

Mother: I was drunk when Missouri infant disappeared

The mother of Lisa Irwin, an 11-month old Missouri girl missing for nearly two weeks, said in an interview she was drunk the night the infant disappeared.

Deborah Bradley made the admission during an NBC interview, portions of which were aired Monday on "Today."

She also said she last saw Lisa at 6:40 p.m. October 3, when she put the girl to bed, not at 10:30 p.m., as initially believed.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Missouri
October 14th, 2011
06:27 PM ET

Family hopes videos of missing girl keep spotlight on case

Videos of a missing Missouri child, released this week by her family, are snapshots of a happier time.

In one video taken by mother Deborah Bradley, 11-month-old Lisa Irwin is staring into the camera, smiling and cooing.

"Say hi to Momma," Bradley says in the video. ‚ÄúLook at that messy baby.‚ÄĚ

Lisa is wearing an outfit that says ‚ÄúDaddy Loves Me.‚ÄĚ

Lisa's family released three home videos of the girl - recorded in the spring - on Thursday, hoping to keep her image in the spotlight. The family says it last saw Lisa about 10:30 p.m. October 3, asleep in a crib in her Kansas City home, according to police.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Missing Children • Missouri
On the Radar: Kansas City curfew, Norway island visit, mortgage rates
Mounted police patrol in Kansas City, Missouri.
August 19th, 2011
06:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Kansas City curfew, Norway island visit, mortgage rates

Three things you need to know today.

Kansas City curfew: Kansas City, Missouri, is imposing a 9 p.m. curfew for those age 17 and younger in five areas of the city after violence last weekend in which three teens were wounded by gunfire in the city's Country Club Plaza entertainment district.

Last Saturday's gunfire occurred just yards from the city's mayor, Sly James, who was making an appearance in the Plaza district to address problems of large groups of teens gathering in some of the city's entertainment and shopping areas, CNN affiliate KCTV reported.

The new curfew, which the City Council passed Thursday night and the mayor is expected to sign Friday, will cover the city's downtown, Westport, Zona Rosa and 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District as well as Country Club Plaza, according to local media reports. It will be in effect through the last Sunday in September and will begin again the Friday before Memorial Day.

Violators face fines of up to $500 and court costs, KCTV reported.

Kansas City is the second major city this month to impose earlier curfews in popular entertainment districts. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began earlier curfews last weekend in reaction to violence from mobs of teens.

Norway massacre: The families of the victims of a mass shooting rampage on a Norwegian island are due to visit the scene Friday, a month after two attacks plunged the Scandinavian nation into mourning.

Sixty-nine people died July 22 on Utoya island, where hundreds of mostly young people were gathered for a summer camp held by the youth wing of the governing Labour Party.  Eight others died in the bombing of Oslo government buildings hours earlier.

Anders Breivik, the man accused of carrying out both attacks, is expected to appear in court in Oslo on Friday.

Police or prosecutors are expected to speak to reporters after his appearance, which will not be open to the public or media.

Mortgage rates: The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan dipped to 4.15% this week, the lowest level recorded in 50 years, CNNMoney reports.

The average rate beat the previous low of 4.17%, set last November, according to mortgage backer Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed rate loan was 3.36%, according to the report.

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Filed under: Crime • Curfews • Economy • Missouri • Norway • On the Radar
August 17th, 2011
09:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Reopening of Joplin schools, Syria violence, Yosemite deaths

Back to school in Joplin - Wednesday is the start of the school year for students in Joplin, Missouri, a bittersweet time for a town still rebuilding from a May tornado that killed more than 150 people.

For Joplin's 2,200 high school students, reopening the schools means separating grades that usually study in the same building. Ninth- and 10th-graders will go to an existing middle school, while upperclassmen will attend classes at a mall.

Officials say the mall was the only place big enough to house the students. The school district spent $5.5 million to convert a 95,000-square-foot retail facility.

"Every time I drive by it, it's still really sad," said senior Lydia McAllister, looking at the ruins of Joplin High School, one of 10 school buildings damaged or destroyed by the storm.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • On the Radar • Syria
August 13th, 2011
05:59 PM ET

Suspect charged with murder in child's disappearance

A 43-year-old Missouri man has been charged with first-degree murder in the disappearance of a 3-year-old girl last seen a week ago riding her bicycle.

Authorities were searching Saturday for Breeann Rodriguez's body and bicycle in an undisclosed area in Dunklin County, the Senath Police Department and Dunklin County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

A $45,000 reward - $25,000 from the FBI and $20,000 from the Senath Marshal's office - has been offered for information leading to Breeann's recovery and the prosecution of those responsible.

FULL STORY
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Filed under: Crime • Missing Children • Missouri
August 10th, 2011
12:53 PM ET

Single mom lets fly at Wall Street, downgrades S&P with her own pink slip

A lot of people are ticked about the U.S. economy.

There’s the torpid pace of job growth, the plummeting markets and the partisan gridlock that Standard and Poor’s cited in downgrading the nation’s debt last week.

But at whom do you lash out? Where do you vent? Is there a feasible way to convey your angst to the myriad players responsible for landing the U.S. in this financial morass?

Lucy Nobbe apparently thinks so.

The Kirkwood, Missouri, securities executive and single mother rented a plane to fly over Wall Street towing a banner that read, ‚ÄúThanks for the downgrade. You should all be fired.‚ÄĚ

Nobbe originally wanted to fly the sign over Washington, she told CNN affiliate KSDK-TV in St. Louis, but there’s a no-fly zone over the nation’s capital.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Economy • Finance • Missouri • New York • Protest • U.S.
Heat a threat to man and machine
The National Weather Service says it's dangerously hot in 15 states.
August 4th, 2011
12:41 PM ET

Heat a threat to man and machine

Dallas has seen a solid month of triple-digit temperatures, and 15 states are under National Weather Service heat advisories. To put those figures into some historical and scientific context, here's a round of hot-weather factoids. If you're in one of those 15 sweltering states, please drink a glass of water while you read them.

  • NOAA has records of heat-related fatalities going back to 1986. For the first decade of data, the number of deaths did not top double digits until a disastrous 1995, when 1,021 people died. According to NOAA, about 700 of those deaths were in Chicago.
  • Between 1986 and 1997, the median annual number of heat-related fatalities was 36. Between 1998 and 2010, it was 158.
  • Seven high temperature records were broken Wednesday, and six were tied in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri.
  • In parts of Missouri, the previous record was from the day before. Wednesday's high of 110 degrees beat out the all-time high of 106 that was set Tuesday.
  • Participants in the raw foods movement do not eat food that has been prepared at temperatures greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. They should therefore steer clear of picnicking in Dallas or Oklahoma City, where today's forecast high is 110 degrees.
  • Scientists say the average temperature on Earth during the Cretaceous period was just a chilly 82 degrees, though individual locations were much hotter.
  • Apple recommends not operating its iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone in temperatures greater than 95 degrees. They can be stored at up to 113 degrees, but parked cars get hotter than that.
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Filed under: Arkansas • Heat • Kansas • Missouri • Oklahoma • Texas • U.S. • Weather
Heat sickens children on basketball court
The temperature reached 102 degrees Fahrenheit on Tuesday in the St. Louis area.
August 3rd, 2011
03:07 PM ET

Heat sickens children on basketball court

Police responding to a call about four dead bodies on a Missouri basketball court found two adults and two children alive but suffering from exposure to the heat, CNN affiliate KSDK reported Tuesday.

Officers in Pine Lawn woke the adults, who said they were merely napping. But the two children, ages 3 and 4, were drenched in perspiration and urine and had steam rising from their bodies, KSDK reported.

The children were hospitalized. The woman, who is the children's mother, was arrested and may be charged with parental neglect, the station reported.

Pine Lawn is 10 miles northwest of St. Louis. The temperature in the area reached 102 degrees Tuesday, KSDK reported.

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Filed under: Heat • Missouri • St. Louis • Weather
Missouri law bans some teacher-student contact on Facebook, other sites
A new Missouri law makes it a crime for teachers and students to contact each other privately via social networking sites.
August 1st, 2011
02:54 PM ET

Missouri law bans some teacher-student contact on Facebook, other sites

A new law in Missouri that makes it illegal for teachers to privately contact current or former students on Facebook and other social networking sites is not a friend of education, teaching professionals told CNN on Monday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jane Cunningham and signed into law by Gov. Jay Nixon, is set to take effect August 28, about two weeks after the school year has started for the majority of Missouri schools.

Cunningham was quick to point out Monday that despite what was being circulated on the Web about the law it didn't stop teachers from talking to students online.

"The law doesn't prohibit social media contact," Cunningham told CNN. "If anybody says it does then they have not read the law," she said. "It just stops exclusivity, we just want those conversations to be available to the parents and school districts,‚ÄĚ Cunningham said.

So while social networking sites would be OK - as long as the communication was public - conversations that take place, say, in Facebook's built-in e-mail feature or Twitter's direct messaging feature may be unlawful.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Facebook • Missouri • Technology • Twitter • U.S.
Beetles buried to boost breeding
An American burying beetle perches on the wing of a dead bird. This species of beetle is endangered.
June 17th, 2011
02:45 PM ET

Beetles buried to boost breeding

What do you do with one of the world's most endangered insects? Throw it in a hole with a dead animal, of course.

That's exactly what about 35 scientists, foresters and volunteers did this week with 150 pairs of American burying beetles in Ohio's Wayne National Forest, said Bob Merz, director of the Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation at the St. Louis Zoo.

FULL POST

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Filed under: Animals • Environment • Insects • Missouri • Ohio • Rhode Island • Science
Joplin tornado's death toll at 153, city says
Soldiers from Fort Riley, Kansas, help remove debris from a Joplin neighborhood five days after the tornado hit the city.
June 13th, 2011
06:58 PM ET

Joplin tornado's death toll at 153, city says

The death toll from the tornado that devastated much of Joplin, Missouri, on May 22 has risen to 153, the city said Monday.

The count includes one person who died as a result of a rare fungal infection contracted after the person was injured by the tornado, Jasper County Coroner Rob Chappel said. Two other people who died also had the infection, but in those cases, injuries from the tornado were the primary causes of death, Chappel said Monday.

Also included in the toll is Riverside police Officer Jefferson Taylor, who was struck by lightning the day after the twister. Taylor, one of the many emergency personnel from outside Joplin who assisted the city, would not have been on duty there were it not for the tornado, Chappel said.

The previous death toll, reported last week, was 151.

The tornado cut a path of destruction nearly 14 miles long - nearly 7 miles of which were in city limits - and up to 1 mile wide. The southwest Missouri city has a population of about 50,000.

More than 9,200 residents of  Jasper and Newton counties have filed for federal assistance, the city said.

The following are the names of the 153 victims:

Jose Alveraz

Ma De Lourdes Alverez-Torres

Barbara Anderson

FULL POST

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Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • Tornadoes • Weather
June 13th, 2011
02:40 PM ET

Missouri River levee breaks near Iowa-Missouri border, officials say

A 50-foot-wide breach occurred Monday in a levee on the Missouri River near the Iowa-Missouri border, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The "full breach" occurred in about five minutes, the Corps said in a statement. It said it is the fourth in the area and "is just south of the previous three partial breaches." The break was in Atchison County, Missouri, just south of Hamburg, Iowa, it said.

A breach earlier this month prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people in the area as a precaution. No evacuations were occurring as a result of Monday's breach, officials said.

However, "people's safety is our number one concern, so we want to stress how important it is for the public to stay off these levees as we continue to assess the risk," Omaha Corps District Commander Col. Bob Ruch said in the statement.

State and local emergency management officials were notified, the Corps said, and are working closely with the Corps along with the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It was too early to determine the cause of the breach, the Corps said. But it follows weeks of high flows and record releases from dams in Montana and the Dakotas. Heavy rains and snow pack runoff could result in near-record flooding along parts of the Missouri this year, officials have said.

This year's flooding is putting levees to the test along much of the 1,700 miles of the Missouri. Temporary levees are being built in several locations.

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Filed under: Iowa • Missouri
 Art aids Joplin
June 9th, 2011
01:40 PM ET

Artists selling original prints to benefit Joplin

As tornado cleanup continues in Joplin, Missouri, graphic artists in St. Louis are lending their talents to the effort.

The marketing and design firm Moosylvania is selling original prints that its art directors designed that pay homage to Joplin. The prints are $25 each and can be viewed and purchased here through PayPal. All proceeds benefit the United Way Small Business Fund, said Brook Boyer, who came up with the idea for the campaign.

Her family is from Joplin.

"I wanted to do something, and I asked our art directors if they would help," she said. "They all jumped in. I was so touched by how hard they worked on this. I'm really proud that we could do our small part to help."

The artwork has been available online for a week, and 200 prints have been sold.

To contact the United Way and find out how to help Joplin tornado survivors, visit their website.

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Filed under: Joplin • Missouri • Tornadoes • Weather
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