Category Archives: News

Ballpark Village phase two

By: Neal Kisor, News Writer


People of St. Louis are passionate about baseball. One would be hard pressed to find someone not sporting a Cardinals hat or other paraphernalia in support of the team.  Though, nothing has emphasized St. Louis’ love for Cardinals baseball more than the ambitious Ballpark Village.

Ballpark Village (or BPV) broke ground back in February 2013 under a $100 million dollar budget. Since that point Ballpark Village, located on Clark Street, has become a hotspot for entertainment and a gathering point for fans of baseball, not just the Cardinals. The Village contains many restaurants, places for active nightlife, and many other activities.

Now, the St. Louis Cardinals have announced their plan to begin “Phase II” of Ballpark Village’s development. The new phase, which has a budget of $260 million and a territory of 550,000 square feet, hopes to complete a 29-story residential tower, a new Class-A office building, and even more restaurant and entertainment space. The project is so large in scale that Clark Street shall be fully encompassed in Ballpark Village. Continue reading

Why’re secrets kept secret in journalism

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

Recently, the news has been full of stories of sexual harassment at top levels of industry. “Like firefighters who run into a fire, journalists run toward a story,” MSNBC’s Katy Tur told us. Unless it’s a story that reflects badly on their profession or their politics. Then it’s kept quiet. As with Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood, sexual assault and harassment by journalists can be an “open secret,” but that just means it’s a secret from the rest of us, one they know, but don’t tell.

Maybe it’s too much to blame Hollywood folks for not speaking out sooner.  As Andrew Klavan notes, the career risks were colossal:  “Accusing a powerful person can destroy your career, your bank account, and your life — and may get you nowhere. It might be heroic to try, but we admire heroes because they are extraordinary. Most of us are ordinary. That’s what ordinary means.” Continue reading

Released documents show planned Cuban invasion

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

U.S. military planners estimated they would need 261,000 troops and between 10 to 15 days to invade Cuba, oust its dictator, Fidel Castro, and take control of the country, an Aug. 8, 1962, memo for the John F. Kennedy administration shows.

“In order to seize control of key strategic areas in Cuba within 10-15 days with minimum casualties to both sides about 261,000 US military personnel would participate in the operation,” said the memo addressed to the “Special Group” developing plans to remove Castro.

The memo was one of almost 2,900 files released Thursday by the National Archives as part of the final disclosure of files collected in the investigation of Kennedy’s assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

While this and other documents had nothing to do with the actual assassination, it was included in the files because of the connection between Kennedy’s desire to remove Castro from power, his support of Cuban exiles to help him and the affinity of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald for the Castro government.
Continue reading

Former presidents unite for relief

By: Neal Kisor, News Writer

All five former living United States presidents took the stage during a Hurricane relief concert on Saturday, October 21st. The concert, held at Texas A&M’s Reed Arena, hoped to raise money for Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

George H.W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton,  George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all stood together to show support for the victims. Also in attendance were Senator Ted Cruz, Texas governor Greg Abbott, House Speaker Joe Straus, and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Lady Gaga was the headliner of the night, and tweeted a picture of her standing behind all five presidents after the performance where she stated, “Nothing more beautiful than everyone putting their differences aside to help humanity in the face of catastrophe.” Continue reading

Boy Scouts no longer just for boys

By; Neal Kisor, News Writer 

Recently, there’s been a good bit of controversy regarding the Boy Scouts. Specifically in regards to membership, and whether girls can really be considered Boy Scouts. The Scouts have always been surrounded by a good deal of controversy. At the beginning of 2014 the Scouts allowed the entrance of homosexual boys into the program, opening the program to a wider variety of boys.

Earlier this year, the Boy Scouts allowed the entrance of transgender boys into the program. Previously, the decision was based on the gender stated on a child’s birth certificate. Now, the decision is based on the gender listed on a child’s application into the Cub Scouts.

With the acceptance of different orientations some have been wondering, “What about the girls?” Well, the Scouts have announced that, as of January 1st, 2018, girls will be allowed to enter the Boy Scout’s of America program officially. Continue reading

Weinstein under watch as allegations surface

By: Neal Kisor, News Writer

Co-Founder of Miramax and film producer Harvey Weinstein has been under fire this past week from allegations of sexual misconduct.

Dozens of prominent actresses, singers, models, employees, and writers have come forward with allegations against the film giant. According to the allegations Weinstein would invite, or otherwise coerce, women to perform sexual acts with him whether they gave consent or not.

These allegations have surfaced after years of hushed controversy revolving around Weinstein’s perverse attitude and actions. Other mentions of Weinstein’s actions before this past week have been brushed off and disregarded. This overwhelming outcry is impossible to ignore. Continue reading

U.S. forces tumble Raqqa

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

The Islamic State’s capital in Syria fell to U.S.-backed forces Tuesday, the most significant defeat for the militant group since it burst onto the world stage three years ago as a seemingly invincible force. The defeat of the Islamic State, or ISIS, in Raqqa after a four-month battle with U.S.- backed forces leaves only remnants of the group along the Euphrates River Valley stretching between Iraq and Syria. ISIS fighters have been pushed out of most of their major strongholds in both countries, bringing to a crashing end the group’s ambitious vow to create a powerful “caliphate” it would rule across the Middle East.

The announcement of Raqqa’s liberation was made by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by U.S. air power, advisers and weapons. Continue reading

U.S. troops call for air support in Niger

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

An Army special forces combat patrol in the west African nation of Niger did not anticipate resistance and called for air support one hour after being attacked by ISIS-affiliated militants, the Pentagon’s top general said Monday. French fighter jets arrived to support the besieged troops on Oct. 4, but four U.S. soldiers were dead, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a briefing at the Pentagon. “This area is inherently dangerous,” Dunford said. The 12-member U.S. patrol did not anticipate being attacked and U.S. rules for troops in the area prohibit missions when attacks are likely, he said.
Dunford identified the attackers as an “ISIS-affiliated” group and characterized the attack as complex, “a pretty tough firefight.” He said the attackers used small arms, rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns. When Sgt. La David Johnson was determined to be missing, “the full weight” of the U.S. government was brought to bear to find him, Dunford said. Johnson’s body was recovered on Oct. 6. Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Washington; Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; and Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Georgia, were killed along with Johnson in Niger. Five Nigerien troops were killed in the attack. Niger is a former French colony. The Pentagon is investigating whether the mission changed after the patrol went out, Dunford said, and whether the troops were adequately equipped, how Johnson got separated from the rest of his unit. The White House was notified once Johnson was determined to be missing, Dunford said. Dunford said there was “no utility” in comparing the Niger attack to the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which the U.S. ambassador and three others were killed by Islamist militants. The loss of four soldiers makes the Niger attack “a big deal to me,” he said. Continue reading

Medal of Honor given to medic after forty years

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor


President Trump presented the Medal of Honor on Monday to an Army medic who treated more than 60 wounded soldiers behind enemy lines in a place they weren’t supposed to be during the Vietnam War. Capt. Gary Michael Rose spent four days in the jungles of Laos tending to the wounded, even after he himself was wounded by shrapnel that pierced through his foot. It was a sensitive mission, code-named “Operation Tailwind,” shrouded in secrecy until a now-discredited CNN report accused Rose’s unit of wrongdoing in 1998. A Pentagon investigation exonerated them, and Monday’s Medal of Honor provides further vindication of Rose’s valor in the 1970 mission. “For many years the story of Mike’s heroism had gone untold,” Trump said Monday alongside Rose, who goes by Mike. “But today we gather to tell the world of his valor and proudly present him with our nation’s highest military honor.” The medal, Trump said, “will enshrine him into the history of our nation.”

Now 69 and retired in Alabama, Rose says he considers the honor “a collective medal.” “I want to accept this in honor of all the men and women who fought in that era,” he told reporters outside the White House Monday, wearing the green beret that’s the trademark of Army special forces. He said the service of that generation continues to this day. “All of the Vietnam veterans I know of continue to serve this country in all kinds of capacities,” he said. Continue reading

JFK investigation report to be released

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor


Thousands of pages of long-classified documents about the investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy will be released to the public this week on the order of President Trump. The documents are expected to be released by Thursday and will likely contain multiple references to the activities of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City, where he traveled in September 1963, just two months before he shot and killed Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. Those documents, said Kennedy assassination expert and author Gerald Posner, could be embarrassing to prominent Mexicans, who may have provided information to the CIA and other U.S. agencies in the days before and after the assassination. “There may not be deep, dark secrets in there, but the release could be embarrassing to people who were involved,” said Posner, author of the 1993 book Case Closed, which determined that Oswald acted alone in killing Kennedy. “You have to remember that Mexico City in the 1960s was a hodge-podge of intrigue where everyone was spying on everyone else,” said Posner. Continue reading