ST. LOUIS (AP) — Richard "Dick" Thien, a veteran journalist who played a pivotal role in developing USA Today for Gannett Co. Inc., has died. He was 73.
Thien died Friday of natural causes at Missouri Baptist Hospital in suburban St. Louis, his son, Mark Thien, said Monday. Thien was a two-time cancer survivor.
In 1981, Gannett's CEO, Al Neuharth, chose Thien to be one of five prototype editors for USA Today, the nation's first national general-interest newspaper that made its debut the following year. USA Today immediately made a splash with its colorful look, frequent use of graphics and shorter, tighter stories, setting a trend followed by many newspapers around the world.
Thien was described in the book "The Making of McPaper: The Inside Story of USA Today," as "a gruff, cigar-chewing type who barked like an old-time city editor."
The Associated Press named Thien one of the 12 best editors in the country in 1986. It was among many awards he won in a career that spanned more than four decades.
Thien grew up in St. Louis and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 1963.
He worked at newspapers in several states and was a longtime coach in the Chips Quinn Scholar program for young minority journalists. He also taught journalism at the State University of New York in Binghamton, the University of Kansas and at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he earned a master's degree in journalism in 1998.
Thien was a first lieutenant in the Army in the 1960s.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Elaine, three children and three grandchildren. A funeral service is Friday at Kutis Affton Chapel in suburban St. Louis.
The father of Florida teen Trayvon Martin is hoping his son's death can become a message of peace. '
Tracy Martin spoke to several hundred people who gathered at Forest Park Sunday night for PeaceFest 2013. The annual event focuses on ending violence on St. Louis streets.
Martin told festival-goers men have key role to play in bringing peace to a community. "We as men, we need to go back into the communities and start mentoring the kids," Martin said. "And just show them that they are loved and that their lives do matter."
Yesterday's festivities were sponsored by A Better Family Life, a local organization that focuses on bring about positive change for families and neighborhoods.
St. Louis restaurateur Jim Mattingly is being remembered fondly by friends, family and customers after dying suddenly Sunday morning of an apparent heart attack. Mattingly was 64 years old.
The north county native founded the popular Mattingly's Restaurant in Florissant with his mother in 1971. A second location was later opened in St. Charles.
The public visitation will be held at Hutchens Mortyary on Graham road Wednesday from 1:00-9:00 p.m. A funeral service at North County Community Church Thursday at 10:00 am.
The family is asking that instead of flowers, donations be made in Mattingly's memory to the Greater St. Louis Area Major Case Squad, 700 North 5th Street, Belleville, IL 62220.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - An environmental group is heading to court in another attempt to overturn the way Missouri officials have implemented a 2008 ballot initiative about renewable energy.
The initiative requires investor-owned utilities to tap renewable energy sources for at least 5 percent of their electricity by 2014, with that amount gradually rising to 15 percent by 2021.
In 2011, the Legislature blocked part of an administrative rule that would have required the electricity from renewable energy sources to be produced or sold in Missouri. The result is that utilities have been able to purchase credits for renewable energy produced by others.
A lawsuit filed this past week on behalf of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment challenges the legal basis for the Legislature's action.
There's good news for I-70 drivers. The Blanchette Bridge is back to five lanes in each direction.
MoDOT reports that crews finished work well ahead of this morning's deadline, opening all lanes on both spans Saturday.
Transportation officials say drivers should expect occasional lane closures middays and overnight as crews finish work on the underside of the bridge structure.
The bulk of the work on the $64 million project has been completed two months ahead of schedule.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A budding rift over the use of protected rivers and streams in south-central Missouri for baptisms is over before it really got started.
Republican U.S. Representative Jason Smith raised concerns in a letter this week to Ozark National Scenic Riverways superintendent William Black about permits required for baptisms. The riverways is part of the National Park Service, providing oversight for sections of the Jacks Fork and Current rivers, along with creeks and streams near those rivers.
Smith questioned why a government agency would get in the way of river baptisms, a tradition of rural Missouri life.
Black responded in a letter to Smith Thursday saying the permit issue was a misunderstanding, and that he was clarifying policy to ensure that no permit is required.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) — A 36-year-old mother is charged with making her oldest children sell drugs and raising them in a bug-infested home.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Carrie Ryan of O'Fallon is charged in St. Charles County with one count of felony child endangerment and two counts of misdemeanor child endangerment. No attorney is listed for her in online court records.
Police say Ryan is an alcoholic, and when they arrived at her home, she was extremely intoxicated. Officers said Ryan's home was filthy and was infested with bedbugs, fleas and lice.
Police also said her 3-year-old daughter hadn't been treated for head lice, even though she'd had them since at least July 29th. Police say the children are in the care of a relative.
LEBANON, Mo. (AP) — A jury has recommended the death penalty for a man convicted of killing an elderly couple who interrupted a burglary at their south-central Missouri home in July 2010.
The jury that was brought to Laclede County from Franklin County deliberated about four hours Friday afternoon before reaching its recommendation for 33-year-old Jesse Driskill of Lebanon, Missouri.
The same panel convicted Driskill on Wednesday of first-degree murder in the deaths of 82-year-old Johnnie Wilson and 76-year-old Coleen Wilson at their secluded home near Lebanon. Both were shot, and Coleen Wilson was raped before their killer tried to burn their bodies.
Laclede County Circuit Judge Kenneth Hayden will consider the jury's recommendation when he sentences Driskill on November 5th.
Besides murder, Driskill was also convicted of rape, sodomy, burglary and armed criminal action.
GOLDEN CITY, Mo. (AP) — A man has been charged with abducting, sexually assaulting and killing a 12-year-old girl whose body was found earlier in the week in southwest Missouri.
Thirty-four-year-old Bobby Bourne Junior of Lockwood was charged Friday in Barton County with child kidnapping, forcible and statutory rape and first-degree murder. Bourne is being held on $2 million bond. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.
His alleged victim, Adriaunna Horton, was reported missing Monday shortly after she was last seen getting into a vehicle in Golden City, where she lived with her father. Bourne was arrested about two hours later in Golden City.
Horton's body was found Wednesday on private land in a rural area in neighboring Dade County.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A conservative Missouri political committee says it may recruit candidates to run in primary elections against Republican legislators who vote against an income tax cut.
Bev Randles chairs The Missouri Club for Growth, which is part of a coalition urging lawmakers to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of the tax-cut legislation.
Randles said Friday her group won't support the re-election bid of anyone who votes against the veto override and likely would look for a challenger to set up a 2014 primary.
The head of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry also said the tax-cut legislation would be a high priority as it rates lawmakers.
The Legislature is to convene September 11th to consider overriding bills vetoed by Nixon. Republicans hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate.