Tuesday, December 16, 2008


The year 2008 has been definitely been a year to remember. Just this week while preppin for the Year End Eventz of 2008, St. Louis had her first winter ice storm of the Winter season cappin’ off a big year of memorable weather events, the political fate of Ill. Gov Rod Blagojavich was in the hands of the State Legislature during a year of historical measures with Hilary and Bill Clinton, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Joe Biden and Barack Obama coming to the Lou to campaign, and East St. Louis track star Dawn Harper won Gold at the Beijing Summer Olympics and St. Louis Cards Albert Pujols winning his second National League's Most Valuable Player Award deterring from the lackluster sports performance from the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams. (Photos by google search)

But before we get into the Top 10, here are a few eventz that didn’t make the cut, but also had an impact on the St. Louis community.

11. The shocking death of Lee "Rose Man" Nixon June 23, 2008

12.Boonie Hat Bandit robs several St. Louis banks

13.The Call to Oneness March June 1, 2008

14.Steve Fawcett’s plane discovery Oct 2008

15.East St. Louis trackster Dawn Harper wins Gold at Beijing Summer Olympics

10.Cardinals Ballpark Village project delay

In late 2007, Phase I for the $300 million plus Cardinal Ballpark Village project where the old Busch Stadium stood was put on hold. In January, the revised plan was to have something erected before the All Star Baseball Game in early 2009--but it looked like that’s all it would be--a plan (and face millions of fines from the city). As a result, Cards Team president Mark Lamping, who spearheaded the initial project, supposedly resigned and replaced by Bill DeWitt III, the son of Cards chair Bill DeWitt Jr.). In August, its developer, Cordish Company, cleaned up the debris, sucked out water from the gaping hole and beautified the area to get Phase I started after local political leaders put them on blast.

9.St. Louis Police Chief Mokwa retires after STL Tow Truck Scandal July 2008

St. Louis Louis'Police Chief Joe Mokwa started off the year reporting the crime figures in the city and dealing with his officers demanding more pay, but in July, Mowka had to face his own career when the Police Board voted unanimously for his “decision” to resign and a majority to receive one year’s pay and pension (dissented by Mayor Slay) after a scandal hit the department involving impounded vehicles at a St. Louis towing company and its accompanied investigation involving access ties from his troubled daughter, Aimie . Later in the year, Col. Daniel Isom was named Mokwa’s successor to Mowka. As of this writing, the investigation was ongoing.

8.The closing of Highway 64 January 2,2008

MODOT dubbed it Countdown to the Shutdown” of the closings of parts of Highway 64 in St. Louis. The campaign and project caused false panic during the first week shutdown in January and its one-year completion time. Folk got into the habit to using alternate routes and MODOT workers worked smoothly on the highway. At year’s end, the west portion of the highway was completed a month early and a celebration party was held. But the real celebration will occur when the St. Louis waits another year for the second half of Highway 64 where Kingshighway begins.

7.The Rams Season Woes Continues

What can we say about the Rams. Last year the organization had the most losingest streak in NFL history, and as of December, saw the Rams have the second worst season (2-11) this season. The Rams had crazy drama in 2008 on and off the grid iron. First, its owner Georgia Frontiere died in January after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Three months later, her children, Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez inherited Rams’ ownership and dispelled buyout rumors of the Rams. In July, running back Steven Jackson held out for two weeks within the 2008 season for a new contract via txt messages to coach Scott Linehan. He eventually returned, but injuries to his thigh muscle sidelined him on some games. In September, head coach Linehan was fired after four successive losses to start the season and replaced by defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. A month in his new role, The NFL denied the
Rams' attempt to rework a contract with Haslett that would ensure him a job beyond this season without looking at other candidates. At years end , it was speculated whether Rams’ management would keep Haslett or pursue a veteran coach and if the Rams would be bought, sold and moved out of St. Louis.

6.My Space hoax trial

This news item spurred national dialogue on what is considered an Internet crime (and we are sure some sensational TV movie). In May, the My Space suicide incident involving a young girl, Meagen Meier, went to criminal court in Los Angeles where My Space was created. In June, Ofallon resident Lori Drew, was
charged with a count of conspiracy and three counts of accessing a computer without authorization in the MySpace hoax connected to Meier’s suicide in 2006. After several starts and stops, in early December, jurors convicted Drew only on
federal misdemeanor charges and her facing up to a year in prison and a $100,000 fine.
She was facing 20 years.

5.Weather in STL (earthquake/floods/Ike)

St. Louis had its share of crazy weather. The biggest occurred when the area experience its share of earthquakes and aftershocks. The first and most impressive occurred on April 18, early Friday in the Southern Illinois area. The quake measured 5.2 on the Richter scale. Come early Monday, at least five small aftershocks were felt. The next big weather blast was the flooding in June when the levees in the Missouri area filled up swelling the Mississippi River flooding small cities, closing down businesses temporarily (like the President Casino) and moving events to safer grounds (e.g. Live “Off’ the Levee” in July). The last big weather newz item was the after effects of Hurricane Ike on Sept. 14 that caused mass destruction across the Midwest and dropped more than 6 inches of rain in the St, Louis area. Meanwhile it took FEMA two months to respond to Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt request for aid.

4.Obama Rally at the Archgrounds Oct. 18. 2008

Although Democratic Presidential-elect Obama had his first big rally in February at the Edward Jones Dome , the biggest and most historical rally took place a few days after his third Democratic debate with Republican nominee John McCain. Under the Archgrounds, over 100,000 supporters and onlookers from in and out of town (and out of the country)came to hear Obama speak on his Message of Change. The Rally became the biggest attended rally in St. Louis history.

3.City of Kirkwood tragedy Feb. 7. 2008

This local story made international headlines. In early February disgruntled Kirkwood citizen Charles Cookie Thornton (PICTURED)went on a shooting rampage at a city hall meeting where he shot seven people (five subsequently died) including Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda (who later died from other illnesses in September) before Kirkwood officers shot and killed Thornton. The city mourned months after while questions lingered in regards to Thornton’s reasons for his actions.

2.Inbev buys out Anheuser Busch

This story made international headlines. Rumors of this buyout began circling around February. In June, it was reported that the Beligum-based company wanted to purchase and takeover the cornerstone beer company for $46 billion —but not without a fight from St. Louis politicians and pundits; lawsuits from AB, and AB infighting . In July, the buyout was signed, sealed and delivered as Anheuser-Busch InBev with the transition taking place in December. At last report, thousands of jobs were going to be lost before year’s end.


1.The VP debates with candidates Sarah Palin and Joe Biden at Wash U Oct. 2, 2008

This was hands down THE newz event in St. Louis that made international headlines (second to Obama winning the Presidency of course). The 90-minute debate reportedly drew nearly 70 million U.S. television viewers(as well as Forsyth Street and classes at Wash U closed off to the public), making it the most watched vice presidential debate ever mainly due to the event’s rising star, Palin. And besides, an event that can draw international and national public leaders just to see if Palin could handle policies without looking like a Saturday Night Live sketch was what made this event very newsworthy. But for St. Louis and Wash U, it was like the Olympics putting both on the playing stage.

NOTE: The Top 10 was based on the frequency of times a story was posted on OUTTOWN, the national scope of the story and its impact aka “watercooler effect” in the St. Louis area.

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