"Jane Doe," a woman who had cosmetic surgery to remove excess skin, is suing her doctors for providing before-and-after photographs to the St. Louis alt-weekly for a 2006 story on one of the surgeons, UPI reports. She claims she was told the photos were only for the doctors' internal use. The Times, which is not a party in the suit, has more on the case here.

Continue ReadingPhotos in Riverfront Times Story Lead to Lawsuit

Earlier this month, the National Association of Black Journalists announced the winners of the 2007 Salute to Excellence Awards, which "recognize exemplary coverage of people of color or issues in the African Diaspora." Riverfront Times took home two first-place awards: Kristen Hinman for her "Basketball by the Book" series, in the Enterprise division; and Ben Westhoff for "Ace of Spaides," in the Business division. Seattle Weekly's Nina Shapiro also placed first in the Feature division for "Schooling the District."

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Win Three NABJ Awards

"My son is almost an Eagle Scout and I took him to the library so he could do some research on birds," 60-year-old Richard Greathouse says. While at the library, he picked up a copy of the St. Louis alt-weekly, and didn't like what he saw. "They use the 'F' word in there ... They have a gal here who is naked with two hearts on the front advertising DVDs for $2.95," he says. "I'm trying to raise my children as Christians and they've got a lot of Christian people that go to that library." But despite Greathouse's complaint to the library's director, the Riverfront Times isn't going anywhere. "If we took everything out of the library that was not suitable for children or teenagers we would have a very small collection and we would have a lot of patrons very upset," library director Pam Klipsch says. The paper's editor, Tom Finkel, says he respects Greathouse's freedom of speech to criticize the paper, and wishes he'd respect theirs. "It's kind of ironic that in a country where we can say what we want, someone would want to muzzle a voice because he thinks it doesn't conform to what he thinks a proper publication is," Finkel says.

Continue ReadingThe Riverfront Times ‘Should Not Be in a Public Place,’ Man Says

The St. Louis alt-weekly complied with the Missouri Attorney General's request for copies of two articles covering the 2003 protests of the World Agricultural Forum and the 27 arrests that ensued, the paper reports. The AG is defending the city in a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the protesters. The suit claims the city arrested potential demonstrators in order to "harass, intimidate, deter and to otherwise force individuals, including Plaintiffs, into silence." The trial is set to begin in July.

Continue ReadingRiverfront Times Articles Subpoenaed in Protest-Arrest Case

AAN members are well-represented in the 2006 awards given out by the Education Writers Association, with a near-sweep of "Feature, News Feature or Issue Package" for papers under 100,000 circulation. In that category, Todd Spivak of the Houston Press took home First Place for "Cut Short," while Special Citations were awarded to Willamette Week's Beth Slovic for "Illegal Scholar," the Houston Press' Margaret Downing for "Opt In, Opt Out," and New Times Broward-Palm Beach's Kelly Cramer for "FCAT Scratch Fever." Kristen Hinman of Riverfront Times received a First Place award in the "Investigative Reporting" category for her Vashon High School Series.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weeklies Take Home Five National Awards for Education Reporting

Dan Nassif (pictured) earned his place at the World Series of Poker earlier this month by beating out 80 other players on an Internet gambling site. The site then paid for his hotel room at the Las Vegas event, and, once Nassif qualified for the No-Limit Texas Hold 'Em Championship's final table, gave him $100,000. He lost on a bluff but left with $1,556,858. Nassif, now a millionaire, has no plans to leave his job at the alt-weekly, nor has he made any big purchases. "I just paid off my house," he tells AAN News. "I have a car, I have a house, I don't know what else is out there to get."

Continue ReadingRiverfront Times Ad Rep Wins $1.5 Million at World Series of Poker

The finalists in the National Association of Black Journalists' 2006 Salute to Excellence Awards were announced Friday, and six of the nine nominations in the "Newspaper - Circulation Under 150,000" division are Village Voice Media newspapers. The other three finalists are not alt-weeklies. Riverfront Times is the leader with three nominations: "Newspaper - Enterprise" for Randall Roberts' "It Was Just Like Beverly Hills"; "Newspaper - Sports" for Mike Seely's "Alley Cat"; and "Newspaper - Features" for Ben Westhoff's "Rap vs. Rapture." Dallas Observer has two contenders in the "Newspaper - Sports" category: Keven McAlester for "Balls Out" and Paul Kix for "Alone No More." Finally, Chuck Strouse of Miami New Times is nominated in the "Newspaper - Commentary" category for "Free this Priest." The awards recognize exemplary coverage of people or issues in the African diaspora. Winners will be announced August 19 at the NABJ convention in Indianapolis.

Continue ReadingVillage Voice Media Papers Dominate NABJ Finalists

The 53rd annual Unity Awards in Media, announced May 15, recognize "contributions to continuing standards of excellence in media through efforts that reflect accurate exposure of issues affecting minorities and disabled persons." Westword Editor Patty Calhoun won first place in Editorial Writing for her story "A Piece of the Action," while former Riverfront Times writer Mike Seely (now at Seattle Weekly) topped the Politics category with "The Resurrection of Carl Officer."

Continue ReadingWestword, Riverfront Times Win Unity Awards

The staff of the St. Louis alt-weekly was unable to attend when the three-year old, River Front Times, made his debut March 18 at Fairmount Park. "If we'd been able to go, I'm convinced we would have cheered him on to victory," Editor Tom Finkel tells AAN News. "But we also probably would have bet the odds down and no one would have made any money." Former staff writer and racing aficionado Mike Seely convinced the horse's owner to change his name from Pollys Jaybird last year as long as the paper paid the $100 name-registration fee. The staff is planning to attend River Front Times' next race in full force. "As usual, the hopes of our company ride on a longshot," adds Andy Van de Voorde, executive associate editor for Village Voice Media.

Continue ReadingIn First Race, Riverfront Times’ Namesake Places Second