The best hot chocolate of all time. Seriously.

The best part about winter is hot chocolate. I think we can all agree on that.Think of it: You’re out in the snow. Your feet are wet. Your toes ache. Your nose is running. You can’t feel your fingers. You have been shivering so long you don’t remember what it is like to not shiver.And then you come into a house and someone hands you a steaming cup of hot chocolate. And suddenly you are suffused with happiness and warmth.It doesn’t even have to be good hot chocolate. You have much the same reaction even if the hot chocolate came in powdered form out of one of those paper envelopes.So think of h...

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Gov. Parson considering deploying National Guard to help Missouri's hospitals

ST. LOUIS — State and local officials, scrambling to prepare for an overwhelming surge of COVID-19 patients, are in talks to stem the tide, including options such as building a field hospital, canceling all but the most urgent medical procedures and deploying the Missouri National Guard to relieve health care staffing shortages.Hospital leaders are even discussing how to choose which patients to serve first when resources are limited.They hope it never reaches that point, the chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, Dr. Alex Garza, said on Friday. But task force projections sho...

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McCloskeys sue UPI, photographer over iconic image confronting protesters

ST. LOUIS — Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the gun-toting couple who gained recognition after confronting protesters passing by their St. Louis home, have sued a United Press International photographer and the wire service, alleging a photo that has risen to international prominence was taken on their property.In a lawsuit filed Friday in St. Louis Circuit Court, the McCloskeys accuse UPI photographer Bill Greenblatt of trespassing to capture one of the most iconic images of the confrontation between the McCloskeys and protesters on their way to Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.The couple, known for b...

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Could common vaccine given to kids help prevent COVID-19 in adults?

ST. LOUIS — Washington University School of Medicine is helping lead an ambitious, worldwide study to see if giving adults the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine — a common vaccine administered to young children — could help protect against infection from the coronavirus.The study aims to enroll up to 30,000 health care workers globally, including 500 to 1,000 in the St. Louis area.Washington University is leading the trial along with the University College London and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.The MMR vaccine was approved nearly 50 years ago and has since been given s...

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Plant your garden now for fall harvest

ST. LOUIS — The clock is ticking.If you want the freshest broccoli, kale, carrots and more this fall, the time to plant it is now. It might even taste better than the same veggies you plant in the spring.I’ll admit, this is news to me. I am not a gardener. I thought that people wrap up all of their gardening around this time of year, throw a padlock around their tomato plants, and don’t plant a thing until next year.But for several crops, planting a garden in late summer is the way to go, especially in St. Louis’ gardening zone.According to Justin H. Keay, a local specialist with the Universit...

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Attorney for St. Louis couple who waved guns at protesters turns handgun over to police

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Lawyer Albert Watkins on Saturday turned over to police what he said was the handgun that city resident Patricia McCloskey had waved at protesters June 28. Police served a search warrant Friday at the Portland Place home of Mark and Patricia McCloskey and seized the rifle that Mark McCloskey had brandished that evening.The couple made national headlines after they stood in their yard holding a rifle and a handgun and shouted at a crowd of protesters marching through the neighborhood on their way to St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson’s house.Watkins said he took possession of the han...

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'I'd do it all again,' says gun-toting lawyer who confronted St. Louis protesters from his yard

ST. LOUIS — Mark McCloskey had readied his home for violent activists. Days before protesters came to Portland Place, McCloskey had left fire extinguishers in every room on the lower level of his mansion. He had a rifle at the ready in his living room, just inside the door.McCloskey had watched television coverage of the 7-Eleven store in downtown St. Louis that was burned to the ground by rioters on June 1 and worried about something similar happening in his gated community in the Central West End, not far from the mayor’s home.Protests remained mostly peaceful in the month since then, especi...

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Missouri loses bid to shut down last abortion clinic in state

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A state judge Friday ruled against an attempt by Gov. Mike Parson’s administration to shut down the lone abortion clinic in Missouri.In a 97-page decision, Administrative Hearing Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi said Planned Parenthood demonstrated that it meets the requirements for renewal of its abortion facility license in St. Louis.“Planned Parenthood has demonstrated that it provides safe and legal abortion care. In over 4,000 abortions provided since 2018, the department has only identified two causes to deny its license,” Dandamudi wrote.“Ultimately, we have n...

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar is in the mix for Joe Biden's running mate

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Vice President Joe Biden is now the presumed Democratic presidential nominee, so expect a couple of months of speculation about Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., as a possible running mate.At his debate on March 15 with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Biden pledged to pick a woman as his vice presidential candidate.The next day, the Washington Post put Klobuchar second on a list of likely prospects behind California Sen. Kamala Harris. That echoes speculation by pundits and insiders who cite Klobuchar’s swift endorsement of Biden after she dropped out of the race ahead of Super Tu...

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St. Louis saw the deadly 1918 Spanish flu epidemic coming -- and shutting down the city saved countless lives

ST. LOUIS — It started in a dusty and desolate corner of Kansas, as horror stories might.The deadly influenza virus that would be known as the mother of all outbreaks tore through Haskell County in the winter of 1918. The county doctor warned that young, sturdy hog farmers were collapsing in the fields as if they’d been shot.Historians believe that the flu soon reached Camp Funston at Fort Riley, where troops trained to fight World War I. By spring, flu outbreaks hit most of the Army camps across the country. Thousands of troops in effect carried germ warfare in their arsenal to European shore...

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