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Back in the good ol’ days if you wanted to travel in luxury and had the bank to do so, Cadillac was one of three choices available besides Lincolns and Chrysler Imperials. Oh sure, there were occasional Mercedes and a Jaguar or two on the streets now and then, but for the most part it was th…

The home of Amy VanDonsel features local art and plants on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2023, in University City. Video by Christine Tannous, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

A new home is being built on my street. I’ve visited the job site countless times to check on the progress and to observe the quality of the workmanship. So far I’ve recorded nearly 40 videos showing mistakes and shortfalls. You can view the videos on my website. The link is at the end of this column.

The Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort, a Hyatt resort on 15 beachfront acres in Hawaii, is far more than a place to sleep. There are multiple pools, including a lagoon and three infinity pools. As part of the resort fee, you can also take a stand-up paddleboarding course, use the resort’s snorkel equipment and GoPro...

Gov. Ron DeSantis took the unprecedented step of banning an AP course offered on African American history for violating state law. 

The top Air Force general in charge of the nation’s air- and ground-launched nuclear missiles has requested an official investigation into the number of airmen who are reporting blood cancer diagnoses after serving at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. The illnesses became publicly known this week after The Associated Press obtained a military brief that at least nine missileers were reporting diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. One of the officers has died. Missileers are the officers who serve in underground bunkers near silo-based Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles and are responsible for turning launch keys if ordered.

The Minnesota Senate has voted to write broad protections for abortion rights into state statutes, which would make it difficult for future courts to roll back. The pill passed 34-33 early Saturday after a marathon debate. Democrats have made the bill one of their top priorities in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade. While a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision protects abortion rights, sponsors want to make sure those protections remain in force no matter who sits on future courts. The House passed the bill last week. Gov. Tim Walz hopes to sign it before the end of the month.

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The U.S. population center is on track this decade to take a southern swerve for the first time in history. Last year, the South outgrew other U.S. regions by well over 1 million people. If the trend continues through this decade, by 2030 the mean center of the U.S. population will head due south from a rural county in the Missouri Ozarks. It will be the first time in U.S. history without a westward extension. Since the population center was first calculated in 1790, it has moved continuously westward. Experts say the southern allure has to do with housing affordability, lower taxes and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Across the country, there’s a silent frustration brewing over the ever-presence of tipping. Some fed-up consumers are posting rants on social media complaining about tip requests at drive-thrus, while others say they’re tired of being asked to leave a gratuity for a muffin or a simple cup of coffee at their neighborhood bakery. As more businesses adopt digital payment methods, customers are automatically being prompted to leave a gratuity at places they normally wouldn’t. And some say it has become more frustrating as the price of items has skyrocketed due to inflation, which eased to 6.5% in December but still remains painfully high. For workers, though, the surge in tip requests is a welcome development.

Italian designer Sabato De Sarno has been named the new creative director of Gucci, and will unveil his first collection during Milan Fashion Week next September, Gucci and parent company Kering announced Saturday. De Sarno has previously worked for Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino, where he was most recently fashion director overseeing both men’s and women’s collections.  Speculation has been rife in the fashion world over who would succeed Alessandro Michele after he stepped down from the role unexpectedly last fall, after nearly eight years in which he redefined the brand’s codes with gender fluid, romantic and eclectic looks. Like Michele when he was named in 2015 to the post, De Sarno is relatively unknown in the wider fashion world.

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