St. Louis Public Radio
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill speaks at a campaign event on Friday in Ferguson.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Politically Speaking: McCaskill on the issues at stake in high-profile Senate race

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joins Politically Speaking to talk about her quest for a third term in one of the nation’s most closely watched Senate contests. The Missouri Democrat was first elected to the Senate in 2006. Before that, McCaskill served as Missouri’s auditor, Jackson County prosecutor and a member of the Missouri House of Representatives.

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An illustration of pollution, 2017
Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Environmental and faith groups are calling for the Environmental Protection Agency to increase air monitoring around a hazardous waste incinerator in East St. Louis.

Melody Walker, St. Louis Public Radio’s economic development reporter, offered analysis of the ongoing airport-privatization effort on Monday’s talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

With the potential privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport still “up in the air,” as host Don Marsh put it on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Melody Walker joined the show to offer analysis of the latest developments.

“Privatization is one of the most polarizing words I think we’ve had in quite a while here in St. Louis, and it’s a little bit of a misnomer,” said Walker, who is the station’s economic development reporter. “I think when people hear ‘privatization,’ we think, ‘We’re going to sell the airport off to some private company.’ Well, that’s not what’s happening.”

Aaron Addison is the director of data services at Washington University.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The digital age has ushered in many advancements and fresh possibilities – and also new concerns. One of those has to do with the need to protect vital scientific and public data resources from disappearing or even being intentionally suppressed.

While many libraries in the U.S. have long served as repositories in an effort to back up and preserve government information, that work has new urgency under a presidential administration that has expunged certain information related to topics such as climate change.

“These things [removing data] have gone on for a long time,” Washington University’s Aaron Addison said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, offering the missing Cook County, Illinois, data from the 1960 U.S. Census as one example. “[But] here we have a case where it’s not happening in a vacuum – it’s in concert with all these other decisions that the administration is making. And so it adds, certainly, to the concern.”

Geoffrey Soyiantet, Sally Gacheru and Gracemary Nganga compare their Kenyan beed bracelets. Several teens from the St. Louis area are now in their home country of Kenya for about two weeks through Soyiantet's Vitendo4Africa organization.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Aug. 20 with follow-up conversation: On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with St. Louis Public Radio education reporter Ryan Delaney upon his return from travels in Africa, where he caught up with some fellow St. Louisans.

Listen to their conversation:

Livestock in Missouri.
File | Véronique LaCapra | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri is experiencing one of its worst droughts in decades, and state officials are implementing some emergency measures to help ease the pain.

Gov. Mike Parson, three of his Cabinet members, and a group of agriculture leaders announced Monday that farmers and ranchers can now get hay and water from several state-owned properties.

Madam C.J. Walker was born Sarah Breedlove. She married at 14, then came to St. Louis at 20, after her first husband died, to join her brothers who worked as barbers.
Madam Walker Family Archives/A'Lelia Bundles

In 1888, a young, African-American woman left Louisiana to join her brothers in St. Louis.

The future Madam C.J. Walker earned a living by doing laundry, then began selling beauty products. Eventually she founded her own company and went on to become one of the nation’s first black, female millionaires. Warner Brothers is producing a TV series for Netflix about her life.

Walker’s time in St. Louis was transformational, according to her great-great granddaughter A’Lelia Bundles, who wrote the book on which the series is based.

The emerald ash borer was first detected in Missouri in 2008. Since then, it has spread to 53 counties.
Mark Smith | Flickr

An invasive beetle is spreading rapidly across the state.

This week, the Missouri Department of Conservation reported the emerald ash borer appeared in 11 more counties in 2018, bringing the total number of affected counties in the state to 53. The larvae of the metallic green beetle burrow under the bark of ash trees and kill them within a few years.

Protestors against dark money make their presence known in Washington.
Dark Money, a PBS Distribution release

With a growing lack of transparency clouding money’s influence on politics around the United States, a new film digs into the issue by zooming in on one state in particular: Montana.

Why Montana? The choice of setting came down to three factors: the presence of whistleblowers, diligent enforcers of campaign-finance law and a watchdog press.

“We could actually tell the story there,” the documentary’s director, Kimberly Reed, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air.

Latasha Johnson's eviction story was at the center of a case that has implications for Missouri tenants and landlords.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on a case that “We Live Here” zeroed in on at the beginning of the podcast's season. 

The podcast’s most recent episode is about the case of Latasha Johnson, whose eviction proceedings made it to the state's highest court because of its importance to tenants’ rights. The court ruled in favor of Johnson's landlord but it also laid out some important new guidelines for tenants’ rights. However, the ruling did nothing to change Johnson’s situation or expunge the eviction from her record.

Charles "Drew" Juden was one of former Gov. Eric Greitens' earliest picks for his Cabinet. Juden will step down as DPS director on Aug. 31.
File photo | Stephanie Lecci | St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Mike Parson is replacing one of the Missouri Cabinet members he inherited from former Gov. Eric Greitens.

Charles “Drew” Juden has served as public safety director since January 2017. He was among three Cabinet picks Greitens announced before his inauguration.

Col. Sandra Karsten, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, will serve as interim director while a search for a successor is conducted. She will continue to head the Highway Patrol as well.

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St. Louis on the Air

Tuesday: What's next for the Delmar Loop and its trolley

Host Don Marsh will discuss the state of the Delmar Loop as it welcomes new leadership, awaits an operating trolley and evolves along its eastern end.

25 years later: Remembering the Great Flood of '93

Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 1, 1993, the Mississippi River crested in St. Louis at the highest level ever recorded — 49.58 feet. Residents can still feel the impact of the watershed disaster today.