Alex Heuer

Talk Show Producer

Alex Heuer joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2012 and is a producer of St. Louis on the Air. Alex grew up in the St. Louis area. He began his public radio career as a student reporter at Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, Ill. and then spent about four years as a reporter and producer at Iowa Public Radio.

Alex graduated summa cum laude from Western Illinois University with a degree in history and earned a teaching certificate in social studies. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and is pursuing a Master of Public Policy Administration. He has won local and national awards for reporting and producing and his stories have been featured nationally on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

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Evan C. Parker / Via Flickr

Going over the so-called fiscal cliff is the major talk in Washington D.C. though the Missouri and Illinois delegations are dealing with other issues as well.

Host Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Beacon Washington D.C. Correspondent Rob Koenig about the latest news from the nation’s capital, including the fiscal cliff.

(via Flickr/Eric Fischer)

The “Delmar Divide” refers to Delmar Boulevard in St. Louis.  It is a street which runs east/west and to a large extent separates the racial make-up of the city.  In a sample of households north and south of Delmar, residents south of Delmar Boulevard are 73% white, while residents north of Delmar are 98% African American, as the BBC pointed out in, “Crossing a St. Louis street that divides communities,” last year.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The main location of the St. Louis Public Library system has reopened after a $70 million renovation and restoration.

The downtown landmark was unveiled to the public on Sunday, December 9, 2012 after more than two years of construction.

Host Don Marsh talked with Waller McGuire, Executive Director of the St. Louis Public Library and George Nikolajevich of Cannon Design.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann reported:

St. Louis Symphony

Each Spring, Circus Flora sets up its “big top” in the parking lot of Powell Hall.  Over the years, the Flying Wallendas, Nino the Clown, and the St. Louis Arches have become familiar to many St. Louisans.  

For the second time, Circus Flora will move inside the hall, high wires and all, to join the St. Louis Symphony in a holiday production which will bring to life Dylan Thomas’ classic, “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.” 

(Provided By: Terry Baker Mulligan)

When born and bred New Yorker Terry Baker Mulligan moved to Saint Louis in the early seventies, she was met with pre-conceived notions about her hometown.

She says her new friends and colleagues thought New Yorkers were rude and the city was filled with trouble and uneasiness.

After leaving her teaching job in 1974 to raise her growing family, she began a 35 year journey to preserve her life and focus on the goodness of the place she once called home and still holds dear.

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Kirkwood resident Anne Williams is a certified historic interpreter and has volunteered at the Daniel Boone Home in Defiance, Missouri since 1996.

She combines history and literature, dresses in period clothing and shares with guests the historic context of stories and the authors who write them.

Among other things, she performs at special events for the National Park Service including at the Old Court House and Grant’s Home.  She recites the Declaration of Independence every year in Kirkwood.

(Courtesy: Jenny Dibble)

When Jenny Dibble returned to St. Louis after five years on the West Coast, she was struck by two features of her hometown’s entrepreneurial culture: one, it was way bigger and more dynamic than she expected; and two, there were a lot of men.

“At every event I attended, I noticed a strange absence of women,” Dibble said.

She decided to investigate and found that she was not the only St. Louis businesswoman craving a community. From that, the idea for Women Entrepreneurs of St. Louis (WEST) was born.

(Courtesy: Saint Louis University Medical Center)

The World Health Organization has declared tuberculosis a global health emergency.

There is already a TB vaccine given to infants in countries other than the United States  but it was developed more than sixty years ago.  That vaccine protects babies from the worst forms of TB but it does not protect adolescents and adults from a type of tuberculosis which accounts for most cases of the disease.

(via Flickr/slgckgc)

The St. Louis Holocaust Museum and Learning Center debuts a new interactive exhibit called “Change Begins With Me: Confronting Hate, Discrimination and Ethnic Conflict” this week on the premise that “the lessons of the Holocaust are not yet learned.”

Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

George Will is a Pulitzer Prize-winning political journalist and author.  He is perhaps most well-known for his conservative columns in the Washington Post, which have appeared in the paper since 1974.

Will is scheduled to deliver the fall 2012 keynote speech for the John C. Danforth Center on Religion & Politics at Washington University.

When the Kennedy family approached author David Nasaw asking him to write a biography of Joseph P. Kennedy, father of the nine Kennedy children, he tried to say no.

“I said over and over and over again: you don’t want me to write this book. I’m a crazy-obsessive researcher - I’m going to find something the family doesn’t like,” Nasaw told “St. Louis on the Air” guest host Jim Kirchherr. “[But] they said, ‘Anything that you write is going to be better than the garbage that’s out there.’"

The Luminary Center for the Arts opened in 2007 and strives to provide a platform for the presentation of innovative art, music and cultural projects.

Its temporary exhibition space now hosts Social Security, a constellation of five galleries individually curated by area alternative spaces which have shuttered or shifted in form within the past year.

Among other things, the exhibition explores the how the arts community is evolving.

Ariana Tobin / St. Louis Public Radio

John Pizzarelli is a world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer.

He has recorded dozens of albums and is now the author of a new memoir called, World on a String: A Musical Memoir.

Pizzarelli’s latest album is Double Exposure.  It is a collection of tunes by songwriters of traditional songs framed within traditional jazz arrangements.

Host Steve Potter talked with John Pizzarelli about his career and upcoming appearance in St. Louis.  Pizzarelli also performed live during the interview.

Brad Blackburn

Songbird Café is a local St. Louis production which features songwriters playing and sharing stories about their own music and an audience intent on listening in an intimate environment.

Steve St. Cyr, a recently retired accountant, is the organizer and producer of Songbird Café, which for the past year, takes place at the Focal Point in Maplewood on an almost monthly basis.

St. Cyr got the inspiration for his project from the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tennessee – a listening room which has launched the career of several well-known music artists.

(Courtesy Photo)

John Seigenthaler is a journalist and champion of the First Amendment.  He was previously an editor and publisher of The Tennessean in Nashville and was the founding editorial director of USA Today.  Prior, he served as a special assistant to Robert F. Kennedy during the 1960s, when Kennedy served as U.S. Attorney General. 

During his time as a special assistant, Seigenthaler was involved and injured while trying to protect some of the freedom riders in Alabama.

(Photo By: Richard Stamelman / Provided By: Random House)

The guest on today’s program was Calvin Trillin.  He’s a guest of top billin’.

He talked with host Don Marsh.  It was an interview, which despite the political climate, was not harsh.

Trillin is a journalist, humorist, and author of “Dog Fight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse.”  It’s a volume of poetry, concise but not terse.

Trillin was born and raised in Kansas City.  Discussion of politics is witty, and focuses less on Obama than it does on Mitty.

Related Event

Brain sculpture in Bloomington, Ind.
(via Flickr / Ali Eminov)

While it may be well established that our brains command our actions, it’s becoming increasingly clear that we can have greater control over the message.

Increasingly, research shows people can take steps to protect the health of their brain and as one aspect of that, may be able to sidetrack compulsive behaviors such as eating disorders.

The Missouri Eating Disorders Association is one agency which provides education, resources and advocacy to bring understanding and support to those treating or affected by the disease.

(via Flickr/mike matney)

A group called Missourians for Equality is interested in gathering petition signatures for a ballot measure which would make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

Plus, St. Louis firefighters won a big decision in the Missouri Supreme Court.  The ruling allows them to live outside city limits if they’ve been with the department for at least seven years.

Those are just a couple of the topics for our monthly legal roundtable.  Host Don Marsh talked with a panel of legal experts including:

Theresa Cassagne

St. Louis native Jeremy Davenport is a jazz trumpeter and vocalist now based in New Orleans.

Davenport, 42, grew up in a family of musicians.  His mother was a music educator for nearly 50 years and his father recently retired from the St. Louis Symphony.

Davenport’s performances harken back to a time when Jazz was at its peak popularity though his unique style and mood of storytelling creates a modern edge.

King Yella

Playwright Joel P.E. King knows a thing or two about real life.

He was born in Washington Park, Illinois as the seventh of eleven children, and watched as his community transformed from one that thrived on family and fellowship to a place of crime and fear.

The negative experiences he was aware of both as a child and an adult served as an inspiration for his aptly – titled play "Real Life."

The coming of age story centers around a young man who is conflicted between becoming a negative product of his environment versus the future that awaits him if he were to leave.

Kris Bueltmann

A highlight of the Christmas season for many is the Bach Society of Saint Louis’ annual Christmas Candlelight Concert.  Music Director A. Dennis Sparger will conduct the Bach Society Chorus and Orchestra in this year’s concert on Sunday, December 2 in Powell Hall.  Also featured on the program is the Archdiocesan Children’s Choir, led by Horst Buchholz.

Sparger and Bach Society Principal Singer Melissa Payton joined host Steve Potter to discuss this year’s concert and sample three of the scheduled works. 

(Courtesy: The Grannie Annie)

Public radio listeners are familiar with weekly Friday segments from StoryCorps in which family members and close friends talk with one another, sharing memorable stories.

And as we head into the holiday season and families begin to gather, we’re reminded of opportunities to take full advantage of documenting and preserving family histories and stories.

(via Flickr/SodanieChea)

Within approximately the last twenty years, Missouri ranks among the worst states in which the gap between rich and middle-income households has widened.  That’s according to a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute.

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, we also take note of the report’s finding in which the gap between the very richest and the poor is even larger with the top 5 percent of Missouri households having an average income 11.7 times that of the bottom fifth.

Evan C. Parker / Via Flickr

The lame duck Congress is now in session and while historically known as a time of inaction, the large task of avoiding the “fiscal cliff” is ever-present.

The fiscal cliff is a combination of tax increases and spending cuts which would take effect on January 1, 2013, primarily due to the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Host Don Marsh talked with Rob Koenig, the St. Louis Beacon’s Washington D.C. correspondent.

(Judy Schmidt, James Gathany / CDC)

On November 6, 2012, Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition E, which prohibited the Governor or any state agency from establishing or operating a state-based health insurance exchange without legislative or citizen approval.

The Affordable Care Act, however, moves on toward full implementation in 2014.

Host Don Marsh talked with Sidney Watson, Professor of Law at Saint Louis University’s Health Law Policy Center, and Ryan Barker, Director of Health Policy for the Missouri Foundation for Health.

(Courtesy: St. Louis Symphony)

The St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra opens its 2012-2013 season in a concert Friday night in Powell Hall,  but the young musicians and their leaders have been hard at work for months. 

During the summer, Jessica Ingraham was named as the Youth Orchestra Manager. 

Yinka Shonibare, MBE. Courtesy of James Cohan Gallery, New York and Shanghai. © 2012 Yinka Shonibare, MBE

The Progress of Love is a collaborative project between the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Menil Collection in Houston, and the Centre for Contemporary Art in Lagos, Nigeria.

Host Steve Potter talked with Kristina Van Dyke, the Director of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts and the curator of the exhibition, as well as British-Nigerian artist Zina Saro-Wiwa.

The exhibition features contemporary art work, including photography and multimedia installations, by African and Western artists.  

(Courtesy: Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Musuem)

Hal Holbrook is an Emmy and Tony award winning actor and is perhaps, most well-known for portraying Hannibal, Missouri native Mark Twain in “Mark Twain Tonight.”

Holbrook has performed Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, since 1954 and has portrayed the role more than 2,000 times.  He has memorized volumes of Twain’s writings and is able to make observations – in Twain’s voice – on a multitude of topics including politics, current events, and business.

Don Crinklaw

Many St. Louisans remember Elaine Viets from her time as a columnist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

In the 15 years since she left the city, she has become a prolific and New York Times best-selling author of mystery novels.

One of Viets’ series features St. Louis mystery shopper Josie Marcus.  The series debuted in October 2005 with “Dying in Style.”  “Murder Is a Piece of Cake" is her eighth adventure.

Host Don Marsh talked with Viets about her new book and experiences in St. Louis.

Related Events

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

The EF-5 tornado in Joplin, Missouri in May 2011 killed 161 people and a left city and its residents devastated.

Two filmmakers - Beth Pike and Erica Tremblay - have created films documenting the disaster, the fallout, and what they call a “remarkable recovery.”

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