Alex Heuer

Talk Show Producer

Alex Heuer joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2012 and is a producer of St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape. 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.

Alex enjoys running, sailing, craft beer, locally-owned restaurants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Ways to Connect

(Courtesy: Linda Gurney)

Although the St. Louis Cardinals have returned to Busch Stadium for a playoff run, one thing is still missing: The fiberglass cake that was originally placed at the stadium celebrating St. Louis’ 250th anniversary.

And, there’s no longer a question of whether the cake will return before the end of year. It will not be available to the public in any capacity.

(Google Street Image)

Clementine’s, in St. Louis’ Soulard neighborhood, opened in 1978. It is the oldest gay bar in the area.

On Monday, the owners will pour their last drink, and Clementine’s will shut its doors.

The Vital Voice documented how people are reacting to the news.

We have one reflection to add.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

For the last five years, Chris Nicastro has served as commissioner of Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She announced her retirement earlier this month and will step down at the end of the year.

Her tenure was marked by controversial decisions regarding school districts in north St. Louis County, including the Normandy School District, now known as the Normandy Schools Collaborative.  

St. Louis Public Radio education reporter Dale Singer spoke with Nicastro earlier this week and we aired a portion of that conversation on “St. Louis on the Air.” 

Martin Sheen
via St. Louis Speakers Series

On Sept. 22, 1999, a drama about life in the West Wing of the White House debuted on NBC.

In advance of his appearance in St. Louis in October, actor Martin Sheen, who played President Josiah (Jed) Bartlet, reflected on the legacy of The West Wing and its effect on him.

The #ChalkedUnarmed team creates its artwork on the sidewalks outside of St. Louis Public Radio.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

A group of artists are using chalk to inspire conversations about the shooting death of Michael Brown.

#ChalkedUnarmed draws chalk outlines of people on public sidewalks or plazas. The artist then adds the name of an unarmed black man who was killed by a police officer, with the date and location of his death.

(Courtesy: Linda Gurney)

You’ve likely seen at least one by now — fiberglass cakes scattered throughout the St. Louis region. They’re placed at notable places to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis.

There are 251 of the 4-foot sculptures. We’ve created a map that allows you to see the cake closest to you; and we profiled one woman who’s visited every cake.

(Courtesy: Matt Menietti)

On the third Wednesday of every month there’s a unique gathering in St. Louis during the lunch hour. Dozens of people gather for Lunch Beat St. Louis to dance, eat and get away from their normal routine.

Andrew Warshauer is the organizer of Lunch Beat St. Louis, which he started last June.

“I like to say it’s a chance to slip away from the every day,” said Warshauer.

Lunch Beat started in Stockholm, Sweden, in 2010 and has spread to more than a dozen cities worldwide.

(Courtesy: Stasha Lanigan-Wyman)

About 10 years ago, a silver-plated stopwatch was stolen from the St. Louis home of Mike St. Vrain’s mother during a home invasion.

Thought long lost, St. Vrain of rural Franklin County received an unexpected call earlier this week. The call was from a family friend who saw a post on the public Facebook group, “St. Louis History, Landmarks & Vintage Photos.”

Amanda Honigfort / St. Louis Public Radio

The Sun Theater in Grand Center has reopened after nearly 40 years of neglect and abandonment.

On Grandel Square near Powell Hall and the Fox Theatre, the Sun Theater is being leased by the Grand Center Arts Academy. The Lawrence Group, a St. Louis-based design firm, spent $11.5 million on the theater’s renovation.

Lynne Glickert, executive director of the Grand Center Arts Academy, said she was always hopeful the school would be able to use the Sun Theater for its 535 students. The school is the Beaux Arts Building, which is next to the Sun.

A piece of tin enameled ceramic from the colonial period found in the archeological dig below site below the Poplar Street Bridge. It is likely a Spanish ceramic of polychrome majolica.
Stephanie Zimmerman | St. Louis Public Radio intern

Archeologists from the Missouri Department of Transportation are ecstatic over a discovery beneath the Poplar Street Bridge in St. Louis. They’ve uncovered the first physical evidence dating to when the French founded St. Louis in 1764.

The findings help confirm written documentation of St. Louis’ earliest European settlers and shed new light on the people who live here.

Michael Meyer is an archeologist with MoDOT and the principal investigator of the department’s work in St. Louis.

(Courtesy of the City of Belleville)

Updated following the show.

St. Louis is not the only local community celebrating an important milestone this year. Founded in 1814, Belleville, Illinois is turning 200.

Via Flickr / humanrightsfilmfestival

Sex trafficking is not just an international problem, or even a national one. It is also a problem here in St. Louis. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, St. Louis is a hot spot of sex trafficking activity, one of the top 20 in the country.

(Courtesy: Maddie Earnest)

About two weeks ago, Local Harvest Grocery, Café & Catering launched a $120,000 crowdfunding campaign that co-owner Maddie Earnest says was necessary to restock the grocery store and pay off debts acquired as a result of a failed expansion in Kirkwood.  The community responded and fully funded the campaign in six days.

We talked with Maddie Earnest about the overwhelming response and how she plans to move forward after the failed expansion.

Originally aired Feb. 13, 2013

Is it Missour-ee or Missour-uh?

Those two pronunciations of the state, according to linguist John Baugh of Washington University in St. Louis, peacefully co-exist and are “indicative of all of the linguistic collisions from the rest of the country that happen in our wonderful city.”

Baugh and linguist Cindy Brantmeier of Washington University joined host Don Marsh to talk about how language forms, evolves, and is spoken differently throughout the United States.

Michael Lockridge

Local filmmaker and St. Louis native Nathan Sutton and his wife, Elisha Skorman, star in Autumn Wanderer, a feature film about a man struggling to deal with his father’s schizophrenia, and the possibility that he may inherit the disease himself.

The film debuted earlier this year at the Hollywood Film Festival, where Sutton was awarded the “Emerging Filmmaker” award.

(Courtesy: RAYGUN)

Encore (Original Air Date: 12/20/12)

The Midwest sometimes gets short shrift from people on both ends of the country.  They often call it “flyover country.”  In other words, they ask, “Why would anyone want to stop in the Midwest?”

Native Midwesterners or transplants might take exception to the term, “flyover country.”

One man who certainly takes exception to the term is Mike Draper.

Coolfire Originals

Like many cities in the Midwest, St. Louis' factory and warehousing industries have declined since their prominence in the early to mid-20th century.  Calling St. Louis a "Rust Belt bone yard," entrepreneurs from Cherokee Street in south St. Louis are featured in a new locally produced reality cable show, "Salvage City," where they turn so-called junk into a gold mine.

(Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon)

A lot has happened to 12-year-old Gabe Fleisher in the last year and a half. He’s garnered local and national press attention and recently got to meet one of his favorite historians, Doris Kearns Goodwin.

His teeth now sport a set of braces with red, white and blue anchors.

It's all part of a day in the life of Gabe Fleisher, political junkie.

In 2012, he was a regular blogger on the Beyond November website, a cooperative effort by St. Louis Public Radio, the St. Louis Beacon and the Nine Network of Public Media to cover the elections.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The FDA's proposed ban on trans fats and new heart disease prevention guidelines jointly released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have stirred up debate over best practices to improve heart health.

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

A new book, The Smithsonian’s History of America in 101 Objects tells the history of the country in a unique and fascinating way.  The book is filled with enlightening back stories and photographs.

Author and cultural anthropologist Richard Kurin, Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture at the Smithsonian Institution, said the project was a culmination of a broad effort.  “Not easily,” Kurin said about picking 101 objects out of the Smithsonian Institution’s 137 million objects.