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.

Ways to Connect

Michel Martin
Doby Photography / NPR

When Michel Martin, host of NPR’s Tell Me More, brings her show to St. Louis Public Radio’s home of UMSL at Grand Center on November 8, 2013, it should come as no surprise that education will be a topic.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Companies and other organizations with an interest in Missouri state government hire lobbyists to influence policy in Jefferson City. State law requires lobbyists to disclose how much they spend in the process, listing which officials received benefits, such as free meals, professional sports tickets, trips and other gifts.

Lobbying Missouri, a new reporting partnership of St. Louis Public Radio and NPR, provides an interactive way to follow the money.

(Courtesy: John Waide, University Archivist, Saint Louis University)

The mattress began to shake.  Arms and legs flailing.  For hours he fluctuated between frenzy and calm.

The following phrases describe an exorcism that took place in March and April of 1949.  A cadre of Jesuit priests affiliated with Saint Louis University, led by Father William S. Bowdern, the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, undertook the exorcism of a 14-year-old boy. They took turns praying over the boy, working to cast out the demon believed to have possessed him.

(Courtesy of Arthur Schwartz)

When Arthur Schwartz was 10 years old his parents gave him a newspaper clipping – a poem about the 1946 World Series in which the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox.

After hearing our recent program on a new book about the 1946 World Series, Schwartz contacted us about the poem he memorized as kid, 67 years ago. 

Used with permission / World Chess Hall of Fame presents “A Queen Within”

In chess, the queen is recognized as the most powerful piece.  It can move in any direction, making it desirable yet unpredictable.

Centuries ago, however, the queen didn’t exist.  Around the 15th century, when Queen Isabella I of Spain and Queen Elizabeth I of England came to power, so too did the queen in chess.

(Via Flikr/Derringsdo)

Commissioners of the Zoo-Museum District, on September 30, voted to raise the property tax rate that funds five St. Louis cultural institutions to the highest level permitted by state law.  Those institutions are the St. Louis Zoo, the Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis Art Museum, St. Louis Science Center and Missouri History Museum.

(Courtesy: Coolfire Originals)

Resale Royalty. Welcome to Sweetie Pies. Funeral Boss. Salvage City. If you are a fan of reality-based TV, these shows may be familiar to you.

All of them take place in St. Louis. And all of them were produced by St. Louis-based television production companies Coolfire Originals and NoCoast Originals, who often work in partnership to create what they call "unscripted" shows.

(via Flickr / ramseynasser)

Dishcrawl is an organization which holds “food adventures” throughout the United States and Canada.

The St. Louis branch of Dishcrawl is hosting Battledish – an international food competition among local chefs.  The event takes place this weekend in the Central West End and "Cityscape" host Steve Potter is one of the judges.

Potter talked with Sara Graham, the community manager of the St. Louis Dishcrawl in advance of the event.

Rich Herberts / St. Louis Public Radio

Every month, St. Louis on the Air holds a legal roundtable in which we discuss local, regional and national issues pertaining to the law.  This month, we took the show on the road to Saint Louis University's new downtown School of Law building.

Host Don Marsh and the panel of legal experts took questions from a live audience in the 12th floor court room. And with the new U.S. Supreme Court session scheduled to begin October 7th, there was a lot to talk about.

The panelists were:

(Courtesy of the Author)

St. Louisan Ben Hilliker, a career industrial realtor, has had a lifelong attraction to automobiles.

His passion for antique cars is so great that he wrote a children’s book, “The Tale of Willy Willys,” based on a 1926 Willys Overland he acquired in 1999.

The story is about the revival of the antique car as Mr. and Mrs. Willys stumble upon an unexpected find that leads them to restoring an old car that shares their family name.

The book features art by Robert Shay.

(via Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill)

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says one of her priorities when Congress reconvenes in September is to approve legislation reducing sexual assaults in the military.  While McCaskill explained accomplishing the task is a team effort, she said there is one primary disagreement with her fellow Democratic colleagues.          

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillebrand from New York wants to take prosecuting decisions away from commanders while McCaskill, on the other hand, wants it to be handled through the chain of command, with more accountability.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Daniel Leininger)

Updated following the show.

St. Louis City leaders are counting on attracting new residents Downtown as part of an urban renaissance.  The area has seen recent population growth, but questions remain about the future of the area. Host Don Marsh posed those questions to our guests, including:

St. Louis Public Radio

Last month, St. Louis Public Radio's science reporter Véronique LaCapra set off on a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Garrison, Miami)

At first glance, veterans of the post 9/11 wars and St. Louis youth in high crime neighborhoods don't have much in common. But two things unite them: both are considered at-risk and both can have a tough time finding jobs.

Chris McDaniel

The Missouri Supreme Court’s ruling on Breitenfeld v. School District of Clayton on June 11 reversed a lower court decision and found that state statute 167.131does not violate the Hancock Amendment. The statute provides that an unaccredited school district must pay tuition for students to attend school in another accredited district in the same or an adjoining county.

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

Late last month regional leaders launched the St. Louis Mosaic Project, an initiative to make the region the fastest growing metro area for immigrants by 2020.

(Courtesy: Arthur Johnson)

East St. Louis native Arthur Anthony Johnson’s varied career has taken him from world champion boxer to contemporary gospel music artist.

Johnson’s remarkable story as an amateur boxer who competed for the United States in the 1988 Olympics and retired in his early twenties before mounting an incredible comeback as a professional boxer who would win three world titles is detailed in a documentary called “Greatest Comeback.”  His story is also presented in a new album of the same name.

(Courtesy: Cinema St. Louis)

Cinema St. Louis presents the 13th annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase July 14-18 at the Tivoli Theatre.

The goal of the Showcase is to highlight films written, directed, edited, or produced by St. Louis area natives or films with strong local ties.

Kim Carlson

St. Louis Shakespeare’s 29th season begins July 19th with “Timon of Athens,” a story about a wealthy man who falls on hard times and, in doing so, determines his true friends.

“Timon of Athens” is one of William Shakespeare’s most obscure plays.

Colleen Kelly Starkloff has been on the forefront of the disability rights movement ever since she met her late husband, Max Starkloff, in the nursing home where he was confined due to a disabling car accident. Still a young man, Max was determined to live independently and help others in his situation do the same. 

When Aimee Wehmeier took the helm of Paraquad this past January, she was only the third CEO in the organization’s four decade history. Born with Muscular Dystrophy, she has used a wheel chair since the age of four and even served for a number of years as the MDA St. Louis Poster Child.  At age eighteen, she was able to go to school in Columbia and live independently for the first time. She feels that her life epitomizes the story of Paraquad, one of the country’s largest and oldest centers for independent living and is in awe of her new position.

(via Flickr/Jamiesrabbits)

Some of the most important decisions one can make in life are about death.  They are legacy decisions which require advance preparation about how end-of-life wishes should be carried out.

Many of the decisions involve terms such as probate, will, trust, medical directive and power of attorney.   According to Stephanie Payne and Melissia Riddle roughly 70 percent of the population does not have all of their end-of-life paperwork in place.

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Modern medical science has brought us closer than ever to the so-called Fountain of Youth.  Advances in our understanding of what it takes to live a lengthier and happier life have allowed us to do just that.

Host Don Marsh talked with Dr. John Morley, Director of the Division of Geriatric Medicine at Saint Louis University.

Among other things, they discussed work Morley recently authored about everyone older than seventy getting screened for frailty, a problem that affects between 5 and 10 percent of those in that age group.

Dan Parris

Dan Parris believes that filmmaking is a great activity because it incorporates every kind of art.  He shares his passion for film with high school students in his role of Project Director for Pentimento: The St. Louis Story Mapping Project.  An initiative of the Midwest Center for Media Literacy in cooperation with Speakup Productions and Studio STL, the project enables inner city high school students to learn the art and business of filmmaking. 

When Karen Kalish founded Cultural Leadership, one of her goals was to create “trouble makers of the best kind.”

The Gateway Festival Orchestra was founded in 1964 by Washington University Music Professor and concert pianist William Shatzkamer along with a number of musicians and community leaders. Its motivation was to fill a void of summertime classical music in the St. Louis region.  At that time, the St. Louis Symphony season was only six months long, so the Gateway Festival Orchestra’s summer season of outdoor concerts provided an opportunity for Symphony and other professional musicians to practice their craft while providing St.

Art Saint Louis is a nonprofit organization which seeks to highlight contemporary visual art in the area.

The group is in the final stages of creating a gallery/café hybrid in the historic Park Pacific building in downtown St. Louis.  The goal is to create a place “our community will repeatedly visit to enjoy dynamic exhibitions of local art and an inviting atmosphere in which to meet, study and relax.” 

Painter Junius Brutus Stearns, 1856 / via Wikimedia Commons

Encore Presentation: This program's original broadcast was on March 19, 2013.

Having existed and endured for more than 225 years, the U.S. Constitution and the intent of those who created it continues to be a hotly contested topic.

Joesphine Sittenfeld

Curtis Sittenfeld has sold nearly two million books.

via Flickr/BluEyedA73

Gay rights activists view the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage as a victory.

In two 5-4 decisions, the Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and effectively put to rest California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage by ruling that its supporters did not have standing to challenge a lower court’s ruling that the measure was unconstitutional.