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 worked for a time 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. In 2016, he earned a Master of Public Policy Administration with a focus in nonprofit organization management and leadership from University of Missouri-St. Louis. 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

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.

Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | file photo

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.

(Missouri History Museum)

In the age of emails, texts and tweets, we take a look back to a time when the handwritten letter was the primary way people communicated across long distances.

In his book To the Letter: A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing, author Simon Garfield examines the role of letters throughout history – a role that now must adapt to current technology.

(Courtesy Cinema St. Louis)

Two new documentary films showing at the St. Louis International Film Festival are taking on the perception and work of public defenders in the criminal justice system.

“I think the biggest public misconception about public defenders is that we don’t care and we are poor attorneys, poor meaning we don’t do a very good job and we don’t know how to try cases,” said Brandy Alexander, assistant public defender for the 20th Judicial Circuit in Florida.

NathanReed / Flickr

Earlier this year, St. Louis leaders launched the St. Louis Mosaic Project, an initiative to make the region the fastest growing metro area for immigrants by 2020.

According to Betsy Cohen, who is managing the project, the St. Louis community is making great strides.

The goal of the St. Louis Mosaic Ambassador Program is to make the area more welcoming to non-native people.

(Courtesy of Square)

With Twitter making its New York Stock Exchange debut today we're highlighting its co-founder's perspective on the company's value in true Twitter fashion.

Here, in 140 seconds, St. Louis native Jack Dorsey shares his thoughts about what makes his company worth $26 per share - and worth using for its millions of tweeters. 

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. 

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