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

Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis

A year ago, James Buford announced that he intended to retire after almost three decades as President and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis.  He just celebrated his 69th birthday and May 31 was to have been his last day. But instead, he was asked to stay on another month while the agency completes the process of hiring his successor. He will then serve in a consulting capacity to help the new CEO get acclimated to the position.

Courtesy Circus Flora

‘A Trip to the Moon’ is a French black-and-white silent film produced in 1902.  The plot is about a group of astronomers who take an expedition to the moon.

(via Flickr/steve_lodefink)

On Saturday, June 8th from Noon – 6:00 p.m. the inaugural St. Louis Cigar Box Guitar Festival will be held at the Highway 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen in Webster Groves.

Host Steve Potter spoke with Gary Herget, a resident of Dittmer, Missouri, who is one of the organizers of the event.

They talked about a wide variety of topics including the history and use of cigar box guitars as well as some of the events scheduled for the festival which includes open mic and a cigar box guitar building workshop.

(Courtesy: Aisha Sultan)

Regular readers of the St. Louis Post Dispatch are familiar with the byline of Aisha Sultan.  She began writing a regular column in 2008 on parenting and family life called Dirty Laundry.

Missouri Solar Energy Industry Association

The use of alternative energies such as solar and wind is not new though advancements in technology and conversations about the effects of climate change are ongoing.

Many communities, including some in the St. Louis area, are making a big commitment to going green and utilizing solar energy with the encouragement of the Environmental Protection Agency.  The Green Power Community Challenge includes Clayton and Creve Coeur.

Host Don Marsh led a discussion about the commercial and residential use of solar energy.

(via Flickr/KurtClark)

Memorial Day is one of just a couple days a year in which attention is brought specifically to veterans.

While the remembrance earlier this week is a reminder of veterans’ service to the country, the issues and needs associated with returning veterans is an ongoing issue.  Many veterans struggle with health and emotional issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), have difficulty finding jobs and trouble finding a new normalcy in civilian life.

Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

The tents are up on the lawn of the Loretto Hilton Performing Arts Center as Opera Theatre of Saint Louis prepares to open its 2013 Festival Season with Gilbert & Sullivan’s comic masterpiece The Pirates of Penzance. Directed and choreographed by Sean Curran and conducted by Ryan McAdams, Pirates is the first of four productions that will be staged in repertory from May 25 until June 30.

Davy Levy

Each spring, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis transforms an area of Forest Park just east of Art Hill into an outdoor Shakespearean theatre and provides St. Louis audiences with an entire evening of activities related to one masterpiece by The Bard.  This year’s offering is Twelfth Night.

Heather Beal

The various iterations of Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are wide-ranging and diverse.

One retelling, The Wiz, shares the story from an African-American perspective.  The musical won seven Tony Awards in 1975.

The St. Louis Black Repertory Company closes its season with The Wiz, with performances from May 29th – June 30th.

James Cridland via Flickr

Legal issues are never far from the headlines and in many cases, they are the headlines.

The Missouri Legislature recently ended its session and passed some bills worth considering from a legal perspective.  One bill bars the implementation of Agenda 21, a non-binding United Nations plan which promotes sustainable development.  Another would bar Sharia law in Missouri.

Host Don Marsh talked with a panel of legal experts to explain those issues and more. 

The panelists included:

(Flickr Creative Commons User Daniel Leininger)

The City of St. Louis and local organizations and businesses are teaming up to try to alleviate the problems of poverty and crime in the community.

The new initiative is called STL Youth Jobs, a summer pilot program aimed at high risk youth between the ages of 16 and 23.

St. Louis Public Radio reported on the initiative when it was first announced.

Courtesy: Panera Bread Co.

It’s not uncommon for companies to have a policy concerning corporate social responsibility.  But, do companies have an obligation to help communities?  If so, is it just certain types of businesses?  Plus, how do you factor in a company’s desire to help and, at the same time, benefit the bottom line?

(via Flickr / Brian Hillegas)

Engaging in sports can be beneficial to young athletes.  They provide the opportunity to be physically fit, learn discipline and build character in a fun environment.

The fun stops, however, when a sudden and unexpected injury or surprise medical condition intervenes.  This potential is worrisome to parents and coaches as talk and awareness of concussions seem to be at an all-time high.

Host Don Marsh talked with Tony Breitbach, Director of the Athletic Training Education Program at Saint Louis University, about what can be done to protect young athletes’ health.

National Human Genome Research Institute

Cancer is cruel and it impacts the lives of far too many people and their families.  According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer kills 458,000 people each year.

Recently, actress and director Angelina Jolie, in a New York Times op-ed entitled My Medical Choice, announced she received a double mastectomy in order to minimize her risk of getting breast cancer.

Jolie has a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.  Her mom died from the disease at the age of 56.

Missouri Capitol building
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

The 2013 Missouri legislative session is now in the books.

While legislators are no longer assembled in Jefferson City, the impacts of what did and did not get done will continue into the coming months.

The Republican controlled House and Senate put gun rights and taxes high on their agenda and perennial issues such as abortion and voter photo IDs came up.

Democratic Governor Jay Nixon has already vetoed some legislation and more vetoes are possible.

The fourth annual St. Louis Bluesweek Festival takes place Friday, May 24 – Sunday, May 26 at Soldiers Memorial in downtown St. Louis.

The headliners include Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Mavis Staples and Big George Brock, however, the Festival will highlight several artists with significant ties to St. Louis including Marquis Knox and Rich McDonough & Rough Groves.

John Lamb

In the late 1960’s while playwright Jeffrey Hatcher was growing up in Steubenville, Ohio, he took a manners class.  Decades later, it served as the inspiration for his comedy, “Mrs. Mannerly.”  He even used his own name for one of the two main characters.  The other character is Mrs. Mannerly, the teacher of an etiquette class.

Set in Hatcher’s hometown in 1967, the plot of “Mrs. Mannerly” revolves around student Jeffrey Hatcher’s goals of being the first to achieve a perfect score in the etiquette class while also uncovering the mystery surrounding his teacher.

Mary Edwards

Kids Rock Cancer is an outgrowth of Maryville University’s Music Therapy Program.  Inspired by the program Purple Song Can Fly in Houston, Texas, the Maryville program goes into hospitals and works individually with children with cancer and other blood disorders.  The musical therapist helps the child express a set of thoughts and ideas, turn them into lyrics of a song and compose a tune for the lyrics.  Then the child gets to sing the song into a microphone with instrumental accompaniment.  The result is a CD recording for t

via Wikimedia Commons / Missouri Historical Society

The legacy of African Americans who have made contributions in Missouri is highlighted in a new book written by retired local educators John and Sylvia Wright.

The name of the book is Extraordinary Black Missourians: Pioneers, Leaders, Performers, Athletes, & Other Notables Who’ve Made History.

Many of the people highlighted in the book such as Dred Scott, Langston Hughes and Scott Joplin are well-known.  Others such as concert pianist Blind Boone and teacher and entomologist Charles Henry Turner are not as well known.

(via Flickr / David Lytle)

More than a million students nationwide are homeless.

Children who lack a permanent or stable household is an important yet, perhaps, overlooked issue and that’s true in the St. Louis area where several thousand students do not have a permanent home.

c_ambler | Flickr

Hundreds of thousands of American workers are paid the minimum wage.  It’s $7.25 nationally and $7.35 in St. Louis.  While the perception may be that minimum and low wage jobs are mostly held by teens, the vast majority, 75 percent, are adults over the age of 20.

Recent local news reports have highlighted protests by minimum wage earners.  They are demanding that their pay be nearly doubled.  The campaign is called “St. Louis Can’t Survive on $7.35.”

Fran Collin

UC Berkeley Journalism Professor Michael Pollan has devoted a good deal of his career to examining the food we eat in today’s society and the hazards of much of it.  Four of his books are New York Times Bestsellers and have received many other accolades: Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.

Don Crinklaw

While author Elaine Viets currently lives in Florida, the St. Louis native visits often and more often than not, her stories involve a St. Louis connection.

For many years Viets was columnist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

A few months ago, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh visited with Viets to talk about the latest book in her Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series.

Michelle Volansky

Earlier this month, Central Table Food Hall opened in the Central West End at 23 South Euclid Avenue.

It’s a unique 10,000-square-foot location, unique to St. Louis, which offers dining in a communal atmosphere and unique retail options.

There are seven components which include: a wine and craft beer bar, gourmet coffee, tea and chocolate shop, a deli with salads, soups and sandwiches, a tapas restaurant, a raw bar, a seasonal grill and an artisan market with prepared foods to-go.

In the late 1980’s, British playwright Alan Bennett produced a series of monologues featuring the best actors in England for BBC Radio.  From the time director Lana Pepper heard Maggie Smith in “A Bed Among the Lentils” in the early 1990’s, she was fascinated by the project and searched out others in the series.  Now thirty years later, she is fulfilling a dream by staging three of them in a production for St. Louis Actors’ Studio, “Talking Heads.” She also hopes to some day stage the other nine Bennett monologues.

(via Flickr / Daniel P Davis)

Magdalene is a residential program which provides services to women who are involved in prostitution, trafficking and addiction.

The program was founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Christopher Buchanan / Insignia Films

When Twin Cities Public Television, tpt National Productions and Insignia Films wanted to produce a documentary series for PBS examining what the Constitution means in the 21st Century, they didn’t take the conventional route.  Instead of rounding up a number of experts who would talk on a studio set in front of book cases, they asked the host of NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me to get on a red, white and blue Harley Davidson and travel across the country.

When anonymity is one of the major tenets of the best known addiction recovery organization, it seems incongruous that Greg Williams, a person in long-term recovery from drug abuse, is urging others like him to publicly disclose their status.  He believes that is the answer to counter the stigma that is still prevalent toward addiction and treatment for it.  He is so certain that he is right that he has devoted months of his life to “The Anonymous People,” a film documenting the many “game changers” as he calls them, people who are willing to be open about their success with recovery.

Wikipedia

Rob Koenig is the St. Louis Beacon’s Washington D.C. correspondent.

Host Don Marsh talked with Koenig, as he visits St. Louis, about the current state of affairs of regional interest in Washington D.C.

They discussed the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would impact online sales tax, gun control, the ongoing conflict in Syria and other issues.

Follow St. Louis on the Air on Twitter - @STLonAir

(Courtesy: The Nine Network)

Journalist Stone Phillips grew up in Ballwin, Missouri and graduated from Parkway West High School.

Phillips spent 15 years at NBC News as a co-host of Dateline NBC and served as a substitute host for NBC Nightly News, Today and Meet the Press.  He now does reports on his own time at the website, Stone Phillips Reports.

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