Bill Raack

News Director

Raack has been in radio for over 20 years. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1983, he worked at commercial radio stations in Kansas and then Illinois. He moved to public radio in 1990, joining the staff of WILL-AM/FM in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, as a host/reporter and then as news director in 1993. He returned to his hometown of St. Louis in 1995 as the local host of St. Louis Public Radio's Morning Edition program and also served as a reporter/producer until 1998, when he was named news director. Bill and his wife Kim are proud parents of two public-radio-listening children.

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St. Louis Life
8:48 am
Fri October 4, 2013

St. Louis' Forest Park Named Among '10 Great Public Spaces' For 2013

The Grand Basin and Art Hill in Forest Park in St. Louis. The park is one of the areas to benefit from a federal grant for recreational trails.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

Forest Park in St. Louis has been designated one of the Ten Great Public Spaces for 2013 by a national non-for-profit educational group.

The American Planning Association announced the list Friday - the nine other places on it are:

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Government Shutdown
4:25 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Doesn't Stop Missouri Veterans From Visiting WWII Memorial

National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Credit (Bernt Rostad)

On day two of the government shutdown, it continues to cause headaches, including for a group of Missouri and Kansas veterans that flew to Washington. 

The nonprofit Heartland Honor Flight organized the trip and the closed National World War II Memorial was the first stop Wednesday. The group was met by many Missouri and Kansas lawmakers, who helped them get inside the memorial where barriers had been set up. 

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Saint Louis University
2:13 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

SLU President Biondi To Step Down Sept. 1

Father Lawrence Biondi
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last updated 3:50 p.m.

Saint Louis University's president Father Lawrence Biondi will be stepping down Sept. 1.

The fact that Biondi was to retire was announced in May, but the date Biondi would step down was not announced at that time.

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School Transfers
4:32 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

CSD Expects Student Placements To Be Completed Monday Night

Sherrie Wehner with Cooperating School Districts.
Chris McDaniel, St. Louis Public Radio.

The Cooperating School Districts of St. Louis (CSD) has placed 2,400 of the nearly 2,600 students who have applied to leave the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens School Districts.

All Normandy students who applied to go to Francis Howell were placed, and will receive transportation paid for by the unaccredited district.

But many Riverview Gardens students who applied to transfer to Kirkwood or Mehlville, the transportation options for that district, did not receive spots because the receiving districts ran out of room.

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Arch Redevelopment
3:17 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Arch Grounds Redevelopment Begins With Official Groundbreaking

Dignitaries break ground Aug. 2 on the ‘Park over the Highway’ project, the first component in the CityArchRiver 2015 plan to revamp the Arch grounds.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

National and state leaders broke ground Friday on the first phase of the CityArchRiver 2015 plan to revitalize the Gateway Arch grounds.

Two members of President Obama’s cabinet—Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx—were present at the ceremony. The first project is a park to be built over Interstate 70 to improve accessibility between downtown and the Arch grounds. Senator Claire McCaskill praised local officials for getting to this point.

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Politics
4:42 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

McCaskill To Officials On POW/MIA Reforms: 'Get It Frickin' Done'

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill.

Defense officials say the Pentagon's inspector general will investigate allegations of waste and misuse taxpayer funds by a military-led unit that's responsible for accounting for POWs and MIAs.

The investigation comes in response to an internal Pentagon report that said the Joint POW-MIA Accounting Command's search for remains on old battlefields is so inept, mismanaged and wasteful that it risks descending from dysfunction to total failure.

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Politics
12:04 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Simon Announces Bid For Illinois Comptroller

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon says she will run for state comptroller next year.
Credit (From the Lt. Governor, State of Illinois, website)

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon officially announced Wednesday that she's running for Illinois comptroller, ending five months of uncertainty about which statewide office she'll seek in 2014.

The Carbondale Democrat made her announcement Wednesday morning in downtown Chicago. Simon announced in February that she wouldn't seek another term with Gov. Pat Quinn.

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Reporter Shield Bill
8:44 am
Thu July 18, 2013

Blunt Among Senators Proposing New Reporter Shield Law

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) is among the Senators proposing a new reporter shield law in Congress.
Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A bipartisan group of senators is pressing forward with a reporter shield bill that includes new Justice Department guidelines for investigations that involve the media.

The guidelines announced Friday would make it harder for prosecutors to obtain journalists’ phone records without advance notice. Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says the new bill will make it much more difficult for political appointees to stop reporters from doing their job.

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Illinois Politics
3:22 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Illinois County GOP Chair Resigns Over 'Racist' Email

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) Introduces the "Opportunity KNOCKS Act" during a press conference at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center in Edwardsville on Tuesday, April 30
Tim Lloyd/St. Louis Public Radio

The chairman of the Republican Party in Montgomery County, Illinois, has resigned after writing what's been called a racist and sexist email about U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis' primary challenger.

Illinois Republican Party chairman Jack Dorgan says he accepted Jim Allen's resignation on Thursday afternoon. Allen wrote an email Tuesday suggesting Erika Harold could fill a "minority quota" if she lost the Republican primary. The biracial Harvard law school graduate was crowned Miss America in 2003 and launched her bid to challenge Davis this month.

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Crime
3:28 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Four Dead In Shooting On Cherokee Street

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

Updated 6:50 a.m. Friday with names of victims and suspect.


The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has identified the victims as:


- Khadra Muse, a 44-year old female of the 100 block of Indian Circle Dr.


- Seaeed Abdulla, a 29-year old male of the 700 block of Cole


- Bernice Solomon-Redd, a 54-year old female of the 2400 block of Ridge Ave., E. St. Louis, IL


The suspect has been positively identified as  Ahmed Dirir, a 59-year old male of the 900 block of Carr.


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