Bill Raack


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.

Ways to Connect

(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. 

(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.

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.

(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.

File photo

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.

(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.

(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.

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.

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.

Updated 8:51 p.m. Thursday. 

(via Flickr/Of Small Things)

Updated at 11:50 a.m., Friday, June 7 & 3:14 p.m. 

The Illinois State Police on Friday issued a response to Gibbons' letter. The state police, along with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriff's Association, say they will continue to enforce state law which prohibits the carrying of "an immediately accessible firearm on your person or in your vehicle regardless of whether it is concealed." Violating the law can result in an arrest.

Our original story:

The National Weather Service says there were a total of nine tornadoes in the St. Louis region on Friday night.

(Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) / (

A St. Clair County judge whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip is stepping down from the bench as he defends himself against federal heroin and gun charges.

Circuit Judge Michael Cook resigned Wednesday by letter to the chief judge, John Baricevic. Baricevic says the letter is brief and doesn't offer a reason for Cook's departure.

Cook was charged last Friday with possessing heroin and having a gun while illegally using controlled substances. He's pleaded not guilty. 

Andrew Wamboldt/KOMU News - via Flickr

The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday for and against the constitutionality of a Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District storm water fee.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Local veterans say they're hopeful that a deal can be worked out to expand Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

The cemetery in south St. Louis County was established in 1826 and veterans groups say it could be filled by 2025. They've asked local politicians and governments to support giving nearby Sylvan Springs Park to the federal government for an expansion of Jefferson Barracks.

Mike LeBlanc is a Vietnam War veteran who helped coordinate the lobbying efforts.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Update 4:50 p.m. with comments from Mo. Nat. Guard Maj. Tammy Spicer. Updated 2:43 with Missouri disaster declaration. Updated 9:56 a.m. April 19 with Missouri, St. Louis information. Updated at 4 p.m. April 18 with Ameren substation information.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has declared a state of emergency following significant flash and river flooding in his state.

(Erin Williams/St. Louis Public Radio)

Local clergy, politicians and law enforcement joined together Friday to call for more action to curb gun violence in St. Louis. 

The Missouri Conference AME Church is spearheading the effort, which includes a call for universal background checks; a ban on what they call assault weapons and high-capacity magazines; and federal investment in urban areas most affected by gun violence. Reverend Robert Shaw says it’s crucial for church leaders to take a stand on the issue.

Transportation officials met with residents and property owners in Normandy Thursday about a new project that will reduce vehicle traffic and increase pedestrian and bicycle use on Natural Bridge Road.

(via Flickr/USDAgov)

Mayors from more than a dozen cities and towns along the Mississippi River rallied Thursday in the nation’s capital for more federal attention for the waterway.

The mayors, members of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, will work with the newly-formed Mississippi River Caucus. That's a bi-partisan group of members of Congress. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is co-chair of the initiative.

(Missouri Department of Transportation photo)

You’ve seen them popping up all over the roads in the area. Now, the Missouri Department of Transportation wants you to let them know where they are.

MoDOT’s enhanced pothole repair initiative started Monday. The agency’s goal is to temporarily patch as many potholes as possible as quickly as possible. District engineer Ed Hassinger says that means they want the public to let them know where the worst potholes are. They’ll try to have them filled as quickly as possible, perhaps even within 24 hours.

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says she will take a cut in pay as a show of solidarity with those federal workers who face furloughs due to the sequester.

McCaskill and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida have proposed a bill that would reduce congressional salaries once the furloughs begin. McCaskill says she wants to hold lawmakers accountable for not coming up with an alternative to the sequester as a means of cutting federal spending.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the near-historic Mississippi River flood of 2011 caused $2.8 billion in damage and tested the system of levees, reservoirs and floodways like no other flood before it.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last updated at 11:57 a.m. 2/22. Will be updated as more information becomes available.

Quick links: 

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)


Updated at 5:45 a.m. to include feature story on the Governor's State of the State Address by Marshall Griffin.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) pitched a $25.7 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address.  It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, Higher Education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the Governor’s speech and his proposed spending plan for next year:

(Released by Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster)

A panel of arbitrators in St. Louis is now weighing the future of the St. Louis Rams and the Edward Jones Dome.

The team and the owners of the dome, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, agreed to arbitration over plans to renovate the dome. The lease agreement requires the dome to be among the top quarter of all NFL stadiums by 2015 or the Rams can break the lease, raising concern they could leave St. Louis.

The arbitrators are two retired judges, one from Iowa and one from Colorado, and a labor attorney from Chicago. A ruling isn't expected for several weeks.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Corey Allen, the assistant police chief in the small Metro East community of Centreville, has been indicted by a grand jury for making false statements to federal agents.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says a federal grand jury found that Allen, 31, lied when he told investigators that he had not sold a gun to a convicted felon. The indictment alleges that Allen sold the felon, who has not been named, the gun in May, 2012.

A collaboration between St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Corporation to develop small modular nuclear reactors was passed over Tuesday for initial

funding by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The DOE will, instead, fund a similar project by Babcock & Wilcox and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Ameren/Westinghouse partnership was seeking $452 million in funding to build the SMR's alongside the utility's Callaway county reactor.

McCaskill Re-Elected, Beats Akin In Senate Race

Nov 7, 2012
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill defeated GOP challenger Todd Akin Tuesday to hold on to a Missouri Senate seat that Republicans once considered vulnerable.

McCaskill won with about 54-percent of the vote in the election. She told supporters in St. Louis' Central West End Tuesday night that the victory means more to her because many pundits had predicted she would lose her seat.

"They all said 'it's over, it's done, it's too red, it's just too red, there is no way that Claire McCaskill can survive.' Well, you know what happened? You proved 'em wrong," McCaskill said.

(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

St. Charles city officials are hoping the year-long Blanchette Bridge roadwork that starts this weekend won’t have too much of a negative impact on its stores, casino and restaurants . 

(National Weather Service)

Updated at 7:50 am Sunday with information about Red Cross volunteers.

Ameren says it is sending more than 100 employees Saturday to New England to help with any problems caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy is expected to be a monstrous storm that poses a serious threat for the entire Eastern Seaboard. Forecasters say Sandy is a massive cyclone, with hurricane-force winds recorded as far as 100 miles away from the eye of the storm.

Illinois Department of Transportation

A new section of Illinois Route 255 near Godfrey is now open to motorists.

The freeway has been extended from Seminary Road to Humbert Road. Work on that section of Route 255 had been delayed because of problems with an embankment that caused the pavement to crack.

The last part of Route 255, from Humbert to Illinois Route 111, is expected to be completed in November. When it’s finished, Route 255 will run from I-270 at Edwardsville to U-S Route 67 in Godfrey.