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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Cochran VA Medical Center
5:56 am
Wed August 31, 2011

Carnahan says Cochran VA is improving

Congressman Russ Carnahan says John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis has made improvements.
Official gov't photo via Wikimedia Commons/online Congressional guide

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan says the troubled John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis is showing signs of improvement. He points to recent studies and surveys that show the facility's patients are more satisfied with their care.

Carnahan has been critical of problems at the facility over the past year, but now says administrators are turning things around.

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Business
5:26 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Ameren Illinois rate hike proposal comes under fire

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

 Opponents of Ameren Illinois’ $90 million rate increase request are gearing up for a hard fight.

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and the AARP held a series of press conferences today to explain why they want state regulators to reject the proposal. Ameren Illinois is asking for an exorbitant “return on equity,” which is the allowed profit rate for shareholders, according to CUB senior policy analyst Bryan McDaniel.

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Claire McCaskill / Debt Ceiling
2:00 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

McCaskill "embarrassed" by actions of Congress during debt ceiling debate

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says she was embarrassed by the actions of Congress during the recent debt ceiling debate.

McCaskill visited a number of manufacturers around the state this week to learn how to create more jobs and stop work from being shipped overseas. And she says she got an earful from constituents upset with Congress' inability to compromise on extending the debt ceiling.

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Morning round-up
9:25 am
Wed August 3, 2011

Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mississippi River Bridge under construction.
Photo courtesy of MoDOT

Workers threaten to shut down construction on Mississippi River bridge

A group that's trying to get more construction jobs for minority workers says it'll shut down work on a new Mississippi River bridge near St. Louis. The Metro East Black Contractors Organization says it's meeting with the director of the Illinois Department of Transportation on Friday. The group says it'll shut down work on Monday if the meeting isn't satisfactory.

St. Louis Science Center to reduce number of VPs

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Senators support debt deal
5:06 pm
Tue August 2, 2011

Missouri's senators back controversial debt measure

Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)

 Both of Missouri’s U.S. senators today supported the emergency bill that averts a first-ever government default. The measure, which was the source of months of contentious and partisan debate, raises the nation’s debt ceiling. Republican Senator Roy Blunt says he voted for the bill because it’s a good first step to rein in federal spending.

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Morning round-up
9:29 am
Mon July 18, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, July 18, 2011

The National Weather Service says an excessive heat advisory remains in effect until 7 p.m. on Friday. Heat index values will be between 105 and 110 degrees.
(Flickr/jetsandzeppelins)

Another excessive heat advisory in place

An excessive heat warning remains in effect until 7 p.m Friday.

The National Weather Service says a dangerous combination of heat and humidity will lead to afternoon and early evening heat index values between 105 and 115 degrees through Friday.

Aldermen working on St. Louis copper theft proposal this summer

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Lambert Airport renovation
5:16 pm
Fri July 15, 2011

More renovation at Lambert Airport

Passengers line up to move through security in Lambert's Terminal 1.
St. Louis Public Radio photo

Travelers using Lambert Airport will see some new renovation disruptions beginning next week.

Airport officials say a major phase of its renovation plan will impact Concourse B and Concourse D checkpoint areas, meaning detours for arriving and departing passengers. Construction walls will be erected around the checkpoint throughout the final two weeks of July, as well as in the atrium above in the ticketing area.

You can see the latest updates to the airport's renovation plan here.

 

City of St. Louis Sustainability
5:14 pm
Mon June 27, 2011

City of St. Louis looks to improve its sustainability efforts

Mayor Francis Slay and Paul Dickinson, the Executive Chairman of the Carbon Disclosure Project, appear at a press conference in St. Louis Monday.
(photo by Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio)

The city of St. Louis says Lambert Airport and the municipal water division are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases.

The city's so-called greenhouse gas emissions inventory looks at 2005 data and will serve as the benchmark for improvements that are being made in the city of St. Louis. Catherine Werner, the city’s sustainability director, says this is the first time that they’ll measure the effects of their reduction efforts.

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St. Louis releases IBM study findings
5:23 pm
Wed June 22, 2011

New IBM study looks at making St. Louis safer

(via Flickr/Patrick H~)

A new study has found that the city of St. Louis’ various agencies and officials need to work together more closely in order to cut down on crime and make the city a safer place to live.

A team of IBM consultants spent three weeks in St. Louis this spring studying the use of data and technology in the city’s various law enforcement agencies. St. Louis was awarded a grant by IBM as part of the technology firm's "Smarter Cities" program.

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Nixon seeks to ensure sand for flood fighting
2:48 pm
Tue June 21, 2011

Nixon orders more sand for flood-fighting in Missouri

Levee breach in Atchison County, Missouri, on June 13, 2011.
(Photo courtesy Atchison County Emergency Management)

The state of Missouri is poised to help some of the towns along the Missouri River who may be running out of sand for sandbags.

Governor Jay Nixon is ordering the State Emergency Management Agency to help those fighting flooding along the Missouri River to obtain more sand.  At Nixon's direction, SEMA has identified additional suppliers that could provide sand if local supplies are exhausted or running low.

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