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.

Ways To Connect

(Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio)

Hearings will begin in about a week on a $276 million rate increase request for the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. MSD says the rate hike is needed to comply with stricter regulatory requirements and to reduce wastewater overflows into area creeks and streams.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Lambert Airport officials say it could take up to a year to repair all of the damage inflicted by the Good Friday tornado. The twister blew out windows and tore part of the roof off of the C Concourse. The concourse has been closed off since the night of the tornado, with gates and waiting areas moved to the D Concourse, which had been closed previously.

(Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

A new survey released today finds that most area veterans are happy with the care and service they get from local VA medical facilities.

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) initiated the survey following problems at the John Cochran VA center last summer. At a press conference at the Soldiers' Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis, McCaskill said most of the 185 veterans surveyed had positive things to say about the local VA hospitals but there’s room for improvement.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) wants the federal government to pay 100 percent of the cleanup costs from the Joplin tornado.

The federal government typically covers 75 percent of the costs of responding to disasters, with state and local governments picking up the rest. But Blunt says he has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to pick up more than that in Joplin’s case.

(Courtesy Nick Sargent)

Updated 4:30 p.m. May 23:

Severe weather hit the St. Louis area once again this season. Severe winds, hail and large amounts of rain all contributed to today's storm.

So far, this is what we know:

(Missouri Department of Natural Resources photo)

It's getting warmer in St. Louis and that means the issue of the region's air quality returns to the forefront.

Historically, the area has had pretty poor ozone levels. (Ozone is the main ingredient of urban smog that can be a significant health hazard, particularly for children with asthma.) Susannah Fuchs with the American Lung Association says the region’s air quality has gotten better but it still needs work.

(Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

U.S. Congressman Russ Carnahan says he still has not decided what political office he’ll pursue next year.

The St. Louis Democrat’s 3rd Congressional District will be eliminated based on redistricting maps approved by Missouri lawmakers. Today Carnahan was asked by reporters if 2nd District congressman Todd Akin’s announcement this week that he’ll run for the Senate makes his decision easier.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is co-sponsoring legislation that would end tax breaks for the five largest oil companies in the U.S.

The Democrat-backed measure would cut off Shell, Exxon Mobil, Conoco Philips, BP and Chevron from $2 billion per year in subsidies. McCaskill says the savings would go to pay off the country’s spiraling deficit.

(via White House photographer Pete Souza)

On today's St. Louis on the Air, our guests shared their unique perspectives on the death of Osama bin Laden, and what it means for the war on terror.

You can listen to the full show here, but here are a few highlights:

SLPRnews

Governor Jay Nixon vetoed the new congressional districts map over the weekend, saying that it didn’t appropriately reflect the state’s various regions. The governor is hoping state lawmakers will give it another try before the legislative session ends.

Getting the map to the Governor’s desk wasn’t easy. But eventually the Republican-controlled legislature agreed on how to reduce the number of congressional districts from nine to eight. Governor Nixon said on Sunday in St. Louis that he vetoed it because it had too many problems.

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