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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Susie Stephens Ceremony
5:41 pm
Fri April 15, 2011

Ceremony at Gateway Arch to honor woman struck, killed by bus in St. Louis

The late Susie Stephens.
(Martin Pion, Conservion)

A ceremony will be held on the Gateway Arch grounds tomorrow to honor a woman who was struck and killed by a charter bus while walking in downtown St. Louis nine years ago.

Susie Stephens was a strong advocate for bicycle and pedestrian safety, and was attending a conference on the issue in 2002 when she lost her life near the Adam's Mark Hotel. Her mother, Nancy MacKerrow, has been planting trees around the country in Susie's honor for years, but this is the first in St. Louis.

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Heroin in St. Louis
2:47 pm
Thu April 7, 2011

Area law enforcement to crack down on heroin use through three-pronged approach

St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch (standing at podium).
Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio

The use of heroin in the St. Louis area is at epidemic levels, according to law enforcement officials.

The number of heroin overdoses and deaths has doubled in the St. Louis County and city over the past four years. St. Louis County Chief of Police Tim Fitch said the drug is cheaper now and it can be snorted or smoked, instead of injected. He said it's no longer just an urban issue.

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St. Louis Public Radio at Grand Center
1:33 pm
Tue April 5, 2011

St. Louis Public Radio to break ground on new building April 15

A rendering of the proposed exterior of the new home of St. Louis Public Radio at Grand Center in St. Louis. Groundbreaking for the new facility is set for April 15.
(Chiodini Associates, architects, and AxiOme, design consultant)

Want to see more images of the new building's design? Check out a full gallery on Posterous.

Groundbreaking has been set for St. Louis Public Radio and the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ new home in Grand Center.

The public radio station’s general manager, Tim Eby, confirms that work will begin on the site just east of KETC public television on Friday, April 15. The three-story, 27,000-square-foot building is expected to take one year to complete.

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Maline Greenway
6:16 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

New "Maline Greenway" trail will connect UMSL, Mississippi River

(via Flickr/photohome_uk)

North St. Louis County residents can weigh in this week on a project to connect the region with a new walking and biking trail.

Officials are in the process of developing the 7.5-mile-long Maline Greenway, which will run from the University of Missouri-St. Louis east to the Mississippi River. The Great Rivers Greenway's Lonnie Boring is the project manager.

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Cahokia School District
4:16 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Cahokia School Board meeting to decide on teacher layoffs

comedy_nose Flickr

The Cahokia School Board will meet tonight to decide whether to lay off up to 70 teachers because of a budget deficit.

School officials have said that lower tax revenues and delayed state payments have left Cahokia's budget about $1 million in the red. Brent Murphy, president of the Cahokia Federation of Teachers, says he hopes that reducing instructors and other staff is not the only solution.

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Roy Blunt on Nuclear Power
4:47 pm
Thu March 17, 2011

Blunt says plans for new nuclear power facilities should continue in U.S.

U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt in 2010.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Despite the ongoing danger of nuclear reactor meltdowns in Japan, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri says plans for new facilities should continue in this country.

Workers in Japan are trying to cool overheating reactors damaged by last week's earthquake and tsunami. Blunt says earthquakes would likely not cause similar problems at any nuclear facility in the U.S., including Missouri's lone reactor in Callaway County.

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Right-to-Work
4:56 pm
Mon March 14, 2011

Ridgeway, Finklestein on right-to-work debate

Missouri State Sen. Luann Ridgeway (R-Smithville).
(Missouri Senate Website)

Missouri lawmakers are expected to debate controversial right-to-work legislation this week.

One bill would prohibit closed-union shops, in which all employees must pay fees for union representation. The Senate sponsor is Republican Luann Ridgeway of Smithville.

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Federal Budget / Roy Blunt
4:58 pm
Thu March 10, 2011

Blunt blames fed. budget deadlock on last Congress

Then-U.S. Rep. Roy Blunt in 2010. Now-U.S. Sen. Blunt says the new Congress did not create the current environment regarding federal budget negotiations; the previous one, controlled by Democrats, did.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri is blaming the current federal budget deadlock on the last Congress.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected a budget proposal approved by the Republican-controlled House, as well as an alternative favored by Democrats. Blunt, a Republican from Springfield, says the new Congress did not create this environment; the previous one, controlled by Democrats, did.

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Advisory Speed Limits
5:13 pm
Wed March 9, 2011

Variable speed limits changing to "advisory" on I-270, I-255

(via Flickr/ohhhbetty)

Transportation officials are making changes to Interstate 270 and Interstate 255’s controversial variable speed limits.

MoDOT says a new study finds that they have helped traffic flow slightly since they were instituted in 2008, and accidents are down on the busy highway. So MoDOT engineer Tom Blair says they’ll make the variable speed limits simply "advisory" by this summer.

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Soulard Mardi Gras
5:49 pm
Fri March 4, 2011

Mardi Gras Preview 2011

The Soulard Mardi Gras flag.
(via Mardi Gras, Inc.)

Large crowds are expected to converge on the Soulard neighborhood tomorrow for Mardi Gras festivities.

The party – which some say is among the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the country – gets underway with River City Casino Grand Parade at 11 a.m. tomorrow. St. Louis Police Captain Sam Dotson says the department will have two shifts of about 200 officers working Mardi Gras.

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