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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Concealed-Carry
3:19 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

While Waiting On State Action, Madison County Sets Its Own Guidelines For Concealed Carry

(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:

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May 31 Tornadoes
12:21 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

NWS: Nine Tornadoes Hit The St. Louis Area May 31

A screen capture of the interactive map made by NOAA of the path of one of the nine tornadoes that touched down in the St. Louis region on May 31, 2013. See the full map in their report linked below.

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

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IL Judge Steps Down
2:24 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

Illinois Judge Facing Drug Charges Quits

Michael N. Cook is sworn in as a St. Clair County Circuit Judge on Oct. 1, 2010, at the county building in Belleville, Ill. He resigned from the bench on Wednesday (May 29, 2013). Cook was charged May 23 by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois with possessing weapons while under the influence of heroin, a felony, and misdemeanor heroin possession.
Credit (Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) / (http://www.bnd.com)

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. 

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MSD Storm Water Case
5:48 pm
Tue May 21, 2013

Mo. Supreme Court Hears MSD Storm Water Case

Credit 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.

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Jefferson Barracks Cemetery
8:37 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Veterans Hope For Deal To Expand Jefferson Barracks

War veterans salute as an American flag passes by during Memorial Day services at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis on May 30, 2011.
(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.

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Flooding
2:33 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Missouri And Illinois Under Disaster Declarations Due To Flooding

The rising Mississippi River takes over the Lewis and Clark statue on the St. Louis Riverfront in St. Louis on April 19, 2013.
(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.

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Churches Fight Violence
4:23 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Churches Enter Fight To Curb Gun Violence

Reverend Robert Shaw, flanked by members of the Missouri Conference of the Fifth Episcopal District of the AME Church, Friday.
Credit (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.

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Natural Bridge Makeover
5:15 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

A New Look Planned For Natural Bridge In Normandy

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.

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Mississippi River Mayors
4:27 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Mayors Rally In DC On Behalf Of Mississippi River

Mayors of Mississippi River towns are advocating for more federal attention for the waterway.
Credit (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.

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Area potholes get filled
4:22 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

MoDOT Wants You To Report Those Pesky Potholes

Missouri Department of Transportation workers patch a pothole on Monday on South Woods Mill Road near Route 40 in Town and Country.
Credit (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.

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