Bill Raack

Editor

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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(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. It says that you cant be required as a condition of getting or keep a job to pay union dues, Ridgeway said. You can still have a union, unions will still function as they do in many of our neighboring states. But it just says that the...

(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. Theyre still not coming to the table, the people that controlled the last majority, are still not coming to...

(via Flickr/ohhhbetty)

Transportation officials are making changes to Interstate 270 and Interstate 255s 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 theyll make the variable speed limits simply advisory by this summer. So law enforcement wont be enforcing them and you may think: well, how is that going to make it any better? Blair said....

Mardi Gras Preview 2011

Mar 4, 2011
(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. Inside of that number, were going to have about 30 plain clothes police officers and four people from the citys...

(U.S. Census Bureau)

The U.S. Census Bureau has released new data for Missouri. Click Read More for an interactive map through which you can investigate the data, county-by-county. Weve also got our listening area counties and congressional districts broken down, and news stories to put it all in context. How has your area changed in 10 years?

The University of Missouri continues to grapple with the implications of the most recent incident of racism on its Columbia campus. Graffiti containing a racial slur was found in front of a residence hall on Saturday morning. It is the second racially-charged incident this year. At a panel discussion on hate crime today, Mizzou law professor David Mitchell said that African-American students and professors should be able to go class and work in an environment free of racism. I think about the...

No deal for Pujols today. Now what?

Feb 16, 2011

First basemen Albert Pujols is entering his eleventh season as a St. Louis Cardinal, and now, its looking like it might be his last. Albert Pujols spring training deadline for a new contract with the St. Louis Cardinals came and went today without a deal. The Cardinals say they tried to reach agreement with Pujols for several months and they are greatly disappointed they were unsuccessful. General Manager John Mozeliak says at Pujols request, no more talks will be held until the end of the...

(via Flickr/boeingdreamscape)

American Airlines is recalling more former TWA flight attendants. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says American will rehire 365 of the furloughed employees. The TWA flight attendants were put at the bottom of the seniority list when the airline was bought out by American . In 2001, American laid off 2,500 flight attendants, many of whom used to work for TWA. Roger Graham, who was among those furloughed, says the recall is great news for the flight attendants. “They’re gone on to positions that,...

(via Flickr/bravenewtraveler)

There's a new kid on the block when it comes to local magazines in St. Louis. “Town and Style” will launch Wednesday with its first issue. The magazine says it will cover the lives and activities of residents in the region’s central corridor communities. Many of the new publication’s employees formerly worked for “ Ladue News ” but “Town and Style” editor-in-chief Dorothy Weiner -- herself the former editor-in chief of "Ladue News" -- says it will be much different from the society magazine. “We will be focusing of course on people and on the central corridor, and we want to have a rather extended reach. We’re hoping to go from Central West End all the way out to Wildwood and focus on the community with lots of people pictures and all the things that are going on here, Weiner said.” “Town and Style” will be free and distributed at area restaurants, grocery stores and other outlets. The initial circulation goal is 37,500.

The director of John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis says surgeries could resume next week at the facility. The center stopped performing surgeries because of concerns over contamination on some operating-room equipment. Meanwhile, congressional reaction to the new problems has been harsh.

The St. Louis office of the National Weather Service has released its Spring Flood Outlook . Hydrologist Mark Fuchs says the potential for spring flooding is much higher than usual, especially along the Mississippi River, but Fuchs says the data doesn't predict significant flooding in the St. Louis area. "As far as St. Louis is concerned, the Missouri River does look to be a little above average, as far as flood chances are concerned, and similarly, the Mississippi of St. Louis probably a...

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri is coming under fire after a report in the New York Times accuses her of working against bringing the Democratic National Convention to the state. The report quoted an anonymous source in the White House as saying that McCaskill was privately against the city of St. Louis’ bid because it could hurt her re-election efforts. She says that’s not true: “I had personal conversations with all of the decision-makers on this, telling them how much this meant...

Dealing with the aftermath of this winter storm? We have information and resources to help. Also, if you h ave some photos of your winter storm experience to share, post them here . Follow other news and weather-related updates with us on Twitter: @stlpublicradio

More headaches for those driving west on I-64 into St. Charles County. The westbound lanes of the Daniel Boone Bridge will be closed again this weekend, from 8 p.m. tonight until 5 a.m. Monday. The bridge carries about 75,000 cars daily over the Missouri River. Andrew Gates with the Missouri Department of Transportation says the maintenance work needs to be done to keep the 1935-era span safe until there's money available to replace it. "It's stuff that has needed to be done, not that that...

New 2010 U.S. Census figures will be released tomorrow. And that could be bad news for the St. Louis region. Some experts say the state is just shy of the population it would need to retain all nine of its seats in the U.S. House of Representatives . Washington University political science professor Steven Smith says it would be "a substantial loss" for Missouri's influence on Capitol Hill.
"An awful lot of what goes on in Washington takes place in the committee rooms and obviously with...

(Photo couresy of the Alton Regional Convention and Visitor's Bureau)

It happens at this time of year -- rivers freeze. Well, ice on the Illinois River has again shut down the Brussels Ferry .

(Flickr Creative Commons User John Steven Fernandez)

Film critics in St. Louis are getting a jump on the foreign journalists that decide the Golden Globe award winners. While the nominees for 2010 Globes will be announced tomorrow, the St. Louis Film Critics have announced their list today. The St. Louis nominees for Best Picture are: Black Swan The Fighter Inception The King's Speech The Social Network Best Actor nominees are: Javier Bardem (Biutiful) Jeff Bridges (True Grit) Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) Colin Firth (The King's Speech)...

(Forest Park Forever)

Always looking for a place to relieve yourself on that afternoon run in Forest Park? Look no further. As workers put the final touches on side-by-side hard and soft exercise paths ringing Forest Park, another hearing will be held tonight on the amenities that will be added along the paths. Forest Park officials say they've received more than 600 suggestions on what to include. Forest Park Forever executive director Leslie Hoffarth said that they include more restrooms, water fountains and...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc-LPfujwqE&feature=player_embedded Ann Wagner, a familiar face to Missouri Republicans , (and the people of Luxembourg ) announced her intentions for a bigger post today; Chairman of the Republican National Committee .

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