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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Metro fares
5:00 am
Mon April 16, 2012

Hearings this week on Metro fare hike

Hearings will be held his week on proposed fare increases for Metro
(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

Residents can weigh in starting today on proposed fare increases for mass transit in St. Louis. The Metro transit agency is considering three options for raising fares this year – one would increase only the costs of weekly, monthly and university semester passes; the second would raise the cost of all passes except day passes; and the third would spread the increase to all fares, including buses and Metrolink. 

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Morning round-up
9:37 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, March 30, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached the levee at Birds Point as part of the activation of the floodway May 2, 2011.
(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Army Corps. seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed on behalf of southeast Mo. farmers

More than 140 southeast Missouri farmers are seeking damage caused by last year's intentional breach of the Birds Point levee at the height of spring flooding.

The Southeast Missourian reports that government attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled to begin April 10 in Washington.

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Illinois State Budget / Tamms Prison
4:40 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Quinn defends plan to close super-max prison in southern Ill.

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Reporting from WBEZ's Alex Keefe used in this report.

Governor Pat Quinn is defending his plan to close a super-maximum security prison in southern Illinois.

The governor's office says closing Tamms prison would save the state nearly $22 million next year. Quinn says it costs more than 64,000 per year to lock up a prisoner there - about three times the statewide average.

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MEM Co. audit
5:31 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Missouri audit criticizes state-created insurance company

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

A report by the Missouri auditor finds that a state-created insurance company has built a competitive advantage by claiming to be a public corporation but operating as a private entity.

State Auditor Tom Schweich says Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Co.’s federal tax-exempt status has saved it about $50 million since it was created in 1993. At the same time, it pays large amounts of money for salaries and executive perks. Schweich says lawmakers need to clarify if it's appropriate for the company to continue as a public corporation.

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Soulard Mardi Gras
12:02 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Mardi Gras celebration kicks into high gear in St. Louis

The route (in blue) of the River City Grand Parade Saturday in St. Louis.
(Courtesy of Mardi Gras, Inc.)

One of the area’s biggest public parties of the year takes place in the Soulard neighborhood this weekend. 

Organizers of the Mardi Gras celebration are expecting more than 100 units and 2000 people in the River City Grand Parade Saturday. It’s the 33rd year for the event, which has grown to become one of the largest Mardi Gras parties in the country. Spokesman Mack Bradley says they’ve worked hard to make sure the event is fun – and safe – for everyone.

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AB expansion
10:57 am
Mon February 13, 2012

AB plans to increase production at Arnold can facility

Anheuser-Busch announced Monday that it will expand production at its Arnold, Mo., Metal Container Corporation facility.

Anheuser-Busch announced Monday that it plans to increase production at its Metal Container Corporation in Arnold, resulting in at least 20 new jobs there.

Metal Container Corporation supplies more than 45 percent of the beer brewer's beer cans and 55 percent of its lids in the United States. It also produces cans and lids for soft drink companies, including PepsiCo and Monster Beverage Corporation.

The expansion announced Monday will add about 100,000 square feet to the Arnold facility. It's expected to be complete in 2013.

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Metrolink maintenance
12:51 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Metrolink rails due for some grinding work

Metrolink tracks will undergo some grinding work over the next few months.
St. Louis Public Radio Staff St. Louis Public Radio

A months-long project that will involve grinding Metrolink’s entire system of rails begins Friday night.

It’s the first time since the late 1990’s that Metro has done the grinding on its light rail line. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams says it will make the track more smooth and improve riders' experience. 

"It needs to be done periodically. It simply extends the life of the rail, and that's a big investment in the track," Williams said.

The work will be done at night, which means people may see bright red sparks where the grinding of metal on metal is being done.

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MO Presidential Primary Preview
4:44 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Missouri state representative explains role of Tuesday's presidential primary

Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood).
(via Rick Stream for State Representative)

Representative Rick Stream (R-Kirkwood) says Tuesday’s GOP presidential primary election may not be as pointless as some think.

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Morning round-up
9:27 am
Mon January 30, 2012

Morning headlines: Monday, January 30, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached the levee at Birds Point as part of the activation of the floodway May 2, 2011.
Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs

Army Corps inspecting Birds Point Levee daily

Inspectors with the Army Corps of Engineers are performing daily inspections of the area where the Birds Point levee was intentionally breached in May. Maj. Jon Korneliussen told the Sikeston Standard Democrat that daily patrols are checking the middle and upper crevasses created by the implosion that happened at the height of spring flooding.

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Morning round-up
9:39 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Morning headlines: Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Republican Congressman Jim Shimkus.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Shimkus on Obama's State of the Union address

President Barack Obama delivered an election-year message to Republicans: Game on.

The GOP - in Congress and on the campaign trail - signaled it's ready for the fight.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama issued a populist call for income equality that echoed the Occupy Wall Street movement. He also challenged GOP lawmakers to work with him or move aside so he could use the power of the presidency to produce results for an electorate uncertain whether he deserves another term.

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