Bill Raack


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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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis Cardinals fans got some bad news today. Star first baseman Albert Pujols will be out for 4-6 weeks with a fractured left forearm.

The team announced the results of an MRI and CT scan today, one day after Pujols was injured in a game against Kansas City at Busch Stadium. Pujols was hurt on a play at first base in the sixth inning. He was fielding a throw that was off-target and Kansas City's Wilson Betemit collided with his glove hand as Pujols was pulled toward home. The Cards' three-time MVP went down to the ground in pain.

(photo by Bill Raack, St. Louis Public Radio)

The organization that provides air conditioners to seniors and the disabled in St. Louis during summer months says it’s getting some financial help.

Cool Down St. Louis accepted $12,500 today from Hardee’s, Vatterott Educational Centers and the financial services company, Citi. Cool Down board chairwoman Melanie DiLeo says with another hot summer expected, they’ll need more help to prevent heat-related deaths in the region.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Cardinals, Royals to team up for series to benefit Joplin recovery

The St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals will be teaming up to help raise money for tornado recovery efforts in Joplin, Mo. Missouri's two Major League Baseball teams are to meet for an interleague series June 17-19 in St. Louis.

(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:


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.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

For the first time in more than 50 years, St. Louis County has an elected assessor - not one appointed by the county executive.

Jake Zimmerman was sworn into office today following his election on April 5. Zimmerman says his priority is to build an accountable office that listens to the county's taxpayers.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. announced today that St. Louis has been awarded a $4 million federal grant for public transportation upgrades.

The money will be provided jointly by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration, according to a press release from McCaskill's office. 

So, how will St. Louis use the money?

The release states that the grants will be used to aid in the replacement of up to 12 buses in the Metro's current bus fleet.

(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.

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.

(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.

(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.

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.