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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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).
House website

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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Cardinals at the White House
4:40 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Obama: World Series-winning Cards "greatest comeback team in the history of baseball"

The St. Louis Cardinals 2011 World Series championship team poses for a photo with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama at the White House on Jan. 17.
(Screen Capture/WhiteHouse.gov)

Members of the St. Louis Cardinals were honored at the White House Tuesday for the team's World Series championship last year.

President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, Chicago White Sox and Cubs fans respectively, both heaped praise on the Cardinals for their late-season comeback and their ability to beat the odds in the playoffs, defeating the Texas Rangers in the World Series.  

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Weather
8:11 am
Fri December 30, 2011

2011 to be remembered as year of weather extremes

Damage to the nose of an American Airlines plane can be seen through a shattered window in the C concourse at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport in St. Louis on April 23, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The year 2011 got off to a strange start following a rare winter tornado on New Year's Eve. It was one of a number of severe weather events during the cold weather months, followed by the F-4 tornado that hit north St. Louis County and Lambert Airport in April, and plenty of flooding.

National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kramper says it was a very unusual first five months.

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Morning round-up
7:53 am
Fri December 30, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, December 30, 2011

Mo. lawmakers will take up school funding formula when they convene January 4.
(via Flickr/alextakesphotos)

Mo. lawmakers to consider changes to school funding formula

Legislative leaders say addressing Missouri's school funding formula is one of their top priorities for the annual session that starts Wednesday.

Because of tight budgets there has not been enough money in recent years to fully fund the education formula. That has prompted concern that the distribution of the money could benefit certain districts at the expense of others.

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A Good Year St. Louis
6:35 am
Wed December 28, 2011

Grab some popcorn: it was a good year for local documentaries

A title-screen snapshot of several of the local documentaries that had "a good year" in 2011.
(Screen captures/press kits/ compiled by Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

It’s been a good year for documentary films focused on issues in St. Louis and for local filmmakers. “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth,” about the urban housing complex of the 1950s and 60s; “Brick by Chance and Fortune,” which looks at St. Louis’ architectural heritage; “The Gray Seasons,” about a four-year span with the Saint Louis University women’s basketball team; and "Give a Damn?," the story of three St. Louisians who explore the issue of poverty across three continents; have all been popular at film festivals in 2011.

As part of St. Louis Public Radio’s series, “A Good Year”, Bill Raack spoke with Cliff Froehlich, the executive director of Cinema St. Louis. Here's a summary of their conversation: 

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Missouri Department of Transportation
9:23 am
Tue December 27, 2011

MoDot director says agency facing leaner 2012

The Missouri Department of Transportation decided to address budget troubles in 2011 with a plan to lay off workers, close some facilities and sell off equipment. MoDot Director Kevin Keith says he's optimistic 2012 won't be as tough.
UPI/Missouri Department of Highways and Transportation

The head of the Missouri Department of Transportation is hoping that 2012 will be a better year than this one. The agency had to make some pretty drastic budget decisions this year.

"It was hard," said MoDot Director Kevin Keith. "You know, that was the first word that comes to mind. It was hard."

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