Donna Korando | St. Louis Public Radio

Donna Korando

Arts & Culture, Voices Editor

Donna Korando started work in journalism at SIU’s Daily Egyptian in 1968. In between Carbondale and St. Louis Public Radio, she taught high school in Manitowoc, Wis., and worked at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the copy editor and letters editor for the editorial page from 1973-77. As an editorial writer from 1977-87, she covered Illinois and city politics, education, agriculture, family issues and sub-Saharan Africa. When she was editor of the Commentary Page from 1987-2003, the page won several awards from the Association of Opinion Page Editors. From 2003-07, she headed the features copy desk.

She was part of the original staff of the St. Louis Beacon where she worked with features and commentary articles, combining her experience at the Post-Dispatch. Those areas remain her focus.

In addition to a journalism degree from SIUC, Donna earned a master of studies in law from Yale Law School. Her son and daughter took to heart her advice to go away to college and live far from St. Louis. Two cats rule the house.

Ways to Connect

Antonio French

First, a tribute to those who are trying to work as the snow piles up. But for many, though, it's been a day at home. Reports have come in of cookies baking, chili in Crock-Pots and books being read by people curled up under warm throws.

We asked staff and friends to send us photos if they ventured out — some stayed in and took their photos; others didn't venture far, except for the intrepid Robert W. Duffy. To share your pictures, email to

sign for medical marijuana
Wikimedia Commons

With the start of the new year, hundred of laws are taking effect in Illinois. The marquee issues include marijuana, cell phone use, sex education and littering. But all sorts of laws will become enforceable, dealing with everything from special license plates to health-and-safety requirements. For a comprehensive list, go to the Quincy Journal.

view of studio
Thomas Crone for the Beacon

The move of community radio station KDHX from the former bakery on Magnolia Avenue to the newly rehabbed building in Grand Center was completed Sunday. The "Songwriters Showcase" broadcast from the old station from 10 a.m. to noon.

Created by Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - The University of Missouri and Auburn University are facing off at 3 p.m. Dec. 7 for the Southeastern Conference championship. We’d say, “Go, Tigers!” but the teams have the same mascot.

 2013 arch photo
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Beacon

Today officials are set to break ground on the Central Riverfront phase of the CityArchRiver project, which brings $23 million worth of improvements to Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard and which should be done by October 2015. Among the most visible improvements: Elevating the road out of the Mississippi River floodplain.

Kelly: Whether blocking a jigsaw puzzle or posing before a concert she was the center of attention.
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - "From Our Homes To You” — that’s the theme of this year’s parlor tour in Lafayette Square.

In little ways the press release tells how far the area has come. "Enjoy one of the finest neighborhood examples of urban rebirth,” it says.

Ted Drewes fire 11/10/13
Brent Jones | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - The only fire we’d ever like to hear associated with Ted Drewes would be an Atomic Fireball concrete.

But Sunday afternoon, St. Louis firetrucks were at the classic frozen custard stand on Chippewa. And they weren't getting orders to take back to the station.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon - For a little more than a week, the Beacon has had a visitor from Moscow, the editor of a journal on journalism who also teaches at the university level there. Early in her stay I gave her a list of possible music I would like that we could hear on Friday night: The Arianna String Quartet, “Faust” at Winter Opera, Mozart at the Symphony and Alabama at the Fox. She didn’t hesitate: Alabama.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - Standard & Poor’s has informed St. Louis County that it has lost its AAA bond rating, a move that could prompt higher interest costs for the county in any bond issue – and force County Executive Charlie Dooley to drop any reference to the old rating in his campaign literature.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Beacon very seldom reviews one-evening concerts. By the time the review would appear, the chance for a person to see the show is gone. So a review either reinforces the experience for those who were there or tells many others that they missed an opportunity.

But what should never be forgotten is the importance of music. Associate editor Robert Duffy has written eloquently about the ability of music, usually opera or classical concerts, to elevate the mind and touch the soul.

Rick Perry wants Missouri employers to head to Texas.
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Texas Gov. Rick Perry exhorted like-minded low-tax conservatives Thursday night to take action to persuade Missouri legislators to overturn Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of the tax-cut bill that has consumed this summer’s political debate.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | 2013 photo

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Although Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick will be the headliner at this Saturday’s annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner downtown, the real attraction for Missouri Democrats could well be the dinner-table talk about the direction of the state party.

Patrick will be joined by the state's top Democrats for what is traditionally the party's top fundraising event of the year. Always held in St. Louis, this year's dinner is at the Renaissance Grand hotel.

auction photo southern Illinois
Rachel Heidenry | Beacon archive | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: It’s just stuff.

That’s what I told myself for weeks as I placed item after item in strawberry flats.

But it was mom and dad’s “stuff.” One bowl (Bavarian) was more beautiful than another (Heisey). One lure (wooden, hand painted) was more interesting than the next (a bass annihilator).

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon:I am writing regarding the National Rifle Association’s position on several firearms-related proposals under consideration in the Senate.

S. 649, the “Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013,” introduced on March 21, contains a number of provisions that would unfairly infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding gun owners. This legislation would criminalize the private transfer of firearms by honest citizens, requiring friends, neighbors and many family members to get government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution. The NRA is unequivocally opposed to S. 649.

An assortment of shaving mugs
Donna Korando | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Dad died almost exactly a year and a half before we will have the auction at which his things, and Mom’s, will be sold.

Our family is lucky we’ve had this gift of time.

Oh, it’s going to be quite the sale -- perhaps as many as three rings at one time. By and large, Mom’s collections will be offered in front of the house, Dad’s in the back. With a middle section selling coins at least part of the time.

Mayor Adam Paul and lawyer Chet Pleban
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: The Ellisville City Council was enmeshed in a long Night Two of its deliberations on the proposed impeachment of Mayor Adam Paul.

Four hours into Tuesday night's proceedings, the council was still listening to witnesses and the back-and-forth between the lawyers representing the council and Paul.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Name: Rod Wright

Party: Democrat

Age: 61

Education:  William Jewell College, Washington University

Job:  President, Unicom ARC, a political consulting firm in St. Louis.

We're getting our basic information together for the general election page that will be going up fairly soon on the Beacon. And I was double checking the Illinois districts.

Shimkus, check. Opposed.

Costello, check. Opposed.

Hare, hmmm. I haven't been following Illinois politics as closely as I once did. Who is Hare? He was first elected in 2006 and was unopposed in 2008. Since the race wasn't contested two years ago, he was under my radar screen.

I just opened an email from Rachelle L'Ecuyer, the excellent PR master for Maplewood. Part of this missive directed late night/early morning folks to Tiffany's Original Diner. According to L'Ecuyer, "Here you can indulge in made to order eggs, fries, burgers and great milkshakes. Plus, while your eggs are frying, you can pop a dollar in the jukebox and be serenaded by your favorite Classic Rock tunes."

Dollar?!? Jukebox?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: November 20, 2008 - When you read about the stories that "A Powerful Noises" focuses on, you might wonder why you'd like to go. 

As the movie's website says, "Hanh is an HIV-positive widow in Vietnam. Nada, a survivor of the Bosnian war. And Jacqueline works the slums of Bamako, Mali" as a community organizer.

From Lafayette Park Conservancy

The Benton statue was dedicated 140 years ago.


Harriet Hosmer was an artist who had to fight for the right to learn her craft. She was able to attend medical school and learn anatomy only because of the intervention of St. Louisan Wayman Crow. (Click here to read the Beacon story .)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In the picture on the sweatshirt they gave me, they are so small. My basketball team. They are not small because they are in grade school. They are small.

And there, standing next to me in a triple-threat pose is one of smallest girls, one with red hair and an infectious grin: Emily Starkloff. She was one of a trio of players on my eight-person roster who either hadn't passed the 5-foot mark or just barely crossed it.

Book cover, Black Olives
Provided by the publisher

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Martha Tod Dudman gained respect and renown as a writer of brutally honest nonfiction – "Augusta, Gone" and "Expecting to Fly" – that laid bare her personal and familial relations. So we had to ask how much of "Black Olives" is based on fact.

The face of Darfur

Apr 24, 2008

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: St. Louisans who have a mundane reason to go to St. Louis City Hall next week - renew license plates, check a deed, pay a water bill - will come face to face with people a world away.

"Faces of Darfur" presents images of refugees who have fled what has been labeled a genocide, of Darfuris who have remained in Sudan and face continuous danger, of people trying to maintain a life where stability does not exist.

These tiny books are less than one inch.
Provided by Washington University

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Most people are well aware that size has nothing to do with worth. Treasure can be made up of small, but precious objects. For all too many St. Louisans, it will take a bit of a treasure hunt to find a marvelous new exhibit that shows off tiny masterpieces.