Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Evie Hemphill

Talk Show Producer

Evie Hemphill joined the St. Louis on the Air team in February 2018. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2005, she started her career as a reporter for the Westminster Window in Colorado. Several years later she went on to pursue graduate work in creative writing at the University of Wyoming and moved to St. Louis upon earning an MFA in the spring of 2010. She worked as writer and editor for Washington University Libraries until 2014 and then spent several more years in public relations for the University of Missouri–St. Louis before making the shift to St. Louis Public Radio.

When she’s not helping to produce the talk show, Evie can typically be found navigating the city sans car, volunteering for St. Louis BWorks or trying to get the majority of the dance steps correct as a member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois. She’s married to Joe, cat-mom to Dash and rather obsessive about doubt, certitude and the places where refuge and risk intersect.

The history of the region’s closed streets comes into sharp focus in the latest episode of St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” podcast.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

Featuring everything from wrought-iron gates to concrete balls, restricted streets are a common characteristic in some St. Louis-area neighborhoods. That’s by design – and not just in an architectural sense.

“The first gated street in St. Louis was Benton Place, which is in Lafayette Square,” St. Louis Public Radio’s Tim Lloyd said Thursday in conversation with host Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air. “It was built just after the Civil War … the wealthy elite in St. Louis were not happy with where they were living, mostly in the urban core at that time.”

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Friday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will take a look at the local ramifications of a news story that continues to rock the nation: the treatment of migrant parents and children along the U.S.'s southern border.

Joining him for a conversation focused on President Donald Trump’s evolving immigration policies will be three St. Louis-area residents whose areas of expertise shed light on the real-life impacts of those policies:

Regional freight leaders (from left) Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Mary Lamie and Mike McCarthy discussed the key role that St. Louis could play in the evolving world of logistics.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

National freight volume is expected to grow significantly over the next 30 years according to regional leaders who want to ensure that St. Louis captures a share of the increase in traffic. Mary Lamie is one of them, and she’s hopeful about the possibilities ahead considering the Gateway City’s existing infrastructure and assets.

“We are strategically located in the United States for freight movements,” Lamie, the executive director of the St. Louis Regional Freightway, said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “We’re home to six Class I railroads, four interstates, two international air-cargo airports – and we have some of the best manufacturing logistics supply chains within the nation.”

On Tuesday’s show, local experts (from left) Amy Bertschausen, Elizabeth Sergel and Dixie Meyer discussed loneliness and its increasing impact across generations.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

recent survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults suggests that most Americans struggle with an emotional state of loneliness, and it’s an issue that has serious health implications.

“[It can] have the same health effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” Elizabeth Sergel said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “There’s significant increase in the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke and dementia and depression, and overall there’s a higher likelihood of death related to loneliness.”

From left, film director Michael Beattie and Alan McFarland, a descendant of Robert Campbell, traveled to St. Louis from Northern Ireland for this week’s screening and discussion of “Robert Campbell, Mountain Man."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A love story, expeditions full of danger and discovery, unimaginable tragedy – the life of Robert Campbell (1804-1879), a prominent resident of early St. Louis, pretty much has it all.

“In 40 years of making documentaries I have rarely found a story that has so many aspects, that has so much adventure … it’s just an incredible story,” filmmaker Michael Beattie said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And to have the opportunity to tell it was just too good to miss.”

Stacie Lents, Rachel Tibbetts and Christopher Limber talk about artistic approaches to rehabilitation for incarcerated women.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A creative collaboration between a nationally known playwright and a group of women incarcerated in Vandalia, Missouri, is bringing new voices and stories to St. Louis theater-goers with the production “Run-On Sentence.”

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the initiative, which is a partnership between Prison Performing Arts and the award-winning SATE Ensemble.

The effort aims to move and entertain audiences and extend public awareness, particularly about the effects of incarceration and innovative, artistic approaches to rehabilitation.

Local historian NiNi Harris is the author of 14 volumes focused on the Gateway City’s history and architecture. She joined Thursday’s talk show to share highlights from her latest published work, “This Used to Be St. Louis.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When NiNi Harris isn’t busy writing, she’s most likely reading – old documents such as city directories, that is.

“It sounds like I have a pretty boring life, doesn’t it?” the local historian said with a laugh on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “I read old census records.”

But it’s that very attention to such records that has led Harris to some of the most fascinating stories she tells in her books – 14 of which she’s published thus far.

On Wednesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” international journalist and St. Louis native Daniel Estrin (at left) talked with host Don Marsh in front of a live audience at St. Louis Public Radio.
Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

Like other journalists based in Jerusalem and the region surrounding the ancient city, Daniel Estrin is often associated with one overarching, ongoing news headline: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He’s covered many of the latest developments within that continuing story during his time reporting in the Middle East. But there have been many other stories for him to tell over the course of that decade, too.

“Every day surprises me there,” the NPR correspondent and St. Louis native said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “You meet so many different voices and so many different perspectives … and oftentimes you’ll hear, ‘The Israelis think this, the Palestinians think that.’ But actually there are so many different perspectives among Palestinians. There are so many different perspectives among Israelis. And that’s the kind of texture that I like to bring out in my reporting.”

Tom Stockman, a self-described movie geek, joined Friday’s show for a look back at the heyday of St. Louis’ drive-in movie theaters, two of which still exist within an hour’s drive of the city.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Tom Stockman estimates that back in 1961 – the year he was born – about 4,100 drive-in movie theaters dotted the U.S. landscape. Now their ranks have dwindled to a total of roughly 350.

66 Park-in, The Airway Twin, Holiday – these and most other St. Louis-area outdoor theaters that were all the rage in the Gateway City several decades ago have disappeared. Much of the industry’s demise locally had to do with real estate, Stockman said on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Curator Sharon Smith notes that roughly 55 million people have attended shows at the Muny in Forest Park over the course of the outdoor theater’s 99 seasons thus far.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

As the Muny marks its centennial season of outdoor musical theater, another Forest Park mainstay is also celebrating the milestone – with “Muny Memories: 100 Seasons Onstage.” That show opens Saturday at the Missouri History Museum.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh offered listeners a sneak peek at the new exhibit, which explores the Muny from many different perspectives. Joining him for the discussion was curator Sharon Smith.

Ryan Dowis (at left) and Melanie Scheetz joined Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air” to discuss current challenges facing the region’s most vulnerable youth and those who care for them.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in two decades, a growing number of children in St. Louis and Missouri are in foster care, and the opioid epidemic is a driving factor.

“[The number of children in foster care] had really been declining for many years, and especially in the St. Louis region but all across Missouri we saw fewer and fewer children in the system,” Melanie Scheetz, executive director of the St. Louis-based Foster & Adoptive Care Coalition, said Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air. “Obviously that’s our goal – not to have children in the foster-care system. But unfortunately, when we have parents with substance-abuse issues, especially opioids, we see more kids coming into care.”

Emily Webb (1976-2018) began clogging as a young girl in St. Charles, Missouri. Family members and fellow cloggers joined “St. Louis on the Air” this week in remembrance of her love for the American folk dance.
Thunder & Lightning Cloggers

About three months ago, Emily Webb and her six children were traveling along Route 3 in Columbia, Illinois, when a large truck struck their SUV, killing 41-year-old Webb and leaving a huge void among her family and friends.

She is remembered as a beloved wife and mother. She was also a big part of the St. Louis region’s clogging community and an active member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois.

Calvin Lai is an assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences at Washington University as well as the director of research for Project Implicit.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In April, the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia sparked outrage across the U.S. The incident prompted the company’s announcement that it would close thousands of stores for one afternoon this spring in order to conduct nationwide training on implicit biases.

As that training got underway on Tuesday, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh talked with Washington University’s Calvin Lai, who is the director of research for Project Implicit.

An assistant professor of psychological and brain sciences, Lai is interested in thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness or control. Those thoughts and feelings can influence how we make sense of and judge other people, Lai said, and are reflective of “both the culture and the person.”

Latasha Johnson’s story is at the heart of a new “We Live Here” episode and a legal case that aims to level the playing field between Missouri tenants and landlords.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

What makes a particular place a liveable one?

That’s the question at the center of “Housing Defenders,” We Live Here’s newly released episode. It explores legal issues facing St. Louis landlords and tenants and is part of the podcast’s broader focus on fair and affordable housing this season.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with We Live Here co-host/producer Tim Lloyd about why such concerns are especially relevant for renters on a local level and how several attorneys are working on their behalf to try and change things.

Joining Wednesday’s show for a conversation about the many summer programming options for children in Missouri and Illinois were (from left) Allie Cicotte, Mary Rogers and Vicki Lang.
St. Louis Public Radio and Camp Little Giant

Summer camp is a tradition that stretches across generations and geographies – and these days, all sorts of interests, too. From cooking to cybersecurity, there’s a camp option for everybody.

That’s according to Allie Cicotte, senior programs manager for Blueprint4SummerSTL, a web app designed to make finding that perfect camp easier on families.

“Yesterday I was just on the phone with a mom who called and said she was looking for a water-polo camp for a 13-year-old, and I sort of sighed and thought, ‘I don’t know,’” Cicotte recalled on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “[But] I put in the search, and there were five water-polo camps for a 13-year-old in St. Louis.”

Augustus Tolton was born into slavery in Missouri in 1854 and is considered to have been the first African-American priest in the United States. He ministered in Quincy, Illinois.
Wikimedia Commons

A diverse group of people were once parishioners under the ministry of Father Augustus Tolton in Quincy, Illinois, during the late 19th century. That is until the African-American priest was advised to get out of town. Tolton, who would eventually return to be buried in Quincy, suffered much controversy and isolation in his day.

“Through it all, he kept open arms for everyone, white or black,” Joseph Perry, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago, said during St. Louis on the Air, “and was kind of mistreated because of that openness and accused of creating a situation of integration that society and the church was not ready for.”

Local experts in telehealth care (from left) Dr. Jennifer Wessels, Colleen Berding and Melissa Douglass addressed some of the latest developments within the growing field.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Collectively speaking, we’re living more and more of our lives virtually, and that includes the ways in which we seek out medical care.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the ways that telehealth care is evolving and growing as an option among patients and providers.

Joining the conversation were Colleen Berding, telehealth program manager for the VA St. Louis Health Care System; Melissa Douglass, owner of Goal Driven Counseling and a recent University of Missouri-St. Louis social work alumna; and Dr. Jennifer Wessels, who is leading SSM Health’s newly launched telemedicine program with its primary care physicians.

Joining Don Marsh (at left) for a conversation about pool safety this week were (from center left) Emily Wujcik, Stephe McCormick, Birch McMullin and Lisa McMullin.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Many years have passed since one of Lisa McMullin’s children tragically drowned during a family pool party on a warm September day back in 1982. Yet her memory of what occurred is still vivid.

“Nicholas got up from his nap – all the kids but one were out of the pool – and somehow he fell in,” she recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “There were adults there, there were children there, but if there’s not a designated person to watch, you can have a situation like that all too easily. And it happens very fast. It happens silently, almost invisibly, and so I feel very strongly about sharing that story in order to help other parents avoid that situation.”

Lona Luo, originally from rural China, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh and Sauce Magazine’s Matt Sorrell for a conversation about the success of her restaurant, Lona’s Lil Eats.
Virginia Harold | Sauce Magazine

Two key ingredients make up Lona Luo’s philosophy at her popular Chinese eatery in St. Louis’ Fox Park neighborhood: great food and excellent service.

The Lona’s Lil Eats chef suspects that both had something to do with her being named a James Beard Award semifinalist earlier this year.

“That’s what they are looking for all the time, no matter what, no matter where,” Luo said of the recent recognition during a conversation this week on St. Louis on the Air.

LimeBike
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

The month of May is National Bike Month, and St. Louis just launched a bike-share initiative, with two companies – LimeBike and Ofo – now operating dockless systems in the region.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a conversation on the topic of bike safety in light of the recent arrival of the bright yellow and green bikes around town and the presence of more cyclists in general on local streets as temperatures climb.

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