Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Evie Hemphill

St. Louis on the Air 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.

Floodwaters climb up the steps in front of the Gateway Arch during the Great Flood of 1993.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Aug. 1, 1993, the Mississippi River crested at 49.58 feet in St. Louis, nearly 20 feet above flood stage, breaking previous records. At the flood’s peak, more than a million cubic feet of water passed the Gateway Arch each second.

In west St. Louis County, the entire Chesterfield valley, then known as Gumbo Flats, was under water as the Missouri River overflowed its levees. On the east side of the Mississippi, the entire town of Valmeyer, Illinois, was destroyed, and rather than rebuilding, the citizens moved to a new location.

As a result of the Great Flood of ’93, residents were evacuated, homes and businesses were lost, and people all over the region joined in the sandbagging efforts to prevent further devastation.

Joining Friday’s show via phone, state Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake Saint Louis), at left, spoke in favor of Proposition A. Jack Cardetti, who was in studio for the conversation, spoke in opposition.
Courtesy of Bob Onder & St. Louis Public Radio

“Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 ("Right-to-Work") … ?”

So begins Proposition A, which if passed would make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the country, prohibiting labor organizations from mandating union membership or union fees as a condition of employment.

Voters will decide the hotly contested matter during the Aug. 7 primary election. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh examined both sides of the ballot issue.

St. Louis-area kidney donor Jane Beckman (center) shared her recent experience giving one of her organs to another person alongside leading nephrologist Krista Lentine (at left) and SSM Saint Louis University Hospital’s transplant coordinator, Cody Wooley
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Back in January of this year, St. Louis-area resident Jane Beckman came across a newspaper article about a man in need of a new kidney – and another man who came to his aid.

“I could do that,” Beckman thought to herself. And soon, she did. At the end of May 2018, she donated her left kidney “to a complete stranger.”

The Cortex MetroLink Station is the 38th station to come to fruition within the light-rail system, which first began service in 1993. The grand opening is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 31.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

MetroLink riders along the central corridor will soon have a new spot to hop aboard both red- and blue-line trains.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed what the new Cortex MetroLink Station and other plans in the works could mean for the future of transit in the region.

Joining him to talk about it were Jessica Mefford-Miller, interim executive director of Metro Transit, and June McAllister Fowler, the newly announced board chair for Citizens for Modern Transit.

Wash U’s Adia Harvey Wingfield is the 2018 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Public Understanding of Sociology Award.
Sean Garcia

Race, gender, work and inequality form the core of sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield’s research – and her latest study focuses on the intersection of those topics within the medical field.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, in conversation with St. Louis Public Radio contributor John Larson, the Washington University professor of sociology discussed her recent observations of the experiences of black workers in health care.

Michael Kinch is the author of “Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Human immunity – a field of study at the center of Michael Kinch’s career – is a dense subject. But in his new book “Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity,” Kinch aims to sift through the topic’s complexity and reach lay audiences.

“That was really the goal … there’s a lot of science, a lot of medicine that goes into it, but it’s very approachable,” the author said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “The way we’re trying to do it is to say, ‘How would you talk about this with your grandmother?’”

UMSL’s Title IX coordinator and chief equity officer, Dana Beteet Daniels (at left), and local attorney Nicole Gorovsky, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, participated in Wednesday’s discussion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute has been around since 1972, there’s renewed societal focus on issues related to sexual assault and discrimination – and evolving guidance at the federal level when it comes to addressing them.

“Colleges are kind of on edge right now with respect to these issues,” Chronicle of Higher Education senior reporter Sarah Brown said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

R. Marie Griffith is the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University.
Randall Kahn

A few weeks after the #MeToo movement first gained traction in October 2017, a related hashtag also began appearing on social media: #ChurchToo. It quickly caught the attention of Marie Griffith, a faculty member at Washington University who was raised Southern Baptist.

For Griffith, who leads the university’s John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, the idea that sexual harassment and assault occur within Christian faith communities wasn’t new. What was different was the growing spotlight on the problem. In some cases, the outcry led to the resignation of powerful pastors who had abused victims for decades.

St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies offered analysis in light of the formal complaint filed by state Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City).
File photo | Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh got an update from St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies on the latest news concerning former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Mannies reported Tuesday that state Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) had filed a formal complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission. It accuses Greitens of intentionally skirting election laws.

Justin Fisher’s documentary about the evolving recording industry screens at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A treasure trove of St. Louis-based filmmaking talent will be in the spotlight throughout the next two weekends as Cinema St. Louis’ annual Filmmakers Showcase gets underway on Friday.

One of the locally driven films set to screen Saturday is “Gateway Sound,” which was produced and directed by Justin Fisher, an audio engineer and educator. The documentary explores the state of the recording industry in St. Louis and beyond.

Fisher joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh Wednesday for a conversation about the project and how recording professionals are adapting in an age of music streaming, slumping record sales and easily accessible recording technology.

In addition to being a cancer survivor, Kathy McGee (at left) is also now an artist. Her creative growth is the result of her longtime participation in Arts As Healing classes. Vicki Friedman (at right) is the organization’s executive director.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Kathy McGee had just recently completed her cancer treatments when she visited Arts As Healing for the first time. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was getting into or how to prepare, but her daughter had encouraged her to give this new opportunity a try. So McGee grabbed the adult coloring book she’d been enjoying lately and headed to class.

“I show up with [the] book in hand, and the class had absolutely nothing to do with that – absolutely nothing,” McGee said on St. Louis on the Air. “But I was greeted by Vicki [Friedman], and I was immediately pulled in because of her warm smile, because of the affection that she had for all of us.”

A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence is currently on view at the John M. Olin Library on the Danforth Campus.
James Byard | Washington University in St. Louis

Two hundred forty-two years ago this week, the American colonies formally declared their independence from Great Britain. But the Continental Congress’ adoption of the handwritten document – and the accompanying revolution – would not be televised or tweeted.

Instead, printed versions of the Declaration of Independence were quickly posted on courthouse doors throughout the colonies, where people gathered to read and discuss what had occurred.

Pat White is the president of the St. Louis Labor Council.
Pat White

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a significant legal blow to public-sector unions earlier this week with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, an Illinois union-dues case. The ruling comes as Missouri voters gear up to decide Aug. 7 whether to pass a right-to-work referendum, Proposition A, that would impact collective bargaining in the private sector.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went Behind the Headlines with a discussion about the state of organized labor in the bi-state region in light of the ruling. Joining him for the conversation was the president of the St. Louis Labor Council, Pat White, who described the court decision as “another attack on working men and women.”

St. Louisans (from left) Bogdan Hamilton, Hossam Hassan and Daena Talavera each began fencing as young children.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Look out, St. Louis – or, en garde, rather: Some of the nation’s top fencers are about to invade this baseball town. The 2018 National Championships begin Thursday at the America’s Center Convention Complex downtown.

“It’s around 5,000 fencers [total] that will be coming,” Hossam Hassan, head coach at the local Fencers Academy club, said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “It’s 10 days with several events per day, and each event has around 150 to 200 or 300 participants from the United States and outside [the country].”

SIUC faculty member Jonathan Remo, who was part of Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air” discussion of water policy, passes a barge while captaining a research vessel near Grand Tower, Illinois.
Jonathan Remo

Rivers have never been static things – least of all the mighty Mississippi. But the major waterway’s recent volatility has taken that natural characteristic to new levels.

“Even Lewis and Clark made measurements on how much the river level changed every day … and their journals are full [of] what those readings are,” Robert Criss, professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University, said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “The river [is now] demonstrably more than twice as volatile [as] it was historically.”

From left, Dr. Joan Luby, Kristine Walentik and Meredith Rataj discussed practices along the United States’ southern border and their impact on St Louis-area immigrants and refugees.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed 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 to talk about President Donald Trump’s evolving immigration policies were three St. Louis-area residents whose areas of expertise shed light on the real-life impacts of those policies.

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.”

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.”

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