Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Lara Hamdan

Interim Online Talk Show Producer

Lara Hamdan started at St. Louis Public Radio as the news intern in May 2017 and is now the interim online producer for "St. Louis on the Air." She’s reported on the Trump administration’s travel bans, Stockley protests and St. Louis’ activist community. She enjoys traveling, food and keeping up with her favorite shows — Rick and Morty and Stranger Things being her latest obsessions.  

Public Domain

Ste. Genevieve Catholic Church will hold a Mass on Jan. 1, to commemorate the arrival of one of the first Catholic bishops to the region — in what was then the Louisiana Territory.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the 200th anniversary of the arrival of Bishop Louis William Valentine DuBourg in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.

Santa's Arrival, an illustration for Clement Clarke Moore's poem.
Public Domain

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we observed an annual holiday tradition by listening to host Don Marsh's poem, "The Day After Christmas."

He wrote the poem after hearing an off-handed comment from a young relative whose gifts didn't meet his expectations. The young boy had to learn an important Christmas lesson.

Sofi Seck (left) and Rosebell Komugisha (right) talk about their mission to help expand educational opportunities for women in sub-Saharan Africa.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Eight years ago, photographer Sofi Seck and teacher Rosebell Komugisha, met and became friends in St. Louis. This year, the two reconnected and, after a six-hour brunch, came up with Expedition Subsahara, a company that aims to empower women in Africa.

The St. Louis homicide toll is now over 200 – reaching a 21 year high after three women were fatally shot in late December.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went Behind the Headlines to discuss an effort to reduce the pool of weapons in the area. He talked about a gun buyback program in St. Louis City with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann.

Tax expert Lance Weiss talks  about actions people can take before the end of the year to minimize their tax liability for 2017.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

As we reach the end of the year, we talk to our go-to tax expert for tips. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to expert Lance Weiss, a CPA and partner with SFW Partners, LLC, about actions people can take before the end of the year to minimize their tax liability for 2017.

Weiss also addressed the new tax reform law that will affect next year’s tax liability.

Some suggestions for this year:

Pat Woods talks about her efforts to re-open the sit-down eatery in her College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this month, Fresno's Diner on E. Grand Boulevard suffered extensive damages when a pickup truck ran into the side of the building. Members of the community have started a campaign to help re-open the establishment.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with the local restaurant’s owner, Pat Woods, about her efforts to improve the College Hill neighborhood in north St. Louis.

Wayne Pratt (left) and Maria Altman (right) talk about the top business stories of 2017.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we did a year-in-review of the top business stories in 2017. Joining host Don Marsh for the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio’s business reporters Maria Altman and Wayne Pratt.

“It was a year of talking about stadiums,” Altman said. “It was kind of an interesting year in terms of sports teams and efforts to get great stadiums in St. Louis.”

Bill Raack concludes his 23 year career at St. Louis Public Radio.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

In 1995, St. Louis Public Radio newscast and business editor William (Bill) Raack returned to his native St. Louis after starting his news career in Illinois – and has stayed ever since. Now, he wraps up his public radio career this Friday.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Raack as he concludes his 23 year career at St. Louis Public Radio.

Circus Flora executive director Larry Mabrey talked about the circus' upcoming changes.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ hometown circus is set to move prior to its upcoming season – but only a half block away. Previously, the circus took place on the lot next to Powell Hall. But last year, Circus Flora partnered with the Kranzberg Arts Foundation to help develop a permanent site for the circus.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the changes to Circus Flora, including the new location and its new season dates for 2018. Joining him for the discussion was Circus Flora executive director Larry Mabrey.

St. Louis Public Radio reporters Durrie Bouscaren (left) and Eli Chen (right.)
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we did a year-in-review of the top health, science and environment stories of 2017. Joining host Don Marsh for the discussion was St. Louis Public Radio’s reporters Eli Chen and Durrie Bouscaren.

The entrance to the Illinois Veterans Home marks the year the long-term care facility first opened. It is the largest and oldest of four state-run veterans' homes.
Andrew Gill | WBEZ

Since the summer of 2015, a dozen people have died at a state operated veteran’s home in Quincy, Illinois from Legionnaires’ Disease – and dozens more sickened.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Chicago public radio station WBEZ reporters Tony Arnold and Dave McKinney about their investigation into the Legionnaires’ deaths at the Veteran's Home in Quincy, Illinois.

 Jason Rosenbaum (L) and Jo Mannies (R) joined host Don Marsh in studio to talk about 2017's top political stories.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we did a year-in-review of the top political stories of 2017. Joining host Don Marsh for the discussion was St. Louis Public Radio’s political team: reporter Jo Mannies, interim-editor Jason Rosenbaum and statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin.

(L-R)Legal experts Donna Harper, William Freivogel and Mark Smith address current issues of the law.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh addressed pressing issues of the law with a panel of legal experts.

Sidney Keys III, the founder of Books N Bros.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this year, we spoke with 11-year-old Sidney Keys III and his mother Winnie Caldwell about Books N Bros, a book club Keys founded to encourage boys to read.

St. Louis Public Radio’s interim political editor Jason Rosenbaum.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Don Marsh talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s interim political editor Jason Rosenbaum about the friction between St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger and the St. Louis County Council.

Dan Donovan

For much of the first half of the last century, Florence Foster Jenkins was a sensation. She was a tone-deaf socialite who featured herself as an opera singer.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about Max and Louie Productions' presentation of "Souvenir," a fantasia on the life of Florence Foster Jenkins.

A. Dennis Sparger (left) and Melissa Payton (right) talk about the Bach Society of St. Louis' annual Christmas Candlelight Concert.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Dec. 19, the Bach Society of St. Louis will perform their annual Christmas Candlelight Concert. The BBC Magazine considers the colorful concert one of the top holiday events in North America.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the concert and the Bach Society of St. Louis’ new Christmas CD.

St. Louis Public Radio's arts and culture reporters Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler talk about their most memorable reports of 2017.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we did a year-in-review of the top arts and culture stories of 2017. Joining host Don Marsh for the discussion were St. Louis Public Radio reporters Nancy Fowler and Willis Ryder Arnold.

“It’s been a really exciting time to be covering St. Louis arts in the last couple of years,” Arnold said.

Pizza Head was the no. 9 choice on Sauce Magazine's best 12 new local restaurants  of 2017.
Sauce Magazine

With the year coming to an end, Sauce Magazine has selected the best 12 new local restaurants of 2017.

Joining host Don Marsh on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air for our monthly Sound Bites segment were Sauce Magazine’s managing editors Heather Hughes and Catherine Klene and art director Meera Nagarajan.

Catholic speaker and former model Leah Darrow talks about why she left modeling and how she hope to change popular culture's perception of beauty.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis area resident and former model Leah Darrow has changed her definition of “beauty” over the years. Now, she defines beauty in two basic words – holiness and wholeness.

“It’s looking at ourselves for who we are and being happy and accepting that,” Darrow said. “True beauty is nothing that we can put on ourselves … it’s the beauty of the soul. That’s the beauty that actually changes hearts and transforms the world.”

William Gass teaches a class at Washington University in 1984
Herb Weitman | Washington University

Updated Dec.12 — On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the life and legacy of noted author and Washington University professor William Gass.

Joining him for the discussion were Lorin Cuoco, co-founder and former associate director of the International Writers Center at Washington University, Stephen Schenkenberg, creator and curator of the website Reading William Gass and author and publisher of "The Ears Mouth Must Move: Essential Interviews of William H. Gass" and William Danforth, chancellor emeritus and member of the Board of Trustees at Washington University.

Gass died on Dec. 6 at his home in St. Louis. He was 93. The former Washington University professor was known for his contributions to fiction, criticism and philosophy. 

Award-winning filmmaker and media-artist Jill Evans Petzall talks about her interactive art exhibit at the Sheldon Art Galleries.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Two people can look at the same photo and interpret it completely different. Filmmaker and media-artist Jill Evans Petzall recognizes that and incorporates it in her artwork.

Wendel Patrick

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we profiled The Ville, a historic black neighborhood in St. Louis. The stories of the people who live there are shared in a new podcast episode that’s part of a collaboration between St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” and the podcast “Out of the Blocks,” from Baltimore’s public radio station, WYPR.

Albert Kim (left) and Eric Leuthardt (right) explore how the brain influences emotions, behaviors and more in their new podcast, Brain Coffee.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The brain is crucial to everything we do – yet so little is known about it. The complexity of the human brain is of constant interest to Albert Kim and Eric Leuthardt, Washington University neurosurgeons at Barnes Jewish Hospital.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to Kim and Leuthardt about how the brain influences emotions, behaviors and more. They address how those topics are explored in their new podcast, Brain Coffee.

Alderwoman Megan Green (left) and Sarah Durrett (right) talk about local efforts to prevent sexual harassment and assult.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

With the recent wave of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping the nation, we went Behind the Headlines to discuss the sexual harassment and assault on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Host Don Marsh led a discussion about local efforts to change the culture surrounding sexual harassment and document cases of sexual misconduct in St. Louis. Joining him for the discussion were St. Louis Alderwoman Megan Green and Sarah Durrett, founder of Combat Sexual Harassment.

Faizan Syed (left) and Jim Hacking (right) discuss Trump's latest travel ban.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the latest version of President Trump's restriction on travel to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen, with fewer restrictions on visitors from Sudan. New limits and restrictions were added on visitors and immigrants from Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

Rough Shop

The holidays are often a time of many mixed emotions – from happiness and excitement to grief from missing a loved one. Local band Rough Shop captures all of those emotions in their Christmas albums.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, producer Alex Heuer talked about the local band’s unique take on Christmas music. He was joined by two members of Rough Shop, guitarists and vocalists Andy Ploof and John Wendland.

Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

For the next year, a series of forums will examine the issue of regional collaboration. The Construction Forum St. Louis’ directors aim to discuss what has and hasn’t worked to revitalize a city of St. Louis and St. Louis County merger. The first of the forums featured urban policy expert David Rusk, former Wilson and Brookings Scholar and the previous mayor of Albuquerque.

Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh continued the discussion about the opioid epidemic in St. Louis. Joining him for the discussion was Howard Weissman, executive director of St. Louis’ National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.

Weissman said the main people affected by opioid addiction are adults ages 25-45, who often have the least resources to combat the addiction.

Metro Theater Company

This month, Metro Theater Company will turn the Grandel Theatre into an ice rink set in Amsterdam. Their production will bring to life the classic tale of “Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates” starting Dec. 6.

On Tuesday‘s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked to the production’s playwright Laura Eason and Metro Theater Company’s artistic director Julia Flood. St. Louis will be the second city to see this play.

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