Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Lara Hamdan

Talk Show Intern

Lara Hamdan started at St. Louis Public Radio as the news intern in May 2017 and became the interim online producer for "St. Louis on the Air" in October. She is now the talk-show's production intern. 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 the latest Netflix Originals.

Ways to Connect

Dozens of Palestinians and supporters, including Hadeel Salameh, marched in downtown St. Louis to commemorate Nakba Day.  May 15, 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A planned local observance of Nakba, the day Palestinians commemorate their displacement following Israel’s establishment in 1948 and the Arabic word for "catastrophe," took on greater significance for a group of St. Louis activists and business owners Tuesday.

River Styx editor Jason Lee Brown (at left) and writer Adrian Todd Zuniga discussed the magazine’s 2018 Literary Feast on Friday’s show
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

River Styx, St. Louis’ oldest literary magazine, will release its 100th issue this summer. And while that’s a big milestone on its own, the 43-year-old organization has lots to celebrate even beyond the long existence of the biannual publication itself.

That’s according to River Styx’s new editor, Jason Lee Brown, who took the reins back in November.

Susan McGraugh talked to "St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh about the process of jury selection.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Jury selection is underway in the felony invasion of privacy trial of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. There are currently 160 prospective jurors, who will be questioned until the first day of trial, which is scheduled for Monday.

Susan McGraugh, professor of law and supervisor of the Criminal Defense Clinic at Saint Louis University, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to talk about the voire dire process, which began Thursday.

(L-R) Helene Meyer, Collins Lewis and Dianne Morris talk about how theater helps address mental health stigmas.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Slaying Dragons theatrical troupe uses dramas to remove the stigma of mental and emotional illness. Aiming to “give mental health a stage,” the local group puts on productions with the purpose of helping audiences better understand mental health issues.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about Slaying Dragons’ upcoming production, "My River, My Valley," with Helene Meyer, actress and artistic director of Slaying Dragons, actress Dianne Morris and Collins Lewis, board member of Slaying Dragons and associate professor emeritus of psychiatry at Washington University.

Carrie Houk (left) and Henry Palkes (right) talked about the  third annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The third annual Tennessee Williams Festival St. Louis gets underway later this week in honor of a legendary American playwright, poet and artist who spent many formative years in the Gateway City.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed some of the highlights of this year’s lineup in celebration of Williams.

Tanzina Vega is the new host of "The Takeaway."
Matthew Septimus

From diversity to elitism, Tanzina Vega’s journalism career has previously taken aim at the intersection of race and class. The journalist is now the host of WYNC and PRI’s “The Takeaway,” a public radio news show heard on St. Louis Public Radio from 11 a.m. to noon.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Vega about her team’s vision for “The Takeaway.” In addition to hosting the show, Vega will be involved in its editorial direction.

Farmers cheese, olives, pepper, za'atar and olive oil dip with bread from The Benevolent King.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with our partners from Sauce Magazine about the best new restaurants to try during the month of May.

Joining him for the discussion were Heather Hughes and Meera Nagarajan, managing editor and art director, respectively.

Producer's note: Chamber Music Society of St. Louis executive director Marc Gordon announced on May 4 that Leonard Slatkin had to cancel his May 21 appearance due to unexpected heart bypass surgery. On May 8 Gordon reported the surgery was successful and Slatkin is expected to make a full recovery. However, since Slatkin is such an integral part of the Gala program, it has been postponed until the Fall when he can participate. Those who hold tickets for the original May 21 date are invited to a free concert. 

When Leonard Slatkin left his position as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra in 1996, he still retained many ties to the city he had called home for more than two decades. In his role as conductor laureate he has returned regularly to conduct the symphony.

He also serves as a board member of the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, has appeared on several of its programs and has advised the organization on educational activities.

Kate Reese (left) and David Young (right) discussed housing needs in the region and the role the St. Louis Housing Partnership plays in meeting them. Bruce Dorpalen joined the conversation by phone to provide statistics on national housing efforts.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Buying and owning a home can be daunting even for those with plenty of resources. But for low-income people, the challenges may seem insurmountable. The nonprofit St. Louis Housing Partnership provides a number of services that help those with low to moderate income obtain and keep their homes or obtain appropriate rental housing.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Kate Reese, executive director of St. Louis Housing Partnership, David Young, Director of Capacity Building of Housing Action of Illinois, and Bruce Dorpalen, executive director of National Housing Resource Center. They discussed housing needs in the region and the role the St. Louis Housing Partnership plays in meeting them.

Legal experts (from left) William Freivogel, Mark Smith and Brenda Talent touched on developments in the cases involving the Missouri governor as well as other matters pertaining to the law.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the two felony charges facing Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens as well as other items of local interest pertaining to the law.

Three legal experts joined the conversation, which started with a look at the latest developments in the invasion-of-privacy case against Greitens. One focus of the discussion had to do with the judge’s ruling that the woman who was involved with Greitens must turn over her phone for a forensic investigation.

Courtesy of U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay’s office

In 2016, a painting by St. Louis high school student David Pulphus appeared in the U.S. Capitol alongside hundreds of other winning art competition entries. About seven months later, after pressure from a group of Republican lawmakers with backing from law enforcement, the artwork was removed from display.

Jacqueline Hudson (left) and Michael Morrison (right) joined host Don Marsh in studio to discuss disparities between mental healthcare needs and access to care in Missouri.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

new report by the Missouri Federation of Behavioral Health Advocates shows concern for the significant disparities between mental health-care needs and access to care in Missouri. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the report’s findings and how they might be addressed.

Gibron Jones founded HOSCO eight years ago to help provide training, education and expand urban farming food operations.
Ashley Gieseking | Sauce Magazine

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about urban agriculture and food justice in the St. Louis region for our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine.

Sauce Magazine managing editor Catherine Klene, HOSCO Foods founder Gibron Jones and Missouri Coalition for the Environment farm and food director Melissa Vatterott joined the discussion to talk about urban farming in St. Louis.

Jason Purnell (left) and Will Jordan (right) discuss current housing inequities in the St. Louis region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act. But how far has equitable housing come in St. Louis? The Delmar Divide is among the most noticeable forms of housing segregation in the area.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about a new report on segregation in housing in the St. Louis region. On April 25, the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing Opportunity Council and the For the Sake of All partnership will address the issue at the Fair Housing Conference held at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL).

McCluer North High School students Dacia Slater, Dylan Bozeman and Payton Woodruff sang an original piece about Thomas Paine in front of 3,900 students and the touring Hamilton Cast at the Fox Theatre on April 11.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Outside the Fox Theatre in St. Louis on April 11, lines of students and teachers eagerly awaited to watch the hit Broadway musical, “Hamilton.”

They were among students from 42 schools across the region participating in the Hamilton Education Program created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. The program, also known as EduHam, allows public high schools from lower-income areas the opportunity to see and learn American history through "Hamilton."

Dr. John Constantino (left) and Steve Houston (right) talked about understanding autism and the latest research in the diagnosis and treatment of it.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

April is National Autism Awareness Month. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the prevalence of autism and discussed the latest research in the diagnosis and treatment of autism.

Jeff Clements (left) and Alderwoman Megan Green (right) discussed a nation-wide campaign thats calls for a 28th amendment to limit campaign contributions.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

A series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions including Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission struck down long-standing campaign finance laws. The rulings determined that the use of unlimited money to influence the outcome of an election by individuals, corporations, unions and other entities is free speech protected by the First Amendment.

The organizations American Promise and American Constitution Society have launched a national town hall tour to garner support for election financing reform which could result in a proposal for a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

William Freivogel (left) and Shula Neuman (right) discuss the implications of Sinclair Broadcast Group's requirment for local stations to read their recent statment regarding "fake news."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest owner of local television stations in the country, recently required its news anchors to read a scripted statement that accused other media outlets of disseminating "fake news."

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went behind the headlines to discuss the issues raised by the statement that had led to public outcry. The broadcast company faces backlash from media critics for the conservative slant of their stations' news reporting and other programming decisions.

Madalyn Painter Talla started a Thanksgiving Day tradition with her family where she cooks biryani, a time intensive rice dish.
Madalyn Painter Talla | St. Louis Public Radio

India is one of the most populated and diverse countries – and some of its nuances are reflected in its cuisine.

Joining host Don Marsh to discuss the diverse flavors, styles and recipes of Indian cuisine was Sauce Magazine’s art director, Meera Nagarajan, and her mother Revathy Nagarajan. They focused on the food varieties in north and south India and dispelled common misconceptions about the cuisine. They stressed that curry is not only a spice, but rather a number of dishes, and that not all Indian food is spicy.

(L-R) Mark Smith, Jennifer Joyce and William Freivogel discussed current issues pertaining to the law.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Former St. Louis circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce joined our Legal Roundtable on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, alongside recurring guests Mark Smith, associate vice chancellor of students at Washington University, and William Freivogel, journalism professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

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