Libby Franklin

Talk Show Producer

Libby discovered the delights of making radio as an undergraduate at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University.  A couple of cities, an internship, and a fellowship later, she began her public radio career at Connecticut Public Radio in Hartford, Connecticut.  At WNPR, Libby was a producer for the award-winning talk show Where We Live.  A native of Kansas, Libby is happy about her return to the Midwest, where she plans to eat lots of local food, see lots of live music, and spend many an hour in Forest Park.

Ways to Connect

University of Missouri website

On the job since February, University of Missouri System President Timothy Wolfe leads an institution with four campuses, more than 74,000 students, and over 13,000 employees. He joined Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air today from the Columbia studios of KBIA. You can hear their entire conversation in the St.

Photo courtesy of The Race Card Project

“I’m afraid to say something wrong. ”

“I hate hearing “the neighborhood changed. ””

“I’m so tired of this subject. ”

These "six word essays" are about race. They were written on the backs of three different postcards, by three different people, from three different parts of the country. They represent the thousands of responses NPR’s Michele Norris has gotten in response to her request: Race, your thoughts, six words, please send.

(Libby Franklin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Root, a new restaurant from executive chef Brian Hardesty, opened in Richmond Heights a week ago today.  In the sixth installment of our series Sound Bites, created in partnership with Sauce Magazine, producer Libby Franklin checks in with Hardesty about his latest project, which seeks to shine a new light on old cuisine.

(photo by Tim Tolle via Flickr Creative Commons)

As Dick Fleming prepares to leave the St. Louis Regional Chamber & Growth Association, and his successor Joe Reagan gets ready to move to town from Louisville, they both took time to join us today on St. Louis on the Air.  You can hear their entire conversation in the archives.  In the meantime, here are some highlights from our conversation with Reagan:

(Wikimedia Commons/Online Congressional Guide)

As Missouri awaits a decision from Cole County Circuit Court about the redistricting map created by the Missouri General Assembly, 3rd District Congressman Russ Carnahan remains mum about his plans for re-election in 2012.  Saying it makes little sense to make any decision before the Court’s, Carnahan refused to say whether or not he’d consider a run in the 1st District against Democrat Lacy Clay.

As the holiday season begins, and tables fill with beloved people and food, it can sometimes be difficult for hosts and hostesses to keep the emphasis on fun and away from stress.  But with a little strategy and a few thoughtful tips, we hope your festivities can include extra deliciousness and minimal mad dashing.  This month on Sound Bites, our collaboration with Sauce Magazine, the Sauce ladies share some of their ideas for a fuss free holiday.

(via St. Louis County website)

St. Louis County Council members gather tonight at 6:00 p.m. to discuss County Executive Charlie Dooley’s proposed budget for 2012.  Facing flat revenues and a budget shortfall, Dooley has proposed $10 million in spending cuts that would close 23 county parks and eliminate up to 133 Parks & Recreation Department employees.

The budget has been under fire from council members, citizens, and environmental groups, many of whom are calling for more equitable cuts across county departments.

Former County Park Ranger Marty Koch joined Dooley’s Senior Policy Advisor Mike Jones today on St. Louis on the Air.

This month on Sound Bites, Sauce Magazine publisher Allyson Mace, managing editor Stacy Schultz, and senior staff writer Ligaya Figueras take us on a walk down memory lane as they celebrate ten years in print. From craft beer and locally sourced ingredients to foam and sous-vide, the Sauce team helps us remember the tastes that have defined the past decade of St. Louis food.

Today we got the chance to visit with Webster Groves native and acclaimed author Jonathan Franzen about his latest novel Freedom, his inspirations, and his methods.  You can hear the whole conversation in the St. Louis on the Air archives, but here are some highlights:

On whether or not he's working on a new book

It takes me a long time to write a book. They’re years in development before I get any pages I can believe in.  I have some vague thoughts.  Usually the vague thoughts I have at this stage, they turn out to be completely wrong headed.

(Courtesy Sauce Magazine/ by Greg Rannells)

Urban agriculture has taken root in cities everywhere, including right here in the River City.  It comes in many forms: the community garden, the backyard vegetable patch, the rooftop bee colony.  But cultivating food in town can be complicated and wrought with challenges---so what is it that’s driving some city dwellers to skip the grocery store and get their hands dirty?   Libby Franklin reports in the next of our new series Sound Bites, created in partnership with Sauce Magazine.

Over the past couple of weeks on St. Louis on the Air, we've had a handful of conversations about the impact of September 11th on the people of this region.  Though we in St. Louis were hundreds of miles away from Ground Zero, the events of that day have changed all of us.

Here's a quick roundup of the conversations you can find in our archives:

(Courtesy Sauce Magazine/Carmen Troesser)

This month on Sound Bites, we get a look at Sauce Magazine’s 2011 “Ones to Watch List” and an introduction to some of the region’s most innovative culinary up-and-comers.  From underground dinner parties and ultra-modern cocktails, to family traditions that go back generationsSauce says these food and drink professionals show promise.   Sauce senior staff writer Ligaya Figueras stopped by Cityscape with a couple of the folks she's watching. You can listen to Steve Potter's discussion with Will Fischer and Amy Marcoot above.

Lovers of St. Louis Public Radio and classical music may have learned something new on Cityscape today from St. Louis fiddler Justin Branum and guitarist Gary Hunt: the difference between a violin and a fiddle?  "You don't spill beer on a violin," they explained.

(Tim Drury, St. Louis Public Radio)

As farmer’s market season hits its summer stride, fresh from the farm ingredients often take center stage.  But Missouri is also home to many wild ingredients, which are highly sought after by area chefs, and in many cases next to impossible to cultivate. 

In the first of a new series called Sound Bites, created in partnership with Sauce Magazine, producer Libby Franklin goes into the woods with forager Ryan Maher, owner of Missouri Wild Edibles.

(Courtesy This American Life)

Today on St. Louis on the Air, we got a little peek at what Ira Glass fans can expect this weekend at Powell Hall.  The voice behind PRI’s This American Life will recreate moments from the show live on stage with the distinctive sounds, voices, and music TAL fans have come to know-- but there won’t be any fancy mixing console or many recognizable radio props on stage.  Glass says, “I’ll run it all from my iPad."

(Mike Smith)

This morning as the National Weather Service upgraded the tornado risk to "high" for the St. Louis area this afternoon, meteorologist and severe weather expert Mike Smith joined us for St. Louis on the Air.  Smith called this the "worst tornado season" since the 1950's and cautioned that complacency about risk can be one of the deadliest factors during any storm. 

(Screen capture via YouTube user aarondurall85)

Forty years to the month after a paralyzing tornado struck Joplin, MO in 1971, rescue workers carefully search the again devastated city for survivors of last night's storm.  KCUR's Dan Verbeck joined us from Joplin during today's St. Louis on the Air.   90 people are now confirmed dead due to the tornado, but one fire official told Verbeck they expect the toll to rise to at least 100.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Today St. Louis on the Air spoke with renowned author Elie Wiesel, who is also in St. Louis to serve as Washington University's commencement speaker tomorrow.

Wiesel's interview was preempted on the air today by President Obama's speech to the U.S. State Department on the events in the Middle East and North Africa and U.S. policy in the region.

We have today's full interview with Wiesel available for you here.

Algae, that very same stuff that turns aquarium walls and backyard fences green, are also a potent source of energy, and hold significant potential as a clean, renewable fuel source.  Algae were first investigated as a source of energy back in the 1970’s when high gas prices prompted an interest in alternative energies and the US Department of Energy created the Aquatic Species Program.  That program was discontinued in 1996, but as oil costs have continued to rise and energy independence has reemerged as a national priority, researchers around the world, and many right here in St. Louis, are again focused on the potential of algal biofuels.

(via White House photographer Pete Souza)

On today's St. Louis on the Air, our guests shared their unique perspectives on the death of Osama bin Laden, and what it means for the war on terror.

You can listen to the full show here, but here are a few highlights:

St. Louis' Joe Marrocco of Kaldi's Coffee is already a champion barista.  As the top scorer in the South Central regional competition earlier this month, Marrocco heads to the United States Barista Championships this weekend as a man to beat.  Nationals are underway in Houston, where competitors are judged on a number of factors, including taste, technical skills, and presentation.  We caught up with Marrocco during a recent practice session.

For the third year in a row, the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis is host to the U.S. and U.S. Women's National Chess Championships.  Play continues through next week at the Chess Club, which has become somewhat of a national hub for the sport.

On January 18, 2011, the very last batches of Kodachrome film were processed at Dwayne's Photo Lab in Parsons, Kansas. Webster University students and faculty were there to witness that last run, which included 100 rolls of their own.  

The Pruitt-Igoe public housing project in St. Louis was once considered the template for post-war public housing, a national model.  For awhile it was—until it wasn’t.  The high rise complex was constructed in 1954.  Two decades later, and by then notorious, Pruitt-Igoe was a pile of rubble, imploded and bulldozed into history. What went wrong and why?  That’s the subject of a new documentary film called The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: an Urban History.   Directed by Chad Freidrichs, the film will have its St. Louis premiere this Saturday at the Missouri History Museum.

(via Flickr/_J_D_R)

Next Tuesday, St. Louis City voters will vote on Proposition E.  If the proposition passes, the city will retain its 1 percent earnings tax.  If the proposition fails, the tax will be phased out over the next ten years.  Supporters and critics of the earnings tax disagree on many things, including how the tax affects the economic vitality of the city and how prominently the tax figures into people’s decisions to live or work in St. Louis.  But many agree on this: no replacement for the earnings tax is in place and a transition to any combination of alternatives could prove painful.

Late last week, Joe Edwards announced that he’s stepping down as the Chairman of the Loop Special Business District after 30 years leading the board.  He stopped by St. Louis on the Air today to chat about his decision and what’s next for the six-block district along Delmar that’s been designated “One of the 10 Great Streets in America” by the American Planning Association.

In the introduction to his book, The Other Wes Moore, author Wes Moore says:

This is the story of two boys living in Baltimore with similar histories and an identical name: Wes Moore.  One of us is free and has experienced things he never even knew to dream about as a kid.  The other will spend every day until his death behind bars for an armed robbery that left a police officer and father of five dead.  The chilling truth is that his story could have been mine.  The tragedy is that my story could have been his.

Tomorrow marks the St. Louis kickoff of the bicentennial events commemorating the earthquakes that struck the New Madrid Seismic Zone in 1811-12.  You’ve probably heard stories about those quakes: that church bells rang in Boston, that the Mississippi River ran backwards. Much of that, it turns out, is legend.  So what do we know about the New Madrid fault and the risk it poses to the modern Midwest?

Students pushed to the limit.  Burned out teachers.  Worried parents.  These are the characters in Race to Nowhere, a documentary screening at community events around the country, including three screenings in St. Louis over the next few weeks.  Filmmaker Vikci Abeles has called the film “a call to mobilize families, educators, and policy makers to challenge current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing and leading citizens. ”

In case you missed today’s St. Louis on the Air, here are some highlights of our discussion with Mayor Francis Slay:

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