Mary Edwards

Senior Talk Show Producer, St. Louis Symphony Producer

Mary Edwards came to St. Louis Public Radio in 1974, just after finishing her Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.  She has served the station in a number of capacities over the years, and is currently Senior Producer of  St. Louis Public Radio’s local talk/call-in show, “St. Louis on the Air," and producer of the live Saturday night broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony.  Mary also teaches an undergraduate class in radio production at Webster University. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the flute, participating in various music activities at her church, and water skiing.

Ways to Connect

Carmen Troesser

St. Louis is home to many Thai restaurants but the cuisine of the Southeast Asian country of Thailand is diverse.

Roughly, there are four food regions in the country - northern, northeast, central (Bangkok) and southern, according to Phatcharin Wanna, the owner/chef of a new Thai restaurant in the Delmar Loop.

Lauer Architecture

A few years ago, St. Louis non-profit organization Beloved Streets of America conducted a study about streets throughout the country which bear the name of Martin Luther King Jr.

The study found the majority of MLK streets are unsafe and crime-ridden.  Many are “located in distressed neighborhoods, considered areas where predominately poor blacks live, and viewed as places where whites and non-blacks seldom travel,” according to the organization.

Flickr/Stephen Cummings

An abundance of prescription medication goes unused or is expired and is at risk of being abused.

This Saturday, April 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds the sixth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

(Courtesy: The Publishers, PublicAffairs)

Baseball and St. Louis go together like beer and brats, and the relationship between the city and sport began more than 130 years ago.

Chris Von der Ahe, a German grocer and beer-garden proprietor, risked his life savings in the 1880s, when he founded the franchise that would become today’s St. Louis Cardinals.

As author Edward Achorn describes in his newest book, Von der Ahe knew little about baseball but would become one of the most important and amusing figures in the game’s history.

US National Institute on Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Education and Referral Center

Dementia is the broad term which refers to diseases which result in a significant loss of cognitive ability.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of the worst manifestations of dementia.

A symposium at Washington University in St. Louis this week aims to be a gathering place for people struggling to find balance and dignity among the chaos of dementia.

(Mike Matney)

Legal questions surround the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was captured on Friday.

What is the role of the public safety exception as it relates to Miranda rights? Were civil rights violated as a result of the lockdown?  Should Tsarnaev be tried as an enemy combatant as some Republican legislators have suggested?

The questions surrounding the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombing were discussed by a panel of legal experts, as part of our monthly legal roundtable discussion.

The panelists included:

Wikimedia Commons

Each Spring, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis stages a play by the Bard in an area of Forest Park just east of the St. Louis Art Museum.  This year, the production is Twelfth Night which will run nightly except Tuesdays from May 24 through June 16. But before rehearsals for the main event even begin, the organization is active with pre-season offerings.

Sandra Calvo

Cellist Bjorn Ranheim and violinist Shawn Weil are colleagues in the St. Louis Symphony.  Double bassist Syd Rodway and composer/keyboardist Adam Maness are members of the Erin Bode Group.  They got to know each other when Ranheim and Weil collaborated with the Erin Bode Group and also shared an interest in good food and fine beer. 

(via Flickr / NS Newsflash)

Each year, the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism releases a report about the state of the news media.

The Center’s report for 2013 shows the newspaper industry is down significantly, specifically employment, which is down “30 percent since 2000 and below 40,000 full-time professional employees for the first time since 1978.”

The report identifies six major trends:

Girls on the Run

In 1996, Molly Barker wanted to give girls the tools necessary to help them navigate through the challenges of adolescence and chart their course to healthy lives as adults.  She started with 13 girls in Charlotte, North Carolina using a curriculum in which the main tool was running.  The organization that resulted, Girls on the Run, now serves 120,000 girls a year in 170 branches all over the country.

Marion S. Trikosko via Wikimedia Commons

In 1996, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, the same place where almost 50 years earlier, Winston Churchill delivered his famous “Iron Curtain” speech.  During her visit, Thatcher gave a speech that still has relevance today, especially in light of the continuing threat of nuclear weapons by North Korea.

Saint Louis Science Center

In 1961, a parent of one of Charles Schweighauser’s students told him that a planetarium was being built in Forest Park and suggested that he apply for the job of director.  He figured that he was too young, but applied anyway.  Much to his surprise, he was hired the day before his 25th birthday.  Almost two years later, on April 16, 1963, the James S. McDonnell Planetarium opened its doors giving St. Louisans a state-of-the art way to view the universe in its star chamber.  The space race between the U.S.

Bobby McFerrin is a multi-faceted vocalist.  A 10-time Grammy winner, he has blurred the lines between pop music and fine art and has inspired a generation of a cappella singers.  He is best known for his hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy, which explores the limits of the human voice.  But while he is certainly pleased with the song’s success, he does not want to be defined by it.

Stephen Prothero is a professor of religion at Boston University and senior fellow at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington D.C.  In addition, he blogs for CNN’s Belief Blog and writes for the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, USA Today  and The Washington Post.  He is also the author of several books.  His most recent one is The American Bible: How Our Words Unite, Divide and Define A Nation.

From April 18th through 20th, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival will bring some of the greatest names in professional jazz to the stage as well as provide training opportunities for some 800 students.  In its tenth year, the festival has grown to be one of the most significant festivals in the Midwest.  Founded in 2004 by the University of Missouri – St. Louis and the Touhill Performing Arts Center, the festival last year added a partnership with Jazz St. Louis.

Ron Lindsey

Union Avenue Opera opens its Nineteenth Festival Season with Leonard Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. Written in 1952, the one act opera portrays the troubled marriage of a young suburban couple, Sam and Dinah, and follows the roller coaster of emotion as they try to reconcile their love.  Although Bernstein set his opera in the 1950’s, the Union Avenue Opera production moves the action to the present day.

(Courtesy: CHARIS)

Members of CHARIS, the St. Louis Women’s Chorus, are celebrating the organization’s twenty year anniversary this month.

CHARIS is made up of a diverse group of women who are united in a mission “to perform music that celebrates and encourages women and the LGBTQ community.”

CHARIS’ Artistic Director Kourtney Strade and Vice-President Julie Lynch joined host Steve Potter to talk about this weekend’s upcoming performances.

Ben Moore

About 60,000 Bosnians live in St. Louis.  That’s estimated to be more Bosnians per capita than anywhere else in the world outside of Bosnia.

Bosnians settled in St. Louis during the 1990s, after the break-up of the former Yugoslavia and ensuing war and genocide.  Bosnia, or Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country in southeastern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of when Bosnians came to St. Louis and questions surrounding Bosnian cultural and national identities remain unresolved.

File photo of Pope Francis
Flickr | Christus Vincit

The new pope of the Roman Catholic Church, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the first-ever Jesuit pope and the first non-European pope of the modern era.  He is the first to adopt the name Francis.

Pope Francis now leads the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Host Don Marsh spoke with a variety of guests to talk about the meaning behind Pope Francis’ selection and about some of the major controversial issues within the Church, including clergy sexual abuse, the role of women and same sex marriage.

(Courtesy: Eric O. Curry)

For years, the three R’s of a basic education have been reading, writing and arithmetic.

While there are some indications that American students are faltering in reading and writing, especially worrisome is arithmetic.

Among the world’s industrialized nations, the United States is far down the list on math proficiency and math literacy, well behind such countries as Liechtenstein and Slovakia.

Brent Nagel

David Sheff is a journalist and New York Times best-selling author. 

In 2008, he wrote a memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction, about how his family dealt with his son‘s methamphetamine addiction.

In a new book, Sheff argues that addicts suffer from an illness and are not simply victims of their own bad choices.  “We must acknowledge addiction is an illness…and not just bad behavior…because we punish bad behavior…we treat illness,” Sheff writes.

night image of the Fox
Chris Caldwell

On Friday, April 12th, a dozen acts in the St. Louis Teen Talent Competition will square off in the finals, competing for college scholarships, prizes and public appearance opportunities.

The Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation holds the event to “foster the emerging talent in the St. Louis performing arts community…and to present an adjudicated competition showcasing the splendidly talented teens of the St. Louis Metropolitan area.”

(via Wikimedia Commons)

April is national poetry month and as part of the commemoration, the St. Louis Poetry Center holds “The Belle of Blueberry Hill: Emily Dickinson at the Duck Room.”

While the St. Louis Poetry Center features the work of many poets and writers over the course of a year, the influential work of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) is on focus at the organization’s upcoming event.

In 1862, Dickinson sent a letter containing four poems to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who would later write of her, a “wholly new and original poetic genius.”

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Lee Rosenbaum is a cultural commentator who writes the award-winning blog, CultureGrrl.  Her work has been featured in numerous media including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and NPR.

UPI

In 2005, President Bill Clinton established the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).  The goal of the ongoing project is to “create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges.”

Caroline Kennedy and her brother John grew up in a culture of words and reading.  Their mother was particularly fond of poetry dating back to experiences as a child with her Grandfather.  On gift-giving holidays, she requested that her children select and recite a poem rather than purchase a gift, which helped them develop a sense of language and rhyme.

(UPI file photo)

Later this month, on April 27, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay will become the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history.

With more than 81 percent of the vote, Slay won his fourth term as mayor yesterday, besting a candidate from the Green Party, and prior, defeating two primary challengers including Board of Alderman president Lewis Reed.

“I love this city dearly and I really love the people more than anything,” Slay told host Don Marsh.  “I like what I do and I’ve got a good team and I’m looking forward to the next four years.”

(via Flickr/NathanReed)

When it comes to successfully or unsuccessfully governing and managing communities, leadership decisions can make or break a city or region.

St. Louis has been cited as a city “that let greatness slip away over the 20th century.”  That’s the contention of Colin Gordon, Professor of History at the University of Iowa, in his book, Mapping Decline…St. Louis and the Fate of the American City.

(via Flickr/mike matney)

The U.S. Supreme Court, last week, heard arguments on two gay rights cases which may produce landmark rulings. 

The Missouri legislature is considering banning the use of drones by journalists while the University of Missouri Journalism School is teaching students how to use them.

And, Missouri’s contraception exception law is no more – at least for now.

Those and other topics were discussed as part of our monthly legal roundtable.

Our guests:

Actor, director and playwright Ami Dayan returns to St. Louis to perform his adaptation of Orem Neeman’s one-man play Conviction. Dyan grew up in a Kibbutz in Israel, but spent two years in St. Louis in the early 1970s when his father was the Israeli emissary to St. Louis at the JCC.  So it will be a homecoming of sorts when he performs at the New Jewish Theatre on the JCC campus.

Pages