Wayne Pratt

Reporter / Newscaster

Wayne Pratt is a veteran journalist who has made stops at radio stations, wire services and websites throughout North America. He comes to St. Louis Public Radio from Indianapolis, where he was Assistant Managing Editor at www.insideindianabusiness.com. Wayne also launched a local news operation at NPR member station WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana and spent time as a correspondent for a network of more than 800 stations. His career has included positions in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Ontario and Phoenix, Arizona. Wayne grew up near Ottawa, Ontario and moved to the United States in the mid-90s on a dare. Soon after, he met his wife and has been in the U.S. ever since.

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Economy & Innovation
1:55 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Crews Make Progress On Rehab Of Landmark Eads Bridge

The Eads Bridge reaches over the Mississippi River to connect St. Louis and East St. Louis
Credit Metro Transit

The massive rehabilitation of the landmark Eads Bridge should be complete by early 2016. Officials say they are at the half-way point and the $40 million project remains on budget.

Crews have been blasting away at 140 years of paint and corrosion on the span over the Mississippi River linking St. Louis and East St. Louis.

"So much of it that I will tell you it looks brand new," said John Nations, president of the Bi-State Development Agency, which operates Metro Transit and is overseeing bridge maintenance.

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St. Louisan helps NASA
9:10 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

From Missouri To The Stars: Paul Friz Works On Rosetta Project

Rosetta’s lander Philae is safely on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as these first two CIVA images confirm. One of the lander’s three feet can be seen in the foreground. The image is a two-image mosaic.
Credit ESA/Rosetta/Philae/CIVA

There is a St. Louis-area connection to the mission that recently landed a spacecraft on a comet for the first time.

Paul Friz is wrapping up an internship at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

His interest in space started as a teenager looking at the stars at his family’s home in Creve Coeur, Missouri.

When he was 14, Friz saved money from a summer of mowing lawns to buy his first telescope.

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Thanksgiving
1:36 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Groups Mark Thanksgiving With Good Deeds

Credit St. Louis County Public Library | Dave Moore

Several community organizations are using the Thanksgiving holiday to give back -- especially in the wake of the unrest in Ferguson.

That includes the St. Louis County Public Library system, which has been offering special events this week for north county students whose schools have been closed because of the unrest in Ferguson.

Officials decided to restart the program after first offering it in August.

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Restaurant Chain Entering Market
5:00 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Here Comes Tim Hortons

A rendering of the planned Maplewood Tim Hortons, which could be a reality in April.
Credit Show Me Hospitality LLC

The Maplewood City Council has given final approval for the St. Louis area’s first Tim Hortons.

Plans call for the coffee, donut and bakery-style eatery to be built on an empty lot next to a CVS near the intersection of Big Bend Boulevard and Manchester Road.

Local development company Show Me Hospitality LLC wants to bring 40 Tim Hortons to the region by 2019, starting with the Maplewood location.

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Honor Flight
10:40 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

The Life And Mirror Of A St. Louis Veteran

World War II Veteran Elmer Boehm holding a pocket mirror that most likely saved his life.
Credit Wayne Pratt / St. Louis Public Radio

Elmer Boehm's life is a story about war, survival, love and life-saving luck.

The World War II veteran is headed to Washington, D.C., on Veterans Day as part of the final Greater St. Louis Honor Flight of 2014.

“I just hope I can … I’m strong enough to make it. I’ll be 92 in January, but I’m still pumping around,” said Boehm during a recent interview at his home in Town and Country.

“It’s kind of an honor to go. It will be nice to see all these memorials that they put up for the various servicemen that have done a lot for their country.”

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St. Louis Startups
12:12 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Entrepreneurial Ace Touts St. Louis Startups

Revolution LLC CEO Steve Case
Credit Revolution LLC

A high-profile entrepreneur is calling on the community to do more to support St. Louis-area startups.

"We just need to tell that story. That’s not to say that Silicon Valley won’t continue to be great and New York City isn’t great and Boston isn’t great, but St. Louis is great too," said A-O-L Co-Founder Steve Case during a stop on Friday at Washington University.

"There should be some degree of skepticism when people are talking about new ideas, but give entrepreneurs the benefit of the doubt."

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Medical Marijuana in Illinois
2:58 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Illinois Entrepreneur Hopes For Medical Marijuana License

Credit Wikimedia Commons

The opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new industry has a Metro East entrepreneur moving forward with plans for a medical marijuana operation, even though there is no guarantee of being granted a license by the state of Illinois.

Mitch Meyers is a partner with NCC LLC, which stands for Nature's Care Company. She says the company has already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into a potential cultivation center and dispensary near Marissa in St. Clair County.

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Economy & Innovation
2:53 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

St. Louis Life Sciences Company Sells For $17 Billion

Sigma-Aldrich CEO Rakesh Sachdev (left) and Merck CEO Karl-Ludwig Kley shake hands on the $17 billion deal.
Credit Merck KGaA and Sigma-Aldrich Corp.

A global pharmaceutical company is planning to maintain a significant presence in St. Louis once its $17 billion acquisition of a local life sciences company closes.

Germany-based Merck KGaA Chief Executive Officer Karl-Ludwig Kley says it is too early to fully discuss the synergies that will be created by the deal for Sigma-Aldrich Corp.

Merck says the St. Louis-based chemical compound provider will enhance efforts to provide services to drugmakers and research institutions.

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E-cigarettes
10:12 pm
Sun September 14, 2014

E-Cigarette Industry Prepares For New Federal Rules

Many have shifted to more advanced equipment like this vaporizer as the e-cigarette industry continues to grow.
Credit Wayne Pratt / St. Louis Public Radio

The rapid growth of e-cigarette stores in the St. Louis area and throughout the country might be about to hit a bump. The federal government is considering regulations for the industry. It could have sales of $10 billion by 2017, according to Wells Fargo Securities.

That has many entrepreneurs who make their living in the burgeoning sector concerned about its future.

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I-64 Closure
10:43 am
Fri September 5, 2014

MoDOT Plans Weekend Closure Of Eastbound I-64

Credit Missouri Department of Transportation

It will be another busy weekend in St. Louis and drivers should expect more traffic issues than usual.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is planning a full-closure of eastbound I-64 between Vandeventer and Forest Park Avenue. Ramps and lanes will be off-limits starting Friday night through Monday morning at 5.

"“We’re continuing some resurfacing work on the Interstate over Vandeventer. We’ll be removing, repairing and then replacing the driving surface on that roadway that goes over Vandeventer,” said MoDOT spokesman Andrew Gates.

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