St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region.

St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary EdwardsAlex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

Subscribe to our e-newsletterThe Talk Studio, to receive previews of upcoming guests, highlights from the most-talked about shows, and questions from our producers.

The show is sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

Bill Freivogel, Jane Dueker and Mark Smith were part of St. Louis on the Air's October Legal Roundtable discussion.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, St. Louis on the Air’s Legal Roundtable discussed pressing legal issues of the day, including voter fraud, voter photo I.D., the dismissal of a Ferguson excessive force suit, St. Louis’ minimum wage and the Supreme Court.

Joining the program:

  • Jane Dueker, J.D., Of Counsel, Spencer Fane
  • William Freivogel, J.D., Professor, School of Journalism, Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
  • Mark Smith, J.D., Associate Vice Chancellor of Students, Washington University

Topics of discussion:

Judy Baker and Eric Schmitt are the Democratic and Republican candidates for Missouri Treasurer.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon on Thursday; this story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we will hear from Missouri’s Democratic and Republican candidates for Treasurer: Judy Baker and Eric Schmitt. The two interviews are excerpted from earlier Politically Speaking podcasts conducted by St. Louis Public Radio political reporters Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum.

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on September 24, 2016.
Alan Karchmer | NMAAHC

Earlier this month, the first national museum devoted exclusively to African-American history and culture opened in Washington D.C.: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard a personal reflection from U.S. Circuit Court Judge Robert L. Wilkins, who was part of the presidential commission that advised President George W. Bush on the establishment of the museum. Wilkins is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the District of Columbia circuit.

Teresa Hensley and Josh Hawley are the Democratic and Republican candidates for Missouri Attorney General.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Missouri’s Democratic and Republican candidates for Attorney General: Teresa Hensley and Josh Hawley. The two interviews are excerpted from earlier Politically Speaking podcasts conducted by St. Louis Public Radio political reporters Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum.

You can read more about each candidate here:

Ira Flatow, the beloved host of PRI's Science Friday, joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the importance of science, STEM education and more.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis on the Air has a special treat for you: On Monday’s program, beloved public radio host Ira Flatow joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss what’s new in his world, science news and his show, Science Friday.

Flatow is in town ahead of his show in St. Louis on Tuesday night (which is now sold out!). 

We’ve excerpted four poignant things Flatow said during the conversation below. If you want to hear the whole discussion, listen here:

Tovah Feldshuh, Broadway and popular television star, will bring her cabaret act to St. Louis. The act features this scene from "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," titled "Where's the bathroom?"
The CW

Tovah Feldshuh may not completely own up to her “legend” status, but take one look at her impressive artistic CV and you may think otherwise.

Reporter Rachel Lippmann recently went on a fellowship to Europe. Pictured here, a view from Dresden, from the dome of the Frauenkirche.
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann's recent return to the office after time spent away on a fellowship to Europe.

Jay Ashcroft
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Jay Ashcroft, the Republican nominee for Missouri secretary of state.

The Democratic candidate, Robin Smith, joined us on the show earlier this month, and her interview can be heard here.

A photo of ramen noodles.
sharyn morrow | Flickr

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Jacqueline Thompson and Terry Weiss
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The Civic Arts Company’s mission is to use arts and education to encourage conversations about race and social injustice, as well as opportunities to remedy those injustices.

The company was founded late last year by Richard Shaw and Terry Weiss. For its first production, the organization chose Jamie Pachino’s theatrical adaptation of Studs Terkel’s book “Race,” which will debut at 3 p.m., Saturday, in the Missouri History Museum’s Lee Auditorium.

Susan Balk, journalist and founder of HateBrakers
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

The level of hate-filled rhetoric during this election season has raised alarms for some people.

The Southern Poverty Law Center this year released a report called “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Presidential Campaign on Our Nation's Schools.” The organization’s co-founder, Morris Dees, who joined St. Louis on the Air this week, said, “Never has hate been such a focus in a political campaign whether it’s blacks, Latinos or people coming from different Arab countries, about a man who is essentially appealing to middle class whites, most of them not educated.”

Provided by The Land Institute

Story updated at 1:18 p.m. Oct. 18 | Originally posted at 7:45 p.m. Oct. 11

Some scientists dream of a future in which people can add sorghum, intermediate wheatgrass and other currently wild perennial plants to their diet.

In St. Louis, researchers at the Missouri Botanical Garden and Saint Louis University are developing a list of wild perennials, which live for many years, to recommend for domestication. Researchers say such plants have the potential to make agriculture more sustainable and feed a growing human population.

Goldie Taylor
Robert Ector Photography

Former St. Louisan Goldie Taylor is the editor-at-large for the Daily Beast. Although a long-time cable news contributor (she’s been on CNN, HLN and MSNBC), Taylor said that cable news and social media have “let us down” over the issues that divide the United States.

“Maybe I’m the optimist here, but I think we’re better off than our popular media suggests, than what we see on social media or cable news,” Taylor told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “So many of us know one another as neighbors, friends, coworkers.”

Morris Dees, co-founder, Southern Poverty Law Center.
CSS Group

Morris Dees, the co-founder of Southern Poverty Law Center, was born in 1936 and grew up on a small cotton farm in Alabama. His parents didn’t own the land, but the family worked it, alongside many African-Americans. That experience was integral to his development as someone who leads the charge against hate and intolerance through his work with the SPLC, a non-profit legal organization that works to eradicate hate and intolerance through education and litigation.

Oceanographer Sylvia Earle will recieve the World Ecology Award from the University of Missouri-St. Louis’ Whitney R. Harris World Ecology Center on Oct. 16.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

It took hundreds of millions of years to populate oceans with its vast array of wildlife from plankton up to Coral Reefs and blue whales. It only took a few decades for humans to extract 90 percent of the big fish in the ocean and cut the number of Coral Reefs in half, said Dr. Sylvia Earle, a famous oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the occurrence earlier this month of a white Kirkwood High School student who appeared in school with a black substance on his face.

Author Candice Millard's book "Hero of the Empire" looks into Winston Churchill's exploits during the Boer War.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on September 29, 2016.

Winston Churchill sure didn’t make it easy to become a seminal figure in world history.

Before becoming Great Britain’s prime minister and leading his empire through World War II, Churchill was an extremely ambitious youngster who saw military glory as a pathway to political power. But this type of thinking almost got him killed in the Second Boer War, a late 1890s military conflict in what’s now South Africa.

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St. Louis author and teacher Roosevelt Mitchell III was born with a disability. Now, his mission is to “make disability cool.”

Mitchell writes and speaks about his own experiences. He has a Master in Education and is a special education teacher who works in Normandy.

Countertenor Terry Barber
Terry Barber

Terry Barber is a  countertenor who performed for years with the vocal group Chanticleer and has worked with Grammy-winning artists like Madonna, Jewel, Chaka Khan and more. Recently, he moved to St. Louis from Florida, bringing along his non-profit, called Artists for a Cause, in order to be closer to family. That also means that St. Louisans are treated to a few more local concerts from Barber than they were before.

Robin Smith October 2016
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday, St. Louis on the Air welcomed the Democratic nominee for Missouri secretary of state: Robin Smith. We have also invited to Republican nominee, Jay Ashcroft, to be on the program before the Nov. 8 election.

Update: Jay Ashcroft will be a guest on St. Louis on the Air on Thursday, October 20.

"A Nice Place to Visit" by Aaron Cowan, book cover
Temple University Press

The year is 1950. Automobiles, highways and the age of urbanization are upon us. People across the country are flocking from densely populated industrial cities to the white-washed glamour of the suburbs. Manufacturers, called by more lenient tax codes, start moving in the same direction — or out of the country entirely. Discriminatory housing policies keep African-Americans from following suit.

Most cities in the post-war industrial “Rust Belt,” including St. Louis, have already seen their highest population numbers in the 20th century. City leaders, in a panic over lost tax base in those cities, turn their sights on another form of income, now made possible with the advent of jet air travel: tourism.

From left, David Pulkingham, Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and The Milk Carton Kids (Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale) perform during the Lampedusa: Concerts for Refugees at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., Oct. 9, 2016.
Christian Fuchs | Jesuit Refugee Service

Emmylou Harris and Steve Earle are two of the most revered American singer-songwriters performing today. The two longtime friends and performing buddies have also never been hesitant to express their political views — or throw their generous musical weight behind causes they believe in.

The two have recently reunited, along with several other musicians such as the Milk Carton Kids, Buddy Miller and David Pulkingham, to tour the country hosting benefit concerts, titled “Lampedusa,” to raise money for Jesuit Refugee Service. The Christian organization’s mission is to “accompany, serve and advocate for rights of refugees and other displaced persons.” JRS works in 45 countries across the globe to assist refugees’ educational, health and social needs.

Tonight, the benefit makes a stop in St. Louis at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Reporters interview surrogates following the presidential debate at Washington University.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Inside a spin room packed to the gills with reporters, campaign surrogates tried to put their best face forward about the debate.

“The first 20 minutes started out a little rocky,” said U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, a Republican from Salem, Missouri. “But the next hour and 10 minutes was focused on a lot of policy and issues that Americans are really paying a lot of attention to: health care, taxation, the Supreme Court vacancies. So I thought that was pretty good.”

But Smith’s colleague, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, had a much dimmer view of Trump’s performance.

Reny Alfonso, 7, carries American flag pinwheels at the "Forward Together" bus tour kickoff event outside the Missouri History Museum Sunday afternoon.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio has three reporters and a photographer on Washington University’s campus to document and report on what's happening before the second presidential debate of 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Read below for reverse chronological updates from throughout the day on Washington University's campus. You can also stay up-to-the-minute updated by following our Twitter list, embedded below but also available here.

September 17, 2016 - Media Center banners go up and carpet is installed, Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University | Flickr

On Sunday, Oct. 9, the eyes of the world turned to St. Louis as Washington University hosts the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. We’ve laid out some of the things you need to know ahead of the debate (like road closures and the cost of such an event) here, but we’re also working to bring you updates day-of from our reporters and producers with St. Louis Public Radio.

Playwright Dael Orlandersmith
Kevin Berne

Actress, poet and playwright Dael Orlandersmith is known for her moving works like “Beauty’s Daughter,” “Monster,” and the Pulitzer Prize finalist “Yellowman.”  The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis recently commissioned a work from Orlandersmith about Ferguson and St. Louis after the police shooting death of Michael Brown Jr. in 2014. It is called “Until the Flood.

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed some of the news stories on listener’s minds with those who produced the stories.

Holly Yoakam and Laura Halfmann discussed the issue of stalking on "St. Louis on the Air."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Stalker. The word itself evokes an image of someone hiding in the bushes and peering into your life unbeknownst to you. In reality, that’s far from the most common forms of stalking experienced by over 7.5 million Americans today.

In many cases, people are very aware of a stalker’s behaviors but they may feel they have little recourse.

What questions do you have about Medicare? We'll answer them on Thursday.
Images Money | Flickr

Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15 and ends Dec. 7, 2016. 

Ahead of that time, St. Louis on the Air welcomed Julie Brookhart, a public affairs specialist with the Kansas City regional office of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to highlight changes and answer your questions about Medicare.

"Open enrollment is the one time of year for Medicare beneficiaries who are already in a plan or have a prescription drug plan to look at the options for next year and change their plan," Brookhart said.

Debate signage installed on the front of the Athletics Complex, Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University | Flickr

Updated Thursday, Oct. 6 at 1:20 p.m. with traffic closure details  Last Monday night featured the first presidential debate of the year and the first time Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump faced off one-on-one over plans and policy. It was the most-watched debate in televised debate history.

But what about the second round? In addition to a different format, a town hall, the second debate is at Washington University. It has hosted more debates than any other institution in history.