St. Louis on the Air | St. Louis Public Radio

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 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 Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill, Lara Hamdan, Caitlin Lally and Xandra Ellin give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

St. Louis on the Air is sponsored by University College at Washington University

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

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will discuss the fiscal consequences that farmers face as a result of recent trade disputes between the Trump administration and China.

Joining the discussion will be Blake Hurst, president of the Missouri Farm Bureau, and Pat Westhoff, director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Rachel Greathouse (at left) and Jenny Wendt are helping to spearhead the Recycle Responsibly campaign for OneSTL, a collaborative organization focused on regional sustainability.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The world of recycling is a global one, with lots of moving parts. But in places like St. Louis, it all still starts with local residents and what they put in their neighborhood recycling bins. At least that’s where one regional organization is putting renewed focus as they try to spread a consistent message.

“Don’t be a wishful recycler,” Rachel Greathouse, a member of the OneSTL recycling work group, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air. “That’s something that we like to say in our field often … if it’s not on the list, it’s not in the bin. So that’s really important.”

Erin Warner Prange, executive director of the Big Muddy Dance Company, detailed how the dance company explores the haunted tale of the Lemp family and their mansion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A historic mansion in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood carries a grim story. The Lemp Mansion belonged to a family of prominent brewers in the region – but it’s now said to be haunted by members of the Lemp family, making its haunted house tours a hit among St. Louisans.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the family’s legacy and their mansion as portrayed in the Big Muddy Dance Company’s new production, "Lemp Legends: A Ghost Story." Joining the discussion was Erin Warner Prange, executive director of the Big Muddy Dance Company.

This interview will be on St. Louis on the Air during the noon hour on Monday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

In the upcoming weeks, friends and family will gather to partake in delicious holiday meals. But sometimes, those meals can turn bitter if loved ones start discussing polarizing subjects – and that makes breaking bread with someone who has very different views on politics or life not so enjoyable.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will talk about the best ways to approach these holiday-time conversations with Dr. Marva Robinson, a licensed clinical psychologist with Preston & Associates Psychology Firm.

Dedication Ceremony for Loop Trolley at Delmar Hall.  Nov. 15, 2018
Melody Walker|St. Louis Public Radio

The Delmar Loop Trolley was scheduled to welcome riders today for the first time. But the storm that dumped several inches of snow across the region Wednesday night put the breaks on the long awaited launch.

“We’ve waited this long,” said Loop Trolley Company executive director Kevin Barbeau, “What’s one more day?”

Barbeau said the trolley cars will be able to function in any kind weather. But the safety committee didn’t think it was prudent to begin service undersuch inclement conditions.

Dr. Sonny Saggar has practiced medicine in the St. Louis region for many years but grew up in England. He's worked in hospital emergency rooms in both countries.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

After a tweet by the National Rifle Association last week suggested that medical professionals should “stay in their lane” when it comes to guns, many U.S. doctors responded with messages of their own. Dr. Sonny Saggar, a St. Louis physician, was among those insisting that the issue of gun violence actually falls well within their lane.

“When doctors say, ‘This is our lane, this is my lane,’ they’re basically raising awareness that gun violence is indeed a public health crisis,” Saggar said Thursday on St. Louis on the Air. “If a virus killed 20 kids in five minutes, or if a bacterial strain killed 60 people in 15 minutes – if you’ve got some pathogen randomly attacking schools, churches, nightclubs almost every day of the year, then people would wonder whether doctors had fallen asleep at the wheel.”

Former St. Louis reporter Farrah Fazal latest work took her abroad to cover underreported conflict zones.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Former KSDK reporter Farrah Fazal’s career as an investigative journalist has transported her from her Midwest home to conflict zones in Somalia, Bosnia and Pakistan. Most recently, Fazal’s work took her to the Middle East, where she covered Syrian refugees crossing the border into Lebanon.

Fazal told host Don Marsh on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air that she “felt a calling” earlier this year to cover the war in Syria and other conflict zones – using the personal stories of those affected by the conflicts to help others understand their situations better.

Doris Kearns Goodwin is an award-winning American biographer, historian, and political commentator that specializes in analyzing the administrations of U.S. presidents. She was interviewed by host Don Marsh on Nov. 10 at the St. Louis County Library.
St. Louis County Library

Doris Kearns Goodwin is an award-winning American biographer, historian, and political commentator who specializes in analyzing the administrations of United States presidents. Her latest book, “Leadership: In Turbulent Times,” details how past presidents dealt with crisis.

In today’s polarized political environment, she often gets asked, “Are these the worst of times?”

To that, she answers, “History can provide a perspective.” She cited difficult periods throughout the nation’s history, such as the Civil War, the Great Depression and World War II.

Historian Carol Shepley has added about 50 pages' worth of fresh content to her 2014 book "St. Louis: An Illustrated Timeline," which was first published during the Gateway City's 250th birthday.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

About four years ago, Carol Shepley was busy putting the final touches on her visually oriented history of St. Louis as the city celebrated 250 years. But there was still much more St. Louis history yet to be told, including with regard to the tragedy and unrest that rocked the region that same month she finished her book.

“When I completed work on the first edition, it was the end of August 2014, and Michael Brown was killed August 9th,” Shepley recalled Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air while talking with host Don Marsh.

In the months and years since that period, Shepley has updated “St. Louis: An Illustrated Timeline” to include more information and her own conclusions about the regional and political activity surrounding the police shooting that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead spoke with host Don Marsh on this Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air.

Jazz music has undergone a series of important changes over the course of its history. Jazz critic for NPR’s Fresh Air Kevin Whitehead told host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air that there are a handful of characteristics that bind seemingly dissimilar styles of music to the singular genre of jazz.

Military historian and former president of Dartmouth College James Wright is the author of the book "Enduring Vietnam: An American Generation and Its War." He's giving a lecture at the Missouri History Museum on Monday evening.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Much has changed about the nature of warfare in the 100 years since the end of World War I, including the percentage of American adults who have served in the U.S. military.

“I’m of the over-75 generation, [and] 52 percent of us are veterans,” former Dartmouth College president James Wright said Monday on St. Louis on the Air. “The Vietnam generation, about 37 percent are veterans. And of course the current generation, in their 20s and early 30s, it’s about 2 percent … it’s clear which way this demographic is moving.”

In conversation with host Don Marsh, the military historian was quick to add that while it’s a relief to have far smaller percentages of the nation’s young people heading off to war, it also means that fewer and fewer Americans understand “what it is that we’re asking them to do.”

Mark Trout, president and CEO of the Missouri Civil War Museum, details the history of the Jefferson Barracks Military Post, the oldest operational military installation in the region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio


St. Louis is often touted as “The Gateway to the West.” But Jefferson Barracks Military Post “is that gate,” Mark Trout, president and CEO of the Missouri Civil War Museum, told host Don Marsh. On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Marsh and Trout discussed the history of Jefferson Barracks, its role in various wars and its cemetery.

Created in 1826, Jefferson Barracks is the oldest operational military installation in the region and was named after President Thomas Jefferson, who had died earlier that year. The historic site in south St. Louis County was strategically placed on a plateau that overlooks the Mississippi River.

Allegra Fuller Snyder, 91, is the only living child of the late architect and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller. She's also a professor emeritus of dance and dance ethnography at UCLA.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For decades, R. Buckminster Fuller was known around the globe for his scholarship and his vision of a future that could work for everyone aboard what he described as “spaceship earth.” By the middle of the 20th century, he saw two possible destinations on humanity’s horizon – utopia or oblivion – and his lectures and writings still resonate today.

“He was always a step ahead of where the rest of us were, but very excited and eager to bring us all with him,” his 91-year-old daughter, Allegra Fuller Snyder, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air.

In town for what’s been billed as a “Bucky Weekend” celebrating the late architect’s legacy in the St. Louis region, she joined host Don Marsh for the conversation alongside Benjamin Lowder, creative director of the Fuller Dome at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

RFT’s Danny Wicentowski dives deep into the ins and outs of a decades-old saga involving the late St. Louis traffic reporter Allen Barklage in this week’s printed issue, which features this illustration, by Evan Sult, based on one of Barklage’s photos.
Riverfront Times

As a busy news week full of election results and midterm coverage draws to a close, there’s another story being told in St. Louis that has nothing to do with the polls. This one involves lots of high-stakes helicopter piloting in the bi-state region many years ago.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went behind the headlines with the Riverfront Times’ Danny Wicentowski about his newly published deep dive into the memorable life of Allen Barklage, who died in a September 1998 crash.

Mary Elizabeth Coleman was one of the 46 women elected to Missouri's General Assembly Tuesday night. She was part of the record number of women running across Missouri this year.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Women candidates across the country made history Tuesday when the highest number of females were elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, but women running for the Missouri Legislature didn’t fare as well.

The number of women on Missouri’s ballot this year was historic. In total, 103 women ran for statewide office and the Legislature.

 Stephane Deneve details his new "musical marriage" with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When conductor Stéphane Denève last spoke to St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh in January, he was both excited and impatient to start his new role as music director of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra for the 2019-2020 season. Now in a few months he will officially assume that position.

“I feel exactly the same,” Denève told Marsh on Thursday’s program. “It’s all very exciting and the sky is blue.” He described his relationship with the SLSO as a “musical marriage.”

In the meantime, the native Frenchman will conduct four weekends of performances at Powell Hall. All of the upcoming programs “are dedicated to the theme of love.”

Julie Brookhart detailed a new law that changed Medicare cards to prevent identity theft.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed a recent law regarding Medicare – new cards are being issued that exclude Social Security Numbers to address the current risk of medical identity theft. The new cards include a unique number for each beneficiary – 1.2 million people in Missouri. 

Joining the discussion was Julie Brookhart, public affairs specialist for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She described the recent changes as “a long time coming.”

A porkchop is among the offerings at 58hundred, one of five new area restaurants on this month's Hit List.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked up some of the latest additions to the St. Louis region’s food-and-beverage community.

Joining Marsh for the Hit List segment were Sauce Magazine managing editor Catherine Klene and staff writer Matt Sorrell.

On Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air," guests Jason Rosenbaum (at left), Anita Manion (center) and Jo Mannies offered their perspectives on this week's midterm election results.
St. Louis Public Radio

Voters in Missouri and Illinois answered many key regional questions at the polls this week, deciding a wide range of races and ballot issues. But with those midterm results come more questions about what it all means.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh worked through a handful of local and statewide topics alongside three guests who offered analysis: St. Louis Public Radio political reporters Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum plus University of Missouri-St. Louis political scientist Anita Manion.

From left, Vijay Chauhan, Natalie DiNicola and Dena Ladd discussed gene-editing technology on this Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Gene editing – a novel technique consisting of editing, replacing or deleting gene sequences – is a growing practice in the St. Louis area.

This new ability to redefine and reconstruct organisms at the genetic level is quickly influencing research in a variety of fields, including medicine, agriculture and industry.