St. Louis on the Air

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

St. Louis on the Air provides discussion about issues and concerns facing the St. Louis area. The show is produced by Mary Edwards,  Alex Heuer, and Kelly Moffitt and is hosted by veteran journalist Don Marsh

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

Mark Regester

When Temple Grandin, famed autism activist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University, was 13 she was employed by a freelance seamstress to do sewing projects. When she was 15, she cleaned 8 horse stalls every day. By the time she finished college, she had carpentry work, sign painting, and farm management under her belt.

Robert Knudsen, White House Press Office (WHPO), Wikimedia Commons

Betty Boyd Caroli is an expert about the first ladies of the United States. She’s turned her biographer’s eye toward the Roosevelt women, Michelle Obama and even Hillary Clinton. She most recently released a biography about Lady Bird Johnson, the first lady to the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson. It is called “Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage that Made the President.”

Tim Wolfe delivers a statement on Nov. 9 announcing that he will resign.
UM System YouTube Screen Capture

Updated at 5 p.m. with news of Loftin's resignation

University of Missouri System president Tim Wolfe abruptly announced his resignation Monday morning amid strong criticism of his leadership in handling issues of race. Several hours later, R. Bowen Loftin said he would be leaving his post as chancellor of the system's Columbia campus to coordinate university research.

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

There is this term that gets thrown around in education circles that we felt needs some exploring.

School to prison pipeline.

It sounds like schools are some kind of factory for future inmates, which is not what most people think of as the mission of our education system. Rather, school is the place that prepares children for work, for life, for being good citizens. And for a lot of students, that is exactly what happens.

St. Louis International Film Festival

Nick Berardini was just a journalism student at the University of Missouri when he was sent out on an assignment that would impact his life and his career as a filmmaker. He was sent to Moberly, Missouri to report on a man who died while in police custody after being pulled over for drunk driving.

St. Louis International Film Festival

After Michael Vick was convicted for involvement in a long-running illegal dog-fighting ring, more than 50 pit bulls were left behind. What happened to them? A St. Louis International Film Festival documentary, “The Champions,” answers just that question. It also delves into the discrimination pit bulls face as a breed across the United States…sometimes for unfounded reasons.

Image courtesy of Kyrle Boldt III

Modern art, architecture and decorative arts created in the middle of the 20th century were swamped by the reactionary ruckus of the late 20th century post-modernist movement. 

Given the quality and originality of so much of the mid-century’s aesthetic industry, its relegation to obscurity was a big mistake and a now recognized lapse of taste. However, all wasn’t lost. A new exhibition opening this weekend at the St. Louis Art Museum joins other scholarship and exhibitions dedicated to setting the record straight.

St. Louis International Film Festival

For years, Dr. Susan Mackinnon, a professor and plastic surgeon with Washington University, has been working to restore movement in paralyzed limbs through a specialized peripheral-nerve-transfer surgery. Now, her work is coming to light through a documentary screening at the St. Louis International Film Festival next week: “A Spark of Nerve.”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Smartphones, tablets, computers at home, computers at school, computers at the library, augmented reality, video games…the list of new platforms that children have available to engage with goes on for miles. Although the platforms for media consumption may be shiny and new, that doesn’t exactly change the way parents should approach media exposure for their children.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

To touch the subject matter of King David, “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), is a daunting prospect.

Geraldine Brooks is up to the task. The journalist and Pulitzer-prize winning fiction author, who has written about everything from the hidden world of Islamic women to the Sarajevo Haggadah, one of the oldest surviving Jewish illuminated texts.

Scarefest Haunted Houses

The National Retail Federation recently found that 157 million Americans will celebrate Halloween this year. Not impressed? That equates to over $6.9 billion in spending—on costumes, parties, candy and…wait for it…boo! Haunted houses. Nearly 20 percent of those 157 million will step foot in a haunted house this season alone.

Nine Network of Public Media

Updated 12:15 p.m., Nov. 5 with audio from the town hall—More than 100 educators, parents and students came together Wednesday, Oct. 28, to talk about the longstanding racial disparities in school suspensions in Missouri.

The state has grappled with the issue for several years, earning headlines in recent years for having the nation’s highest suspension rates.

Used with permission from Yale University Press. From Eero Saarinen Papers Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, Photograph by Richard Knight

Susan Saarinen remembers an unusually cluttered basement.

She and her brother Eric would weave their way through cardboard mock-ups of tram capsules, landscape designs, and chains, which hung from the ceiling to determine relationships between height and width in models of a single graceful curve.

“It’s a wonderful reminder of our past, and our ideals as we go forward,” she said of the Arch her father designed. “And it’s a perfect expression of what we can achieve if we are thoughtful, and consider making something beautiful.”

July 14, 1964: CORE demonstrators Percy Green (top) and Richard Daly on the Arch.
Paul Ockrassa | St. Louis Globe-Democrat | courtesy St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Updated 1:13 p.m., Oct. 28 with "St. Louis on the Air" audio - The Gateway Arch was just halfway to the sky on July 14, 1964, when two St. Louis civil rights activists climbed 125 feet up a construction ladder on the unfinished north leg to protest the project’s lack of African-American workers.

It would become an iconic moment in city history.
Ruth Hartnup, Flickr, Creative Commons

Jake, a caller from St. Louis during Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” had a question that is, plain and simple, a hard one to ask when looking at end-of-life decisions with no one else to turn to.

“I am the last surviving member of my family,” said Jake. “Having no friends or family, what happens to my things? What happens to me?”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Whether you admire or admonish them, the wiz kids of Wall Street have been fodder for conversations around the American dinner table for decades. Who was responsible for making it such a hot topic?

On Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air,” host Don Marsh discussed some of the 14 “financial visionaries” that author Edward Morris has identified as the critical figures who “wrote the rules of American finance.”

Used with permission from Yale University Press. From Eero Saarinen Papers Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, Photograph by Richard Knight

Originally published July 1, 2013 — Author and historian Tracy Campbell views the Gateway Arch as an architectural wonder which draws millions of tourists to St. Louis, though he also argues the landmark is “an example of failed urban planning.”

To make way for the monument, nearly forty square blocks of riverfront property were demolished.  The demolition began during a public ceremony on October 9, 1939.

City leaders only gained traction for the project once it was framed as a monument to President Thomas Jefferson.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Miriam School, Miriam Learning Center and Miriam Switching Post all exist to serve a singular purpose: helping to educate children with complex learning disabilities. On Thursday, a student, parent and the head of school joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh in discussing raising a child with a learning disability.

Flickr, Damian Gadal, creative commons

St. Louis native Danny Meyer recently rocked the restaurant world, making national news with his decision to eliminate tipping from his family of New York City restaurants.

Some have lauded Meyer’s decision as the first true step towards a more equal restaurant; others question its feasibility, predicting a mass exodus of servers and a reduction in service quality.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Professors Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer were startled to recently find a trend in American poverty that they hadn’t seen since the mid-1990s: the number of American households living on around $2, per person, per day has reached 1.5 million, including 3 million children.