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.

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.

Kashif Kamal and Nigar Khurram, two visiting Pakistani journalists, discussed journalism and their impressions of the U.S. on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of 10 broadcast journalists from Pakistan is visiting the United States on a sponsored trip from the U.S. State Department and the University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The journalists made a stop in St. Louis and we heard from two of them on St. Louis on the Air on Wednesday.

Dana Hotle and Adam Maness joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss the Chamber Project St. Louis' upcoming concerts.
Mary Edwards | St. Louis on the Air

The 442’s pianist and composer Adam Maness is a lifelong St. Louisan and, with that, he has something on his mind: socioeconomic and racial divisions in the city of St. Louis. He recently composed a piece called “The Delmar Wall” to address those issues.

Rodney Norman, Charles Bryson and Kevin McKinney discussed "Neighborhoods United For Change" on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt |St. Louis Public Radio

Rodney Norman is an active resident of the West End neighborhood, which is bounded by Delmar, Skinker, Page and Union on St. Louis’ north side. Recently, he and a group of his neighbors traveled seven miles to the city’s south side to visit the Tower Grove East neighborhood, bounded by Gravois, Grand, Nebraska and Shenandoah. Seven miles doesn’t sound extensive, but when it comes to St. Louis, that distance might as well be 100 miles.

Missouri Senator Jill Schupp.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we heard from Missouri Senator Jill Schupp about a health-care fair in the 24th Missouri Senate district. There was a strong bipartisan effort behind the fair.

The fair will be held at the Overland Community Center.

"Yes, certainly, it is to serve the underserved but really this is for access of all different kinds of needs and ages," Schupp said. 

Apples and leaves.
NWY69 | Flickr

The Sound Bites team at Sauce Magazine is back and ready to help you plan your nights out at St. Louis restaurants during the month of October.

Catherine Klene and Heather Hughes, both managing editors at the magazine, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know. 

The three they highlighted as 'must-try'? Narwhal's Crafted Urban Ice, Snow Factory and The Garden on Grand. Read more about them here

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Maria Altman.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Maria Altman returned earlier this week from a 10-day reporting trip with a delegation from BioSTL and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center as they traveled to Ireland and Israel, seeking new markets and business opportunities for the St. Louis region.

Her trip was funded by donations from the Silk Foundation and the Jewish Federation of St. Louis.

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines,” Altman joined host Don Marsh to discuss what she reported on and learned during the part of the trip that took her to Israel.

A crowd packed the Contemporary Art Museum for a panel discussion on artist Kelley Walker's use of black bodies.
Wills Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines,” we took a deep dive into the controversy around Kelley Walker’s “Direct Drive” exhibit at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

We heard from St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jenny Simeone and Willis Ryder Arnold, who have been reporting on the issues surrounding the exhibit and public outcry over its depiction of black bodies. Some have called for the exhibit to come down in its entirety and others have said that would constitute an act of censorship.

Chris Hebert.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Angels of Detroit” is author Christopher Hebert’s second novel.  It delves into the fictional lives of those experiencing Detroit’s decline and redevelopment. 

Hebert joined St. Louis on the Air on Thursday to discuss the book and the parallels between Detroit and St. Louis. 

Hebert lived in St. Louis in 1998 after finishing college.

"It was brief but meaningful," Hebert said.

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi
Florida Institute of Technology

Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi is an astrophysicist with so many credentials it would take a page and a half to list them all. Here’s a sample: He has a Ph.D. in physics from Stanford University, was a 2012 TED Global Fellow, was a visiting scholar at MIT, was a U.S. State Department speaker and specialist to Algeria in 2012 and he co-hosts television shows on the Science Channel, National Geographic Channel and Discovery Channel.

Portraits hang at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art as workers finish setting up Erika Diettes' exhibit.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 3:20 p.m., Sept. 28 with Erika Diettes and Terry Dempsey's interview on St. Louis on the Air.

As the daughter of a Colombian general, Erika Diettes grew up fearing FARC rebels would one day kill her father. The rebels routinely made death threats and killed several government officials over decades. Though her father survived the conflict, and Diettes' fear dwindled, those thoughts stayed with her.

When she became a photographer, Diettes dedicated herself to examining how that violence affects individuals. Her portraits capture women as they recall watching rebels torture or kill loved ones during the half-century battle between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. The photos  will be on display Sunday at the Museum of Contemporary Religious Art at Saint Louis University.

South Sudanese refugees wait to receive food rations in northen Uganda.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 3 p.m., Sept. 28 with Durrie Bouscaren's interview on St. Louis on the Air from Uganda.

Heavy fighting in South Sudan has pushed about 150,000 refugees across the border into Uganda over the past two months. In July, the World Food Programme cut food rations in half for residents of settlement camps who have been in the country for more than a year. 

The toll of the conflict is clear in refugee camps in the Adjumani District, near Uganda's northern border.

Jessica Alvarado and Cecilia Nadal joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss Gitana Productions' play based on the lives of local refugee women.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Gitana Productions, a local nonprofit that advocates global healing through the arts, is performing a one-act play titled “New World” this weekend as part of the St. Louis Arts Experience. The play is based on the lives of three St. Louis women who are also refugees from Bosnia, the Republic of Congo and Afghanistan.

Peter Kastor, a professor of history and American culture studies at Washington University in St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Tuesday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Monday night’s debate had plenty of drama for the record number of viewers who tuned in to watch presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump face off in the first of three televised debates.

Peter Kastor, a professor of history and American culture studies at Washington University in St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air on Tuesday to both dissect the debate and compare it to other historical moments in televised debate history.

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