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.

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.

via Wikimedia Commons / Missouri Historical Society

Updated, Jan. 13, 2017: This segment was chosen for rebroadcast on St. Louis on the Air on Jan. 16, 2017. The story and segment were originally published on May 16, 2013. 

The legacy of African Americans who have made contributions in Missouri is highlighted in a new book written by retired local educators John and Sylvia Wright.

The name of the book is Extraordinary Black Missourians: Pioneers, Leaders, Performers, Athletes, & Other Notables Who’ve Made History.

Beth Prusaczyk, Helen Petty and Kim Gamel discusses their reasons for joining Women's Marches on Jan. 21, 2017.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Hundreds of St. Louis women are planning to either travel to Washington D.C. for the Women’s March on Washington or attend a similar “sister march” planned in St. Louis for the same day, January 21, the day after President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration. There are 270 marches around the country — and globe, for that matter — planned in tandem with the march in Washington.

"Lines in the Dust" is playing at The Black Rep from January 11 - 29 . Its themes revolve around inequity in education.
The Black Rep

On Jan. 14, 1963, Alabama Gov. George Wallace made one of the most indelible speeches in the fight against racial equality ever to be made in the United States.

“In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw a line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say, segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever,” Wallace, a Democrat, said at his inauguration.

Two bakers pause for a photo with some of Bridge Bread's signature cinnamon rolls on October 25, 2016.
Bridge Bread

The goal of Bridge Bread is not to eradicate homelessness in St. Louis. Instead, it aims to impact the lives of a small number of men and women who are homeless by providing them with stable, permanent employment and assistance in accessing the services necessary to end the cycle of poverty.

Gov. Eric Greitens speaks to the crowd after taking the oath of office outside the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City on Jan. 9, 2017.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Eric Greitens took the oath of office as Missouri’s new governor today, he ushered in an era of complete Republican control of the state’s legislative and executive branches. It’s an opportunity that many members of the GOP are relishing – even though some warn that the party risks taking all the blame if it can’t govern to Missourians’ liking.

Scottrade secured the naming-rights for the home of the National Hockey League's St. Louis Blues in 2006.
.bobby | Flickr

On Friday’s "Behind the Headlines" on St. Louis on the Air, we discussed the top stories of the week with those who brought a little more in-depth knowledge to them.

On this week’s program, we discussed:

The Monsanto-Bayer acquisition with Robb Fraley, Monsanto’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

Charles and Samantha, the new "it" couple from the community of Great Horned Owls in Forest Park.
Mark Glenshaw | Forest Park Owls

“The Bachelor” has returned to the airwaves this week but even that reality television show would be hard pressed to measure up to the level of drama, intrigue and flirtation found among a community of Great Horned Owls that make their home in Forest Park.

Mark Glenshaw has been observing the lotharios and seductresses of the owl community for the past 11 years in Forest Park. He describes this year’s owl happenings as more dramatic than most.

St. Louis Public Radio's Donna Korando and Dale Singer have led storied journalism careers in St. Louis. On Friday, they retire.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Politics editor Donna Korando and education reporter Dale Singer have made their marks on the St. Louis Public Radio newsroom, but they’ve also led storied journalistic careers in St. Louis at outlets including the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Beacon.

As of Friday, both Korando and Singer will leave St. Louis Public Radio for their next adventures: retirement.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The city of St. Louis’ Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce first started in that office in 1994 as the assistant circuit attorney. In 2000, she was elected as the city’s circuit attorney. Joyce just left the office at the end of 2016 after 22 years of service.

By all counts, Joyce, 54,  is the longest-serving circuit attorney in the history of the city of St. Louis.

A traveling museum in St. Louis highlights the achievements of black inventors. From left, across: Granville T. Woods, Lonnie Johnson, Sarah Boone, George Washington Carver, Bessie Blount, Elijah McCoy, Madam CJ Walker, Marjorie Joyner, Philip Emeagwali.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1996, Loretta Ford founded the Museum of Black Inventors with the idea of highlighting the achievements of often unsung African Americans who contributed greatly to the fields of science, household goods, engineering and technology.

Housed for a while in the Central West End, the organization eventually outgrew its location and in 1998 the museum reemerged as a traveling museum and now visits schools, workplaces, and community organizations across the Midwest.

UPI/Bill Greenblatt

On Wednesday, January 4, the Missouri Legislature will open for its 2017 session. What will the year in legislation look like?

On Tuesday, St. Louis on the Air has assembled a panel to answer that question and give us a look at the year to come including St. Louis Public Radio reporters Marshall Griffin and Jo Mannies as well as Terry Jones, Founders Professor of Political Science and Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Joshua Johnson is the host of the new nationally-distributed public radio show 1A.
Stephen Voss | WAMU

We’re building this program as a safe place to be heard: a place where everyone is treated with respect and empathy, even as we discuss (or argue about) the major issues we face. If you’re tired of bracing for discussions with clenched fists and sharp elbows, then you’ll love 1A. We’re more of an “open arms” show. And we’ll talk about solutions, not just problems.

Dionne Ferguson, Ni-Ammun Onyemachi, and Njoki Redding joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss Kwanzaa.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This year’s celebration of Kwanzaa marks 50  years after the first celebration was observed, from Dec. 26, 1966 to Jan. 1, 1967.

The first specifically African-American/Pan-African holiday of its kind, Maulana Karenga established the holiday to help African-Americans and people of African descent across the world celebrate, connect and learn about African cultural heritage.

Jim Merkel is the author of "Colorful Characters of St. Louis."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has a colorful past filled with interesting characters, so it makes sense that local author Jim Merkel would turn his next literary sights on the people that made St. Louis what it is today.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Merkel discussed his book, “Colorful Characters of St. Louis” with host Don Marsh.

Eric Greitens addresses the crowd at his victory party on Nov. 9, 2016.
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

How does one even begin to sum up the political year that was 2016? On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, we tried.

There are no better qualified people to do that when it comes to Missouri politics than St. Louis Public Radio’s political reporting team. Marshall Griffin, statehouse reporter, as well as Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum, political reporters, joined the program.

Nancy Fowler and Willis Ryder Arnold discussed the top arts stories in 2016 in the St. Louis region.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the year in arts and culture news in the region — from the controversy at the Contemporary Art Museum to multiple theater anniversaries — with the reporters who know the subject best.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Willis Ryder Arnold and Nancy Fowler both report on arts and culture stories for the station. They joined the program to share the stories they thought shaped the region this year.

St. Louis Public Radio answered 42 of your Curious Louis questions this year and published 24 stories online and on the radio with answers.
Curious Louis

In late 2015, St. Louis Public Radio started a community engagement/storytelling project with the help of a web application called Hearken which connected St. Louisans with questions about the city with reporters ready to report on the answers. We called it Curious Louis.

St. Louis Public Radio's Wayne Pratt and Maria Altman have reported on all the big issues in St. Louis business throughout 2016.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the year in business news in the region — from NGA to Monsanto — with the reporters who know the subject best.

St. Louis Public Radio reporters Maria Altman and Wayne Pratt joined the program and shared the stories they thought shaped the region this year.

American Wrestlers, photographed in August 2016 by Jess Luther.
Jess Luther | I Went To A Show

When St. Louis Public Radio Business Operations Specialist Jess Luther founded the live, local music blog I Went to a Show in 2010, she had three goals: get St. Louis fans to come to local shows, have them buy tickets and buy merchandise.

She wanted to help foster a community of live music lovers in a city she knows and loves.

Sophie Malik, Roberta Gutwein and Anna Crosslin joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the sixth annual Jewish and Muslim Christmas Day of Community Service.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Each year for the past six years, people of Jewish and Muslim faiths have joined together on Christmas for a day of community service

Last year, more than 500 people, including Christians and Buddhists, volunteered on the day. This year, more than 800 people are expected to volunteer.

In the past, the effort has focused on forging ties between the two communities in the aid of a variety of different services and non-profits in the St. Louis area. 

It's that time of year: St. Louis on the Air plays your favorite Christmas poems, read by our staff.
Tim Parkinson | Flickr

As you dash about checking off the last of Christmas lists, begin to set the trimmings of a holiday feast, or finish up that last day of work before the holiday, spend some time with the annual St. Louis on the Air Christmas special, which aired on Dec. 23.

We’re celebrating the holiday with two favorite holiday poems, one old and one more recent:

First, a St. Louis Public Radio staff recording of “A Visit from St. Nicholas

Bill Freivogel, Mike Wolff and Mark Smith joined Legal Roundtable in December.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday, St. Louis on the Air’s monthly legal roundtable returned, this time to address pressing issues of the law while also looking back at the big legal news of 2016 and looking forward to 2017.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or just moved to St. Louis, you’ve probably noticed the, erm, particularities of the way St. Louisans speak. From the “ar” pronunciation that creeps into words like “forty” (fahr-ty) and “wash” (warsh) to the Nelly-esque “here” (hurr) to area-specific vocabulary like “hoosier” or “catty corner,” there is something different going on here.

From left, Nick Blue, Gerard Craft and Chris Kelling at Sardella, one of Sauce Magazine's 'best new restaurants' of 2016.
Greg Rannells | Sauce Magazine

In the Sauce Magazine office, there is a meticulously edited running spreadsheet. On it are the names, dates, and addresses for each of the over 100 restaurants that opened in St. Louis in 2016.

Betsey Bruce is retiring after a 46 year career in journalism, reporting at several outlets in St. Louis.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Newscaster Betsey Bruce is believed to be the first woman in St. Louis assigned to daily hard news reporting on television. She’s been a professional journalist for 46 years. Last Friday, she began her retirement.

“I haven’t slept in yet,” Bruce told St. Louis on the Air host and former colleague Don Marsh. “I’ve been warned I should not make any real commitments for the first six months.”

Although she ended her career at KTVI (Channel 2), she started her career at KMOV (Channel 4) in 1970. In 2008, she was elected to the St. Louis Media Hall of Fame.

Dennis Sparger and  Melissa Payton of the Bach Society.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In the spirit of the holiday season, the Bach Society of St. Louis will celebrate with its annual Christmas Candlelight Concert on Thursday night at Powell Hall.

Ahead of the concert, Music Director A. Dennis Sparger and Executive Director Melissa Payton joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss the organization and the concert.

Sophia Rose Kinninger, Petra Swidler and Fran Hamilton.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The Grannie Annie Family Story Celebration, a nationwide non-profit based in St. Louis, encourages schoolchildren to collect and retell the stories of family members through the written word. Twelve years old, the organization recently released its 11th volume of those stories and is now accepting stories for its 12th volume.

"Home For Christmas" by The 442s and Peter Martin
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

In just more than four years, The 442s have become known for their unique sound that blends elements of classical, jazz and folk music, as well as other genres.

Monsanto
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, we went "Behind the Headlines” to discuss the top stories of the week with those who can bring a little more in-depth knowledge to them. On this week’s program, we discussed:

The Monsanto-Bayer deal with Tim Greaney, J.D. Chester A. Meyers Professor of Law; Co-Director, Center for Health Law Studies, Saint Louis University. Greaney used to work in the anti-trust division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

John McDaniel and Lennie Watts

Although musicians John McDaniel and Lennie Watts both grew up in St. Louis at about the same time, they didn’t meet until Watts made a brief guest appearance on the Rose O’Donnell Show when McDaniel was her bandleader. They have stayed in touch off and on over the years as each has pursued a career in New York City, but have been closer the last couple of years working together at the O’Neal Theatre Center’s Cabaret Performance Conference. While there, they started thinking about a project they could do together.

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