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.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a panel of local legal experts in a conversation about the month’s most pressing news about the law.

Top of mind? Missouri’s ‘religious shield’ proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 39, and whether it violates the first amendment.

SJR39 is designed to allow business owners and clergy to refuse to participate in same-sex weddings.

Joining the discussion:

(via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Every April 22nd, Earth Day encourages people to consider what’s best for the environment. Started in 1970 by a U.S. senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day has evolved in its consideration of how to combat the troubling effects of climate change.

Climate change is just one of the many factors that affects the sustainability and economic viability of the Mississippi River.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Singer-songwriter Donny Hathaway was born in Chicago but grew up in St. Louis. Known for songs like “The Ghetto” and “This Christmas,” Hathaway began singing in his grandmother’s church choir and playing the piano at age 3. Hathaway was a prolific musician but also grappled with mental illness throughout his life.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people who produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed homelessness in St. Louis, the state budget's advancement and new Missouri learning standards.

Joining us:

Sandor Weisz | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1VkvzmF

  By the end of this year, the American Cancer Society estimates that more than 49,000 people in the United States will die from colorectal cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths.

In 2015, Erica Barnell, the CEO of Geneoscopy, helped start a company that seeks to reduce the number of colorectal cancer deaths by expanding preventive screening through noninvasive methods.

Author Gail Pellett of "Forbidden Fruit: 1980 Beijing" spoke with "St. Louis on the Air" host  Don Marsh.
Alex Heuer

Author Gail Pellet recently released a new memoir called “Forbidden Fruit: 1980 Beijing,” which details her experience working for Radio Beijing as a foreign expert.

“I was hired as the first experienced broadcast journalist to work at Radio Beijing,” Pellett told host Don Marsh.  

Pellett discussed her experiences in China as well as her connection to St. Louis — she was a student at Washington University during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

No organizations St. Louis Public Radio spoke with said they have heard many cases of men who would be eligible to donate under the new FDA recommendations being turned away.
LCpl Austin Schlosser | US Army

April is organ donation month and two guests joined St. Louis on the Air to discuss new advances in the field of organ donation research.

Nationwide, there are hundreds of thousands on various waiting lists for organ transplants. In the St. Louis area, there 200-250 patients waiting for a liver transplant and 1,300 patients waiting for a kidney transplant.

The guests also discussed the importance of organ donation, signing up to donate while living and also after death. Here’s who joined us for the discussion:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Classrooms today are not teaching a skill and that is proving detrimental to churning out informed, active citizens in a democracy, said professor Joel Westheimer on St. Louis on the Air. That skill would be: critical thinking.

“One of the big problems with schools right now is the cultural obsession with standardized testing,” Westheimer said. Westheimer is specifically referring to standardized testing around math and literacy, which is pushing aside the teaching of subjects such as art and the teaching of how to be an engaged citizen in democracy.

Anders Krusberg | Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Ted Koppel, former “Nightline” anchor and commentator for NPR, joined guest host Steve Potter to discuss the responsibility of the media during the 2016 election.

“It certainly has the atmosphere of a three-ring event,” said Koppel. “The tone of it probably owes as much to entertainment as it does to the serious pursuit of politics. … I don’t think it has ever been at a lower level of politesse as it has been in the last fifteen years.”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Ten years from now, you will hopefully see Fort Zumwalt West High School senior Audri Bartholomew accepting the crowning award in the much-lauded EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, for those in the know). You’ll also hopefully see Belleville East High School sophomore Abby Zaiz still tap dancing to her heart’s content.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

When Nate Marschalk, the executive director of the local education innovation non-profit The Disruption Department, heard of the new Education Innovation Fellowship program being piloted by St. Louis’ Venture Café and St. Louis Public Schools, he was immediately against the idea.

This year, the paid fellowship will pair 15 St. Louis Public Schools teachers with startups and innovative companies in the hope of bridging the gap between education and industry.

Marschalk worried about the fellowship’s end goal.

The local Songs of Africa ensemble is one of many groups performing in "A Tribute to African Composers."
African Musical Arts | Provided

A weekend concert in St. Louis pays homage to composers whose names are often left off lists that include Mozart, Bach and Britten.

“A Tribute to African Composers: Music Bringing People Together” features names like Adolphus Hailstork, Uzee Brown  and Tania Leon,  among a host of others with African roots.

Kristi Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

In our weekly "Behind the Headlines" segment, St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discussed the top news stories that caught St. Louisans’ attention this week, with the people that produced them and contributed to them.

This week, we discussed Peabody’s bankruptcy filing, Senate Joint Resolution 39 and the Washington University-adjunct faculty contract negotiations.

Joining us:

Cardinal Ritter Senior Services’ Foster Grandparents program connects seniors with low-income children with special needs.
Cardinal Ritter Senior Services

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, Aarya Locker, the director of Cardinal Ritter Senior Services’ Foster Grandparents program joined host Don Marsh to discuss how seniors can serve as foster grandparents/mentors to low income children with special needs.

Charles Bogel | Wikimedia Commons

CBS journalist Lesley Stahl, most widely known for her work on 60 Minutes, has interviewed heads of state, covered Watergate and broken scores of political news stories throughout her journalism career. Now, Stahl is facing a new challenge: “Becoming Grandma.”

Stahl has written a new book about “The Joys and Science of New Grandparenting,” and joined host Don Marsh to discuss her experience learning to become a grandmother.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Michael and Tara Gallina are the proprietors of Rooster and the Hen, a culinary concept — they say — that seeks to delight eaters through thoughtfulness; for the way our food is grown and raised, to the care and warmth in which it's served.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Nurses for Newborns is a local organization that seeks to improve the outcome of infants in at-risk families. Since the organization was founded over 20 years ago, the nurses have helped more than 100,000 families raise healthy babies. At any given moment, the nurses are helping more than 1,000 babies younger than age 2 and their families.

The 2006 World's Series was a winner for the Cardinals.
Matt Dimmic | Flickr

The Cardinals’ home opener has come and gone and, with it, redbird fury is swirling upward. On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, in honor of baseball season, we had a special treat for listeners: A discussion about a new book titled “Immortal Moments in Cardinals History.”

Ron Jacober, famed local sports broadcaster and Bob Tiemann, baseball historian, co-wrote the book and joined host Don Marsh to discuss what some of those “immortal moments” are.

Listen to the segment here to hear their favorite moments:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

UPDATE: Washington U, adjuncts reach tentative agreement on four-year contract

Washington University adjunct faculty are warning of a walkout on Thursday in order to exert pressure on negotiations between their union and the school, which is refusing to move on the issue of a pay increase. Over 200 faculty and students alike have RSVP’d to the walk out Facebook event.

The Trombones of the St. Louis Symphony

The Trombones of the Saint Louis Symphony may be known for their spectacular performances of works by composers like Rimsky-Korsakov, Dukas or Mozart but that’s not all this quartet has up its sleeves. The ensemble will soon feature two world premieres and a new arrangement of Radiohead’ “Everything in its Right Place.”

Yes, you read that right, Radiohead.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The term “palliative care” has been bandied about quite a bit as of late. But what does it mean? On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, three people joined host Don Marsh to discuss what palliative care means and how it differs from hospice care.

Joining the program to discuss palliative care:

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Beyond Housing President and CEO Chris Krehmeyer and Normandy Mayor Patrick Green joined host Don Marsh in discussing Senate Bill 5, which deals with municipal court overhaul. Recently, a Cole County judge rejected major parts of the law. More background on that here.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Krista Tippett imparts the wisdom of the world’s great thinkers every week through her radio program On Being, but she wants you to take away something a little bit different from her new book, “Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living.”

“Wisdom is not for the wise sages of history,” Tippett told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “Wisdom is something that is accessible to us and it emerges through the raw materials of our lives.”

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

This week's "Behind the Headlines" segment took a quick turn on Friday morning when St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced he would not run for re-election. Luckily, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum, were on the story and able to share some perspective into the announcement and what possibly could come next.

Camping tent
Arup Malakar |Flickr|http://bit.ly/208olRZ

When climber Scott Briscoe was in high school, he got involved with the genre of physical activity known as “adventure sports.” You know:  hiking, skiing, backpacking, kayaking, rock climbing, and the like. He loved these kinds of sports, but there was something missing from the experience — people who looked like him.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you’re stressed and need a moment of calm, do yourself a favor and skip through this text straight to the audio. The sounds of Mark Holland and Pati Pellerito’s Native American flute and Himalayan singing bowls will almost immediately lower your blood pressure. Just ask St. Louis on the Air contributor Steve Potter.

The two artists have recently collaborated on a new CD of such meditative music entitled “Dreamwalker.” Pellerito, a massage therapist and sound healer, plays a range of six to over 40 bowls while Holland plays the wooden flute.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Susan Gobbo, a native of Brazil, moved to the United States in 2005 and then to St. Louis in 2008 with her husband, who was offered a position stateside with Nestle Purina. Sounds like an exciting move, right?

One problem: Gobbo, a trained and licensed physical therapist in her home country, was not able to find a physical therapy job in the United States because many medical facilities viewed her as unqualified. The costs for training and recertification were high, so Gobbo’s high expectation of life in the U.S. deflated a little bit.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

While Donald Trump’s vitriolic rhetoric about immigrants (calling Latino immigrants “criminals” and “rapists,” for example) has scored thousands of headlines across the globe, political scientist Zoltan Hajnal said there is a growing number of white, working class Americans who back up those kind of beliefs.

Ronel Reyes | Flickr | http://bit.ly/1MOICtA

This weekend, leading researchers in the field of astrobiology will convene on UMSL’s campus to share research and analysis of recent findings. That begs the question: what in the world is astrobiology, anyway?

Funny you should ask. Astrobiology is a branch of biology which is concerned with the study of life on earth and in space. This weekend’s conference will focus on exactly how life originated on Earth and if that is being echoed elsewhere in the universe.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

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 April.

Meera Nagarajan and Kristen Schultz, the magazine’s art director and staff writer, respectively, joined “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh to discuss the openings and closings of restaurants you should know.

The three restaurants they highlighted?

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