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

St. Louis on the Air

teacher with two young children
U.S. Department of Education

Wednesday on “St. Louis on the Air,” we learned about a St. Louis Science Center program that helps teens learn science, technology, engineering and math skills. Ahead of that segment, we asked listeners about memorable STEM experiments, classes and learning moments. Here’s what they told us. (Responses have been edited for length and clarity.)

Dr. Ken Haller talks about vaccination safety with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 10, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Rumors of a link between autism and the measles vaccine persist, although the original paper that claimed the link, as well as its author, have been discredited.

St. Louis Science Center
St. Louis Science Center

Like most kids, Diamond Williams toyed with several potential careers. Cosmetology had potential. So did following in the footsteps of her father, a dialysis technician, but her squeamishness cut short those dreams. Instead, Williams is now an engineer, a career path she discovered through a St. Louis Science Center youth program.

Youth Exploring Science works with St. Louis teens to create projects centered around science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM.

The Missouri History Museum is collecting postcards for a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years, for St. Louis' 300th anniversary.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ 250th anniversary celebration is wrapping up, and the city starts its 251st year this weekend.

While the 250th anniversary may have lacked the over-the-top pomp and circumstance of previous anniversaries, Cakeway to the West was a hit. Two hundred fifty-six cake sculptures, each 4 feet tall, were decorated by artists and scattered throughout the St. Louis region.

Pediatrician Weighs In On Vaccine Safety

Feb 10, 2015
Dr. Ken Haller talks about vaccination safety with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 10, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

The measles vaccine is safe and effective, pediatrician Ken Haller said; there’s no reason not to get it.

“This virus is very tenacious,” Haller told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. “If someone with measles walks into a room and even just breathes, it can stay in the air for two hours. Anyone coming into that room who’s susceptible has a 90 percent chance of getting sick from it.”

Investigative Reporter Shares His Favorite Work

Feb 10, 2015
St. Louis Public Radio reporter Chris McDaniel talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh about investigative journalism on Feb. 10, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

A few months ago, an investigative report by St. Louis Public Radio reporter Chris McDaniel revealed the state of Missouri was covertly using the drug midazolam before execution warrants were valid, and before witnesses were present to provide oversight. That story led to reforms in the state’s mostly secret execution policies.

Monday marked six months since the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. Since then, there have been many conversations about race, municipalities and use of force. Protests have been organized throughout the St. Louis region. And several commissions and organizations have been created.

Beyond Housing CEO Chris Krehmeyer, left, Normandy Mayor Patrick Green and Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy pose for a photo after talking about municipality government with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 5, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

If coalitions can get into schoolyard fights, then they did Thursday afternoon.

For nearly a year, the Better Together coalition has explored whether St. Louis and St. Louis County should consider merging services. Within St. Louis County, some believe there also is a need for consolidation: Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, has introduced a bill that would eliminate some of St. Louis County's smaller municipalities.

Beyond Housing CEO Chris Krehmeyer, left, Normandy Mayor Patrick Green and Cool Valley Mayor Viola Murphy pose for a photo after talking about municipality government with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 5, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis and its municipalities have come under fire after the August shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. While some are calling for consolidation, local leaders say there’s a reason the municipalities exist.

Cardiologist Andrew Kates talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh about heart health on Feb. 4, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Have you heard the one about Twitter predicting heart disease risk?

Bill Greenblatt / UPI

A few years ago, Mike Matheny was coaching a youth baseball team. He wrote what has become known as the Matheny Manifesto, a letter to his team’s parents. “I always said that the only team I would coach would be a team of orphans,” the letter began before asking parents to butt out of coaching.

Harris-Stowe University is offering free HIV testing, education and entertainment on Saturday, National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

The St. Louis Department of Health reports the HIV rate was nearly five times higher in St. Louis’ black community than in the white community in 2012. Increasing HIV testing can reduce the rate of HIV infection. On Saturday, Turn Up for Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day will offer free HIV testing, health screenings and performances.

Courtesy CityArchRiver

Most of the renovations at the Gateway Arch are scheduled to be finished in October, in time for the monument’s 50th anniversary.

Work on the park over the highway, Luther Ely Smith Square and the riverfront will be done by October, said Ryan McClure, CityArchRiver’s communications director. CityArchRiver is a $380 million effort to connect the Gateway Arch and the city.

If walls could talk, then those of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Missouri would have a lot to say.

Historian Burton Boxerman worked with a group of prominent attorneys and district court judges to capture some of the court’s tales in “And Justice for All: A History of the Federal District Court of Eastern Missouri.”

The court got its start in 1822, less than a year after Missouri became a state. Many of the court’s early cases were related to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.

Maxim Schillebeeckx and Brett Maricque, back row far left, stand with the Balsa Foundation's Entry Program Finalists: Patrice Hill, JaNay Holmes, Talah Alem, Chico Weber, Andrew Yee, Bernard Mallala, Tom Spudich and Brad Postier.
J.R. Johnson / Courtesy of the Balsa Foundation

Do you have a business idea? A student-led nonprofit wants to help, and is offering free advice for St. Louis entrepreneurs.

The Balsa Group is led by Washington University graduate student volunteers who help advise St. Louis biotech and life-science companies at a discounted rate.

Nonprofit helps St. Louis’ homeless youth

Feb 2, 2015
Suzanne Wagener, executive director of Covenant House Missouri, and Anthony S., a participant in the organization's traditional living program, talk to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Feb. 24, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

In St. Louis, Covenant House Missouri has helped hundreds of homeless teens and children learn to live independently, get an education and gain needed life and job skills.

“Family dysfunction is the number one reason youth are homeless, quite honestly,” Covenant House Executive Director Suzanne Wagener told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Tuesday. “Between 45 and 50 percent of them have been in the foster care system and are homeless.”

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 29, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

The University of Missouri System is doing well, president Tim Wolfe said Thursday, but some extra cash wouldn’t hurt.

“The quantity of students that we have are at all-time highs: 77,000 students. The quality of the students, as measured by their ACT score, now averages 26, which also is an all-time high,” Wolfe told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh. “The financial condition of the University of Missouri System is decent. Decent relative to our balancing the revenue and the expenses with the challenges that we have of keeping tuition low.”

For more than a year, researchers from Washington University and Saint Louis University worked together to study the health and well-being of African-Americans in St. Louis.

Through the For the Sake of All study, researchers released five briefs. A “St. Louis on the Air” series examined each of those briefs.

Listening Project Leaders Share Their Goals

Jan 28, 2015

This week, St. Louis Public Radio launched The Listening Project, which will examine health, education and economic disparities in St. Louis’ African-American communities.

Mike McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 28, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

The Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson changed everything.

As local schools celebrate Catholic Schools Week, the new superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis said the schools are successful because everyone works together.

Author Shares His Quest For Work That Matters

Jan 27, 2015
Wes Moore
Amun Ankhra

After a troubled childhood, Wes Moore graduated from Johns Hopkins University, served in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan, earned a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, served as a special assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, worked on Wall Street and wrote a book about a man with the same first and last name, but without Moore’s successes.

After writing that book, Moore set out to find purpose in “The Work: My Search for a Life that Matters.”

Last week, NPR's "Morning Edition" aired a segment about echolocation. It's the way bats are able to navigate via sound waves, and it's possible for people to learn the same trick.

Daniel Kish is a developmental psychologist in California. He lost both of his eyes as a toddler due to cancer.

Jeff Rainford, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay's chief of staff, talks to 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 26, 2015, at St. Louis Pubilc Radio in St. Louis.
Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Jeff Rainford, St. Louis’ longest-serving chief of staff who has defended and helped shape St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s agenda for nearly 15 years, is leaving City Hall.

Panel Analyzes Nixon's State Of The State Address

Jan 22, 2015
Gov. Jay Nixon speaks during last year's State of the State address. The governor's speech comes amid heightened scrutiny of his actions during the Ferguson unrest and unprecedented GOP majorities in the Missouri General Assembly.
Tim Bommel, House Communications

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon delivered his seventh State of the State address Wednesday night. On Thursday, “St. Louis on the Air” asked a panel to analyze the speech and the Republican response, starting with the headline they would have put on the speech.

“Nixon’s speech more subdued in places,” said Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio’s Missouri statehouse reporter.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will deliver the annual State of the State address on Wednesday night. Ahead of the speech, “St. Louis on the Air” asked its listeners to weigh in on what they want to hear from the governor.

Following are some of the responses we received. They have been edited for length and clarity.

Pam E.: I want to see Medicaid expanded, legalization of marijuana and improved infrastructure.

U.S. Supreme Court
supremecourt.gov

The U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement that it will take up same-sex marriage this term has many people searching for clues to how the court’s justices may rule.

The high court will decide whether same-sex couples have a right to marry under the constitution. Specifically, the court will hear cases that ask it to overturn bans in four states. The cases will be argued in April; a decision is expected in June.

Gayle Harper

When author and photographer Gayle Harper learned that it takes 90 days for a raindrop to travel from the Mississippi River’s headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico, she knew she had a new project: Follow the path of that raindrop.

That path became a book, “Roadtrip with a Raindrop: 90 Days Along the Mississippi,” full of photos and a series of vignettes. Along the way, Harper said she found that there’s something special about life on the river.

Sevgi Akarcesme discusses Turkey's government and issues of press freedom with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 20, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Freedom of the press has drawn renewed attention following recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

On Jan. 7, terrorists attacked satirical publication Charlie Hebdo for its cartoons depicting the prophet Muhammad, killing 12 people and injuring many more.

Home Visit Program Connects Teachers, Parents

Jan 15, 2015
Teachers Kimberly Merrill, far left, and Catherine Moore, Home Works executive director Karen Kalish, and principal Cameron Coleman discuss the Home Works teacher home visit program with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 15, 2015.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Positive relationships between teachers, students and parents lead to success. That’s the idea behind Home Works’ teacher home visit program.

Teachers in the Home Works program attend two training session, then work in pairs to go to two home visits each year for each student. Twenty seven St. Louis-area schools are following the program: three early childhood centers, 17 elementary schools, six middle schools and two high schools, program founder Karen Kalish told “St. Louis on the Air” host Don Marsh on Thursday.

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