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STLPR Talk Shows

Content from St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape.

Historian Bonnie Stepenoff discussed risk many St. Louis children faced in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Many are familiar with “Little Boy Blue,” a poem by Eugene Field that paints the sad picture of the little toy dog and the little toy soldier waiting decades for the toddler who had kissed them goodnight to return.

The death of children in the late 1800 and early 1900s was not uncommon, even in middle class families such as Field’s, due to lack of knowledge about contagious diseases and certain kinds of infections, historian Bonnie Stepenoff told host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Executive director of Healing Action Katie Rhoades shared her own experience of human trafficking on Tuesday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”
Aaron Doerr | St. Louis Public Radio

Human trafficking remains a problem throughout the world, but it is closer to home than we often realize.

“It’s a tremendous issue here in Missouri,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Norman Murphy said regarding both sexual and labor exploitation.

Left, Matt Sorrell, David Sandusky and Otis Walker ignite a conversation about barbecue with host Don Marsh on Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis on the Air

For the backyard barbecuer ready to light up the grill for the Fourth of July, there’s no need to stress about which method or recipe is best.

“You can have a guy driving a Corvette, and another guy out here driving a Mustang, but if you can’t drive, it doesn’t make no difference,” Otis Walker said making an analogy for various barbecuing methods on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

A rare copy of the Declaration of Independence is currently on view at the John M. Olin Library on the Danforth Campus.
James Byard | Washington University in St. Louis

Two hundred forty-two years ago this week, the American colonies formally declared their independence from Great Britain. But the Continental Congress’ adoption of the handwritten document – and the accompanying revolution – would not be televised or tweeted.

Instead, printed versions of the Declaration of Independence were quickly posted on courthouse doors throughout the colonies, where people gathered to read and discuss what had occurred.

George Christie talked about his life as the former leader of the notorious motorcycle club, Hells Angels.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

As a young boy in the ‘50s, George Christie remembers being in awe when he first saw a motorcyclist coming through town on a decorated Harley Davidson wearing a Levi vest with the sleeves cut off.

“That just stuck in my mind,” Christie described to St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday’s program, “… [Someone] talking to my father became so upset [at the motorcyclist] and I thought, ‘gee, this is a pretty powerful position [the motorcyclist] is in and he’s not even paying attention to anybody, he’s just minding his business.’”

Christie later went on to become a leader of the notorious Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and remained dedicated up until one day in 2011, when he left the gang after deciding that he would not partake in the many fights the gang was involved with.

Pat White is the president of the St. Louis Labor Council.
Pat White

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a significant legal blow to public-sector unions earlier this week with its decision in Janus v. AFSCME, an Illinois union-dues case. The ruling comes as Missouri voters gear up to decide Aug. 7 whether to pass a right-to-work referendum, Proposition A, that would impact collective bargaining in the private sector.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went Behind the Headlines with a discussion about the state of organized labor in the bi-state region in light of the ruling. Joining him for the conversation was the president of the St. Louis Labor Council, Pat White, who described the court decision as “another attack on working men and women.”

James Boldt is the general chairman of Fair St. Louis 2018.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Fair St. Louis is bringing fireworks and free music back to the Gateway Arch next week. After being held at Forest Park for four years due to construction, the $380 million renovations on the Arch and the surrounding park are complete just in time for this year’s Fourth of July festivities.

A worker at the new entrance to the Gateway Arch on June 19, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Thirteen-year-old Makenna Farnsworth had just been to the top of the Gateway Arch.

“It’s really cool to be up there,” she said, looking back at the stainless-steel monument looming above her, gleaming in the hot sunshine.

And she knew the answer to the top Arch trivia question: How tall is it?

“Six-hundred-thirty feet!”

That sums up all Makenna knew about the iconic monument, which on Tuesday will open a revamped museum with all new exhibits.

St. Louisans (from left) Bogdan Hamilton, Hossam Hassan and Daena Talavera each began fencing as young children.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Look out, St. Louis – or, en garde, rather: Some of the nation’s top fencers are about to invade this baseball town. The 2018 National Championships begin Thursday at the America’s Center Convention Complex downtown.

“It’s around 5,000 fencers [total] that will be coming,” Hossam Hassan, head coach at the local Fencers Academy club, said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “It’s 10 days with several events per day, and each event has around 150 to 200 or 300 participants from the United States and outside [the country].”

Left, Richard Quinn and Alicia Corder spoke with host Don Marsh about the FBI’s efforts to diversify its agents on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis on the Air

While attending Indiana State to become a surgeon, Alicia Corder took a criminal justice class and her entire life plan changed.

“It’s not anything I had considered before,” she said describing a time she heard from an FBI agent about their work. “But there was something about the way he spoke about the people he worked with and the mission he served, and his passion and dedication to it that I was absolutely struck by it. And the next week, I went and changed my major and ended up going to law school and geared everything after that to becoming an agent.”

Bill Freivogel, Barbara Smith and Greg Magarian joined host Don Marsh for Tuesday’s Legal Roundtable segment.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis on the Air

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with a panel of legal experts regarding the recent activity in the U.S. Supreme Court as the session comes to an end.

On the panel:

St. Louis Public Radio contributor John Larson (left) talks to local poet Aaron Coleman about the use of poetry and Coleman's book "Threat Come Close."
John Larson | St. Louis Public Radio

Fulbright scholar and Cave Canem fellow Aaron Coleman writes, teaches and translates poetry. Fascinated with what words can do, he cites hip-hop as his “first love” that formed his passion for poetry.

“[Rap] was a great way to get invested in rhythm and sound and improvisation,” he said. “But it was really just the first step, I think, in starting to get more serious about the potential of poetry and letting it be something that lives fully on the page and then also fully in sound.”

SIUC faculty member Jonathan Remo, who was part of Monday’s “St. Louis on the Air” discussion of water policy, passes a barge while captaining a research vessel near Grand Tower, Illinois.
Jonathan Remo

Rivers have never been static things – least of all the mighty Mississippi. But the major waterway’s recent volatility has taken that natural characteristic to new levels.

“Even Lewis and Clark made measurements on how much the river level changed every day … and their journals are full [of] what those readings are,” Robert Criss, professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University, said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “The river [is now] demonstrably more than twice as volatile [as] it was historically.”

From left, Dr. Joan Luby, Kristine Walentik and Meredith Rataj discussed practices along the United States’ southern border and their impact on St Louis-area immigrants and refugees.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the local ramifications of a news story that continues to rock the nation: the treatment of migrant parents and children along the U.S.’s southern border.

Joining him to talk about President Donald Trump’s evolving immigration policies were three St. Louis-area residents whose areas of expertise shed light on the real-life impacts of those policies.

The history of the region’s closed streets comes into sharp focus in the latest episode of St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” podcast.
Tim Lloyd | St. Louis Public Radio

Featuring everything from wrought-iron gates to concrete balls, restricted streets are a common characteristic in some St. Louis-area neighborhoods. That’s by design – and not just in an architectural sense.

“The first gated street in St. Louis was Benton Place, which is in Lafayette Square,” St. Louis Public Radio’s Tim Lloyd said Thursday in conversation with host Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air. “It was built just after the Civil War … the wealthy elite in St. Louis were not happy with where they were living, mostly in the urban core at that time.”

Regional freight leaders (from left) Dennis Wilmsmeyer, Mary Lamie and Mike McCarthy discussed the key role that St. Louis could play in the evolving world of logistics.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

National freight volume is expected to grow significantly over the next 30 years according to regional leaders who want to ensure that St. Louis captures a share of the increase in traffic. Mary Lamie is one of them, and she’s hopeful about the possibilities ahead considering the Gateway City’s existing infrastructure and assets.

“We are strategically located in the United States for freight movements,” Lamie, the executive director of the St. Louis Regional Freightway, said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air. “We’re home to six Class I railroads, four interstates, two international air-cargo airports – and we have some of the best manufacturing logistics supply chains within the nation.”

On Tuesday’s show, local experts (from left) Amy Bertschausen, Elizabeth Sergel and Dixie Meyer discussed loneliness and its increasing impact across generations.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

recent survey of more than 20,000 U.S. adults suggests that most Americans struggle with an emotional state of loneliness, and it’s an issue that has serious health implications.

“[It can] have the same health effects as smoking 15 cigarettes a day,” Elizabeth Sergel said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “There’s significant increase in the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke and dementia and depression, and overall there’s a higher likelihood of death related to loneliness.”

Timothy O'Leary concludes ten years of leadership at Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Timothy O’Leary, general director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis, is concluding a 10 year run in St. Louis as head of the city’s premier opera theater company.

“I’m getting very nostalgic about St. Louis and how much I love it here,” O’Leary told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Tuesday.

O’Leary is heading east to lead the Washington National Opera, an organization that’s part of the Kennedy Center and that enjoys more than twice the budget of OTSL.

From left, film director Michael Beattie and Alan McFarland, a descendant of Robert Campbell, traveled to St. Louis from Northern Ireland for this week’s screening and discussion of “Robert Campbell, Mountain Man."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A love story, expeditions full of danger and discovery, unimaginable tragedy – the life of Robert Campbell (1804-1879), a prominent resident of early St. Louis, pretty much has it all.

“In 40 years of making documentaries I have rarely found a story that has so many aspects, that has so much adventure … it’s just an incredible story,” filmmaker Michael Beattie said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And to have the opportunity to tell it was just too good to miss.”

Stacie Lents, Rachel Tibbetts and Christopher Limber talk about artistic approaches to rehabilitation for incarcerated women.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A creative collaboration between a nationally known playwright and a group of women incarcerated in Vandalia, Missouri, is bringing new voices and stories to St. Louis theater-goers with the production “Run-On Sentence.”

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the initiative, which is a partnership between Prison Performing Arts and the award-winning SATE Ensemble.

The effort aims to move and entertain audiences and extend public awareness, particularly about the effects of incarceration and innovative, artistic approaches to rehabilitation.

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