St. Louis Public Radio
The St. Louis Art Museum is one of several St. Louis sites that attract tourists. Hotel occupancy rates in St. Louis decreased slightly from 67.1 percent in 2017 to 66.3 percent this year.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Tourism officials across Missouri hope for more money from Parson

Promoters of Missouri tourism, stung when then-Gov. Eric Greitens cut the state tourism budget in half, are encouraged that his successor wants to restore the funding. Gov. Mike Parson made it known early in his administration that he wants to promote tourism.

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George Smith, a retired biology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia
University of Missouri-Columbia

When retired biologist George Smith picked up the phone at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, he wasn’t expecting it to be the Swedish Academy.

“It’s kind of a common prank for your friends to put on a fake Swedish accent and tell you that you won,” Smith said. “I thought maybe it was a joke but the line was so scratchy and there was so much interference, I thought nah, it wasn’t one of my friends. They wouldn’t have such a bad connection.”

Through the phone call, Smith, a professor emeritus at the University of Missouri-Columbia, learned that he won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for developing a method called phage display in the 1980s. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria. Smith used them to create a tool that would help identify antibodies, molecules in the body that identify invading pathogens, that would be the most useful for binding to molecules that are associated with certain diseases.

This story was updated at 9 a.m. Oct. 4 to add the comments of Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams. 

A federal judge has declined – at least for now — to block a Missouri abortion law, leaving the state with just one abortion provider.

The law requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital or else face criminal prosecution. 

University of Missouri-St. Louis Provost Kristin Sobolik and Chancellor Tom George joined host Don Marsh. | 10/3/18
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The University of Missouri-St. Louis is embarking on a five-year strategic plan.

“It reflects where we want to be and what we want to focus on,” explained Kristin Sobolik, the university’s provost and executive vice chancellor, who joined UMSL in May 2017.

The five areas of focus are: student success, research and creative works, community engagement and economic development, inclusive excellence, and planning, operations and stewardship.

Florissant teen and singer Kennedy Holmes is a strong contestant on the 15th season of NBC's The Voice – havung recieved approval by all four of the show's celebrity judges.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Within the local scene, Florissant resident Kennedy Holmes has performed at various venues, including the Muny and Busch Stadium. But the 13-year-old recently caught the attention of people across the country during her blind audition on NBC’s The Voice singing competition.

Holmes received a standing ovation and approval from the show’s four judges: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Holmes’ idol, Jennifer Hudson. Her audition clip went viral, with nearly 5 million views on YouTube.

“[Performing on The Voice] is absolutely the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” Holmes told host Don Marsh on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

STL Fashion startups face tariffs on Chinese imports
Melody Walker|St. Louis Public Radio

The burgeoning St. Louis fashion industry is bracing for the impact of the latest tariffs on goods from China.

Handbags, backpacks, luggage, hats and baseball gloves are just a few of the thousands of products covered in the latest round of U.S. tariffs imposed on goods imported from China. The 10 percent tax went into effect Sept. 24 and it will increase to 25 percent on Jan. 1.

Experts say consumers should expect to see higher prices before the end of the year.

Josh Davis tends to his American mulefoot hogs on his farm in Pocahontas, Illinois on September 15, 2018.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Josh Davis likes to name his pigs after flowers: Petunia, Iris, Violet and Daisy.

That’s not the only thing that sets him apart as a hog farmer.

For the past three years, Davis and his wife, Alicia, have been raising one of the rarest pig breeds in the world on their farm in Pocahontas, Illinois. The American mulefoot hog was a popular breed in the Midwest in the early 1900s, but now, there are only a few hundred left. The Davises are among a small group of farmers hoping to revive the breed by putting it back on the menu.

A Level I Trauma Center at St. Louis University Hospital.
Provided by Saint Louis University Hospital

A St. Louis-based project that uses former drug users to convince overdose victims in emergency rooms to seek treatment will soon focus on patients who refuse emergency transport.

For two years, the Engaging Patients in Care Coordination project has enlisted peer-recovery coaches from participating treatment centers to area ERs to meet with people who have overdosed on opioids.

Starting this month, the project will send the coaches — themselves in recovery — to meet with overdose victims who refused to go to the ER.

Betty Sharp, right, works with Sara Charles, left, on one of many art projects at Living Arts Studio.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

The Living Arts Studio in Maplewood has become the default location for many budding artists in the St. Louis area. Artists often meet at the studio to work on projects that will be sold and displayed at galleries around the area, including at the St. Louis Art Museum and the University of Missouri — St. Louis.

The studio focuses on inclusion, specifically for creative people with disabilities. It is part of VSA Missouri, the state organization that promotes inclusion in the arts. It is also an affiliate of the national John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

St. Louis County Council members meet on Oct. 2, 2018.
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County may no longer require contractors bidding for work to have apprenticeship programs — a longstanding priority for labor unions.

The County Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night for Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger’s legislation that makes a host of changes to the county’s procurement regulations. One of the big changes is that it no longer would require bidders for certain contracts to either participate or maintain apprenticeship programs.

Chanticleer's 19-track album "Then and There, Here and Now" is set for release later this month.
Chanticleer

Over the past 40 years, San Francisco-based Chanticleer has gone to great lengths and unexpected places to refine and expand its vocal repertoire, bringing striking arrangements of popular music into the mix as well as commissioning new choral works by contemporary composers. But centuries-old songs can also be full of surprises – including Antonio de Salazar’s 17th-century arrangement of “Salve Regina.”

After a musicology professor discovered the manuscript buried within Mexico’s colonial-era Puebla Cathedral, he prepared it specifically for Chanticleer to perform.

“He unearthed it, quite literally, and he put all the parts together, and we sing it,” countertenor Gerrod Pagenkopf said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, just ahead of Chanticleer’s concert at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. “And it’s just a marvelous setting by a relatively unknown composer.”

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St. Louis on the Air

Thursday: Looking at immigration, labor and identity through a creative lens

Host Don Marsh will discuss some of the ways in which local community members are deepening St. Louisans' understanding of contemporary issues through artistic endeavor.