Emily Woodbury | St. Louis Public Radio

Emily Woodbury

“St. Louis On The Air” Senior Producer

Emily Woodbury joined the St. Louis on the Air team in July 2019. Prior to that, she worked at Iowa Public Radio as a producer for two daily, statewide talk programs. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She got her start in news radio by working at her college radio station as a news director. Emily enjoys playing roller derby, working with dogs, and playing games – both video and tabletop.

Champale Anderson is the founder of Champ's Teardrops.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

For the past five years, Champale Anderson has distributed free snack bags to kids in her neighborhood who would otherwise go hungry.

“Sometimes that snack is the only thing the kids have that evening,” she said. “They get a bag at 3 p.m., and they’re back by 7 p.m. for more.”

Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, is located in the heart of downtown.
Joe Penniston | Flickr

Attending a baseball game at Busch Stadium in the middle of downtown St. Louis is quite a different experience from going to a game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, where the stadium is surrounded by parking lots.

In her new book, historian Connie Sexauer argues that a stadium in the midst of the city brings people of different socioeconomic backgrounds together, and it shapes the culture of the businesses and neighborhoods that reside nearby.

Pat Kelly is the executive director of the Municipal League of Metro St. Louis, and Jason Rosenbaum is St. Louis Public Radio's political correspondent.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Better Together, the plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County through a statewide initiative, withdrew its proposal this past spring. In its place developed a plan to put together a Board of Freeholders, which would have the ability to either draft a plan that could merge the city and county, or drop the idea altogether. 

The Municipal League of Metro St. Louis is in the process of submitting petitions to the election boards of the city and county that would begin the Board of Freeholders process. 

fitzgene | Flickr

The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation is unveiling its 2019 Places in Peril list today, which details places threatened by deterioration, lack of maintenance, insufficient funding, imminent demolition and development. 

On St. Louis on the Air Friday, host Sarah Fenske spoke with the executive director of the Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation, Bill Hart, about the places included on this year’s list.

Steve Rhodes | Flickr

After the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead last year, President Donald Trump linked the prevalence of gun violence to mental illness. That sentiment came up again after recent shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. 

Lt. Col. Ronnie Robinson (left) is with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, and Richard Rosenfeld is a professor emeritus of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri St. Louis.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Former St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson first introduced the idea of the “Ferguson effect” in a 2014 column for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, when he wrote that the unrest in Ferguson following the death of Michael Brown had left officers afraid to enforce the law. 

“The criminal element is feeling empowered,” he wrote.

National pundits soon picked up on the idea. They claimed that police feeling demoralized had led to a spike in crime.

This special will air on St. Louis Public Radio over the noon hour on Monday.

Songs like "Fight the Power", "This Land is Your Land", "Dixie", and "The Times They Are a Changin’" were all written as a response to a moment or a movement and grew into an anthem.

Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States.
Mike Mozart |Flickr

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, is manufactured by Monsanto-Bayer. Depending on whom you talk to, it’s either a safe, highly effective herbicide, or it’s a dangerous substance linked to cancer cases from use by farmers and landscapers.

Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with author Carey Gillam, who will give a presentation Friday at Washington University titled “Monsanto Trials and Monsanto Papers.” Gillam has investigated the topic of agrochemical safety and corporate interests for more than 20 years.

Tobias prances around in an enclosure in the "Antelope Yards" at the St. Louis Zoo.
Emily Woodbury | St. Louis Public Radio

On July 30, St. Louis gained a new resident — Tobias, the Somali wild ass. His birth is special, since he is part of a subspecies that is both critically endangered in the wild and underrepresented in zoos nationwide. In fact, just by being born, Tobias increased the number of Somali wild asses in the United States by 1.5%.

Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air, Sarah Fenske spoke with Tim Thier, the acting curator of antelope at St. Louis Zoo, about the Somali wild ass and the zoo’s conservation efforts in the Horn of Africa, where the Somali wild ass resides.

The St. Louis Battlehawks will begin its inaugural season in the XFL on Feburary 8.
XFL

The XFL is a planned professional U.S. football league with the mission of reimagining America’s favorite sport. The league originally debuted in 2001 and only lasted one season. XFL games are set to begin again in February 2020.

The St. Louis BattleHawks were one of the league’s eight teams announced this week.

Kelly Pratt | Kelly Pratt Photography

Ballerina Vanessa Woods came up with the idea for Vitality Ballet when she was looking for a side hustle that involved making a meaningful impact through movement. 

The founding principle of the organization is that no one is too old to learn to dance.

“I actually got the idea from my mom,” Woods said. “She’s an occupational therapist, and she works with older populations ... and I loved that idea. It immediately captured my imagination.”

For Woods, the major question was, “How could I create a dance program that would allow seniors to experience ballet?”

Amy Breihan is the director of the MacArthur Justice Center.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

A U.S. District Court recently ruled that the Missouri Parole Board had been violating the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions in its handling of cases involving juvenile offenders.

“I sat in on a couple of these parole hearings and got to see firsthand what they were like,” said Amy Breihan, director of the MacArthur Justice Center. “They largely focus, if not exclusively focus, on a detailed accounting of what happened at the crime, [instead of asking,] ‘What have you done in the 30 years since you were convicted, how have you matured over time, and how have you demonstrated that you are ready to be released into the community?’ which really should be the relevant question here.”

Jamaiyah Redmond and Chloé Guerin, both Clayton High School juniors, while listening to classmates call for school safety improvements Friday, Feb. 23, 2018.
File Photo | Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

During the first week of the school year, St. Louis Public Schools didn’t just deal with summer learning loss – it started classes without several of its students.

“We have a 7-year-old who will not be starting school today,” said the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department’s Mary Warnecke, who spoke with reporters on Tuesday. “We have a 10-year-old murdered not that long ago, in the city of St. Louis, who will not be starting school today. We have a 2-year-old murdered on Ferris not so long ago. We have a 3-year-old who was murdered on Michigan not so long ago.”

EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The chancellor is the chief academic, administrative, and budgetary officer of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and Tom George has held the post for the past 16 years. He is retiring Sept. 1.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with George about what he hopes to see in the university’s future.

Cheeraz Gormon is a poet, storyteller, award-winning advertising copywriter and St. Louis native.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the eve of the five-year anniversary of Michael Brown Jr.’s death, St. Louis Public Radio and poet and activist Cheeraz Gormon presented a live storytelling event featuring speakers whose lives changed drastically after Brown, 18, was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson. The stories featured in this edition of St. Louis on the Air include reflections on race, violence and community trauma.

Hear highlights from the event:

EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Last week, St. Louis attorney Michael Kahn won over a federal jury in a case looking at whether the Katy Perry song "Dark Horse" infringed on the copyright of a 2009 rap song “Joyful Noise” by St. Louis artist Marcus Gray, who is known as Flame. The jury decided that Katy Perry and Capitol Records must pay Gray $2.78 million in damages.

“There’s an old joke [that] when you say, ‘This is not about money, it’s about principle,’ it’s really about money,” said Kahn. “But for our clients, it was really about principle. They almost didn’t care about the money part of it. They felt that they’d been mistreated, and they wanted their day in court.”

Aug. 6 2019 Tylea Wilson (at left), poet AnnaLise Cason, and Susan Colangelo, St. Louis Story Stitchers CEO.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Young adults throughout the St. Louis area make up the St. Louis Story Stitchers artists collective. They aim to showcase the region’s culture through performance art, and they work to curb gun violence, which many members have grown up with.

Tylea Wilson is a storyteller with the group, and she regularly performs her poem, “Guardian Angel,” about a friend who was shot and killed.

The average base pay for a preschool teacher in Missouri is $26,307 per year, 9% below the national average, according to Glassdoor.
Joel Martinez | Department of Defense

Paying for day care is one of the largest expenses per month for families. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the average cost of infant child care in Missouri is about $800 a month.

Pictured are Riverfront Times contributor, Ryan Krull, retired St. Louis Police Sgt. Joe Burgoon, and Barb Studt, the stepsister of Sandy Little.
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

In the early 1990s, a man abducted and murdered at least three women from south St. Louis. This man is known as the package killer, and the three murders remain cold cases nearly 30 years later.

Ryan Krull, Riverfront Times contributor and University of Missouri-St. Louis assistant teaching professor, investigated the details of these cold cases over the past year. His reporting found that there are a lot of factors that make it harder to solve a murder when the victim is a sex worker, which was the case for two of the three package killer murders.

EMILY WOODBURY | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

The St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center was once celebrated for lowering its euthanasia rate, but a recent audit found that the rate was only lowered after the shelter implemented the practice of labeling the “owner requested euthanasia” checkbox as simply “ORE” on animal surrender forms. 

 

“This box was encouraged to be checked as a default,” said Danny Wicentowski, who covered this story as a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. “And in many cases, according to the audit and those that I've spoken to, the people who were bringing their animals in were either not told what that acronym actually meant, or were even pressured to check it as a matter of course.”

FILE PHOTO | CAROLINA HIDALGO | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

Over the weekend, the National Women’s Political Caucus convened in St. Louis to give women the chance to network, recruit, train, and provide support for political campaigns. The conference included sessions on things like how to effectively use social media, fundraise, and target specific voters.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jeremy Goodwin talked with St. Louis Public Radio political correspondent Jason Rosenbaum and University of Missouri political analyst Hanna Brant about the convention and the representation of women in American politics.

NASA

Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing, when humanity took its first steps on another planetary body via astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jim Kirchherr remembered that day in history with the manager at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium, Will Snyder, and Linda Godwin, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Missouri and retired NASA astronaut. 

Captain Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department (at left) and Helen Sandkuhl of SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital joined Monday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Last week, St. Louis Fire Department Chief Dennis Jenkerson said that paramedics see the impact of so much violence that they're quitting faster than he can hire replacements.

“Two to three paramedics a month are leaving the job,” said Captain Garon Mosby of the St. Louis Fire Department on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “If you can leave the St. Louis City Fire Department and go to another department where there’s less trauma, or get into a completely different field, that’s what we’re seeing our people do.”

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