Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Evie Hemphill

St. Louis on the Air Producer

Evie Hemphill joined the St. Louis on the Air team in February 2018. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2005, she started her career as a reporter for the Westminster Window in Colorado. Several years later she went on to pursue graduate work in creative writing at the University of Wyoming and moved to St. Louis upon earning an MFA in the spring of 2010. She worked as writer and editor for Washington University Libraries until 2014 and then spent several more years in public relations for the University of Missouri–St. Louis before making the shift to St. Louis Public Radio.

When she’s not helping to produce the talk show, Evie can typically be found navigating the city sans car, volunteering for St. Louis BWorks or trying to get the majority of the dance steps correct as a member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois. She’s married to Joe, cat-mom to Dash and rather obsessive about doubt, certitude and the places where refuge and risk intersect.

From left, Gregg Favre, David Lott and Christopher Gordon joined Wednesday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The flames that engulfed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday have people around the world thinking about the importance of cultural preservation and fire safety as well as the fragility of cherished landmarks.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jeremy D. Goodwin explored how those topics have informed local efforts associated with protecting historic buildings and St. Louis’ cultural heritage.

This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” over the noon hour Thursday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

The welfare of all sorts of insects has been garnering attention of late, with some disconcerting headlines about declining insect populations.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jeremy D. Goodwin will talk with a local scientist to learn more about what is happening and how humans can help bees and other insects thrive.

Considered one of the top bee experts in the U.S., Webster University biologist Nicole Miller-Struttmann annually heads up a summer Bee Blitz in Forest Park, where photo enthusiasts spread out for an afternoon of bee photography that helps scientists track the population of bee species.

Jen Hobbs is the author of "American Hemp: How Growing Our Newest Cash Crop Can Improve Our Health, Clean Our Environment, And Slow Climate Change."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In December 2018, O’Fallon, Missouri-based author Jen Hobbs was about to hand off the full manuscript for her now-released book arguing for the legalization and potential of hemp. Then something completely unexpected happened in Washington.

“The 2018 Farm Bill passed with hemp legalization from the federal government, and they did that right in the middle of the government shutdown,” Hobbs recalled on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “So it was pretty miraculous.”

Since hemp had long been listed among Schedule 1 narcotics, Hobbs had some significant revising to do before publishing “American Hemp: How Growing Our Newest Cash Crop Can Improve Our Health, Clean Our Environment, And Slow Climate Change,” which was released this week.

From left, Diane Dymond, Lisa Pines and Karyn Kalish joined Monday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jeremy D. Goodwin led a discussion about a local program that pays teachers in low-performing schools to visit the homes of students in hopes of improving their performance.

Joining the conversation were Karen Kalish, founder and CEO of Home Works, The Teacher Home Visit Program; Lisa Pines, a school secretary at Vashon High School who has made over 80 home visits; and Diane Dymond, principal of Stix Early Childhood Center.

Tony Parise (at left), director of this year's St. Louis Teen Talent Competition, local teen Nicaya Wiley (center), who won the 2018 contest, and Yvette Lu, the emcee of the event, joined Friday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is home to a thriving performing arts scene, with a wide range of plays, concerts and much more on the collective playbill any night of the week. But it’s not every day a show provides a little of everything – all of it courtesy of some of the city’s youngest performers.

On Saturday evening, the 2019 St. Louis Teen Talent Competition will bring audience members a total of 15 performances that run the gamut, from vocal and instrumental numbers and dances to musical theater and circus acts. The free event , sponsored by the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, marks the culmination of a several-month-long process highlighting emerging talent in the St. Louis performing arts community.

Tom Countryman, the former U.S. State Department assistant secretary for International Security and Nonproliferation, joined Thursday's "St. Louis on the Air." April 11, 2019
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Tom Countryman spent 35 years as a United States diplomat. In January of 2017, he was the State Department’s acting secretary for arms control when he was suddenly asked to step down by the new Trump administration. A week later, he retired.

Countryman, who joined St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, said that he was not necessarily bothered by the nature of his exit, but two years later he is worried about the Trump administration’s general attitude towards the foreign service.

Rafia Zafar is the author of "Recipes for Respect: African American Meals and Meaning." Her teaching and research at Washington University focuses on literary, culture and food studies.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

“When is a cookbook more than a set of instructions? And how might a meal rewrite history?”

These two questions frame Washington University scholar Rafia Zafar’s exploration of the rich history of African American food and dining in her new book “Recipes For Respect: African American Meals and Meaning.” In it, Zafar leads readers to a deeper understanding of the authors and chefs whose lives and contributions she brings to the fore.

She offers insights on figures ranging from the enigmatic St. Louis mixologist Tom Bullock, to well-known figures such as George Washington Carver, to black women authors of cookbooks and novels that speak to the struggle of the 1960s as well as the preparation and centrality of food.

EHOC's Will Jordan (at left) and Wash U's Hank Webber (center) and Molly Metzger joined Tuesday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, executive producer Alex Heuer led a discussion about local efforts to address segregation in neighborhoods near and far.

Joining the discussion were Washington University’s Molly Metzger and Hank Webber, who are co-editors of the new book “Facing Segregation: Housing Policy Solutions for a Stronger Society.” Will Jordan, the executive director of the Metropolitan St. Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, or EHOC, also participated in the conversation.

Longtime national anthem singer Charles Glenn, 64, has announced plans to retire at the end of the St. Louis Blues' 2019 season.
St. Louis Blues

For the past 19 years, Charles Glenn’s voice has regularly set the tone for St. Louis Blues home games. Last week he announced that this will be his last season singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the hockey team, citing multiple sclerosis as a factor in his decision to retire.

Monday’s St. Louis on the Air revisited a conversation with Glenn from about two years ago, when Glenn opened up about the experience of frequently performing the national anthem in front of a huge crowd.

“You’re singing it to 16,000 people every game, because every game’s a sellout,” the singer told executive producer Alex Heuer. “And it’s a rush, it really is. Each game is a thrill. I love it … and since it’s in a hockey arena, it’s a closer-knit audience – they’re closer to you, so you feel their energy. It’s a good thing.”

Oren Rudavsky is the director and producer of "Joseph Pulizter: Voice of the People."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like many documentarians, Oren Rudavsky delved into his latest film project eager to “get under the surface” of his subject’s public persona. And his soon-to-premiere documentary “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People” manages to do just that.

But Rudavsky’s primary reasons for making the film about the celebrated giant of American journalism and founder of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch were political ones, he told St. Louis on the Air executive producer Alex Heuer during Monday’s show.

“[Those reasons] became even more evident during the run-up to the 2016 election when immigration and issues about immigrants came to the fore,” Rudavsky said, “[and] when the news media was being attacked and continues to be attacked. ‘Fake news’ was a term that Pulitzer [used] in an article he wrote in 1902.”

The surviving members of the St. Louis Six are (from left) Eddie, Johnny Cash, Roo, Chico and Houdini.
The Gentle Barn

Two years ago this spring, six renegade steers who would later come to be known as Chico, Eddie, Houdini, Johnny Cash, Roo and Spirit took to the St. Louis streets. After escaping from a local slaughterhouse, the animals embarked on a winding journey, finally reaching their permanent home more than five months later.

Their story is the centerpiece of this week’s Riverfront Times, with Danny Wicentowski pulling together an oral history of the St. Louis Six that looks at the saga from multiple angles and at every stage.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Wicentowski went behind the headlines with executive producer Alex Heuer to remember the steers who took the city by storm – and the people who helped them find their way back to pasture.

UMSL student Letisha Wexstten (at left) won $15,000 two weeks ago in a campus competition for her business concept that aims to help people with disabilities find employment. Alex Zvibleman (second from left) won $10,000 for his coffee-shop concept, and B
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Four years ago, Letisha Wexstten was searching for a job – and baffled by how hard it was to find one.

“I really didn’t understand why I was going to all these interviews and then being completely shut out,” Wexstten, who is a graphic-design student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “I figured that it was because of my disability … I don’t have arms, and so I think the employers were kind of skeptical about hiring someone without arms not knowing exactly what my skill set was.”

She started a YouTube channel at that time to help demonstrate her many skills and capabilities. Then, just a few months ago, she started to expand the idea in a big way, coming up with a full business concept for HireMe, an online platform to help people with disabilities level the playing field when it comes to finding employment.

Washington University Chancellor Mark Wrighton will retire this summer after 24 years at the university. April 2, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

After leading Washington University in St. Louis for nearly a quarter century, Chancellor Mark Wrighton is retiring this summer.

Wrighton joined St. Louis Public Radio editor Maria Altman during Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air to reflect on his tenure at the institution and looks ahead to a new chapter. Wrighton said that the most rewarding part of his time as chancellor was working along with others to help grow the university.

Ashton Applewhite is the author of "This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Twenty-first-century humans who make it to age 65 are tending to live longer than previous generations did – a pattern that Ashton Applewhite describes as a global demographic phenomenon and one that should be celebrated.

“There are real challenges associated with scaling up the support that an older population will require, but there are also amazing opportunities,” the author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism told St. Louis on the Air executive producer Alex Heuer in a conversation that aired Monday. “This is new – the social capital of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of more healthy, well-educated adults than ever before in human history. We need to tap into that.”

Local journalist Dick Weiss (at left) partnered with Mendel Rosenberg on his newly published memoir titled "Thriver: My Journey Through Holocaust Nightmare to American Dream."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For a long time, Mendel Rosenberg didn’t talk about what he experienced during World War II.

“[During] the many years that I didn’t talk about it, I used to have nightmares – the same nightmare constantly,” he said this week on St. Louis on the Air. “The Germans are shooting at me, and I’m running away.”

Rosenberg was about 13 years old when his father and brother were killed in Lithuania. Rosenberg himself was put into a ghetto – and later taken to a concentration camp. Decades later, he now is talking about what happened to him and his family. The nonagenarian’s new memoir, “Thriver: My Journey Through Holocaust Nightmare to American Dream,” gives his firsthand account of the Holocaust.

The Loop Trolley currently operates Thursdays through Sundays, beginning at noon.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air featured a discussion about the latest developments and challenges along the eight-block Delmar Loop entertainment, dining and shopping district located in University City and the city of St. Louis.

Joining the conversation with executive producer Alex Heuer was Rachelle L’Ecuyer, executive director of the Delmar Loop.

The segment also included pre-recorded comments from passersby, business owners, a Loop Trolley rider and St. Louis University's Bob Lewis, who is an assistant professor of urban planning and development.

St. Louis Public Library's "Print to Pixel" exhibit looks at the history and power of the printed word.
Jen Hatton | St. Louis Public Library

With items on display ranging from cuneiform to 3D printers, the new exhibit at St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library branch showcases the evolution of print over the course of two millennia.

Titled “Print to Pixels,” it looks at how words have changed the world “in nearly every way possible,” as Waller McGuire puts it.

“[And it] continues to do so,” the SLPL CEO told host Don Marsh during Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “People [now] talk about creating print that is introduced directly into the brain, and it makes one think: Will that be print? How do we react to that?”

(March 26, 2019)  Longtime television personality Karen Foss talked about her role in news coverage and her take on the industry today on Tuesday's "St. Louis on the Air."
File photo | Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For 27 years, Karen Foss was a familiar face for many people in the St. Louis region. She worked as a TV anchorwoman for KSDK (Channel 5) from 1979 until her retirement in 2006.

Foss has since moved away from the city where she played such a significant role in news coverage. But she returned to town this week and joined Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air for a conversation with host Don Marsh.

The Legal Roundtable for March included (from left) Nicole Gorovsky, Lisa Van Amburg and Bill Freivogel.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis on the Air’s monthly Legal Roundtable got underway Wednesday as host Don Marsh delved into a variety of recent local and national stories pertaining to the law.

The discussion touched on regional matters including pretrial detention at the city’s medium-security Workhouse, the latest news surrounding the Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s office and the police department, and the proposed Missouri legislation that would change Title IX procedures at colleges and universities in the state, among other topics.

After retiring from a long career as a teacher in St. Louis, Beverly Buck Brennan opted to take up the art of cabaret. Her show "Love and Marriage" begins at 8 p.m. Friday at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been said that life is a cabaret. But what exactly is a cabaret? Ask storyteller and performer Beverly Buck Brennan, and she’ll list three key things: a singer, a piano and someone to play it.

“Cabaret also, by definition, is about getting to know the performer personally,” the lifelong St. Louisan told host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “It’s not like you’re in a musical or you’re playing a character – you’re just you up there, which I had to learn about … I had to really pull back [from musical-theater training] … and try to mellow out and be really in a conversation with the audience.”

College Bound's Debbie Greenberg (at left) and UMSL's Alan Byrd joined Monday's talk show for a closer look at what's happening in the world of college admissions.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis-area teens with whom Debbie Greenberg interacts at College Bound are doing everything they’re supposed to do as they prepare to further their education – seeking out mentors, studying for college-entrance exams, gaining financial literacy and more.

But with a high-profile college-admissions scandal making headlines at the same time that institutions around the country are releasing decision letters to potential students, some of those local teens are also feeling “a sense of outrage,” Greenberg said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“There are still barriers, there are still roadblocks” for these high school students, she added, noting that the recent revelations about powerful parents using illegal means to get their children into elite schools are indicative of a much broader problem.

The proposal would upgrade the America's Center Convention Center in downtown St. Louis to include a new public park and large ballroom among other improvements to the complex, as depicted in this artist's rendering.
Explore St. Louis

To hear Kitty Ratcliffe tell it, the America’s Center Convention Center in downtown St. Louis has had a good run since it first opened in 1977 – and since it grew bigger with the addition of the Dome in 1995. But now, she says, the 42-year-old complex needs some major attention – to the tune of $175 million in upgrades and expansion.

“[America’s Center] was not really purposely designed as that entire complex [that it is today] – it’s really three different pieces that don’t really work all that well,” Ratcliffe told host Don Marsh during Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And what we’ve seen in the last decade or so is that every major city that we compete against has either built a new building, like Nashville did, where they built a $623 million, brand-new convention center downtown, or has made major improvements to theirs. San Antonio spent $325 million, as an example.”

Sylvester Brown discussed his vision for engaging area young people on Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air" with host Don Marsh.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Seven years ago, writer and community activist Sylvester Brown founded the Sweet Potato Project in north St. Louis to promote urban farming and provide entrepreneurial skills to underserved youth. Brown’s involvement in the project has now led to his newly released book “When We Listen: Recognizing The Potential of Urban Youth.”

“Working with young, black kids for the past seven years has exposed me to the hard truths and long-lasting effects of generational poverty, hunger, homelessness, psychic trauma, low sense of self, lack of all-encompassing love and more,” Brown said in a press release. “This was the motivation for writing this book.”

Brown, who is a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist, discussed his vision for engaging area young people on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air with host Don Marsh.

Washington University School of Medicine's Deanna Barch (at left) and Joan Luby joined Tuesday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A study released this week by the National Institutes of Health indicates that nearly one-third of Americans between the ages of 10 and 12 “screened positive for suicide risk in emergency department settings.”

Meanwhile, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have been studying even younger children who think and talk about suicide – and their most recent findings refute some conventional wisdom about children’s understanding of what it means to die.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, two local experts joined host Don Marsh to discuss the topic: Dr. Deanna Barch and Dr. Joan Luby.

Milkweed (at left), serviceberry (upper right) and buttonbush are just a few of the native plants that help St. Louis-area birds, butterflies and other wildlife thrive.
Shaw Nature Reserve and St. Louis Audubon Society

Even as an especially wintry winter continues to make itself known across the St. Louis region, spring is more and more on residents’ minds – and will finally be here, at least officially, in less than two weeks.

Along with warmer temperatures the new season brings renewed focus on gardening and yardwork, and on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a discussion about fostering native habitats and incorporating native plants as part of those efforts.

University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education's James Shuls (at left), SLPS Superintendent Kelvin Adams (at center) and Missouri NEA Legislative Director Otto Fajen discussed challenges surrounding teacher compensation.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this week, the local union representing educators who serve in St. Louis Public Schools began arbitration relating to its claims about pay discrepancy within the district.

American Federation of Teachers Local 420 claims many of its members are being paid less than colleagues with the same credentials and are seeking $10 million worth of salary increases and back pay for nearly 1,000 teachers and support staff.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh led a conversation in light of that news, touching on challenges surrounding teacher compensation as well as other matters. Joining the discussion were SLPS Superintendent Kelvin Adams, Missouri NEA Legislative Director Otto Fajen and the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Education’s James Shuls

Keith O'Brien is the author of "Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Ninety years ago, daring air races across the U.S. routinely attracted crowds that would dwarf attendance at spectacles such as the Super Bowl today.

“I’m talking about a half million people – paying customers – during the Great Depression coming out to watch races over the course of a weekend,” Keith O’Brien said during Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. “An additional half million would watch for free from the hoods of their automobiles parked on nearby highways … in this little window of time, air racing was one of the most popular sports in America.”

The pilots vying for the prize were usually men, and the few women pilots were often ridiculed – until they combined forces to break down barriers and make aviation history.

Catherine "Cady" Coleman (center), who spent about six months aboard the International Space Station during her NASA career, traveled to St. Louis last month to help celebrate two Missouri Girl Scouts, Molly Frei (at left) and Lilly Orskog, who are doing
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Retired astronaut and U.S. Air Force officer Catherine “Cady” Coleman is among very few people who have lived in space. But during a visit to St. Louis last month, she came across as equally excited about life on Earth – especially because of her interactions with some accomplished high school students.

Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air included a conversation with Coleman as well as comments from two Gold Award Girl Scouts, 17-year-old Molly Frei and 16-year-old Lilly Orskog, who Coleman came to town to help celebrate alongside the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri.

Esther Shin is president of Urban Strategies, a national nonprofit that is headquartered in St. Louis.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A 2018 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed that a St. Louisan who earns minimum wage would have to work 81 hours per week in order to afford a modest apartment. That reality is part of what Esther Shin describes as a “national affordable-housing challenge” stretching from San Francisco to New York City.

Shin is president of Urban Strategies, Inc., a national nonprofit based in St. Louis that is among several organizations working to address the crisis.

From left, Julie Pole, Lucinda Perry and Meredith Knopp joined Tuesday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Roughly 850,000 people are facing food insecurity in the state of Missouri alone – and that includes about 220,000 kids.

“We estimate roughly one in five kids in the state of Missouri [are] hungry or at risk of not knowing where their next meal is going to be coming from,” Operation Food Search’s Lucinda Perry said Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air.

Perry, who is director of strategic initiatives for the nonprofit, joined host Don Marsh alongside guests from two other St. Louis-area organizations that focus on addressing food insecurity: Food Outreach and the St. Louis Area Foodbank.