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.

Aaron Addison is the director of data services at Washington University.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The digital age has ushered in many advancements and fresh possibilities – and also new concerns. One of those has to do with the need to protect vital scientific and public data resources from disappearing or even being intentionally suppressed.

While many libraries in the U.S. have long served as repositories in an effort to back up and preserve government information, that work has new urgency under a presidential administration that has expunged certain information related to topics such as climate change.

“These things [removing data] have gone on for a long time,” Washington University’s Aaron Addison said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, offering the missing Cook County, Illinois, data from the 1960 U.S. Census as one example. “[But] here we have a case where it’s not happening in a vacuum – it’s in concert with all these other decisions that the administration is making. And so it adds, certainly, to the concern.”

Geoffrey Soyiantet, Sally Gacheru and Gracemary Nganga compare their Kenyan beed bracelets. Several teens from the St. Louis area are now in their home country of Kenya for about two weeks through Soyiantet's Vitendo4Africa organization.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Updated Aug. 20 with follow-up conversation: On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh spoke with St. Louis Public Radio education reporter Ryan Delaney upon his return from travels in Africa, where he caught up with some fellow St. Louisans.

Listen to their conversation:

Protestors against dark money make their presence known in Washington.
Dark Money, a PBS Distribution release

With a growing lack of transparency clouding money’s influence on politics around the United States, a new film digs into the issue by zooming in on one state in particular: Montana.

Why Montana? The choice of setting came down to three factors: the presence of whistleblowers, diligent enforcers of campaign-finance law and a watchdog press.

“We could actually tell the story there,” the documentary’s director, Kimberly Reed, said Friday on St. Louis on the Air.

Tazewell Thompson, at left, is a trustee with the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. He has served as a mentor to Shaun Patrick Tubbs, the stage director for the production that opens Friday.
Union Avenue Opera

Contrary to any stuffy misconceptions, opera isn’t something one simply observes or sits through – especially not an opera like “Lost in the Stars.” That’s according to American theater director Tazewell Thompson, who is guiding Union Avenue Opera’s upcoming production of the still-timely masterwork.

“Opera in general, and this opera in particular, is a living, breathing organism, and … it packs an emotional wallop,” Thompson said this week on St. Louis on the Air. “And I think the audience will walk away transformed and changed … they’ll find that this is an opera of great hope – reconciliation, man’s capacity for change, man’s capacity to forgive. And the music will not be washed over the audience. The music will actually penetrate the hearts of those who watch ‘Lost in the Stars.’”

Stephanie Lummus (at left) is the veterans advocacy project attorney for St. Francis Community Services’ Catholic Legal Service Ministry, and Michael-John Voss is co-founder and special projects director of ArchCity Defenders.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When Stephanie Lummus first entered nonprofit legal work, she didn’t expect that her efforts to represent homeless people and help them exit poverty would so often revolve around child support. But she estimates that at least three-quarters of her homeless clients are dealing with that issue – and it’s not a simple one.

“The enforcement mechanisms in place in the state of Missouri for those folks that have resources and just don’t feel like supporting their children are usually appropriate … [but] what we’re talking about is the vulnerable and the disenfranchised,” Lummus said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, “the folks that have run into difficulty or catastrophe in life and need modification, and they can’t get it.”

Alan Lambert directs Washington University’s Attitude and Social Cognition Laboratory.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Conspiracy theories are nothing new – but they are in the news a lot these days, and they seem to particularly plague the digital age.

“I don’t think they’re more common, but they spread much more quickly now because of the internet,” Alan Lambert said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “We hear about them faster.”

Lambert, who is an associate professor of psychology at Washington University, joined host Don Marsh for a close look at why conspiracy theories persist.

Jason Kander traveled to St. Louis on Monday to promote his new book, “Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I’ve Learned in Everyday Courage.”
Getty Images and Twelve Books

For a 37-year-old, Jason Kander’s job experience really runs the gamut – from Army captain, to Missouri secretary of state, to president of Let America Vote, an organization he founded last year to combat what he considers to be a dramatic increase in voter suppression.

Now the rising political star has logged another career accomplishment with the release of his new book, “Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I’ve Learned in Everyday Courage.” And he’s hoping to add one more job title to his resume in the months to come as he runs for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

Wesley Bell is an attorney, municipal-court prosecutor and Ferguson city-council member – as well as a former public defender. Soon he’ll become St. Louis County’s first African-American prosecutor.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Wesley Bell – just two days after his victory in the Democratic primary against longtime incumbent St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann reported earlier this week, Bell is now set to become St. Louis County’s first African-American prosecutor.

Asked what to make of his resounding win in a mostly white county, Bell said he expected to draw diverse support, but he was still “even more pleasantly surprised” by the large amount of support he received all over the county.

Forward Through Ferguson catalysts (from left) Yinka Faleti, Karishma Furtado and David Dwight discussed their organization’s newly released assessment of progress toward racial equity in the St. Louis region.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

For members of the Forward Through Ferguson team, the past few years have been full of work that feels important and exciting – and also excruciatingly slow.

The organization this week unveiled its “State of the Report,” a tool that aims to quantitatively track progress toward racial equity in light of the initial Ferguson Commission, and in only five of 47 key areas does the data suggest significant change thus far.

“There’s definitely frustration in [the ongoing work] and always a hope that things can be more urgent,” David Dwight, senior strategy and partnerships catalyst, said on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “At the same time, I think we’ve had to find excitement in those who are implementing the calls to action from the report [and] to see the way that our region has taken on racial equity.”

Smartphone-based GPS tracking systems allow people in the St. Louis area to locate, unlock and ride the scooters recently launched by rival companies Lime and Bird.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

“What is it – people just don’t want to walk anymore?”

That’s how host Don Marsh opened Tuesday’s lighthearted St. Louis on the Air conversation with the Riverfront Times’ Daniel Hill, who joined the show to discuss the many electric scooters that have recently appeared in St. Louis.

Hill, who responded by describing the new scooters from rival companies Lime and Bird as “clearly the future of walking,” recently ran a sizeable sample of the two-wheeled contraptions through “extensive tests,” as described in his investigation.

Steve Stenger, who has served as St. Louis County executive since January 2015, hopes to serve another four-year term.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Affton native and incumbent Democratic candidate for St. Louis County executive Steve Stenger has held the position for nearly four years and is looking to serve for another four. His name will appear next to political newcomer Mark Mantovani’s on the Aug. 7 ballot. 

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Stenger joined host Don Marsh and St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies to discuss his campaign to keep his seat as county executive.

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay is seeking to serve a 10th term in the House of Representatives.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-University City) joined host Don Marsh to discuss his campaign to serve another term in Congress. St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jason Rosenbaum also participated in the conversation.

Clay, who was first elected to national office in 2000, currently faces a primary challenge from Cori Bush to represent Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Both Bush and Clay’s names will appear on next week’s Democratic primary ballot.

Clay fielded a wide variety of questions from Marsh, Rosenbaum and listeners during the show. Here are 10 of those exchanges.

Florissant resident Cori Bush is an ordained pastor and registered nurse – and is currently running to become a congresswoman.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Cori Bush joined host Don Marsh to discuss her campaign for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jason Rosenbaum also participated in the conversation.

Bush, who lives in Florissant, is challenging incumbent Rep. Lacy Clay (D-University City) in Missouri’s 1st Congressional District. Both Bush and Clay’s names will appear on next week’s Democratic primary ballot.

Bush fielded a wide variety of questions from Marsh, Rosenbaum and listeners during the show. Here are 10 of those exchanges.

Floodwaters climb up the steps in front of the Gateway Arch during the Great Flood of 1993.
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

On Aug. 1, 1993, the Mississippi River crested at 49.58 feet in St. Louis, nearly 20 feet above flood stage, breaking previous records. At the flood’s peak, more than a million cubic feet of water passed the Gateway Arch each second.

In west St. Louis County, the entire Chesterfield valley, then known as Gumbo Flats, was under water as the Missouri River overflowed its levees. On the east side of the Mississippi, the entire town of Valmeyer, Illinois, was destroyed, and rather than rebuilding, the citizens moved to a new location.

As a result of the Great Flood of ’93, residents were evacuated, homes and businesses were lost, and people all over the region joined in the sandbagging efforts to prevent further devastation.

Joining Friday’s show via phone, state Sen. Bob Onder (R-Lake Saint Louis), at left, spoke in favor of Proposition A. Jack Cardetti, who was in studio for the conversation, spoke in opposition.
Courtesy of Bob Onder & St. Louis Public Radio

“Do the people of the state of Missouri want to adopt Senate Bill 19 ("Right-to-Work") … ?”

So begins Proposition A, which if passed would make Missouri the 28th right-to-work state in the country, prohibiting labor organizations from mandating union membership or union fees as a condition of employment.

Voters will decide the hotly contested matter during the Aug. 7 primary election. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh examined both sides of the ballot issue.

St. Louis-area kidney donor Jane Beckman (center) shared her recent experience giving one of her organs to another person alongside leading nephrologist Krista Lentine (at left) and SSM Saint Louis University Hospital’s transplant coordinator, Cody Wooley
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Back in January of this year, St. Louis-area resident Jane Beckman came across a newspaper article about a man in need of a new kidney – and another man who came to his aid.

“I could do that,” Beckman thought to herself. And soon, she did. At the end of May 2018, she donated her left kidney “to a complete stranger.”

The Cortex MetroLink Station is the 38th station to come to fruition within the light-rail system, which first began service in 1993. The grand opening is set for 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 31.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

MetroLink riders along the central corridor will soon have a new spot to hop aboard both red- and blue-line trains.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed what the new Cortex MetroLink Station and other plans in the works could mean for the future of transit in the region.

Joining him to talk about it were Jessica Mefford-Miller, interim executive director of Metro Transit, and June McAllister Fowler, the newly announced board chair for Citizens for Modern Transit.

Wash U’s Adia Harvey Wingfield is the 2018 recipient of the American Sociological Association’s Public Understanding of Sociology Award.
Sean Garcia

Race, gender, work and inequality form the core of sociologist Adia Harvey Wingfield’s research – and her latest study focuses on the intersection of those topics within the medical field.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, in conversation with St. Louis Public Radio contributor John Larson, the Washington University professor of sociology discussed her recent observations of the experiences of black workers in health care.

Michael Kinch is the author of “Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Human immunity – a field of study at the center of Michael Kinch’s career – is a dense subject. But in his new book “Between Hope and Fear: A History of Vaccines and Human Immunity,” Kinch aims to sift through the topic’s complexity and reach lay audiences.

“That was really the goal … there’s a lot of science, a lot of medicine that goes into it, but it’s very approachable,” the author said on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “The way we’re trying to do it is to say, ‘How would you talk about this with your grandmother?’”

UMSL’s Title IX coordinator and chief equity officer, Dana Beteet Daniels (at left), and local attorney Nicole Gorovsky, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, participated in Wednesday’s discussion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute has been around since 1972, there’s renewed societal focus on issues related to sexual assault and discrimination – and evolving guidance at the federal level when it comes to addressing them.

“Colleges are kind of on edge right now with respect to these issues,” Chronicle of Higher Education senior reporter Sarah Brown said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

R. Marie Griffith is the John C. Danforth Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at Washington University.
Randall Kahn

A few weeks after the #MeToo movement first gained traction in October 2017, a related hashtag also began appearing on social media: #ChurchToo. It quickly caught the attention of Marie Griffith, a faculty member at Washington University who was raised Southern Baptist.

For Griffith, who leads the university’s John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, the idea that sexual harassment and assault occur within Christian faith communities wasn’t new. What was different was the growing spotlight on the problem. In some cases, the outcry led to the resignation of powerful pastors who had abused victims for decades.

St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies offered analysis in light of the formal complaint filed by state Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City).
File photo | Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh got an update from St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies on the latest news concerning former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.

Mannies reported Tuesday that state Rep. Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) had filed a formal complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission. It accuses Greitens of intentionally skirting election laws.

Justin Fisher’s documentary about the evolving recording industry screens at 4 p.m. Saturday as part of the 2018 St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A treasure trove of St. Louis-based filmmaking talent will be in the spotlight throughout the next two weekends as Cinema St. Louis’ annual Filmmakers Showcase gets underway on Friday.

One of the locally driven films set to screen Saturday is “Gateway Sound,” which was produced and directed by Justin Fisher, an audio engineer and educator. The documentary explores the state of the recording industry in St. Louis and beyond.

Fisher joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh Wednesday for a conversation about the project and how recording professionals are adapting in an age of music streaming, slumping record sales and easily accessible recording technology.

In addition to being a cancer survivor, Kathy McGee (at left) is also now an artist. Her creative growth is the result of her longtime participation in Arts As Healing classes. Vicki Friedman (at right) is the organization’s executive director.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Kathy McGee had just recently completed her cancer treatments when she visited Arts As Healing for the first time. She wasn’t exactly sure what she was getting into or how to prepare, but her daughter had encouraged her to give this new opportunity a try. So McGee grabbed the adult coloring book she’d been enjoying lately and headed to class.

“I show up with [the] book in hand, and the class had absolutely nothing to do with that – absolutely nothing,” McGee said on St. Louis on the Air. “But I was greeted by Vicki [Friedman], and I was immediately pulled in because of her warm smile, because of the affection that she had for all of us.”

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.

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.”

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].”

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.”

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