Jon Lewis | St. Louis Public Radio

Jon Lewis

Production Intern

Jon Lewis joins St. Louis Public Radio as a production intern on St. Louis on the Air. Originally from Pelham, New York, Jon came to St. Louis to attend Washington University in 2015. Previously, Jon has interned for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Eight by Eight, a soccer magazine based in Brooklyn.

Local author Terry Baker Mulligan joined "St. Louis on the Air" Wednesday. May 8, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

With Mother’s Day fast approaching this weekend, it is a time for both mothers and children alike to reflect on the role of parenting in kids’ lives and on all the important things mothers do.

St. Louis-based author Terry Baker Mulligan, who wrote the award-winning memoir “Sugar Hill: Where the Sun Rose Over Harlem,” has been thinking about those issues a lot recently. Her next book, which will appropriately be released on Mother’s Day, is called “These Boys are Killing Me: Travels and Travails With Boys Who Take Risks” and details her experiences raising a pair of very adventurous sons and how their adventures changed her perspective on motherhood.

Edwina Sandys releases a dove at the 50th anniversary celebration of the National Churchill Museum in Fulton, Missouri. May 4, 2017.
Edwina Sandys

The “Breakthrough” sculpture on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton has layers of connections to the site on which it stands. Composed of sections from the Berlin Wall, it stands in front of the National Churchill Museum, which commemorates the site where Winston Churchill famously described the Iron Curtain dividing eastern and western Europe which that wall came to represent.

But Edwina Sandys, the artist behind 11-foot-high, 32-foot-long sculpture, also has a direct connection to that history: She is Churchill's granddaughter.

Domenico Montanaro is the lead political editor for NPR. May 3, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Politically speaking, Domenico Montanaro has just about seen it all. As NPR’s lead political editor, he is now in the midst of covering what will be his fourth presidential election as a journalist, and he has also covered the U.S. Supreme Court and the 2014 protests in Ferguson.

Montanaro joined St. Louis Public Radio’s Shahla Farzan on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. He explained that one of the challenges for covering national politics in 2019 is that the sheer amount of news can be overwhelming both for journalists and the public.

Ed Asner performs in a reading of "The Soap Myth." May 2, 2019.
Holocaust Museum & Learning Center

As a seven-time Emmy Award winner, Ed Asner is in a position to choose almost any project that he wants. So it might surprise some to learn that what Asner wants to do right now is travel the country performing in readings of the play “The Soap Myth.

The play tells the story of Milton Saltzman, a Holocaust survivor on a mission to have historians accept the Nazi production of soap from Jewish victims. Asner, who joined Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air ahead of a reading at Congregation Temple Israel, explained that he felt like the perfect person to take on the role.

“I come from the generation that the play's about,” he said. “I'll be 90 in November, and it seems like everything that has happened to me in that 90 years serves as feeder for what I need to play the character.”

In 2016, the Nine Network produced a documentary about Gentlemen of Vision, the north St. Louis County-based step team that doubles as a counseling and mentoring program.

The story resonated with local and national audiences, and also with representatives from the U.S. State Department. Officials selected it to be part of the American Film Showcase, a program that sends American filmmakers to screen their work across the globe.

The team behind “Gentlemen of Vision” flew out to Cartagena, Colombia, to show the film and talk to Colombian audiences about St. Louis and the similar challenges that face disadvantaged young people in both places.

Leonard Slatkin joined "St. Louis on the Air" Tuesday. April 23, 2019
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Leonard Slatkin’s career as a conductor has taken him to nearly every corner of the classical music world: from Lyon and Hong Kong to Washington, D.C.

But despite all of that traveling, he still considers St. Louis—where he debuted with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as an assistant conductor in 1968 and served as music director from 1979 to 1996—to be his home base.

“My grandparents on my father's side emigrated here from Russia in 1911; my dad was born here and was assistant concertmaster when he was 19 years old; I was here for 27 years altogether and then retained this title of music director laureate and then my son was born here—so four generations of Slatkins are here,” he explained to St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jonathan Ahl on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

St. Louis Treasurer Tishuara Jones joined Friday's "St. Louis on the Air." April 19, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Thursday, St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones announced that she will be reevaluating the city’s relationships with the banks that handle its money, with the goal of getting those financial institutions providing better services to low- and middle-income areas.

St. Louis County police officer Benjamin Granda joined producer Alex Heuer on St. Louis on the Air. April 16, 2019
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

High-speed police chases make for great television. Last month, FOX 2 helicopters picked up a chase that began with a carjacking in Illinois and ended with two suspects being arrested after they fled the vehicle in south St. Louis County.

But how and why officers decide to pursue suspects has been the subject of increasing scrutiny, including a recent St. Louis Post Dispatch investigation of St. Ann’s particularly aggressive pursuit policies within the municipality. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis County police officer Benjamin Granda joined producer Alex Heuer to discuss how officers decide when or when not to chase down a suspect, and how attitudes toward chases have shifted recently.

Forest Park Forever's horticulture superintendent Roman Fox joined St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman to discuss all things Forest Park in the springtime.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

After a long winter, spring weather has finally returned to St. Louis, and as the flowers once again bloom it is the cue for many St. Louisans to head over to Forest Park.

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.

Singer-songwriter Jay Farrar joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss the latest Son Vault album. April 9, 2019.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It is hard not to notice that “Union,” the newest release from St. Louis-based band Son Volt, has a distinct political bent. Songs like the title track and “The 99” tackle some hot-button topics indicative of contemporary American discourse, with lyrics that speak of protest and income inequality.

Jay Farrar, the band’s lead singer and song writer, explained to producer Alex Heuer on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air that he wanted to write songs addressing the modern political climate, something that the artists he grew up listening to did in their own eras.

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 grounds crew prepares the field at Busch Stadium for the Cardinals home opener in 2017. Photo was taken on March 29, 2017.
Mary Delach Leonard | St. Louis Public Radio

No day looms quite as large on the St. Louis sports calendar as the Cardinals’ home opener. Even though other cities put on a show for the start of baseball season, St. Louis stands out from the crowd – at least according to Derrick Goold, a sportswriter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

“Opening day is a special time of year for a lot of teams mainly because they get a packed house, they're coming back from spring training – but the Cardinals add to it the Clydesdales and the parade of cars and the Hall of Famers,” Goold told St. Louis Public Radio reporter Rachel Lippmann on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air.

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.

(March 29, 2019) Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano discussed how American security policy has developed since 9/11 on Friday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The events of September 11, 2001, changed how many Americans thought of security – and which security concerns they worried about. But in the nearly 20 years since the attacks, threats to American security have continued to evolve, and the United States has not always kept up.

That’s what former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano argues in her new book “How Safe Are We?” She joined Friday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss how American security policy has developed since 9/11.

(March 29, 2019) Political reporter Jason Rosenbaum (left) and political editor Fred Ehrlich (right) unpacked all of the recent news out of the county executive office and its implications for the Better Together proposal.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It has been a busy six days for St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger. First, news broke on Sunday that federal investigators had issued a subpoena seeking records related to how Stenger’s administration has issued contracts.

Bill Kristol and Sarah Kendzior joined producer Alex Heuer on "St. Louis on the Air." March 28, 2019
FOCUS St. Louis

As American politics has become increasingly divided and divisive, particularly since the election of President Donald Trump, commentators on both sides of the aisle have grappled with how best to operate among these divisions.

That issue is the topic of FOCUS St. Louis’ “Being an Agent for Change in a Divided America” event, which will be held Friday at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The event’s keynote speakers, Republican commentator and writer Bill Kristol and progressive journalist and writer Sarah Kendzior, both joined executive producer Alex Heuer on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Eric Miller (at left) and Jack Grisham have put in a combined 66 years of work at the St. Louis Zoo.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It takes a village to raise a child, and it might take even more than that to care for the nearly 15,000 animals that call the St. Louis Zoo home.

Jack Grisham and Eric Miller are two people who know this well. They are retiring from the St. Louis Zoo after a combined 66 years of work experience there.

Grisham began his zoo career flipping burgers in high school and eventually became vice president for animal collections, and Miller came to St. Louis to work as one of the zoo’s veterinarians in the 1980s.

St. Louis County assessor Jake Zimmerman joined host Don Marsh to discuss rising property values in the county and the St. Louis region. March 22, 2019
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County homeowners were treated to some good news this week: County assessor Jake Zimmerman announced that the typical home value in the area increased by 15 percent since 2017.

 “We're seeing increases in values almost across the board,” Zimmerman told host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. “For almost everyone living in this region, you can sell your home for more today than you could have sold it for two years ago.”

Taran Davies, one of the producers of "Superpower Dogs," joined host Don Marsh to discuss the documentary. March 15, 2019
Cosmic Picture Limited

Dogs are often regarded as “man’s best friend,” but to many, they can be so much more. “Superpower Dogs,” a new IMAX film which opens Friday and plays through July at the St. Louis Science Center, shows working dogs all over the world and the ways they are vital – from search and rescue missions to protecting endangered wildlife.

Taran Davies, one of the film’s producers, joined host Don Marsh on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air to discuss the project. He explained that it was only during filming the dogs in action that he and the crew realized the extent of the dogs’ abilities. 

Sarah Bockel performs as Carole King in "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical," which returns to the Fox Theatre March 12 through 17.  March 12, 2019
Joan Marcus

When “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” opens its 2019 North American tour at the Fabulous Fox Theatre Tuesday evening, it will be a bit of a homecoming for stage producer Paul Blake.

Blake, who joined host Don Marsh on Tuesday’s St. Louison the Air, spent 22 years as executive producer at the Muny. He left the Forest Park summer stage after the 2011 season while he was putting “Beautiful” together, and he told Marsh that his experience at the Muny was vital to developing the show.

“Had I not been at the Muny for 22 years, 'Beautiful' would not be what it is. Those years educated me so much,” he said.

Bob McArthur is the president of Johnny Mac's Sporting Goods, which recently announced that it is closing down its retail locations. February 22, 2019
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Bob McArthur has been working at Johnny Mac’s Sporting Goods for almost his entire life. When he was 10 years old, he and his brothers were engraving trophies at the store opened by their father, John McArthur, in 1967; by the time he was old enough to drive, he was running deliveries all across St. Louis.

Arianna Dougan became a local celebrity and has inspired dance therapy initiatives. | Used: 2/21/19
Provided by Lori Zucker

Arianna Dougan, an 11 year old who captured the attention of thousands, loved to dance.

“By the time she was two, she was begging for dance lessons,” Dougan’s mother, Lori Zucker, told host Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air Thursday. “I wanted her to wait until she was old enough to appreciate them, so I told her she would have to be three to start lessons. I didn't know the lessons would have to start in the hospital.”

(Fab. 14, 2019) The Rep's artistic director Steve Woolf finishes off his 30-year-long career this month.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

For more than 30 years, Steven Woolf has been at the heart of the Repertory Theater of St. Louis. Since taking the helm as artistic director in 1986, Woolf oversaw three decades of productions and directed 47 shows.

That 47th show, however, will be his last as artistic director. Woolf is to retire at the end of The Rep’s 2018-2019 season, after directing the theater’s production of “Oslo” – which won the Tony Award for Best Play in 2017.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Woolf joined host Don Marsh to reflect on his career, and to discuss the now-running production of “Oslo.”