Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Wayne Pratt

Morning Newscaster

Wayne Pratt is a veteran journalist who has made stops at radio stations, wire services and websites throughout North America. He comes to St. Louis Public Radio from Indianapolis, where he was assistant managing editor at Inside Indiana Business. Wayne also launched a local news operation at NPR member station WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana, and spent time as a correspondent for a network of more than 800 stations. His career has included positions in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Ontario and Phoenix, Arizona. Wayne grew up near Ottawa, Ontario and moved to the United States in the mid-90s on a dare. Soon after, he met his wife and has been in the U.S. ever since.

This image is believed to be the only know image of the old Stars Park that stood in St. Louis in the 1920s.
Missouri Historical Society

A rare find by a Missouri Historical Society archivist is proving to be a valuable link to a chapter of St. Louis’ baseball history from nearly a century ago. It’s the only known image of Stars Park, a baseball stadium that was home to a Negro National League team in St. Louis.

St. Louis Lambert International Airport. August 2018
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Many federal workers in the St. Louis region are dipping into their savings and cutting spending as they cope with uncertainty from the partial government shutdown.

That includes air traffic controllers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“We’re toughing it out,” said Allison Schwaegel, who heads the local chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

The west St. Louis County municipality of Crystal Lake Park secured a grant from a Missouri Secretary of State program to digitize more than 2,000 documents, dating back roughly 50 years. Jan. 11, 2019.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A small community in west St. Louis County has just completed the first part of a project to help preserve its history.

Crystal Lake Park, which borders Frontenac, Town and Country and Des Peres, secured a grant from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Local Records Preservation Program to digitize more than 2,000 documents, dating back roughly 50 years.

The Post-Dispatch headquarters has been on North Tucker Avenue in downtown St. Louis for decades.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

The pending headquarters move by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is not a surprise to a retired reporter who spent more than three decades at the paper.

Tim O’Neil points out that it’s part of a trend of big-city papers moving into smaller spaces.

“The Kansas City Star sold its building. The L.A. Times, of all people, sold its building,” he said.

The Post-Dispatch is following those publications in announcing plans to move into a smaller space on North 10th Street after calling the building on North Tucker Avenue home for nearly six decades.

Visitors enjoy the Monstrocity outdoor playground at City Museum. The beloved museum has been purchased by Oklahoma-based Premier Parks. Jan. 3, 2019
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

City Museum in downtown St. Louis is under new ownership. Premier Parks, which owns several water and theme parks throughout the country, has announced a deal for the unique attraction.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

An early stage venture fund in downtown St. Louis is continuing to go global.

SixThirty, which launched in 2013 and invests in up to 12 startups a year, will formally announce this month that it’s opening a European office. It will be followed by a similar announcement in another part of the world.

The Mother Jones historic marker along I-55 summarizes the historic labor organizer's life and link to coal miners in several states.
Mother Jones Heritage Project

An effort to better educate people about the accomplishments of an American labor activist and union organizer includes plans to set up exhibits in St. Louis and Chicago.

Kennedy Holmes performed a cover of the song "Confident" in the live finale of "The Voice" on Monday night.
Tyler Golden | NBC

For her fans in St. Louis, it was a tragedy that Kennedy Holmes did not win "The Voice" last week. But for the 14-year-old singer, she said she feels like she still won big.

After all, Holmes got to learn from the best, including Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson, who was her coach for the nationally televised singing competition.

Express Scripts headquarters in north St. Louis Cunty
Express Scripts

Leaders of the newly combined Cigna and Express Scripts are touting the company’s commitment to the St. Louis region.

“We're going to grow here,” said Tim Wentworth, president of the new Express Scripts and Cigna Service. He had been the chief executive officer of Express Scripts.

The Connecticut health insurer’s multi-billion-dollar acquisition of the pharmacy benefits manager closed Thursday.

The initials of Barbara Taylor are engraved into the keep of the new USS St. Louis at a Wisconsin shipyard in 2017,
U.S. Navy

The latest in a long line of military ships called the USS St. Louis goes into service Saturday.

A christening will be held at a shipyard in Wisconsin to launch the ship, which will be able to operate closer to the shore than other military vessels, as well as in the open ocean.

Signs with Fabiano Caruana's head are for the taking at the St. Louis Chess Club. The St. Louis resident is playing the reigning champion, Magnus Carlsen, for the World Chess Championship in London.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Fabiano Caruana is the first American to play in the World Chess Championship match since Bobby Fischer back in 1972.

If he wins against defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway this week, it won’t just be a big deal for the U.S.; it could cement St. Louis as a center for chess.

Many homeowners are using services like Airbnb to make some extra cash, while the option is becoming more popular among travelers
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

A global online company will start collecting two taxes in St. Louis next month.

Vacation rental website Airbnb and the city have reached a deal involving the Convention and Sports Tax and the Tourism Tax. The company will automatically collect the taxes and transfer that money to St. Louis officials.

U.S. Chess breaks down the numbers behind this month's World Chess Championship.
U.S. Chess

The biggest chess showdown on the planet is generating a lot of interest in St. Louis, even though the games are being played half-a-world away.

St. Louis resident Fabiano Caruana is challenging defending champion Magnus Carlsen in the world championship match. The event started Friday and the two will play at least 12 games through Nov. 28.

“It’s really a big deal,” Tony Rich, St. Louis Chess Club executive director, said. “This is the first time an American has played for the undisputed world championship title in the past 40 years.”

World War II veteran Ralph Goldsticker at his home in Creve Coeur.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ralph Goldsticker doesn't consider himself a hero.

The 97-year-old World War II veteran says he was just a guy was doing his job like everyone else at the height of the war in 1944.

But his story, which he continues to share as Veterans' Day approaches, is the stuff of which heroes are made.

The Creve Coeur resident was flying bombing missions over Europe when he was 22. Goldsticker was the bombardier in a B-17 bomber. That's the person who sat in the plexiglass bubble in the nose of the plane, to get the best view of the targets.

For many out-of-state visitors driving to St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is their first glimpse of Missouri.
File photo I David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

An area nonprofit and a prominent private investment firm are launching a partnership to boost the startup climate in St. Louis.

A new pitch competition — think of the TV show ‘Shark Tank’ with a strong St. Louis flavor — will have early stage companies battling for an investment of up to $1 million from the Chaifetz Group.

An honorary street sign notes Providence Place's original street name – Knapstein Place – in the Dutchtown neighborhood.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis will soon have Bismarck Street again.

A yellow commemorative sign will go up Saturday morning at the corner of Seventh and Lami streets in the Soulard neighborhood, just weeks before the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

The entire school-based health center will take up 2,800 square feet at Riverview Gardens High School.
Riverview Gardens School District

Another area school district is about to open an on-campus health center. Riverview Gardens High School's clinic will be available to 1,200 students this month.

It’s part of a trend to bring health care access to students with the aim of improving academic performance.

Coffee Cartel, Central West End, St. Louis, CWE
Rachel Heidenry

The Coffee Cartel will close Tuesday after 22 years in the Central West End.

After a 36 percent drop in sales over the past two years, owner Dennis Gorg said Monday it wasn’t feasible for the business to stay open.

“There are a lot of small businesses in St. Louis and what a proud community we have to have such great small businesses, but you gotta get out and support them,” Gorg said.

Merav Gleit, Monsanto's bee health platform lead, with the company's backyard bee hives in summer 2016.
File photo | Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

The state of Missouri is again set to fund non-traditional and urban agriculture entrepreneurs like shrimp farmers, wine producers and beekeepers. Those are some of the businesses the state’s department of agriculture has supported in the past few years through a special program.

The state is accepting applications until Oct. 26 for the next round of funding for its Urban and Non-Traditional Agriculture Matching Grant Program, which aims to spur innovation and create more jobs in Missouri’s agricultural sector.

Harley Race poses for a portrait after responding to letters at his Harley Race Wrestling Academy office in Troy.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Harley Race, the pro-wrestler from Missouri once considered among the toughest in the world, has come full circle.

Or as they might say in the pro wrestling biz, full squared circle.

'Handsome Harley,’ as he’s known, has spent the past few years back in his home state guiding the next generation of pro wrestlers. He’s shifted from world champion grappler to wizened coach by running a training academy about an hour west of St. Louis in Troy.

Activists rally outside a McDonald's in St. John. Sept. 18, 2018.
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Over 50 McDonald’s workers and advocates rallied outside of the McDonald’s at St. Charles Rock Road and Brown Road in St. John on Tuesday as a part of a one-day national strike to protest on-the-job sexual harassment at the restaurant chain.

The national strike was first proposed by women’s groups within Fight for $15, a workers’ rights advocacy organization. It was later approved after a nationwide vote by Fight for $15 members Sept. 11.

Astronaut Bob Behnken is a Pattonville High School graduate. He has physics and mechanical engineering degreees from Washington University. He earned advanced degrees from the California Institute of Technology.
NASA Kennedy | Flickr

Bob Behnken is helping NASA usher in a new era.

The astronaut, who grew up in St. Ann, has nearly 40 hours walking in the vacuum of space. Now he is part of the crew that will conduct the first human test flights for the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

The tanker drone is also known as the MQ-25 Stingray.
Boeing

Boeing has won a bid to produce test drones for the U.S. Navy. The $805-million deal involves four unmanned aircraft and could balloon into a $13-billion program. The Navy says most of the design and production work in the test phase will take place at Boeing’s operation in St. Louis.

Granite City steel plant on July 20, 2017.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Steel is facing a labor issue in Granite City just months after restarting production at the Metro East plant. The company’s current national contract with the United Steelworkers is set to expire Saturday, and workers are holding a rally Thursday to draw attention to the negotiations.

Talks with Canada are underway following a trade deal announcment between the U.S. and Mexico.
Bigstock Images

Trade experts are poring through documents related to this week's agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, but a professor at Washington University in St. Louis cautions more information is needed before a full assessment can be made. Even so, he said there are some positive signs emerging from the deal.

Bayer says glyphosate is a key tool for farmers as they try to control weeds and produce enough corn and other crops to help feed the world.
File Photo | Adam Allington | St. Louis Public Radio

Bayer is gearing up for legal battles surrounding a Monsanto-developed weed killer. The German conglomerate has outlined plans to defend a key ingredient in Roundup, only days after starting to integrate the operations of the two companies.

Kirkwood plans  to suspend curbside recycling and plans to retrofit the Francis Scheidegger Recycling Depository on South Taylor Avenue to accept separated recyclables.  Aug. 21, 2018
Wayne Pratt | St. Louis Public Radio

Changes in the recycling industry are prompting advocates throughout the region to examine options for continuing curbside collection in many area communities. The effort follows a decision by a main processor to stop accepting mixed residential recyclables on Nov. 1.

The announcement by Resource Management comes as the industry adjusts to China’s move to implement higher standards for imported fiber and solid waste, like paper and plastic. U.S. companies have been shipping recovered items to the Asian country for years to be recycled.

Workers set up for the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country in June.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country is the center of the golf world this week with the 100th PGA Championship set to begin Thursday. Organizers are expecting 80,000 people to come in for the event.

They will get to see a championship course in all its glory. Precisely mowed greens, protected by deep sandy bunkers and fairways stretching for hundreds of yards lined by trees reaching for the sky.

The person tasked with getting everything ready — and making it all look good — is Carlos Arraya.

Susan Berthold bought Remington's on North Main Street in St. Charles in 1995.
Carolina Hidalgo

The memories of the 1993 flood are still vivid for St. Charles business owner Susan Berthold. Even though most businesses in the city’s historic downtown were spared from the worst of it, low-lying areas like Boschertown Road were hit hard.

Berthold managed a go-kart track in that area, which took on roughly 13 feet of water.

“It was a monumental project to get cleaned up because of all the acreage required for the track,” Berthold said.

provided | Danforth Plant Science Center

After two decades of building, the region’s agricultural technology cluster is poised to take off. A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit suggests it already is a global leader and a national example for other metro areas trying to establish economic growth strategies.

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