St. Louis on the Air | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis on the Air

Noon-1 p.m. and 10-11 p.m. (repeat) Monday-Friday
  • Local Host Don Marsh

St. Louis on the Air creates a unique space where guests and listeners can share ideas and opinions with respect and honesty. Whether exploring issues and challenges confronting our region, discussing the latest innovations in science and technology, taking a closer look at our history or talking with authors, artists and musicians, St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region.

St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Alex HeuerEvie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.

St. Louis on the Air is sponsored by The Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise.

A group known as Better Together is proposing a plan to merge St. Louis and St. Louis County. They're planning to get the measure on the 2020 ballot.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Public Radio newsroom has been fielding a wide range of questions from listeners the past few weeks concerning Better Together’s recently unveiled proposal for a reunification of St. Louis and St. Louis County.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh and several STLPR journalists provided answers to a number of those Curious Louis queries that haven’t already been answered – and took additional questions from listeners as well.

Joining the live discussion were political editor Fred Ehrlich and reporters Chad Davis and Jason Rosenbaum. Here’s how they answered some of those questions about the merger:

This interview will be on "St. Louis on the Air" at noon Monday. This story will be updated after the show. You can listen live.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will delve into the way in which police departments use civil asset forfeiture as well as its legal implications.

Joining the discussion will be St. Louis Public Radio city politics reporter Rachel Lippmann and legal expert William Freivogel, who is a professor at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

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

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh will talk with Caitlyn Collins, author of "Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving."

The newly released book looks at working mothers' daily lives and the revolution in public policy and culture needed to improve them.

Collins is an assistant professor of sociology at Washington University.

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Sarah’s son came home from high school more than a year ago upset about being bullied.

“He came in tears, (saying) ‘they’re calling me a name and someone’s impersonating me,’’ she said in an interview last month.

But the name-calling didn’t happen in the hallway or even in-person. Instead someone created an Instagram account online using a taunting nickname, according to Sarah. That’s when her “nightmare with Instagram” began.

(Feb. 14, 2019) Jenny Murphy (left) and Mary Ruppert-Stroescu joined Thursday's "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss how people can become more become more conscious consumers to alleviate some of the harmful effects of fast fashion.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

High fashion designs can take about four to six months to come to life and into the market. Fast fashion, however, is a term used by fashion retailers to describe the practice of making those high-fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers. A clothing design can make it from sketch to mannequin in six weeks.

Media personality Kim Kardashian criticized the fast-fashion trend last week. She posted a picture on Instagram sarcastically asking fast fashion brands to wait until she actually wears a dress before selling a knockoff version

A recent Wash U study by associate professor Christine Ekenga examined how the practice has ended up hurting the environment, workers and society. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh delved into its effects and what people can do to become more conscious consumers.

(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.”

(Feb. 13, 2019) Parents as Teacher CEO Constance Gully shared her experience with the organization and it's efforts to promote optimal early development in children by educating and engaging parents and guardians.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Constance Gully’s first encounter with the home-visiting Parents as Teachers (PaT) program was 24 years ago, when she became pregnant and experienced complications and preterm labor.

Quincy Troupe joined host Don Marsh to talk about his friendship with and the work of jazz musician Miles Davis.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh remembered the late jazz great Miles Davis in a conversation with author and poet Quincy Troupe. Troupe is appearing this evening at St. Louis County Library Headquarters.

Troupe, who was born and raised in St. Louis, is the author of many books – including “Miles: The Biography” and “Miles and Me,” a memoir about Troupe and Davis’ friendship.

The segment included selections from Davis’ musical repertoire.

(Feb. 12, 2019) Stephen Zwolak (left) and Joshua Carlson (right) discuss how early childhood adversities can have a lasting impact on one’s life.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

If a child faces abuse, neglect and/or household dysfunction early on life, those experiences can later affect how they form relationships with others. Some may resort to treating others in harsh ways, reflecting what they perceive as something that “resembles love,” Stephen Zwolak said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Zwolak, founder and CEO of LUME Institute and executive director of University City Children’s Center, joined host Don Marsh to discuss how early childhood adversities can have a lasting impact on one’s life.

Also participating in the conversation about helping children facing these adversities take care of their mental health was also Joshua Carlson, a licensed clinical social worker in Illinois and associate director of The Knowledge Center at Chaddock.

Erika Klotz is co-owner of the newly launched Selfie Room in downtown St. Louis.
The Selfie Room

The Selfie Room just made its debut in downtown St. Louis, offering the latest evidence of a seemingly ever-present selfie phenomenon. The museum’s mission is to “bring people together by taking photos with fun, whimsical backdrops” that comprise its interactive art exhibits.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Selfie Room co-owner Erica Klotz about what visitors can expect at the new entertainment destination – and also discussed the broader cultural landscape that surrounds it.

Amber Hinsley, an associate professor in the Department of Communication at St. Louis University, and Jennifer Siciliani, a University of Missouri-St. Louis psychology professor in the area of behavioral neuroscience, also participated in the conversation.

Rhetoricians Lauren Obermark (at left) and Paul Lynch joined Monday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the art of persuasion and the study of public discourse have enriched human civilization for millennia, negative connotations frequently surround contemporary notions of rhetoric. Politicians are dismissed as “all rhetoric, no action,” and talking heads on TV make everyday people sigh over “all the rhetoric” of the 24-hour news cycle.

But for those who conduct research in the academic field of rhetoric – and anyone interested in the work that words can do – the term “rhetoric” still holds great hope and possibility for society.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with two local scholars about cultural understandings of rhetoric, its positive uses and the ever-shifting ways in which humans communicate.

Provided by Missouri S&T

A two-night History Channel series, “Presidents at War,” will tell the stories of eight men who served in active duty and who would later become presidents of the United States.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with military historian John McManus, a professor of history at Missouri S&T, who is featured in the show. In it, McManus specifically comments on the role of Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Beth Hundsdorfer, St. Louis Public Radio's new investigative reporter, joined Friday's talk show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh went behind the headlines to discuss what critics have called a “broadside attack” on Missouri Sunshine Law by state legislators.

Joining the discussion was St. Louis Public Radio’s new investigative reporter, Beth Hundsdorfer, who offered her insights into some of the processes and challenges involved in accessing public records in the bi-state region. Longtime political reporter Jo Mannies also participated in the conversation. Both women have made many records requests during their years in journalism, and Hundsdorfer noted that sometimes gaining access to those records requires a lot of time or resources.

“I have one [request] in Illinois that’s been pending for eight years,” she said, referring to a request she made to a community college while reporting for the Belleville News-Democrat.

Elmwood opened up February in Maplewood. (provided by Sauce Magazine)
Meera Nagarajan

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked up some of the latest additions to the St. Louis region’s food-and-beverage community. Joining Marsh for the Hit List segment were Sauce Magazine managing editor Heather Hughes and staff writer Adam Rothbarth.

Former Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan
Missouri Secretary of State

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh delved into a local parallel to the current controversy involving Virginia’s top leaders – Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, Virginia Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment and Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring – who recently admitted to appearing in blackface decades ago.

Joining him for the conversation was longtime political reporter Jo Mannies, who discussed her coverage of a similar case in Missouri in 1999, when a photo of then-Gov. Mel Carnahan in blackface – taken in 1960 – surfaced during Carnahan’s campaign for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Rabbi Susan Talve, of the Central Reform Congregation in St. Louis, recently returned from Guatemala.
Christine Han Photography

The southern border of the U.S., along with the people who live somewhere beyond it, can seem far removed from the St. Louis region. But for local Rabbi Susan Talve, who recently returned from Guatemala, the difficult situations facing many of America’s southern neighbors feel more urgent than ever.

“I have been to the southern border, to shelters in Mexico,” she wrote last week in the St. Louis Jewish Light, “and recently to Guatemala to witness the human suffering, the injustice and the part American policy continues to play in the instability and migration in the global south.”

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Talve about her observations during her trip, which took place as part of a Global Justice Fellowship run by the American Jewish World Service.

James Rollins joined "St. Louis on the Air" to discuss his latest novel, "Crucible."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

“Crucible,” the latest release from best-selling author James Rollins, is billed as a book that wrestles with deep questions about the future of humanity – a subject Rollins himself finds particularly disconcerting.

“Doing the research [for the book] frightened me,” the St. Louis native told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “And as a novelist, that’s one way I get to sort of work through some of my fears – put it down on paper, try to make sense of it, try if I can to craft a happy ending, find some path through what’s coming next.”

As the thriller came together, Rollins interviewed about two dozen people whose research focuses on artificial intelligence, or AI – and the author says that many of those experts seemed frightened, too.

Ngone Seck studies for her Korean language class at her dorm room on Washington University's campus.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

When Ngone Seck graduated as Riverview Gardens’ valedictorian in May — the first in her family bound for college — it seemed nothing could slow her down.

A few weeks later, the Italian immigrant with West African roots began her classes at Washington University on a full scholarship.

But long-simmering and costly dental problems threaten the trajectory of the musically talented engineering major from Florissant. She lives with pain while working full time to pay for her dental care, and her grades are suffering.

(Feb. 02, 2019) Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. women's chess champion, commentator and analyst explained the excitement behind the 2019 Cairns Cup, an all-female chess tournament.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

The St. Louis Chess Club is currently hosting its first international all-female chess tournament in an effort to expand opportunities for women to enter the male-dominated sport. Jennifer Shahade, a two-time U.S. women's chess champion, commentator and analyst explained the excitement behind the Cairns Cup tournament on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

“It's really a chance for the queens of the board to take center stage,” Shahade told St. Louis Public Radio editor Holly Edgell. “Things are getting better for women in chess all over the world. And I think this is just a sign of good things to come where women are really respected for not only their chess, but also for their point of view in the world.”

(February 06, 2019) (L-R) Kim Chamberlain, Marshall J. Phillips and Marvin-Alonzo Greer shared some experiences of African-Americans in the U.S. military on Wednesday's "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about the contributions and enduring legacies of African-American doughboys who served in World War I. The topic will also be the subject of a panel discussion Sunday at the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in downtown St. Louis.

Joining the Wednesday’s discussion were Marshall J. Phillips, a 100-year-old World War II veteran; Kim Chamberlain, a U.S. Air Force veteran; and Marvin-Alonzo Greer, the education and visitor experience lead for Soldiers Memorial Military Museum.

Phillips and Chamberlain, who will both play a role in the weekend event, shared some of their experiences in the military with Marsh and listeners – and also described how they overcame some of the challenges they faced.

Hip-hop artists pinkcaravan! (left) and Namesake (right).
Rodrigo Villordo

St. Louis-based rapper pinkcaravan! acquired her stage name from her first car: a Dodge Caravan gifted to her by her grandfather.

“Usually Caravans are looked at as ugly or something,” Jasmine Davidson explained in a conversation that aired during Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “When you paint it pink, it makes it pretty. That’s what I feel like my music does – paint dark situations in a happy tone.”

The “sad-happy” musical composition her stage name embodies is beginning to become her signature as she expands her reach in the underground hip-hop scene. Her frequent collaborator, Kansas City-based producer Darron Edwards, who goes by the stage name Namesake, aids her tremendously in achieving this sound.

A new public library that opened in Pacific, Missouri, a few months ago is one of a handful of freshly imagined Scenic Regional Library spaces – made possible through a $20 million bond-financed project – serving towns in eastern Missouri.
Jon McKee | JEMA

Want to check out a telescope – or maybe a fishing pole? To hear library director Steve Campbell tell it, the local library’s probably got you covered.

He’s confident there’s a library-related service or program for “any subject that you can think of that someone could have an interest in” these days, especially in smaller communities like the ones his Scenic Regional Library district serves in eastern Missouri.

The examples Campbell gives range from learning to clean fish and deer – yes, in the library – to programming involving escape rooms for teens and quilting for adults. But it’s not a variety show simply for the sake of variety – there’s a community-driven rationale to the wide-ranging activities.

Dr. Timothy Fong (at left) is co-director of UCLA's Gambling Studies Program. Holly Edgell is St. Louis Public Radio's race, identity and culture editor.
UCLA & St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed a newly published Sharing America series titled “Fixed Odds.”

It explores the effects of problem gambling on diverse communities across the U.S.

Joining the discussion were Holly Edgell, who is St. Louis Public Radio’s race, identity and culture editor, and Dr. Timothy Fong, professor of addiction psychiatry and co-director of UCLA's Gambling Studies Program.

David Patterson Silver Wolf is an associate professor at the Brown School at Washington University. He's also chief research officer at the institution's newly launched Community Academic Partnership on Addiction.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When David Patterson Silver Wolf refers to the U.S. opioid epidemic as part of a “disease of despair” and “a tough disease to treat,” he’s speaking from experience both professional and personal. He experienced substance-use disorder firsthand after growing up in a troubled home that quickly led him toward drugs and alcohol.

“I was young and I was also suicidal – which, a lot of folks, when we talk about [overdosing], it’s hard to separate out what is an OD and what is just taking of your life,” the Washington University faculty member recalled on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And I was also full of despair. I had no hope, I was a high school dropout … and I couldn’t see a vision forward.”

(February 04, 2019) Dr. Andrew Kates returned to "St. Louis on the Air" Monday to help explain various matters of the heart.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

February is Heart Health Month, and heart expert Dr. Andrew Kates, professor of medicine and cardiologist with the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish Heart & Vascular Center, returned to St. Louis on the Air Monday to help explain various matters of the heart.

Host Don Marsh talked with Kates about new developments in heart-health research and answered listener questions about the organ. Heart disease is the largest killer of American men and women, outpacing all types of cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung disease as a cause of death in the United States.

(February 01, 2019) Dr. Ashley Denmark discussed her path to becoming a physician and her goal to inspire minority youth and normalize their success.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

Ashley Denmark is a family-medicine physician with BJC Healthcare. A black woman, she grew up in Jennings, Missouri, and at an early point in her life, her ambition to become a doctor sometimes felt out of reach. 

“I wasn't always given the enriching opportunity sometimes, but I overcame that, and I am here today sitting before you as Dr. Denmark,” she told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. The physician joined Friday’s program to discuss the road to her career and why she returned to St. Louis in an effort to inspire minority children to follow their dream careers and “normalize success.”

David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri education officials released long-awaited school report cards Friday, and the good news is most schools are meeting expectations.

In fact, 97 percent of public schools scored in the fully accredited range, including Kansas City, Hickman Mills and Riverview Gardens — all districts trying to regain accreditation.

At the same time, fewer than half of public school students in Missouri passed the new, more rigorous math and English tests they took last spring.

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden speaks to news reporters on Thursday afternoon.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden says allegations that his department is obstructing the investigation into the death of an officer at the hands of another are “insulting.”

Hayden’s comments, made Thursday in his first public appearance since just after Officer Katlyn Alix was shot and killed Jan. 24, are the latest in a tense dispute between police and prosecutor Kim Gardner.

Steven Webster has recently been conducting studies that involve seeing what happens when he makes people angry.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

A few years ago, Steven Webster was working in Washington and frequently giving tours of the U.S. Capitol when one particular tour went rather south, to put it mildly – and also sparked his decision to study political science.

“This group happened to be just a husband and wife,” Webster recalled on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air in conversation with host Don Marsh. “I was showing them through the rotunda and everything, and we went into the chamber of the House of Representatives … and they got into a political argument in the House gallery.”

The spat between the two – one of whom was a Democrat and the other a Republican – became so heated and noisy that the House sergeant at arms asked Webster and the couple to leave the space.

(January 31, 2019) (L-R) Carol Daniel, Linda Lockhart and Eric Rothenbuhler discussed how the industry covers African-American communities on "St. Louis on the Air."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this month, local TV news anchor Kevin Steincross mispronounced the name of Martin Luther King Jr. with what some considered to be a racial slur. Steincross apologized for the slip up and has since stepped away from the anchor desk in order to “regain trust” in the community, he said during his on-air apology.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with local media professionals about how the industry covers African-American communities – what has changed over the years and what's stayed the same. The discussion began with addressing Steincross’ mispronunciation.

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