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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 wi…

St. Louis Public Radio

    • Jun 2, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from St. Louis on the Air

    Circus Flora's spy-themed show dazzles with motorcycle stunts, hair aerialist

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2023 18:41

    St. Louis' intimate one-ring circus, Circus Flora, is back at the Big Top in Grand Center. Artistic and executive director (and lifelong circus performer) Jack Marsh says acts such as aerialist Laura Lippert, the Globe of Speed, and world class juggler Roberto Carlos will thrill audiences in the circus' 37th season that runs until June 25.

    Lizzie Weber's ‘Fidalgo' traces her music's ‘full-circle moment' back to St. Louis

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2023 16:49

    Seven years ago, singer-songwriter Lizzie Weber was living on an island off the coast of Washington state when she was inspired to write her forthcoming album, “Fidalgo.” The pandemic brought her home to St. Louis, and she is now set to release it June 9. Weber calls the journey a “full-circle moment.”

    Wash U biologist explains how cats evolved from the savannah to your sofa

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2023 50:14

    There are some 600 million cats in the world. Not all of them are pets — between 50 and 100 million in the U.S. — but cats share a fascinating history with humans. Washington University evolutionary biologist Jonathan Losos dives into that history in the new book, “The Cat's Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savanna to Your Sofa.” Losos joins guest host Alex Heuer to talk about all things cats.

    Freedom Community Center gives ex-felons a second chance via restorative justice

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2023 21:57

    Restorative justice programs like Freedom Community Centers are gaining attention as the criminal justice system continues to get criticized for racial and economic biases. Kayla Thompson and her colleagues in the Free Us Group Track Program within FCC facilitate an intensive 12-week program which involves community service and therapy.

    How one Native Hawaiian family makes aloha in the Midwest

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2023 28:23

    Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) became part of the official designation of May as Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in 2022. U.S. Census Bureau numbers from 2022 show less than 1% of folks who live in the Metro St. Louis area home identify as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Edwardsville educator, social worker, and writer Stephanie Malia Krauss, her mother Laurie Nalani Kilstein, and her two boys are among those "onlys." Krauss and Kilstein share what that's like, and talk about ways they maintain and build strong cultural ties to a vital part of their personal, family, and community identity.

    Missouri defends law that puts parents behind bars when their kids miss too much school

    Play Episode Listen Later May 30, 2023 49:56

    You've heard “attendance is mandatory,” but, in Missouri schools, attendance is actually a matter of state law. During the 2021-22 school year, two single mothers in Missouri discovered just how powerful that law can be: They found themselves sentenced to jail when their children missed more than two weeks of school. The case is among several burning legal topics taken up by St. Louis on the Air's Legal Roundtable of attorneys Nicole Gorovksy, Dave Roland and Kalila Jackson

    Remembering Tina Turner's deep ties to the St. Louis area

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2023 15:27

    International superstar Tina Turner died Wednesday at the age of 83. Turner moved to St. Louis when she was 16 years old and her ties to the area ran deep. Author Maureen Mahon discusses Turner's time in St. Louis and we hear listener reactions to her death.

    Missouri drumline Modulation Z wins a world championship — in convincing fashion

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2023 19:20

    The O'Fallon, Missouri, based winter drumline Modulation Z won their division in the Winter Guard International World Championships last month. The group achieved a score of 96.05. That score was two points ahead of the second-place finisher and the second highest score ever achieved in the division. Modulation Z director Ryan Treasure and senior Lukas McGill discuss what it took to become a champion.

    As St. Louis' Soldiers Memorial adds 254 names, Gold Star families grieve, and remember

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2023 15:34

    Members of Gold Star Families, or families that have lost an immediate family member in active duty, hold Memorial Day in high regards as they honor their loved ones, even those whose true fate remains a mystery. Until recently, the Court of Honor at Soldiers Memorial only listed 214 names of St. Louisans who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietnam War. That changes this weekend with a special observation of 254 newly-identified fallen soldiers.

    AG report details how Belleville Diocese underreported sexual abuse and enabled a predator priest

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2023 10:58

    The Catholic Diocese of Belleville underreported the number of clergy who sexually abused children. That's one of the findings of a 700-page report released by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul. The report also details how the diocese enabled a pattern of abuse. STLPR Metro East reporter Will Bauer explains.

    How queer ballroom legends in St. Louis cultivate joy amid political and cultural animosity

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2023 18:49

    The countdown to Pride Month ends in just eight days. Soon there will be parades and parties to celebrate LGBTQ+ communities and commemorate the long, continuous fight for basic human rights for queer individuals. For Black queer people, creating space for joy in a time of persistent political and societal oppression is an everyday necessity. One example of that is ballroom culture, which was created and championed by Black members of the LGBTQ community across the nation — and right here in St. Louis.

    90 years ago, Black women led a multiracial strike at a St. Louis factory

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2023 21:41

    Ninety years ago, on May 24, 1933, a strike led by Black women workers at a St. Louis nut factory made labor history. Devin Thomas O'Shea, who wrote about the strike in a lengthy feature story in Jacobin, discusses the dramatic events leading up to the strike, including how an 18-year-old ringleader led her co-workers to the streets “with a Bible in one hand and a brick in the other.”

    A summer of Shakespeare in St. Louis opens with a Latino-inspired ‘Twelfth Night'

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2023 14:17

    For lovers of theater, a St. Louis summer doesn't truly start until Shakespeare is being performed. That moment comes next week, on May 31, as the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival opens its annual free performances in Forest Park. Tom Ridgley, the festival's producing artistic director, breaks down this season's unique take on “Twelfth Night,” set in Miami, and previews the other performances to come, including “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and an original production that combines Shakespeare and soccer.

    Everyone should be carrying the overdose reversal medication naloxone, advocates say

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2023 21:18

    John Gaal witnessed naloxone's ability to save lives when he stepped in to administer the overdose reversal medication to a fellow passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight in 2022. He shares why he's pushing for greater access to the drug, including its inclusion in medical kits on all airline providers.

    How a St. Louis jewelry company is making it big on social media — and at City Foundry

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2023 16:04

    VibeSzn began as an online business in 2017 and now has a retail location at City Foundry in Midtown St. Louis and has amassed nearly 200,000 followers on Instagram. Co-owner Omar Badran discusses his homegrown business and his family's journey to St. Louis.

    A reporter ID'd 100 St. Louis homes with dead owners. There are likely thousands more

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2023 22:00

    St. Louis is littered with ‘tangled titles.' The term describes what happens when a person dies without leaving a will or estate plan to define the ownership of their home. St. Louis Magazine senior editor Nick Phillips investigated how tangled titles became common, how they affect Black neighborhoods, block the transfer of intergenerational wealth, and lead to vacancy.

    ‘The Voice' shines a spotlight on St. Louis singer Neil Salsich

    Play Episode Listen Later May 22, 2023 29:09

    St. Louis singer Neil Salsich gained national fame over the past several months as a participant on "The Voice." Salsich talks about his time on the NBC reality singing show and as a founding member of the St. Louis-based band, the Mighty Pines.

    A total solar eclipse is coming to Missouri and Illinois in 2024. It's time to get ready

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2023 22:51

    On average a total solar eclipse occurs once every 400 years in the same location on earth. In 2017 the St. Louis region was within the path of totality for the first time since 1869. This coming April millions of residents in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois will find themselves within a two-hour drive of another total solar eclipse. Author and eclipse chaser David Baron joins the show.

    Black Tulip Chorale celebrates 5 years of lifting LGBTQ voices

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2023 17:22

    For five years, St. Louis' Black Tulip Chorale has fused queer history, music and inclusivity. The group celebrates the milestone May 21 with a special show “Shining Through,” that pairs each song with a moment from LGBTQ history. Founding member Dr. Ken Haller explains the group's origin story, and how its approach to a mixed voice “all-expression, all-gender, ​all-identity” chorus has attracted more than 40 singers to its ranks.

    How St. Louis inspired ‘Witnessing Whiteness' author and her new book on anti-racism

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2023 34:25

    For more than a decade, groups of white St. Louis residents have used Shelly Tochluk's book, “Witnessing Whiteness,” to explore white racial identity and racism's role in individual and community life. We'll hear from Witnessing Whiteness facilitator and St. Louisan Mary Ferguson; and talk with Tochluk about the place and purpose of her newest book, “Being White Today: A Roadmap to a Positive Antiracist Life.”

    Kim Gardner resigns as St. Louis circuit attorney, 2 weeks earlier than expected

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2023 15:36

    In a sudden announcement on Tuesday, Kim Gardner resigned from her elected position as St. Louis circuit attorney — effective immediately. Her resignation came two weeks before she'd initially planned to step down. STLPR reporter Rachel Lippmann explains what happened and what comes next.

    Lessons from the sudden, fatal dust storm that caused a 72-vehicle pileup on 1-55

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2023 20:30

    A sudden dust storm caused low visibility conditions that led to 72 vehicles colliding on Interstate 55 in Illinois on May 1. Seven people died and 37 others were injured. We look into what happened, how common these types of storms are in the Midwest and what drivers can do to better their chances of survival in similar situations.

    How Nico Marie uses yoga and music to promote healthy living to Black communities

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2023 21:01

    St. Louis native and yoga instructor Nico Marie McNeese knows all too well about the burden that can weigh down on one's mental well-being. Social distancing measures meant she could no longer teach in person, so McNeese went to social media to reach her students. She later started a YouTube channel — Black Yogi Nico Marie — to make her yoga videos more accessible. In three years McNeese's YouTube audience has grown to over 100,000 subscribers from around the world.

    CVPA students make triumphant return to stage for first time since school shooting

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2023 9:29

    On Monday night, students at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in south St. Louis made their first public performance since a deadly school shooting last October. Many of the students said they worked through the trauma of the shooting with their art. STLPR's senior education reporter Kate Grumke covered the event and discussed the highlights.

    Parents react to Missouri laws restricting trans healthcare and sports

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2023 27:00

    Missouri's 2023 legislative session ended as infighting and contention derailed many of the priorities set by the Republican-controlled Senate and House. Two laws that did pass, targeting transgender people. STLPR statehouse and politics reporter Sarah Kellogg breaks down the biggest takeaways from the session. AJ Hackworth, a trans man and dad living in Springfield, MO, discusses the new laws' effect on his healthcare, while a father in St. Louis County worries about what the laws mean for his 9-year-old trans son.

    What America's ‘lost crops' tell us about food in the age of climate change

    Play Episode Listen Later May 15, 2023 25:09

    By studying an extinct, domesticated subspecies of the buckwheat family, Washington University researcher Natalie Mueller hopes to uncover wisdom from indigenous cultures about growing new crops that are resilient to extreme drought and flooding.

    Webster U alum Matt Vogel, the man behind Big Bird and Kermit the Frog, to deliver commencement speech

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2023 25:16

    Earlier this month, Matt Vogel was in London for the coronation of King Charles III. In the royal box, Vogel also had a very special frog with him: Kermit the Frog. Vogel is the puppeteer behind Kermit, Big Bird, Count von Count and more. The Webster University alum is in town to deliver the 2023 commencement address and he talks about his remarkable career.

    Wash U professor Carl Phillips wins Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for 'Then the War'

    Play Episode Listen Later May 12, 2023 19:57

    Washington University professor Carl Phillips won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry this week for his most recent book, “Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020.” The collection chronicles an era of American culture roiled by crises of politics, identity and the pandemic. We listen back to our 2022 conversation with him.

    CityPark is redefining stadium food with 25 St. Louis restaurants

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2023 20:39

    Soccer fans at St. Louis's City SC CityPark have been treated to a remarkable concentration of local food excellence. The stadium features more than 20 local restaurants, and Sauce Magazine's Meera Nagarajan says the result is no accident: Fans are enjoying a diverse selection of food that goes way beyond soggy nachos and peanuts — including farm-made ice cream from Bold Spoon Creamery.

    Missouri lawmakers seek to overturn St. Louis ordinances that ban cat declawing

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2023 31:07

    While the practice of declawing cats is currently outlawed in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County, the Missouri legislature is considering a proposal to nullify these ordinances to make the practice available statewide. Dr. Amanda Gruber of the St. Louis Cat Clinic discusses how declawing affects the health and wellbeing of cats — and why she has never performed the procedure.

    As child care centers face staffing woes, families are left in the lurch

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2023 34:54

    Nearly half of all children in Missouri ages 5 and under live in child care deserts. And in places with child care centers, providers struggle to adequately staff their facilities. Families and providers report that the current system is not working — and that it often forces them into tough, life-altering decisions.

    VineBrook Homes owns thousands of Midwest properties and tenants are crying foul

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2023 17:36

    VineBrook Homes owns thousands of single-family rental properties, located in mostly Black and brown neighborhoods, throughout the Midwest. Over 2,400 of those houses are in the St. Louis region. Reporter Kavahn Mansouri discusses a Midwest Newsroom investigation of VineBrook that includes complaints of unresolved maintenance issues, unfounded evictions, aggressive rent collection tactics, poor customer service and more.

    Why do kids get shot in St. Louis? A new study shows just how little we know

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2023 31:53

    A new study that analyzed 156 cases of children in St. Louis injured by guns found that more than 70% of cases involved victims “shot outdoors by an unknown shooter, the motivation of which was unknown.” The study's lead author Dr. Mary Beth Bernardin discusses why scientists need to better understand why and how children are shot. Dr. Lindsay Clukies, an emergency medicine physician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, connects the study to what she sees while treating patients.

    As Missouri legislators consider a state takeover of St. Louis police, Kansas City's mayor sounds the alarm

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2023 20:03

    In the final week of the Missouri legislative session, lawmakers could pass a bill that would return control of the St. Louis Police Department to the state. The state controlled the police department for 152 years until, in 2013, the city regained control. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas knows state control well. His city is the only in Missouri that's under state control, and he shares what a state takeover would mean for St. Louis.

    Why Kim Gardner's resignation isn't stopping efforts to remove her from office

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2023 15:19

    It was just last Thursday that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced she will resign June 1. But that's not good enough for Attorney General Andrew Bailey, who is seeking her immediate removal. STLPR politics correspondent Jason Rosenbaum discusses Bailey's actions as well as the person who Gov. Mike Parson might choose to replace Gardner.

    Damion Baker was murdered. Now his mother is keeping his memory alive — and helping St. Louis

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2023 21:45

    A star high school football player in St. Louis, Damion Baker's life was cut short in an unsolved shooting in August 2022. Before his death, Damion had made plans to launch a nonprofit that would teach young people job skills. That dream is now a reality in the form of the D-Bake Foundation. The foundation's founder, An'namarie Baker, discusses her son's life, his mission, and how pre-apprenticeship classes can help people get on the path to a career.

    5 major issues Missouri lawmakers might tackle in the last week of session

    Play Episode Listen Later May 8, 2023 13:44

    Friction between the House and Senate has delayed some major policy priorities until the final days of the Missouri legislative session, including two anti-trans rights bills and a bill that would make it harder to amend the state constitution through the initiative petition process. STLPR reporter Sarah Kellogg shares how the last week of the session may shake out.

    Missouri denied Mylissa Farmer an emergency abortion. ‘This can happen to anyone'

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2023 26:24

    A federal investigation found that Missouri hospitals violated federal law by denying a woman an emergency abortion when her water broke at 17 weeks. Mylissa Farmer shares what happened when doctors refused to provide an abortion, even though she was told her life was in danger and that the fetus was no longer viable — when Missouri law superseded her need for emergency healthcare. Also, National Women's Law Center attorney Michelle Banker discusses what comes next for Missouri hospitals in the wake of the investigation.

    Missouri denied Mylissa Farmer an emergency abortion. ‘This can happen to anyone'

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2023 26:24

    A federal investigation found that Missouri hospitals violated federal law by denying a woman an emergency abortion when her water broke at 17 weeks. Mylissa Farmer shares what happened when doctors refused to provide an abortion, even though she was told her life was in danger and that the fetus was no longer viable — when Missouri law superseded her need for emergency healthcare. Also, National Women's Law Center attorney Michelle Banker discusses what comes next for Missouri hospitals in the wake of the investigation.

    David Freese became a hometown hero in 2011. Now he's headed to the Cardinals Hall of Fame

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2023 24:17

    The St. Louis Cardinals are not having a good season: they reign supreme at the bottom of the NL standings. But the team made an announcement earlier this week that was a reminder of better times. Third baseman and St. Louis native David Freese will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame this summer. In this encore, St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Benjamin Hochman talks about the remarkable 2011 season when Freese was World Series MVP.

    Tens of millions of birds are getting ready to migrate through St. Louis and Quincy

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2023 18:11

    Sixty percent of North American songbirds, 40% of the continent's waterfowl and many species of shorebirds will migrate through St. Louis in the next few weeks. Regional Audubon Conservation Science Manager Tara Hohman shares tips for bird-watching this spring, the threats facing many bird species traveling through the area and what people can do to help revitalize bird habitat in the region.

    Kim Gardner to resign as St. Louis circuit attorney, leaving a legacy of turmoil

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2023 15:34

    Facing a move by the Missouri attorney general to oust her, a contempt of court charge and increasing public and legislative pressure, Gardner announced Thursday that she will resign effective June 1. STLPR correspondent Jason Rosenbaum breaks down the story and what happens next.

    LGBTQ film festival, QFest, gets underway at the Hi-Pointe Theatre

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2023 19:17

    Cinema St. Louis Artistic Director Chris Clark gives a preview of this year's QFest and reflects on the role of an LGBTQ film festival in Missouri at a time when trans rights are under attack in the state.

    Missouri teachers are leaving the profession at an alarming rate, advocates report

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2023 32:09

    Missouri's teacher shortage has been a problem for many years. Now, education advocates report that teachers are leaving the field at an unprecedented rate, while the rate of college graduates obtaining teachers' certificates also plummets. Advocates discuss the state of Missouri's teacher shortage and what needs to happen in order for more people, especially those of more diverse backgrounds, to consider the profession.

    Why multiple trans teachers in Kirkwood resigned: 'They have sexualized my identity'

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2023 19:02

    Three educators report facing anti-trans discrimination at Kirkwood School District. They say they are considering leaving Missouri in order to continue teaching. STLPR education reporter Kate Grumke joins with the details on this story.

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