Alex Heuer | KBIA

Alex Heuer

Alex Heuer joined St. Louis Public Radio in 2012 and is a producer of St. Louis on the Air. Alex grew up in the St. Louis area. He began his public radio career as a student reporter at Tri States Public Radio in Macomb, Ill. and worked for a time at Iowa Public Radio.

Alex graduated summa cum laude from Western Illinois University with a degree in history and earned a teaching certificate in social studies. In 2016, he earned a Master of Public Policy Administration with a focus in nonprofit organization management and leadership from University of Missouri-St. Louis. He has won local and national awards for reporting and producing and his stories have been featured nationally on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

When the St. Louis Blues take home ice Monday night against the Boston Bruins for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, fans will be singing, as they have since the franchise was established in 1967.

With all respect to “Gloria,” this season’s victory anthem, the St. Louis Blues have always embraced music.

The team, after all, was named for the classic melody “The St. Louis Blues,” written by W.C. Handy in 1914. And that winged Blue Note logo — arguably, one of the best logos in all of hockey — symbolizes the city, as well as the team.

Jason Reynolds is a prominent poet and author of middle-grade and young adult novels. He’s a National Book Award finalist and the author of such books including “Ghost,” “Long Way Down,” and “When I Was The Greatest.”

Reynolds recently sat down for an onstage conversation with Kameel Stanley, the former co-host of St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” podcast.

Including Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, the Ozarks is a geographic region known for its mountainous topography, forests and tourism. The region also has a unique culinary history.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh was joined by St. Louis native and chef Rob Connoley. The James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Southwest is planning to open Bulrush, a restaurant rooted in Ozark cuisine, this April in Grand Center.

Country music superstar Garth Brooks said he was terrified to take the stage Saturday night at the Dome at America’s Center in St. Louis.

He acknowledged that feeling of performance anxiety to a sold-out audience of some 75,000 fans – a record for the venue – and at a press conference the day before the concert.

“[I’m] scared to death to go into stadiums and arenas,” Brooks said. “I came [to St. Louis] because I’ve been here. It’s going to be like eating ice cream with two spoons.”

A 2018 study by the National Low Income Housing Coalition showed that a St. Louisan who earns minimum wage would have to work 81 hours per week in order to afford a modest apartment. That reality is part of what Esther Shin describes as a “national affordable-housing challenge” stretching from San Francisco to New York City.

Shin is president of Urban Strategies, Inc., a national nonprofit based in St. Louis that is among several organizations working to address the crisis.

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.”

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.”

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.

Updated at 9:30 p.m. with Bell's appearance at the County Council meeting Tuesday night.

St. Louis County’s newly inaugurated prosecuting attorney, Wesley Bell, has hit the ground running since his Jan. 1 inauguration. The first African-American to hold the post, Bell said his work so far has involved a lot of listening.

“There’s a lot of great people in [the county prosecutor’s office], and we want to make sure we take advantage of the institutional knowledge in that office,” he said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And so I’ve been very deliberate about meeting with every single person in that office.”

When host Don Marsh followed up by asking about Bell’s dismissal of an assistant prosecutor responsible for presenting evidence to a grand jury in the wake of the police-involved shooting death of Michael Brown in 2014, Bell said he didn’t think it appropriate to comment on the employee matter at this time. When pressed about any connections between the dismissal and the 2014 case, he added that “there’s no connection.”

After a four-decade career, St. Louis Public Radio political reporter Jo Mannies is retiring, although she will work part time for the radio station beginning in March.

Mannies began her journalism career with a brief stint as a newspaper reporter in Indiana. She arrived at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 1976, and although she covered sports for a brief time, she gravitated toward political coverage.

“[Sports reporting] is not my first love. It’s always been politics, ever since I was a little kid,” Mannies told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh.

Belleville native Jeff Tweedy doesn’t wax nostalgic when it comes to reflecting on his hometown. The Wilco frontman and Uncle Tupelo co-founder wrote a memoir, “Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back),” that details his childhood, musical influences and the stories behind forming the alt-country Uncle Tupelo and Wilco.

Rossino’s and Café Balaban are two restaurants many St. Louisans remember fondly. They're among the more than 40 restaurants highlighted in Ann Lemons Pollack’s new book “Lost Restaurants of St. Louis.”

Pollack recalls bygone eateries that loom large in memories. She also profiles three iconic restaurants that still exist and even traces the food history of the 1904 World’s Fair.

On Friday, she joined host Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air to talk about the book, which also includes some recipes from area restaurants that are no more.

Jim Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones, retires Dec. 31, after spending his entire 40-plus year career with the financial services company. Edward Jones is one of the St. Louis area’s largest employers.

Weddle, who has led the company for about 13 years, said now is the right time to step aside, even as the company’s succession planning requires that partners retire by the end of the year they turn 65. He is 65.

There are several well-known holiday light displays in the St. Louis area.

The Way of Lights at Our Lady of the Snows Shrine in Belleville, Winter Wonderland in Tilles Park and many of the houses on Candy Cane Lane in south St. Louis come to mind.

A recent situation involving a first-grade student in the University City School District prompted teachers and administrators to consider an unconventional approach.

Rather than immediately focus on any instruction or behavior in the classroom, the district sought to provide the student and his family with basic needs – a trip to the doctor, food and toiletry items.

Monday marks the five-year anniversary of the merger between St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis Beacon.

Collectively known as St. Louis Public Radio, the alliance of the two organizations was a bold move that increased the capacity for more journalists to tell more local and regional news stories.

One of the most competitive congressional races in the country is Illinois’ 12th Congressional District. The district includes a significant portion of the metro-east including all of St. Clair, Monroe and Madison counties as well as part of Madison County.

Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, is running for re-election against St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly, D-Swansea, and Randy Auxier, SIU-Carbondale professor and Green Party candidate.

Many families have secrets, some more sinister than others. German author Jennifer Teege did not learn of her family’s alarmingly dark past until she discovered it accidentally in her late 30s.

The truth deeply disturbed her: her grandfather was Amon Goeth, the Nazi commandant depicted in Schindler’s List who famously fired at passers-by from his balcony.

LaunchCode, an organization headquartered in St. Louis, celebrates its five-year anniversary this week. The nonprofit helps people enter the tech field by providing education and job placement services.

“We’ve got over 1,400 careers that we’ve launched so far in the five years that LaunchCode has been [in St. Louis], but that doesn’t count the people who have taken our training and gotten placed elsewhere,” explained entrepreneur and investor Jim McKelvey.

Along with fellow St. Louisan Jack Dorsey, McKelvey is the co-founder of Square and founder of LaunchCode, a company McKelvey started because St. Louis lacked a skilled workforce adept at programming.

This summer, Tower Grove Park administrators announced the establishment of a commission to address mounting calls to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus currently exhibited in the public park.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh addressed the issue of Columbus’s complex legacy with Peter Kastor, professor and chair of the Department of History at Washington University.

Stephen Sondheim hesitates to settle on a single beginning point from which his now 70-year-long career in musical theater took off. There were the piano lessons he began taking as a young child, something he acknowledges may have “infiltrated” him early on. Then there’s the show he wrote at age 15, a script family friend Oscar Hammerstein gave an unsparing critique. He also credits his enjoyment of films growing up.

“The music that most influenced me at first was movie music,” the renowned composer and lyricist said Thursday on St. Louis on the Air. “I was a big movie buff, so it was the scores of people like Franz Waxman and Max Steiner and Bernard Herrmann that got me going.”

Deb Gaut recently founded a business that aims to help people over the age of 50 pursue their dreams whether it’s a different job or exciting hobby.

The business, Boomalally, offers workshops, counseling and a digital magazine to help people with a transition later in life.

James Comey expressed both concern and hope about the state of U.S. institutions and the rule of law during a St. Louis Public Radio interview on Wednesday.

“I think we’re in two different places,” the former FBI director told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “We’re in a place where the president of the United States relentlessly attacks the rule of law and the institutions of justice, so that’s terrible. But the second place that we’re in is that Americans have awakened to the importance of the rule of law and the danger of its erosion, and that’s a very, very important sort of antibody response. And it’s a source for optimism.”

Fadi BouKaram is a Lebanese photographer who in late 2016 embarked on U.S. road trip to visit communities named Lebanon. There are more than 40 such towns and cities in the country that share the name of his homeland, a country in the Middle East that’s a bit smaller than Connecticut.

The history of the beer industry in St. Louis is a winding one that goes back generations. Brewers named Lemp, Anheuser, Busch and Griesedieck played an important role on the local and national beer scenes.

While Anheuser-Busch is now a multinational company that’s no longer locally owned, the legacy of the beer that has its roots in St. Louis remains strong.

The USS Missouri has played a role in history that is likely equal to its heft. Missouri’s namesake vessel is three football fields long, 20 stories high, 45,000 tons and once housed a crew of 2,400 sailors. The famous battleship was the site of the Japanese surrender during World War II and was a favorite of President Harry Truman, a native Missourian.

“There’s always a lot of renovation,” explained Mike Carr, president and CEO of the USS Missouri Memorial Association, who joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday. “It always takes a lot of effort and money to support 45,000 tons of steel."

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on a case that “We Live Here” zeroed in on at the beginning of the podcast's season. 

The podcast’s most recent episode is about the case of Latasha Johnson, whose eviction proceedings made it to the state's highest court because of its importance to tenants’ rights. The court ruled in favor of Johnson's landlord but it also laid out some important new guidelines for tenants’ rights. However, the ruling did nothing to change Johnson’s situation or expunge the eviction from her record.

The best golfers in the world are in St. Louis this week vying to be the one who will hoist the Wanamaker Trophy on Sunday.

The 100th PGA Championship is taking place at Bellerive Country Club in west St. Louis County.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three St. Louis Public Radio reporters about the results of Tuesday’s primary election in Missouri.

Joining him for the discussion were reporters Jo Mannies, Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann.

Recently released numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 60,000 people died in the United States in 2016 due to a drug overdose. The data show nearly two-thirds of those deaths involved a prescription or illicit opioid.

Further, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl are contributing to the sharp rise in opioid-related deaths.

The problem is stark in the St. Louis area.

Pages