Emily Woodbury | KBIA

Emily Woodbury

Emily Woodbury joined the St. Louis on the Air team in July 2019. Prior to that, she worked at Iowa Public Radio as a producer for two daily, statewide talk programs. She is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a degree in journalism and a minor in political science. She got her start in news radio by working at her college radio station as a news director. Emily enjoys playing roller derby, working with dogs, and playing games – both video and tabletop.

In determining the best guidelines for government action during the COVID-19 outbreak, city leaders and officials are looking at how different metros responded during the 1918 flu pandemic. The general consensus is that because St. Louis implemented more extensive quarantine measures, the area had a lower death rate than other cities — like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City.

In his latest piece, Chris Naffziger, who writes about history and architecture for St. Louis Magazine, wrote that while city officials managed to prevent the deaths of thousands during the pandemic of 1918 through 1920, St. Louis’ response to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic wasn't quite what we've been told.

Medical ethicists are trained to confront ethical questions in medicine, and the novel coronavirus raises quite a few.

For instance, in China and Italy, there have been reports of hospitals being forced to ration care for COVID-19 patients. This form of rationing care and prioritizing treatment is determined by a hospital’s crisis standards of care guidelines.

Even before the outbreak of COVID-19 forced mass social distancing — keeping friends and family members apart for the sake of their health — many seniors felt isolated, particularly those living in nursing homes and assisted living communities.

For those who were already lonely or isolated, things are likely to get worse in the months ahead, as caregivers find themselves overwhelmed and strained and as social distancing recommendations remain in place. 

Documentarian Ken Burns’ latest work, “East Lake Meadows: A Public Housing Story,” explores the history of a former public housing community in Atlanta. It features the stories of residents and raises critical questions about race, poverty and public assistance.

The film premieres Tuesday, March 24, at 7 p.m. on PBS.

Public health considerations and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to be at the forefront of daily life. Among those effects, the last few weeks have been incredibly tough for journalists and nonprofits alike, St. Louis Public Radio included.

The station is dealing with the difficulties of being dependent on members, even as they face serious anxiety as well as real or potential losses in income. St. Louis Public Radio continues to cover the news while minimizing in-person contact. That is not easy.

The summer slide — the propensity for students to lose academic progress made during the school year — is something educators have expressed concern about for years. 

With the region’s schools being closed until at least early April due to the COVID-19 outbreak, teachers and administrators are working to make sure such a slide doesn’t happen this spring as well.

There is a lot of anxiety swirling right now over the new coronavirus. There’s also a lot of misinformation. 

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, Dr. Alexis Elward joined host Sarah Fenske to help set the record straight and answer listener questions and concerns. Elward is an infectious disease physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Elward says that health care providers are still being careful about who they test for COVID-19, with tests mainly limited to people likely to have had contact with an infected person.

According to Washington University’s Rebecca Lester, eating disorders are among the most misunderstood medical conditions. For instance, she says, there’s an assumption that eating disorders are only a problem for upper-middle-class white girls — while that’s not completely off base, it’s just a sliver of the story.

In “Famished: Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America,” Lester looks closely at the impact of common misconceptions of eating disorders, as well as the way the U.S. health care system often fails to provide the type of treatment needed.

Modern American Dance Company’s new show “Resilience” is not what you might picture when you consider a dance performance. The MADCO show features four pieces, each touching on a type of trauma — everything from losing a child to the loss of one’s sanity — with a focus on battling adversity through movement. 

One of the show’s choreographers, Carl Flink, was inspired to create a piece based on what he observed caring for his mother as she underwent chemotherapy for both breast cancer and, eventually, lymphoma. 

A former Missouri state senator, Jeff Smith was sentenced to a year and a day in prison after being charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice over election law violations during his 2004 campaign.

The experience led him to write the book, “Mr. Smith Goes to Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis.” And since his release, he’s worked to reform the criminal justice system and help other former offenders get their lives back on track.

When a country’s origin story is developed, whose stories get highlighted and whose get erased? How do we foster the ideals of a nation while recognizing that some perspectives have been trampled during the nation’s history?

These are among several questions Abram Van Engen explores in his new book, “City on a Hill: A History of American Exceptionalism,” which examines the 1630 City on a Hill sermon by Massachusetts Bay Gov. John Winthrop.

Mark Glenshaw is obsessed with owls. By day, he is a manager at Fontbonne University’s library; but by night, he frequents a discrete area of Forest Park, checking in on a great horned owl he named Charles. 

Glenshaw has been observing Charles for almost 15 years, sometimes as often as six or seven days a week. In that time, he’s seen some owl lady friends come and go. Charles’ longtime partner, Sarah, died of natural causes a few years ago. Glenshaw watched another owl take her place, only to be chased away by a more aggressive owl. He named her Samantha, after the character Samantha in "Sex and the City."

Last July, the Missouri Supreme Court enacted rules requiring judges to first consider non-monetary conditions for pretrial release when setting bail conditions. Under these new rules, judges can still set bail, but only at an amount that would ensure public safety and that the defendant would appear in court.

Since then, high-profile crimes — including an October shooting at a Kansas City bar — have led to backlash against the new Missouri Supreme Court rules. More than 80 Missouri state representatives signed on to a letter asking the court to revoke the new bond rules. They say they’ve heard from law enforcement officials who have concerns about suspects re-offending before facing trial. They argue that the court overstepped its boundaries and that these new rules, meant to address a problem facing a small number of courts, place a significant burden on all courts across the state.

The town of Alton was a major stop for escaped slaves making their way to freedom from St. Louis.

Some runaways stayed in Alton, and some continued north to Canada. Though Illinois was the first state to ratify the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which abolished slavery nationally, it wasn’t necessarily a friendly place to escaped former slaves.

Often referred to as the most dangerous eight seconds in sports, bull riding is not for the faint of heart. In fact, the medical director for the international organization Professional Bull Riders estimates that about 1 in 15 rides results in injury. Yet, the sport is gaining popularity.

Since PBR was founded in 1992, the sport has grown into a global phenomenon. Over the course of a weeklong competition, riders can earn up to six figures in prize money.

This weekend, PBR is hosting a competition at the Enterprise Center. Riders and their bulls will be coming to St. Louis with several events already under their belt, and competition this year has been tough.

Pearl Tabb’s son was shot in her St. Louis apartment complex in September 2019. It wasn’t the first time he was shot, but this time, the wound was more serious. Tabb felt lost.

“I’m like, ‘What am I going to do? I don’t know what to do. I need help.’”

She found support through Better Family Life’s 24/7 hotline. Better Family Life is a nonprofit dedicated to tackling social and economic problems in St. Louis, and its hotline helps callers connect with people trained in de-escalation and mediation techniques. They also offer assistance with seeking counseling and medical supplies.

Washington University’s Clinic for Acceptance, Recovery and Empowerment treats women who become pregnant while dealing with an opioid use disorder. It provides prenatal care, substance abuse treatment and extended postpartum support. 

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, the clinic’s medical director said there is a high demand for these services in the St. Louis region.

“We started as a half-a-day-a-week clinic, and volume has expanded so much that we are opening a second half-day in addition to our original,” said Dr. Jeannie Kelly. “We have seen a pretty high number [of clients] in our clinic.”

The directors and subject of “St. Louis Superman,” the documentary film showcasing the story of former Missouri state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr., are headed to Los Angeles for this Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. The film has been nominated for a Best Documentary Short Subject Oscar.

The documentary follows Franks’ journey as a lawmaker and his push for a proposal to recognize youth violence as a public health epidemic.

Established in 1920, Washington Park Cemetery in Berkeley served as a for-profit burial place for African Americans. Before it stopped operating in the 1980s, the graveyard was the largest African American cemetery in the region.

“It became the premier place for African Americans to be buried, and despite all the racism and prejudice, it thrived,” said art historian Chris Naffziger, author of the blog St. Louis Patina.

With the new year come many new developments related to who can light up and what they can smoke. Recreational marijuana is now sold in cities across Illinois. Missouri dispensaries are getting ready to sell medical marijuana. More teens are vaping than ever.

And in December, the Trump administration raised the sales age for tobacco products across the U.S. To buy cigarettes in Missouri, you now have to be 21 years old. Previously, the state allowed sales to 18-year-olds. Illinois raised its age to 21 just five months before.

The director of the St. Louis Zoo Institute for Conservation Medicine, Dr. Sharon Deem, wants people to understand just how much human health is dependent on the health of other animals and the environment.

She often shares the fact that since 2006, about 7 million bats in the U.S. have died from a disease called white-nose syndrome. The often-fatal disease derives from a fungus that arrived in the U.S. from Europe in 2006. While many people think of bats as pests, they are productive pollinators and eat a lot of mosquitoes. One bat eats roughly 6,000 mosquitoes in 24 hours. 

There are roughly 2.8 million people living in greater St. Louis, many of whom would be surprised to know that they share the space with a good variety of wildlife.

The St. Louis Wildlife Project now has four seasons of data that they hope will give insight into how wildlife occupy and utilize the region’s urban spaces. For the past year, they’ve collected images from 34 motion-activated cameras planted in parks and green spaces across St. Louis. They’ve spotted foxes, turkeys, river otters and even a couple bobcats. 

Mark Twain, the author born Samuel Clemens in 1835 Missouri, was ahead of his time in many important ways. That’s one reason his brilliant novels endure, and why they’re just as funny as they were when they were published more than 140 years ago.

The 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. Enforcement of the new law started on Jan. 17, 1920.

In this episode of St. Louis on the Air, we recognize the 100th anniversary of Prohibition by diving into St. Louis’ rich Prohibition-era history.

A few weeks ago on St. Louis on the Air, we learned about a brand-new medical device that allows users to measure nutritional ketosis with a breathalyzer. Nutritionists say they’ve witnessed the reemergence of the keto diet as a means for weight loss in the past few years.

Both during and after that segment aired, we received a lot of questions about the keto diet, as well as some concern that this may be an unhealthy choice for some people. So, we looked into it on Thursday’s show with people who follow the latest research on the topic.

Thousands of Missouri residents have received certification cards for medical marijuana, and dispensaries are gearing up to begin sales of the product later this year, likely in the spring. 

Physicians have the ability to prescribe medical marijuana to patients via the state’s certification form, although they are not obligated to do so.

On Friday's St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske spoke with two physicians, who are also sisters, to get a sense of why they react differently when patients request their signatures on medical marijuana certification forms.

Thursday on St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Police Chief John Hayden defended his crime-fighting strategy in the north St. Louis area known as “Hayden’s Rectangle.”

The biggest party in town on New Year’s Day may well have been outside Illinois Supply & Provisions. Metro area residents stood in line for hours outside the Collinsville shop with the goal of purchasing legal marijuana products. Illinois just became the 11th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use. 

St. Louis Public Radio reporter Eric Schmid was at the shop on New Year's Day, and on Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, he joined host Sarah Fenske to discuss what people should know about buying and consuming Illinois’ recreational marijuana in 2020 and beyond.

Last month, the St. Louis County Council voted 4-3 for Councilwoman Lisa Clancy’s bill to establish a trust fund aimed at creating more affordable housing. 

“We’ve got 400,000 households in St. Louis County,” said Clancy on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. “Over 100,000 of those households — that’s over 25% — are considered cost burdened when it comes to housing. … Cost burdened technically means you are spending over 30% of your income on housing.”

This month, the third season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” was released by Amazon Studios. Set in 1950s New York, Miriam "Midge" Maisel pursues a career in stand-up comedy after her husband leaves her. As depicted in the show, she often finds herself working harder than her male colleagues for less, experiencing sexism and double standards along the way.

Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air, local comedian Tina Dybal said that while the comedy scene is much more inclusive and welcoming than it was six decades ago, women comics still face double standards.

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