Kelly Moffitt | KBIA

Kelly Moffitt

Online producer for St. Louis Public Radio's talk shows St. Louis on the Air and Cityscape.

The Aug. 21 total solar eclipse event creeps ever closer. While the path of totality crosses quite a bit of Missouri, and even part of St. Louis, the longest duration of the eclipse will actually be in southern Illinois. 

In Murphysboro and Makanda, totality will last for a whopping two minutes and 40 seconds. At one point in the Shawnee National Forest, just south of Carbondale, eclipse viewers will see totality for two minutes and 44 seconds. According to eclipse enthusiasts, those seconds make a big difference.

If you took but one class with dance legend Katherine Dunham, it became immediately apparent that her approach was one that cultivated the dancer as a whole and made the Dunham Technique more of a “way of life.” Dunham, considered the “queen mother of black dance,” lived from 1909 to 2006, making her home and the center of her dance work in East St. Louis for much of her adult life. 

Democratic State Representative Bruce Franks Jr., representing District 78 in St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday to reflect on his first year as a state lawmaker. He also discussed the challenges facing his district and the state of Missouri going forward.

St. Louis County Library has been going through some changes these past few years – closing and reopening renovated branches and experimenting with other new programs. To date, the system will have 17 renovated or replaced branches by year's end.

In 2018, a few more branches will be renovated and then St. Louis County Library headquarters will be updated. You can find a full list of completed and planned projects here.

The 17th annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase kicks off this weekend with 87 films made by local artists. It runs July 16-20 at the Tivoli Theatre in University City.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Chris Clark, the artistic director of Cinema St. Louis, which produces the showcase, joined host Don Marsh to give a preview of what films and filmmakers will be highlighted.

You can find a full rundown of the showcase on Cinema St. Louis’ website here.

Reena Hajat Carroll, the outgoing executive director of the Diversity Awareness Partnership, is leaving St. Louis after 10 years at the helm of DAP.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, Carroll joined host Don Marsh to discuss what she’s learned over her years leading the organization and what work St. Louis needs to do in the areas of diversity and inclusion going forward.

From the outskirts of Shanghai to the Wisconsin Dells, companies are creating entire arenas for the worlds of virtual reality. St. Louis is no different with a score of virtual reality (VR) companies cropping up to capitalize on the futuristic technology trend that allows you to experience another world through a headset and gaming technology.

On our Friday “Behind the Headlines" segment, we take a look at a top news story from the week. This week, we turned our attention to the Illinois budget and, then, to Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' actions this week. 

We hear from a lot of authors on St. Louis on the Air and many of them have unique stories of how they first got published. On Thursday, we heard from two more local authors, each of whom comes from a different publishing perspective than the norm. One was published as early as age 13. The other started writing after retirement.

Earlier this summer, we gave you a list of 20+ best summer reads for adults. We know it is about that time: this week, we convened a panel to discuss the best summer reads for children and young adults too.

On May 2, St. Louis Public Radio hosted The Story Collider, a national podcast and live storytelling group, for an evening of personal stories about science told on stage under the theme of "Eclipse." The event was sponsored by the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Ken Haller, SLUCare pediatrician at SSM Cardinal Glennon Childrens Medical Center and professor of pediatrics at Saint Louis University, shared a personal story from his first years as a doctor in New York City during the rise of the AIDS crisis.

Tropical icon Jimmy Buffett was not always the brand he's seen as today. How did he rise to fame and influence?

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, acclaimed music critic and author Ryan White joined host Don Marsh for the entire hour to discuss his book “Jimmy Buffett: A Good Life All The Way” ahead of Buffett’s concert in St. Louis this week.

The book explores Buffett’s laid-back attitude, iconic tropical rock music and transition into big-time business. 

Union Avenue Opera’s 23rd season kicks off next week Friday and runs through August. This year, the company is introducing nothing but firsts. Each of its three productions is a premiere for the company.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, contributor Steve Potter sat down with three people associated with this year’s productions to hear about what to expect.

It is said Missouri is home to one of the best state park systems in the country. How did it get to be this way? And what hurdles does it face going forward?

“We’ve been in the top four the past few years now, and we’re also considered the number one trail state,” said Steve Nagle, the board president of the Missouri Parks Association, an advocacy group that supports the state parks system. “We’re really proud of that legacy.”

On Thursday, St. Louis Public Radio's Cut & Paste podcast relaunched with a redefined focus: the human-centered arts stories of St. Louis. The hosts of the podcast, Nancy Fowler and Willis Ryder Arnold, joined St. Louis on the Air on Thursday to discuss how they've re-conceptualized the podcast. 

KMOX radio reporter Kevin Killeen knows a thing or two about growing up Catholic in St. Louis in the 1970s. It’s apparently a subject a lot of you know about is well, as we heard from a plethora of listeners about their experiences in and out of school during that time period.

These reflections were spurred by a conversation with Killeen about his latest humorous novel, “Most Improved Sophomore.”

A lot of news coming out of the U.S. Supreme Court this week. First, a ruling that allows parts of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to go forward. And then, a ruling on case involving a Missouri church, Trinity Lutheran in Columbia, that sought a state grant to put a soft surface on its preschool playground that was denied funding.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed “Hero of the Empire,” a book by New York Times-bestselling author Candice Millard about Winston Churchill’s experiences in early adulthood as a reporter during the Boer War.

There’s a growing body of research that shows African-American girls are punished in school at rates much higher than girls of any other race.

“The Centroid” refers to the point of the United States’ mean center of population. Baltimore-based photographer Nate Larson has taken this construction and run with it, documenting life in the “Centroid Towns,” which have been calculated by the U.S. Census Bureau since 1790. Here's how that's done.

July 2, 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of one of the bloodiest race riots in the 20th century: the East St. Louis Race Riots of 1917

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, Gregory Carr, an instructor of speech and theater at Harris-Stowe State University, and actress Andrea Purnell joined the program to discuss “Tinderbox,” his play based on the history of the event. 

On Friday’s “Behind the Headlines," we took a look at a top news story from the week.

This week, host Don Marsh was joined by St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jo Mannies to discuss Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens's interactions with the Missouri legislature and the recent special sessions.

Sound Bites is produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine, our monthly installment exploring cuisine in the St. Louis area.

Chef Logan Ely has been around the globe and back a few times since growing up in St. Louis. He spent time at Chicago’s North Pond Restaurant after graduating Forest Park Community College’s culinary program and from there went to Hong Kong and New York.

As of 9 p.m. on a Monday earlier this month,  the temperature had not sunk below 90 degrees all day. Despite the lethargic heat, the St. Louis Skatium, an un-air-conditioned, no-frills skating rink in south city, was bustling with action.

For two hours, the Arch Rival All Stars, 20 of the best women’s flat track roller derby players in St. Louis, have been running drills and scrimmaging.

Last year set a record for the number of drug overdose deaths in the St. Louis region, most of them opioid-related. Gun violence has also long been a problem in St. Louis. Although there’s no evidence to prove the rise in the prevalence of both issues is related, the solution to them is interconnected, advocates say.

Well, it’s officially summer now – and with that comes time spent by the pool, on vacation or maybe even a few “sick days” spent at home. With that in mind, we brought in three local book experts to give us suggestions of their top summer reads.

We’re focusing on books for adults this time around but, in a few weeks, we’ll also discuss children’s book recommendations.

You can find links to each book discussed below, but our guest from Left Bank Books made this handy list as well. 

Tuesday marks World Refugee Day, a designation made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The number of refugees and displaced persons in the world is higher than it has ever been since World War II, with some 65.5 million people displaced throughout the world right now.

Facts and fiction continue to swirl about mosquito-borne illnesses like the Zika and West Nile viruses. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, we discussed what you need to know about such illnesses and how to prevent them.

Saint Louis University is currently at the forefront of trying to develop a Zika vaccine. Sarah George, a researcher with the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development, joined the program on Tuesday to discuss her research and prevention tips.

Stephen Lord has been coming to St. Louis for 37 seasons of Opera Theatre Saint Louis in some sort of role with the company. For the last 25 years, he’s been music director, but after this season closes at the end of this month, he’ll step down from that position.

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