Lara Hamdan | KBIA

Lara Hamdan

News intern

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske checked in with the team at Sauce Magazine to discuss the latest restaurant additions  as well as upcoming concepts and some closings  within the St. Louis region’s food and beverage community. 

Joining her for the discussion were Catherine Klene and Meera Nagarajan, managing editor and art director, respectively.

The magazine's two picks for new restaurants to try this month are Turmeric (6679 Delmar Blvd., University City, MO, 63130) and Utah Station (1956 Utah St., St. Louis, MO, 63118).

The Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis is using art to engage with history and contextualize the present. Chief curator Wassan Al-Khudhairi joined St. Louis on the Air with artists Stephanie Syjuco and Bethany Collins to discuss CAM’s fall exhibitions. 

Paige Walden-Johnson originally founded the CommUNITY Arts Festival out of the need to support her friend Rain Stippec, a dancer who was shot eight times in the back while in a parked car in the south city Soulard neighborhood. Stippec survived, but it severely affected her mobility. 

In the first 48 hours after being shot, Stippec was given a 5% chance of survival by doctors. But now, with support from the community and physical therapy, Stippec will perform for the first time in the two years since the shooting. 

Earlier this month, millions of Muslims made their way to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to participate in the Islamic pilgrimage known as hajj. It’s one of the largest annual gatherings, and there, Muslims who represent hundreds of ethnicities and languages give up their normal lives and dedicate the week to devout worship. 

The journey is made over five days during the last month of the Islamic calendar, and Muslims who are physically and financially able to make the trip to Saudi Arabia are required to do so at least once in their lifetime. 

The hajj is seen as one of the five pillars of Islam, and its end is marked with one of the two Islamic holidays, Eid al-Adha. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske explored the religious obligation and what it entails. 

Local chef Gerard Craft is among the most notable restaurateurs in the region. He’s won the coveted James Beard award for "Best Chef: Midwest" for his restaurant Niche; he operated a successful restaurant group; and his eateries included Pastaria, Taste Bar and Brasserie — all of them both popular with diners and restaurant critics. 

But he’s also secretly dealt with intense anxiety. In a new essay published Monday on the website Plate, he wrote that he decided to close Niche in part because he was worried it could only fall in the rankings. 

Video artist Nanette Boileau grew up in Rock Hill, Missouri, entertained by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the world's leading mixed martial arts organization. That fascination led her to incorporate the UFC in her Ph.D. and inspired her to take a contemporary look at St. Louis athletes pursuing their dreams as fighters. 

Her ongoing exhibit “American Dreamers: Unalienable Rights” brings together three people dreaming of sports glory: a professional wrestler, a female boxer and a mixed martial arts fighter. In a series of intense videos, the gallery – held at the William and Florence Schmidt Art Center in Belleville, Illinois – allows the viewer to feel like they’re stepping into the ring with these athletes. 

Earlier this week, members of the Missouri Botanical Garden horticulture staff returned from a research trip in the Central Asia country of Kyrgyzstan. There, the team’s project involved conserving crop wild relatives of popular fruits like apples, apricots and plums found in Kyrgyzstan’s highly threatened walnut fruit forest.

The goal is to preserve genetic diversity that is often lost in modern agriculture, which is based on a single-crop system. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked to Megan Engelhardt, manager of the Botanical Garden's seed bank, and horticulturist Dave Gunn about how the staff went about bringing seeds back to add to the Botanical Garden’s seed bank to propagate. 

Producer's note: In this program, a caller who identified themself as Dominique may have been an airport privatization spokesman who shared their comment under a fake name. St. Louis Public Radio reporter Corinne Ruff looked into the validity of this call, and her reporting on the story can be found here.

For more than a year, city officials and an army of consultants have been exploring the possibility of leasing St. Louis Lambert International Airport to a private entity. 

Conversations about leasing the city’s largest public asset began during former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay’s time in office. But the official exploration process started in June 2018, when the city hired a consultant group called FLY314, a subsidiary of Grow Missouri Inc. The political action committee is funding the effort thus far. 

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske explored where things stand and what happens next with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Corinne Ruff. 

The underground pop-up restaurant scene is growing, and St. Louis is no exception. Pop-ups are a way for amateur chefs to experiment with selling their cuisine without the commitment of daily catering and operating from a brick-and-mortar shop. They also help talented newcomers build a following and give diners a chance to taste the latest and greatest.

They are set up in the kitchens of established restaurants, held in private homes and can even be found on a downtown roof. Established local chefs like Gerard Craft, Michael Gallina and Mike Randolph host pop-ups around a new opening or to scratch a creative itch, while others like Logan Ely use them to test a market and figure out how to run a business. 

Tonina Saputo is among the rising names in the local music scene, but her reach is far and wide. The St. Louis-raised musician has made the world her stage, performing throughout Europe and singing in both English and Spanish. Former President Barack Obama is a fan himself and placed her song “Historia De un Amor” on his best-of-the-year roundup. 

But for Saputo, it's her album that dropped in May that feels like the truest expression of herself as a musician. “St. Lost” was inspired by her time away from the Gateway City and represents a split from the producer-manager who gave her a big break.

As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris clashed in the Democratic presidential debates over the issue of busing, viewers may have thought of these programs as being in the past. That’s not the case in St. Louis — the city has the longest-running and largest desegregation program in the nation. 

Now in its 38th year, the Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation has bused more than 70,000 inner-city black students to predominantly white schools in the suburbs – and has also allowed white students living in the county to attend magnet schools in the city. It entails long bus rides as well as necessary but not always comfortable adjustment to new social circles.

St. Louis has the smallest Latino community of the nation's 25 largest metro areas — the only one that's less than 5% Latino. So how do local Latinos deal with being not just a minority, but one that’s dwarfed in size by other communities? And how do they straddle the Spanish-speaking worlds of their parents and grandparents in addition to life in the Midwest? 

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske delved into ways that St. Louis’ Latino community continues to grow and influence the city – artistically and otherwise.

Joining the program were Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, business counselor at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in St. Louis and co-host of the bilingual Auténtico Podcast, and Valeria Rodriguez, a Dominican-American multidisciplinary artist and member of the Latinx Arts Network – a collective of local artists. 

Kathi Dooley was set in her ways when it came to her looks and career; she knew what she loved and stuck with it. The longtime music director at Quincy Senior High School has a passion for helping students expand their artistic horizons, all while rocking the same hairstyle for more than 40 years. 

But all that changed last October when a former student of Dooley’s made a return to Quincy, Illinois, to switch up her routine. Jonathan Van Ness is a 2004 graduate of Quincy Senior High School, and he pitched for his beloved teacher, and her late 1970s mullet, to be featured on the hit Netflix series “Queer Eye.”

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with our partners from Sauce Magazine about the latest additions to the St. Louis region’s food-and-beverage community. 

Joining her for the discussion were Catherine Klene and Matt Sorrell, managing editor and staff writer, respectively.

This Saturday, the Missouri History Museum opens two new exhibits: “Pulitzer Prize Photographs” and “In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs.” The first is a traveling exhibit from the Newseum in Washington, displaying the most comprehensive collection of Pulitzer-winning photos ever assembled. The second provides a companion exhibit that shows off the work of local photojournalists.

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Sarah Fenske talked with Jody Sowell, director of exhibitions and research for the Missouri Historical Society, and Robert Cohen, a staff photographer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, about what the new shows entail. 

Sarah Fenske is among the notable media leaders of St. Louis. She’s served as the editor in chief of the Riverfront Times for the past four years, reporting on various topics such as breaking news, business, arts and culture. Starting Tuesday, she’ll be heard on the airwaves as the new official host of St. Louis on the Air

Having passionately worked in newspapers most of her career, she didn’t expect to shift gears and media platforms so swiftly and quickly. 

“Being in newspapers for 20 years, I had seen a lot and done a lot. And I think, inside, my soul must have been ready for a change – and I didn't even realize it until I saw this particular job posting,” she told St. Louis Public Radio’s Jonathan Ahl on Monday’s program. 

St. Louis on the Air’s latest Sound Bites segment with Sauce Magazine explored how salads are indeed culinary staples that can withstand the vegan trends of 2019 and beyond. 

On Friday’s program, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jeremy D. Goodwin talked about how the magazine compiled its list of the 12 best salads foodies should try in the St. Louis area with Sauce’s art director, Meera Nagarajan, and Kevin Willmann, chef and owner of Farmhaus Restaurant

“Research like this tends to be fun in the beginning because like, we’ve done a pizza story for example [and] you feel pretty bad after doing research for a full-on pizza story, but for the salad story you feel super healthy – like a beacon of health,” Nagarajan said. 

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jeremy D. Goodwin delved into a variety of recent local and national stories pertaining to the law.

The conversation will touch on the just-ended U.S. Supreme Court term and the frequent correspondence between the White House and the Court; the cease-and-desist letters a Philadelphia bar has sent to St. Louis companies benefiting off of marketing the phrase “Play Gloria!”; and St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner’s decision to file a motion to dismiss a murder case. Her office believes the local man at the center of it was wrongfully convicted of murder. 

Last November, Missouri voters approved a $5 limit on gifts to lawmakers to prevent lobbyists from spending a lot of money on politicians they’re looking to influence. A KCUR analysis of data released this month by the Missouri Ethics Commission shows there’s been a 94% decrease in spending from the 2019 to 2018 legislative session. 

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jim Kirchherr of the Nine Network delved into how the new legislation has affected lobbyist spending, other ways lobbyists can still influence politicians and common misconceptions people have about the practice, which does fall under the First Amendment. 

Joining the discussion were University of Missouri-St. Louis political scientist Anita Manion and David Jackson, a principal with Gamble & Schlemeier, Missouri’s largest lobbying firm.

Jaclyn Driscoll joined St. Louis Public Radio’s newsroom a few weeks ago as its statehouse reporter to help cover all things Missouri politics. She previously covered Illinois’ state capital for two years while based at the public radio station in Springfield, Illinois.

Now based in Jefferson City, Driscoll talked with guest host Jim Kirchherr of the Nine Network on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, to discuss her new role at the station. 

This week nearly 6,000 school nutrition professionals from across the country gathered in St. Louis to participate in a three-day conference that focuses on innovation in foods, beverages and tools for school cafeterias. 

As part of the School Nutrition Association’s 73rd Annual National Conference, attendees will preview new kitchen equipment, menu planning, nutrition education resources and more to help serve creative nutritious lunch options for students, such as Korean barbecue tacos and yogurt dips. 

Long gone are the days of settling for a questionable spicy chicken sandwich paired with a carton of chocolate milk? On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, guest host Jim Kirchherr of the Nine Network talked about the latest trends in school lunches and more with St. Louis Public Radio reporter Chad Davis. 

St. Louis-based hip-hop artist Kareem Jackson, who goes by the stage name Tef Poe, has often traveled across the world to share his musical craft and to also raise awareness about how social justice issues often intertwine across borders. 

His travels will continue next week to the Middle-Eastern country of Jordan as part of Next Level, a cultural exchange program the U.S. State Department is heading alongside the Meridian Center for Cultural Diplomacy and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

The project seeks to use artistic collaboration and social engagement to enhance people-to-people diplomacy, especially among young audiences.

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

St. Louis-based hip-hop artist Kareem Jackson, who goes by the stage name Tef Poe, has often traveled across the world to share his musical craft and to also raise awareness about how social justice issues often intertwine across borders. 

His travels will continue next week to the Middle-Eastern country of Jordan as part of Next Level, a U.S. State Department-sponsored cultural exchange program that seeks to use artistic collaboration and social engagement to enhance people-to-people diplomacy, especially among young audiences.

Jackson was named one of the U.S. cultural ambassadors, and his group will focus on teaching the components of hip-hop — rapping, DJing, beat making, break dancing, graffiti, beat box, vocal percussion — to help aspiring hip-hop artists in Jordan. 

July marks 100 years since former Missouri Governor Frederick Gardner signed a resolution ratifying the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The action in the summer of 1919 made Missouri the 11th state to formally support women's suffrage – and white women across the nation gained the right to vote a year later. 

To honor the centennial, Gov. Mike Parson recently signed a proclamation recognizing the pivotal moment in suffrage history, and Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft presented the proclamation to members of the League of Women Voters of Missouri and others earlier this week. 

When Washington University neurosurgeons Albert Kim and Eric Leuthardt aren’t teaching, researching or performing surgery, they often think of creative ways to get information about the brain and its complexities to the masses, such as co-hosting their “Brain Coffee” podcast.

Another one of their endeavors is putting together a live theater experience showcasing the wonders of the brain. “BrainWorks” dramatizes real-life neurological cases to help explain the science behind brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, brain tumors and strokes. 

The production is a collaboration between the Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Nine Network of Public Media. This year’s performances will be July 19, 20 and 21 at the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts on Webster University’s campus. 

The St. Louis Cardinals are now halfway through their season. So far, they’ve left speculators less than impressed – but they still have the chance to improve. 

On Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s executive editor Shula Neuman talked about the ongoing season and what’s ahead for the team as they go on break for the All-Star game. Joining the discussion was longtime sportswriter Rob Rains of

On Monday’s St. Louis on the AirSauce Magazine art director Meera Nagarajan and staff writer Matt Sorrell talked up some of the latest additions to the St. Louis region’s food-and-beverage community. 

The Missouri Historical Society is hosting a panel discussion next week on “the talk” – that difficult conversation parents have with their children. But what the talk is varies widely across race, gender and cultural lines. 

It goes beyond just talking to them about adolescent changes: Many black parents talk to their kids about how to navigate a racist society, daughters are often advised on what to wear, places to avoid while alone and more. 

The United States will advance to the quarterfinals of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup after a 2-1 victory Monday against Spain. Now they’re set to play the host nation of France this Friday, during a game anticipated to be the most-expensive-to-attend Women’s World Cup game ever.

In anticipation of the game, St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann delved into the Women’s World Cup and the state of women’s soccer in St. Louis on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air

Earlier this month, the Missouri Coalition for the Environment launched a campaign aimed at getting the word out about farmers who are engaging in responsible agriculture practices by ethically raising animals and growing their food.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann will delve into what the new Known & Grown project entails, as well as its broader implications for growers and consumers, with the MCE’s food and farm director Melissa Vatterott and local food coordinator Rae Miller.

Nicki Morgan, a co-founder of Hart|Beet Farms, also joined the conversation by phone while at the farm in Lincoln County Missouri. The farm joined Known and Grown in 2018.