Wayne Pratt | KBIA

Wayne Pratt

Wayne Pratt is a veteran journalist who has made stops at radio stations, wire services and websites throughout North America. He comes to St. Louis Public Radio from Indianapolis, where he was assistant managing editor at Inside Indiana Business. Wayne also launched a local news operation at NPR member station WBAA in West Lafayette, Indiana, and spent time as a correspondent for a network of more than 800 stations. His career has included positions in Sydney, Nova Scotia, Toronto, Ontario and Phoenix, Arizona. Wayne grew up near Ottawa, Ontario and moved to the United States in the mid-90s on a dare. Soon after, he met his wife and has been in the U.S. ever since.

Plenty of people from the region and around the country are jumping on the St. Louis Blues' bandwagon during this year’s impressive playoff run. But an 87-year-old diehard from Chesterfield has been a huge fan since the beginning. John Oefelein has purchased season tickets every year of the team’s existence.

A nearly five-decade wait for hockey fans throughout the St. Louis region ends Monday. The Blues will return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1970.

They will be in Boston to take on the Bruins, the same team that knocked out the Blues the last time they made it this far.

Author Dan O’Neill’s connection to the National Hockey League team goes way back. He was working as a busboy in the old arena club during that 1970 final and was in the building earlier this month when the Blues clinched a spot in this year’s final playoff round.

A high-profile development in University City is back on track.

A new deal for a project at Olive Boulevard and I-170 between the city and Novus Development will be presented next week to the city council.

A previous deal between the two fell apart this year after a consulting firm made a mistake about how much revenue the city would receive through a special taxing district. The latest deal was reached after months of negotiations and calls for a $70.5 million tax increment financing district to support the project.

St. Louis Community College is suing one of its workers over allegations of financial mismanagement. The filing alleges the employee diverted more than $5 million in state worker-training money over roughly a decade.

"It was money that was intended to help people to advance in their careers and help employers with their existing employees," said the college’s chancellor, Jeff Pittman. He added, "It's frustrating and discouraging to believe that anybody would take advantage of a situation like this."

The owner of the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum in St. Louis wants to rebuild following last month's fire that heavily damaged its home near the Compton Hill Reservoir Park.

Updated April 19 with MLS expansion plan details — The potential owners of a St. Louis Major League Soccer team are closer to reaching their goal. League Commissioner Don Garber says St. Louis and Sacramento will be asked to make another formal presentation to the league's expansion committee.

The announcement came Thursday after an owners’ meeting in Los Angeles. The league says it will expand by two teams. For months, it was looking to add only one franchise.

A St. Louis Public Radio founder and longtime University of Missouri-St. Louis administrator has died.

Donald Driemeier identified the need for a public radio station for the region in 1971. St. Louis Public Radio signed on about a year later, under its call letters K-W-M-U. He wrote the construction permit for the station, which was based on UMSL’s campus for years.

A Missouri nail maker has started to bring back workers now that it does not have to pay a 25% tariff on imported raw material from Mexico. Federal trade officials have granted an exemption on nearly all the foreign steel used by Mid Continent Steel & Wire in Poplar Bluff.

Dr. Janet Kavandi has orbited the earth more than 500 times yet admits she’s a little nervous about being inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The Missouri native said that’s because she has to give a speech.

“I don’t usually get nervous about talking to any particular group of people, except for my peers,” she said.

Updated 3:45 p.m., April 2 with the City of St. Louis reissuing building permits for Northside Regeneration's planned urgent care facility — The GreenLeaf Market at the intersection of North Tucker Boulevard and North 13th Street will open this month.

It is the first project developer Paul McKee has completed in has massive Northside Regeneration plan after more than a decade.

The market will open April 13. Across the street, the ZOOM convenience store and gas station opened in October. The two buildings mark a total investment of more than $20 million and the creation of 72 jobs in north St. Louis.

Inspectors are going through the rubble of a historic-document museum in St. Louis trying to find the cause of a fire that heavily damaged the building. The former church in south city has been home to the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum since 2015.

“As far as the actual exhibits, we saved those,” said museum director Kerry Manderbach.

A grassroots effort is underway to build up the St. Louis region and then expand that unified message of pride to other areas of the country. A key goal is to make the area more competitive when it comes to attracting jobs, students and keeping people here after they graduate.

A legendary St. Louis broadcaster with strong ties to St. Louis Public Radio has died.

Meteorologist Ben Abell started providing forecasts when the station went on the air in 1972. He spent years broadcasting weather reports as a volunteer while also serving as a professor of meteorology at St. Louis University.

A rare find by a Missouri Historical Society archivist is proving to be a valuable link to a chapter of St. Louis’ baseball history from nearly a century ago. It’s the only known image of Stars Park, a baseball stadium that was home to a Negro National League team in St. Louis.

Many federal workers in the St. Louis region are dipping into their savings and cutting spending as they cope with uncertainty from the partial government shutdown.

That includes air traffic controllers at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

“We’re toughing it out,” said Allison Schwaegel, who heads the local chapter of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association.

A small community in west St. Louis County has just completed the first part of a project to help preserve its history.

Crystal Lake Park, which borders Frontenac, Town and Country and Des Peres, secured a grant from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Local Records Preservation Program to digitize more than 2,000 documents, dating back roughly 50 years.

The pending headquarters move by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is not a surprise to a retired reporter who spent more than three decades at the paper.

Tim O’Neil points out that it’s part of a trend of big-city papers moving into smaller spaces.

“The Kansas City Star sold its building. The L.A. Times, of all people, sold its building,” he said.

The Post-Dispatch is following those publications in announcing plans to move into a smaller space on North 10th Street after calling the building on North Tucker Avenue home for nearly six decades.

City Museum in downtown St. Louis is under new ownership. Premier Parks, which owns several water and theme parks throughout the country, has announced a deal for the unique attraction.

An early stage venture fund in downtown St. Louis is continuing to go global.

SixThirty, which launched in 2013 and invests in up to 12 startups a year, will formally announce this month that it’s opening a European office. It will be followed by a similar announcement in another part of the world.

An effort to better educate people about the accomplishments of an American labor activist and union organizer includes plans to set up exhibits in St. Louis and Chicago.

For her fans in St. Louis, it was a tragedy that Kennedy Holmes did not win "The Voice" last week. But for the 14-year-old singer, she said she feels like she still won big.

After all, Holmes got to learn from the best, including Mariah Carey, Kelly Rowland, Blake Shelton and Jennifer Hudson, who was her coach for the nationally televised singing competition.

Leaders of the newly combined Cigna and Express Scripts are touting the company’s commitment to the St. Louis region.

“We're going to grow here,” said Tim Wentworth, president of the new Express Scripts and Cigna Service. He had been the chief executive officer of Express Scripts.

The Connecticut health insurer’s multi-billion-dollar acquisition of the pharmacy benefits manager closed Thursday.

The latest in a long line of military ships called the USS St. Louis goes into service Saturday.

A christening will be held at a shipyard in Wisconsin to launch the ship, which will be able to operate closer to the shore than other military vessels, as well as in the open ocean.

Fabiano Caruana is the first American to play in the World Chess Championship match since Bobby Fischer back in 1972.

If he wins against defending champion Magnus Carlsen of Norway this week, it won’t just be a big deal for the U.S.; it could cement St. Louis as a center for chess.

A global online company will start collecting two taxes in St. Louis next month.

Vacation rental website Airbnb and the city have reached a deal involving the Convention and Sports Tax and the Tourism Tax. The company will automatically collect the taxes and transfer that money to St. Louis officials.

The biggest chess showdown on the planet is generating a lot of interest in St. Louis, even though the games are being played half-a-world away.

St. Louis resident Fabiano Caruana is challenging defending champion Magnus Carlsen in the world championship match. The event started Friday and the two will play at least 12 games through Nov. 28.

“It’s really a big deal,” Tony Rich, St. Louis Chess Club executive director, said. “This is the first time an American has played for the undisputed world championship title in the past 40 years.”

Ralph Goldsticker doesn't consider himself a hero.

The 97-year-old World War II veteran says he was just a guy was doing his job like everyone else at the height of the war in 1944.

But his story, which he continues to share as Veterans' Day approaches, is the stuff of which heroes are made.

The Creve Coeur resident was flying bombing missions over Europe when he was 22. Goldsticker was the bombardier in a B-17 bomber. That's the person who sat in the plexiglass bubble in the nose of the plane, to get the best view of the targets.

An area nonprofit and a prominent private investment firm are launching a partnership to boost the startup climate in St. Louis.

A new pitch competition — think of the TV show ‘Shark Tank’ with a strong St. Louis flavor — will have early stage companies battling for an investment of up to $1 million from the Chaifetz Group.

Another area school district is about to open an on-campus health center. Riverview Gardens High School's clinic will be available to 1,200 students this month.

It’s part of a trend to bring health care access to students with the aim of improving academic performance.

The Coffee Cartel will close Tuesday after 22 years in the Central West End.

After a 36 percent drop in sales over the past two years, owner Dennis Gorg said Monday it wasn’t feasible for the business to stay open.

“There are a lot of small businesses in St. Louis and what a proud community we have to have such great small businesses, but you gotta get out and support them,” Gorg said.

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