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.

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.

The state of Missouri is again set to fund non-traditional and urban agriculture entrepreneurs like shrimp farmers, wine producers and beekeepers. Those are some of the businesses the state’s department of agriculture has supported in the past few years through a special program.

The state is accepting applications until Oct. 26 for the next round of funding for its Urban and Non-Traditional Agriculture Matching Grant Program, which aims to spur innovation and create more jobs in Missouri’s agricultural sector.

Harley Race, the pro-wrestler from Missouri once considered among the toughest in the world, has come full circle.

Or as they might say in the pro wrestling biz, full squared circle.

'Handsome Harley,’ as he’s known, has spent the past few years back in his home state guiding the next generation of pro wrestlers. He’s shifted from world champion grappler to wizened coach by running a training academy about an hour west of St. Louis in Troy.

Over 50 McDonald’s workers and advocates rallied outside of the McDonald’s at St. Charles Rock Road and Brown Road in St. John on Tuesday as a part of a one-day national strike to protest on-the-job sexual harassment at the restaurant chain.

The national strike was first proposed by women’s groups within Fight for $15, a workers’ rights advocacy organization. It was later approved after a nationwide vote by Fight for $15 members Sept. 11.

Bob Behnken is helping NASA usher in a new era.

The astronaut, who grew up in St. Ann, has nearly 40 hours walking in the vacuum of space. Now he is part of the crew that will conduct the first human test flights for the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft.

Boeing has won a bid to produce test drones for the U.S. Navy. The $805-million deal involves four unmanned aircraft and could balloon into a $13-billion program. The Navy says most of the design and production work in the test phase will take place at Boeing’s operation in St. Louis.

U.S. Steel is facing a labor issue in Granite City just months after restarting production at the Metro East plant. The company’s current national contract with the United Steelworkers is set to expire Saturday, and workers are holding a rally Thursday to draw attention to the negotiations.

Trade experts are poring through documents related to this week's agreement between the U.S. and Mexico, but a professor at Washington University in St. Louis cautions more information is needed before a full assessment can be made. Even so, he said there are some positive signs emerging from the deal.

Bayer is gearing up for legal battles surrounding a Monsanto-developed weed killer. The German conglomerate has outlined plans to defend a key ingredient in Roundup, only days after starting to integrate the operations of the two companies.

Changes in the recycling industry are prompting advocates throughout the region to examine options for continuing curbside collection in many area communities. The effort follows a decision by a main processor to stop accepting mixed residential recyclables on Nov. 1.

The announcement by Resource Management comes as the industry adjusts to China’s move to implement higher standards for imported fiber and solid waste, like paper and plastic. U.S. companies have been shipping recovered items to the Asian country for years to be recycled.

Bellerive Country Club in Town and Country is the center of the golf world this week with the 100th PGA Championship set to begin Thursday. Organizers are expecting 80,000 people to come in for the event.

They will get to see a championship course in all its glory. Precisely mowed greens, protected by deep sandy bunkers and fairways stretching for hundreds of yards lined by trees reaching for the sky.

The person tasked with getting everything ready — and making it all look good — is Carlos Arraya.

After two decades of building, the region’s agricultural technology cluster is poised to take off. A Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit suggests it already is a global leader and a national example for other metro areas trying to establish economic growth strategies.

The expansion of a center to help launch businesses is aimed at sparking an economic rebound in a north St. Louis County community. A ribbon cutting is set for Monday at the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership business center in Wellston.

One of the most beloved members of the St. Louis Cardinals' organization was rememberd Friday as a humble man who loved baseball and his family. Albert "Red" Schoendienst has been laid to rest. The baseball Hall of Famer died June 6. He was 95.

An effort to revitalize a once-bustling section of downtown St. Louis is underway. Developers are pumping roughly $20 million into Laclede's Landing for retail, office, restaurant and residential space.

The investments follow some tough years for the area with Gateway Arch grounds construction and a down economy.

"We're done licking our wounds," said Laclede's Landing Community Improvement District President John Clark. "It was a dusty mess and there was some tragedy along the way. We lost a few businesses."

Monsanto, a company based in St. Louis for more than 100 years, is now part of Bayer.

The roughly $63-billion acquisition closed Thursday, nearly two years after the companies first announced the deal. Regulators in Canada and Mexico were among the last international watchdogs to approve the combination.

The U.S. Department of Justice signed off on it late last month after Bayer committed to shedding about $9 billion in several areas to chemical giant BASF.

That includes Bayer's Liberty-brand herbicides, which compete with Monsanto's Roundup.

Original story from 06/04/18; updated with audio from St. Louis on the Air segment on 06/06/18.

Monsanto will be under new ownership by the end of the week and have a new name likely by the end of the summer. Bayer plans to finalize its roughly $63-billion acquisition of the St. Louis agricultural seeds and chemical company on Thursday. 

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