St. Louis Public Radio's Rachel Lippmann is always where the action is, be it on the campaign trail, on the scene of a shooting or wherever citizen tempers are boiling over in public hearings around the greater St. Louis area. While her coverage of such serious matters is precise and dogged, she also had one of the best and quirkiest public-radio features of the past year: how drought conditions are affecting production at the world's only corncob-pipe factory in the town of Washington. (Spoiler alert: Corncob-pipe makers do not like droughts.) You'll often hear her during drive times reading the day's top news in a soothing but polished cadence, and to boot, Lippmann is a world-class tweeter. Can't make it to the latest public excoriation of Paul McKee? Just follow @RLippmann. The public fury flies in 140-character doses from her up-to-the-second accounts, and it's where she breaks just as much news as she does on the air.