Conservation - Endangered Species
2:38 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

MOBOT scientists help rediscover two tree species thought to be extinct

The fruit and seeds of Erythrina schliebenii, a highly endangered East African coral tree.
(Frank Mbago/Missouri Botanical Garden)

Scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden have confirmed the discovery of two tree species that were thought to be extinct.

Last year botanists from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania set out to look for the trees. They discovered small populations of both species in a remote forest in southeastern Tanzania, along Africa’s eastern coast.

Missouri Botanical Garden botanist Roy Gereau worked with British scientist Phil Clarke to confirm the identity of the trees.

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Speeding
12:40 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Lead foot? Ill. may get tougher on excessive speeding

(via Flickr/Viernest)

Illinois may get tougher on drivers who don't just break the speed limit but shatter it.

The state Senate voted Friday to deny the option of court supervision when drivers break the limit by certain amounts: over 25 mph on city streets and over 30 mph on highways.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Feds to decide on banning BPA from food and other products

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Environmental groups say a ban would protect consumers from the health effects of BPA that leaches from products including some soup cans.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:26 pm

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied a call to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. The action comes after government scientists found little reason to think people are being harmed by the chemical.

The FDA was responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called for the ban on BPA, also known as bisphenol A, from any use where it comes in contact with food.

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Jon Hamilton is a correspondent for NPR's Science Desk. Currently he focuses on neuroscience, health risks, and extreme weather.

Following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Hamilton was part of NPR's team of science reporters and editors who went to Japan to cover the crisis at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Hamilton contributed several pieces to the Science Desk series "The Human Edge," which looked at what makes people the most versatile and powerful species on Earth. His reporting explained how humans use stories, how the highly evolved human brain is made from primitive parts, and what autism reveals about humans social brains.

The Two-Way
9:51 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania: What if you win? Then what do you do?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:27 am

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)

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Morning round-up
9:37 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, March 30, 2012

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers breached the levee at Birds Point as part of the activation of the floodway May 2, 2011.
(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Army Corps. seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed on behalf of southeast Mo. farmers

More than 140 southeast Missouri farmers are seeking damage caused by last year's intentional breach of the Birds Point levee at the height of spring flooding.

The Southeast Missourian reports that government attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled to begin April 10 in Washington.

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Film/Spanish Lake
6:25 am
Fri March 30, 2012

New documentary asks 'What happened to Spanish Lake?'

(via YouTube screen capture)

Filmmaker Phillip Andrew Morton returned to the north St. Louis County community of Spanish Lake in 2007 to find his boyhood home abandoned and his elementary school empty.

He decided to make a documentary to explore what had happened to his hometown, including the underlying causes of “white flight” from the area.

Called simply “Spanish Lake," the documentary is expected to be released this summer.

A sneak peak of the film will be shown at the Open/Closed and Shuttered Flim Fest in April.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Maria Altman spoke with Morton and we have a summary of their conversation - and a trailer of the film - for you here.

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Medical conscience bill
7:25 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Mo. House passes medical conscience bill

Mo. Capitol
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri House has passed legislation that would exempt doctors and other health care workers from being forced to perform medical procedures that violate their religious beliefs.

The bill re-ignited intense debate over women’s reproductive rights.  State Rep. Margo McNeil (D, Hazelwood) argued that allowing health professionals to opt out of performing certain procedures could result in a public health threat.

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Charter Schools
4:28 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Mo. Baptist University to relinquish sponsorship of St. Louis charter schools

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education says Missouri Baptist University will relinquish its sponsorship of four charter school systems in St. Louis.

The university’s sponsorship included six schools with the Imagine Academies that had come under fire for poor student performance and deficit spending.

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MISSISSIPPI RIVER BRIDGE
3:44 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Search to continue for missing Mississippi River Bridge worker

A view of the Mississippi River Bridge construction area from a time-lapse camera taken at 2:32 p.m. today.
(Missouri Department of Transportation website)

Updated at 9 am to correct the name of the worker.

Updated at 11:45 p.m.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that divers have recovered the body of the carpenter, who East St. Louis police identified to the paper as Aaron Andy Gammon. The paper says Gammon was still tethered to the aerial lift that plunged into the water on Wednesday.

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