Véronique LaCapra

Science Reporter

Science reporter Véronique LaCapra first caught the radio bug writing commentaries for NPR affiliate WAMU in Washington, D.C. After producing her first audio documentaries at the Duke Center for Documentary Studies in N.C., she was hooked! She has done ecological research in the Brazilian Pantanal; regulated pesticides for the Environmental Protection Agency in Arlington, Va.; been a freelance writer and volunteer in South Africa; and contributed radio features to the Voice of America in Washington, D.C. She earned a Ph.D. in ecosystem ecology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a B.A. in environmental policy and biology from Cornell. LaCapra grew up in Cambridge, Mass., and in her mother’s home town of Auxerre, France.

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Ameren - Coal Ash
3:01 pm
Tue April 8, 2014

Meeting Tuesday To Take Public Input On Ameren Coal Ash Landfill

The approximate locations of drinking water wells in Franklin County (shown in red). This map was created for the Labadie Environmental Organization based on Missouri Department of Natural Resources well location data.
Credit Image courtesy of the Labadie Environmental Organization

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is hosting a meeting on Tuesday to get public input on Ameren's plans to build a coal ash landfill next to its power plant in Franklin County.

The meeting will focus on whether the agency should grant Ameren a landfill construction permit.

Ameren Missouri's Vice President of External Affairs and Communications, Warren Wood, said the new coal ash landfill will be state-of-the-art.

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Bridgeton And West Lake Landfills
8:32 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

EPA Analysis: Neighbors Could Be At Risk If Landfill Fire Reaches Radioactive Waste In Bridgeton

This radiation warning sign is posted on the perimeter fence of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
Credit (Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio)

A new analysis by scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency suggests there could be risks to area residents if an underground fire were to reach radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill.

An underground fire has been smoldering at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill for more than three years and is now about 900 to 1,000 feet from the radioactive material.

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Affordable Care Act
9:02 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Illinois Expanded Its Medicaid Program. Missouri Didn’t. How Are Those Choices Working Out?

In his hospital room at Touchette Regional Hospital in Centerville, patient Steven Glispie finishes signing the paperwork to enroll in Medicaid.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.

Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.

But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.

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Affordable Care Act
11:11 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Obama Administration Will Allow More Time For Health Insurance Sign-Ups

Credit Flickr Creative Commons Users/Compiled By Kelsey Proud, St. Louis Public Radio

The Obama administration says it will give people more time to sign up for health insurance through the federal online marketplace.

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Bridgeton, West Lake Landfills
10:22 am
Fri March 21, 2014

EPA To Contract With Army Corps To Build Fire Break At Bridgeton Landfill

This radiation warning sign is posted on the perimeter fence of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
Credit Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says it is contracting with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to build a fire break to keep an underground fire from reaching radioactive waste at the landfill complex in Bridgeton.

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Bridgeton Landfill
6:50 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Radioactive Waste Detected Closer To The Bridgeton Landfill Fire

This radiation warning sign is posted on the perimeter fence of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton, Mo.
Credit Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated on 3/20/14 to add a statement from landfill owner Bridgeton Landfill, LLC, a subsidiary of Republic Services.

Preliminary tests by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have found radioactive waste closer to the underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill than previously thought.

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Cahokia Mounds
5:28 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Meeting Wednesday Seeks To Build Support For Designating Cahokia As A National Park

Rising 100 feet above the ground, Monks Mound is the tallest of the 80 or so mounds remaining at the Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Illinois. Around 900 years ago, it was a carefully maintained earthen pyramid, supporting a large wooden temple.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A public meeting will be held Wednesday night at Cahokia Mounds to talk about an initiative to turn the State Historic Site into a National Historical Park.

Ed Weilbacher is with the HeartLands Conservancy, the group behind the initiative.

He said most people are surprised Cahokia isn’t a National Park already.

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Reproductive Health
2:46 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Study: For Women, Free Birth Control Doesn't Lead To Risky Sex

IUDs and implants are 20 times more effective at preventing pregnancy than short-term birth control options like the pill, patch, or vaginal ring (pictured).
Credit Via Wikimedia Commons/Victor byckttor

New research out of Washington University has found that giving women free birth control does not increase risky sexual behavior.

The analysis included 7,751 St. Louis-area women between the ages of 14 and 45.

It was part of an even larger effort called the Contraceptive CHOICE Project, whose goal is to promote the use of long-term contraceptive methods like intrauterine devices (IUDs) or implants.

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Bridgeton and West Lake Landfills
7:22 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Congressional Delegation Asks EPA To Let Army Corps Take Over At West Lake

A map of the West Lake Landfill from above.
Environmental Protection Agency report p.8

Members of Missouri's congressional delegation have issued a letter strongly urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to turn over responsibility for the clean-up of radioactive material at the West Lake Landfill to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill as well as Representatives William Lacy Clay and Ann Wagner signed the Feb. 28 letter addressed to EPA Regional Administrator Karl Brooks.

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Medical Ethics - Genetics
2:17 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Whole Genome Sequencing Is Here To Stay. What Does That Mean For Genetic Privacy?

Adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine (abbreviated ATCG) are the four nucleotide bases that make up DNA.
Credit Jane Ades, NHGRI

Originally published on Wednesday, February 26, 2014. Updated to include audio from St. Louis on the Air.

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