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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Air pollution - ozone
3:50 pm
Thu September 22, 2011

Report ranks St. Louis 10th smoggiest U.S. city

A September 2011 Environment Missouri report on smog pollution ranks St. Louis air quality among the worst in the nation.

A new report released today by the advocacy group Environment Missouri ranks St. Louis as the 10th smoggiest metropolitan area in the country.

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Metro East - Pollution
5:28 pm
Tue September 13, 2011

Metro East: demolition of former Chemetco copper smelter moves forward

Removing one of the large manifolds from the roof of the foundry building at the former Chemetco secondary copper smelter.
(Photo courtesy of Illinois EPA)

Demolition of the former Chemetco copper smelter took another step forward on Tuesday. The demolition is the start of a long clean-up process for the hazardous Metro East eyesore.

The Illinois EPA is overseeing the dismantling of the smelter buildings, which began last year.

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Sept. 11: a decade later
8:50 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Missouri World Trade Center responders still at risk for health problems

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, more than 50,000 rescue and recovery workers converged at the World Trade Center. Among them were the 62 members of Missouri’s FEMA Urban Search and Rescue task force.

The experience at ground zero made many workers sick, with health problems ranging from asthma to post-traumatic stress disorder.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra has this report about how the members of Missouri’s rescue team are doing.

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Sept. 11: a decade later
6:35 am
Tue September 6, 2011

Wash U: research against bioterrorism progressing, ten years after 9/11

U.S. Navy personnel take samples from a mock anthrax pile during a Chemical, Biological, Radiological (CBR) decontamination drill aboard an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf in 2007.
(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kyle Steckler)

Soon after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, letters laced with anthrax started appearing in the U.S. mail, killing five people and sickening 17 others.

The incidents triggered a surge in research dedicated to preventing future bioterrorism attacks.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra spoke with Washington University virologist David Wang about his research on emerging infectious diseases, and how his work is helping to combat bioterrorism.

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Immunization / Children's Health
3:46 pm
Thu September 1, 2011

Mo. jumps 11 spots in toddler immunization rankings

(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

Missouri is doing a better job of getting toddlers vaccinated for childhood diseases.

Results of the CDC’s National Immunization Survey show Missouri rose from last in the rankings in 2009 up to 39th last year.

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Health - lead paint
11:02 am
Wed August 31, 2011

Washington University cited for lead paint violation

(Image courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency)

The Environmental Protection Agency is fining Washington University for failing to tell tenants about lead paint hazards in some of its married student housing units. The violation will cost the university close to $28,000.

The civil settlement involves three rental apartments northeast of Washington University’s Danforth campus.

The consent agreement says that between 2008 and 2010, the university failed to tell student tenants about previous citations for lead paint violations from the City of St. Louis Health Department.

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MICDS
12:14 pm
Tue August 30, 2011

MICDS gets $21.5 million gift

Olson Hall on the Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School campus in Ladue, Mo.
(Courtesy Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School)

A St. Louis County private school has received a $21.5 million donation from the James S. McDonnell family.

Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School, or MICDS, will use the money to build a new, 52,000 square-foot science and math facility.

MICDS head of school, Lisa Lyle, says the goal is to involve students in the process of scientific research.

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Missouri Foundation for Health
3:49 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

Missouri Foundation for Health names new top executive

Robert Hughes, new president and CEO of the Missouri Foundation for Health.
(Courtesy the Missouri Foundation for Health)

The Missouri Foundation for Health has named a new president and CEO.

Robert Hughes will assume his new post on Nov. 1, taking over from founding president James Kimmey who is retiring at the end of this year.

Hughes is an Illinois native but has spent the past 20 years in New Jersey. There, he worked for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the largest health philanthropy in the U.S.

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North St. Louis - riverfront development
5:00 am
Mon August 22, 2011

Public meeting to discuss north St. Louis riverfront development

Map of the North Riverfront Business Corridor. Exhibit 1, locater map, from the St. Louis Development Corporation's (SLDC) “Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for Consultants for the Port/North Riverfront Land-Use Study."
(SLDC RFQ, July 9, 2010)

The St. Louis Development Corporation is holding a public meeting on Tuesday afternoon to discuss plans to develop the north St. Louis riverfront.

The engineering firm HNTB has been studying the 3,000-acre area for the city, to figure out what’s needed to turn it into a freight transportation hub. The city also wants to attract new businesses and jobs.

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Ameren Coal Ash Landfill Debate
4:46 pm
Thu August 18, 2011

Conversations on coal ash: Labadie, Mo. debates Ameren landfill

Ameren's plant near Labadie, Mo. sits in the Missouri River bottoms. Some area residents are opposed to the company's plan to build a 400-acre landfill next to the plant in order to store leftover coal ash.
(Veronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio)

Labadie, Mo. is a town about 35 miles from St. Louis that might be described as “quaint” and “quiet.” But for the past two years, a controversy between some town residents and Ameren Missouri, an electric company that has a power plant situated in the Missouri River bottoms near Labadie, has sparked a lively local discourse. It concerns the ash that’s leftover from burning coal at the plant. Johanna Mayer has this report.

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