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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State Audit
6:30 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Audit Faults Mo. Department of Conservation For Overspending

These two bull elk were among the first to arrive at Peck Ranch in May, 2011. They were outfitted with GPS collars for tracking purposes.
Credit David Stonner/Missouri Department of Conservation

A report released on Friday by the Missouri auditor's office says the state continued to overspend on its elk restoration project, even after a 2011 audit found it was way over budget.

The current audit found the Missouri Department of Conservation spent close to $3.4 million to bring 129 elk into the state. Only an estimated 115 elk have survived.

But conservation department Deputy Director Tom Ripperger says those figures are misleading.

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Science
11:57 am
Fri December 6, 2013

This Is What It Feels Like To Be Dropped Off On An Iceberg Alone

St. Louis-based photojournalist and writer Randall Hyman prepares to jump onto an iceberg in the Barents Sea.
Credit (video capture/courtesy Randall Hyman)

Cold. Windy. Wet. Exhilarating?

St. Louis-based photojournalist and writer Randall Hyman recently got the opportunity to travel to the Norwegian Arctic on a Fulbright project documenting climate change.

During his trip, he got to do a little bit of, well, iceberg jumping:

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West Lake Landfill
5:28 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Nuclear Policy Analyst: Radioactive Waste At West Lake Landfill Must Go

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

A nuclear policy analyst is adding his voice to those of area residents, environmental advocates and local government officials who want radioactive wastes out of the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.

Robert Alvarez served as a senior policy advisor in the Department of Energy under the Clinton administration and is currently a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Lethal Injection
1:06 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Timeline: A Recent History Of Missouri's Execution Process

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

(Last updated Jan. 30, 2014)

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Lethal Injection
4:24 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Mo. Moving Forward With Executions, Despite Secrecy Over Drug Supply

(via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.

Updated 11/14/13 3:24 p.m.

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Childhood Obesity
5:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Conversation With Wash U's Debra Haire-Joshu

(Via Flickr/InspiredHomeFitness)

Obesity has increased dramatically in the United States over the past several decades.

In Missouri, almost two-thirds of adults ― and more than a quarter of children and teens ― are either overweight or obese.

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Water Quality
2:30 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Missouri Approves Sweeping Revisions Of Clean Water Standards

Missouri's new clean water standards will protect tens-of-thousands of additional miles of rivers and streams.
Kelsey Proud, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated at 5:50 p.m. with quote by Sara Parker Pauley; updated at 3:41 p.m. with quote by Lorin Crandall.

The Missouri Clean Water Commission has approved a sweeping regulatory overhaul of the state's water quality standards.

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Healthcare
6:01 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

St. Louis Safety-Net Healthcare Provider ConnectCare To Close All Services

A doctor's stethoscope
(Via Flickr/Rosemary)

The St. Louis-based safety-net healthcare provider ConnectCare will close its remaining facilities at the end of next week.

The Smiley Urgent Care Center, along with ConnectCare’s radiology, pharmacy, laboratory and preventative services will all close on Nov. 15.

The nonprofit organization, which served patients regardless of their ability to pay, had already discontinued outpatient specialty care and transportation services last month.

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Stroke Care
8:01 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Wash U Study Confirms Medication, Lifestyle Changes Safer Than Surgery For Some Stroke Patients

(via Wikimedia Commons/Blausen Medical)

Research led by Washington University confirms that medication and lifestyle changes are safer and more effective at preventing certain strokes than surgery.

Most strokes are caused by a reduction in blood flow to the brain ― usually from a blocked artery in the heart or neck. In about a tenth of cases, a narrowed brain artery is to blame.

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Lethal Injection
4:27 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Execution Drug Sources No Longer Public After Mo. Rule Change

A picture of propofol, a drug Mo. was planning to use for lethal injection. Under the state's new rule, showing who made or supplied the drug would be illegal.
Veronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Two weeks ago, Gov. Jay Nixon instructed the Missouri Department of Corrections to come up with a new procedure for carrying out lethal injections.

On Tuesday, the department announced that it had chosen a new execution drug: pentobarbital. But the state also made a change that will end up making it harder, if not impossible, to know where the drugs come from.

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