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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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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EPA / Missouri Water Quality Standards
6:15 pm
Wed August 17, 2011

EPA issues decision on Mo. water quality standards

The River Des Peres near St. Louis.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

The EPA today issued its decision on Missouri's water quality standards, approving how the state categorized 244 streams, rivers and lakes.

That decision means water bodies newly designated for high contact uses like swimming will need more protection.

Some sewage treatment plants, municipalities and others will need to start treating their wastewater discharges.

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Flu Vaccine / Children's Medicine
4:40 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

SLU study: shot-spray combination may protect best for children's first flu vaccine

Children can receive their flu vaccinations via injection, as shown, or through a nasal spray.
(via Flickr/Daniel Paquet)

A new study out of Saint Louis University suggests that a child’s first doses of flu vaccine can be given as either two shots or two nasal sprays, but that giving one shot and one nasal spray may be most protective.

Lead researcher Dr. Dan Hoft says the nasal spray – which is a live vaccine – can cause wheezing. But it’s more effective than an inactivated vaccine, which is injected.

Hoft says this initial study suggests giving children one injection and one nasal spray may provide better protection against the flu, without the respiratory side effects.

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health insurance exchange
4:38 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

Mo. gets federal grant to build online health insurance exchange

(via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

Missouri has received a federal grant of close to $21 million to help build an online health insurance exchange.

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Science
11:49 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

EPA says north St. Louis residents near Carter Carburetor plant are safe from pollutants

The Carter Carburetor plant spans an entire city block and has been vacant since 1984.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Environmental Protection Agency says testing near the old Carter Carburetor plant in north St. Louis shows offsite contamination is too low to cause health problems.

The EPA tested air, soil, and sediments in a one-block radius around the plant for PCBs, dioxins, and other industrial pollutants.

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Nitrate Pollution / Mississippi River Basin
3:09 pm
Tue August 9, 2011

Nitrate pollution in Mississippi River Basin remains at 1980s levels, despite reduction efforts

A map showing each of the sites involved in the U.S. Geological Survey's study on nitrate pollution in the Mississippi River Basin.
(Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

A new study shows that despite decades of effort to reduce nitrate pollution in the Mississippi River Basin, concentrations remain as high today as they were in the 1980s.

The U.S. Geological Survey conducted the study, which looked at nitrate levels at eight sites on the Mississippi, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio rivers.

USGS hydrologist and study lead Lori Sprague said the next step will be to figure out where the pollution is coming from.

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Gateway Arch - Emerald Ash Borer
3:12 pm
Mon August 1, 2011

Public asked to comment on proposal to replace hundreds of trees near Gateway Arch

An adult emerald ash borer.
(David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

The National Park Service is bracing for the possible loss of more than 900 trees near the Gateway Arch. That’s what could happen if the emerald ash borer makes it to the St. Louis area.

The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees since it was accidentally introduced to the U.S. in the early 1990s.

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