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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Health - STDs
8:11 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

St. Louis Still Ranks Second In The U.S. For Two Common STDs

Via Flickr/meddygarnet

St. Louis continues to have some of the highest rates of two common sexually transmitted diseases in the country.

According to data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, St. Louis ranked second highest among U.S. cities for per capita rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

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Death Penalty
12:54 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Investigation: Missouri's Execution Drug Source Raises Legal, Ethical Questions

Credit (via Wikimedia Commons/California Department of Corrections)

In an investigation spanning the past few months, St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon has discovered the state of Missouri may be ignoring its own laws in carrying out the death penalty by buying execution drugs from a pharmacy not licensed to do business in Missouri.

As we’ve reported in previous months, a shortage of willing drug suppliers led Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to direct the state to adopt a controversial new execution method.

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Seasonal Flu
2:30 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

It's Back! Flu Spreads (Again) In St. Louis

You still have time to get vaccinated against the seasonal flu.
Judy Schmidt, James Gathany, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

It’s winter again in St. Louis ― and that means the start of flu season.

Dr. Faisal Khan with the St. Louis County Department of Health says he’s seen a sharp spike in the number of reported flu cases in the past couple of weeks.

He says that quick uptick is normal for this time of year, and it’s too soon to tell whether the current pattern will continue.

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Affordable Care Act
3:28 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

With Health Insurance Deadline Looming, St. Louis Sign-Ups On The Rise

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

UPDATE: 12-27-13

Even if you missed the Christmas Eve deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, you may still be able to have your coverage kick in on Jan. 1.

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Air Pollution
9:56 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Sierra Club Alleges Thousands Of Air Quality Violations At Ameren's St. Louis-Area Plants

The Sierra Club's Andy Knott speaks at a rally on Thursday in front of a 15-foot tall inflatable inhaler in Keiner Plaza.
Sarah Skiold-Hanlin, St. Louis Public Radio & The Beacon

Updated Thursday 10:15 p.m.

The Sierra Club says Ameren has been routinely violating air quality standards at its St. Louis-area power plants.

In a Notice of Intent to Sue delivered to Ameren on Wednesday afternoon, the Sierra Club alleges the company's Labadie, Meramec, and Rush Island plants have exceeded air pollution limits almost 10,000 times since 2008.

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West Lake Landfill
11:13 am
Tue December 10, 2013

More Radioactive Material Detected At West Lake Landfill

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

Updated at 1:25 p.m. to add statement from Republic Services, and at 6:00 p.m. to add comments from EPA.

More radioactive material has been found at the West Lake Landfill in Bridgeton.

The material was detected during radioactivity testing in preparation for the construction of a trench. That trench will separate radioactive waste at the West Lake Landfill from an underground fire smoldering at the adjacent Bridgeton Landfill.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing the construction of the firebreak trench.

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Science Education
5:14 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

New UMSL Undergrad Science Education Facility To Promote Interactive Learning

An artist's rendering of the new Science Learning Building, part of the University of Missouri-St. Louis Benton-Stadler science complex.
(Via University of Missouri-St. Louis)

The University of Missouri-St. Louis has begun construction on a new science teaching facility.

The four-story addition to the Benton-Stadler science complex will house laboratories, lecture halls, and a central meeting space for students and faculty.

The dean of UMSL’s College of Arts and Sciences, Ron Yasbin, says science education used to mean students going to lectures on campus, and then working through homework problems on their own, outside of class.

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Climate Change
5:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

St. Louis Photojournalist Goes Under The Ice To Document Arctic Climate Change

German diver and marine biologist, Rupert Krapp, of the Norwegian Polar Institute, pumps his fists in victory after surfacing with plankton samples from under the ice at 82 degrees North, 500 miles from the North Pole.
(© Randall Hyman)

Randall Hyman is a St. Louis-based photojournalist and writer. For more than three decades, he has traveled the globe covering cultural and environmental issues.

Hyman recently spent four months in the Norwegian Arctic on a Fulbright project documenting climate change.

He told St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra that Norwegians are already feeling the effects of global warming.

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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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