Health, Science, Environment

Coal Ash
4:54 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Labadie Residents Win One Legal Challenge Against Ameren's Coal Ash Landfill ― And File Another

Franklin County residents hold up signs to show their opposition to Ameren's landfill plans at a meeting of the county commission in 2011, just before the commission voted to change its zoning regulations to allow coal ash landfills.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Updated 7/25/14 with information on a new lawsuit.

The Labadie Environmental Organization (LEO) has filed another lawsuit in their long-running campaign to prevent Ameren from building a coal ash landfill in Franklin County.

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Health Care Workforce
11:05 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

The Number Of Health Care Workers With Low Education Levels Is Rising ― But Their Wages Aren't

In St. Louis, about a third of health care workers with less than a bachelor's degree were in households making less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or $44,700 for a family of four in 2011.
Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program

About half of the health care workers in the St. Louis area have less than a bachelor's degree.

The number of health care workers with lower levels of education is on the rise here but for the most part, their salaries are not.

That puts the St. Louis region in line with the national trend, according to a new report released on Thursday by the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program.

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Affordable Care Act
12:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Differing Court Rulings On Obamacare Mean One Thing: Nothing Changes For Now

Will people from Missouri and Illinois who bought health insurance on the federal exchange lose their subsidies?
Credit (via Flickr/Jennifer Boriss)

On Tuesday, two federal appeals courts issued conflicting decisions that could have major ramifications for the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The controversy hinges on whether people in the 36 states that opted NOT to set up their own health insurance exchanges can qualify for subsidies (really, tax credits) on their health insurance premiums. Missouri and Illinois are among those 36 that don't have state-run exchanges.

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St. Louis on the Air
4:27 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Should Marijuana Be Legal In Missouri, For Medical Or Recreational Use?

Credit (via Flickr/peter.a photography)

Should marijuana be legalized? More than 50 percent of Americans think it should, according to a 2013 Gallup poll, but the issue is far from settled.  

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Prescription Drugs
3:58 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Missouri And Prescription Drug Databases: Considerations For The Curious

Credit (via Flickr/e-MagineArt.com)

Drugs, privacy, prison. Those three things are linked to the debate over prescription drug databases -- and Missouri is the only state in the U.S. without one.

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NASA Space Program
2:29 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Forty-Five Years Ago, We First Landed On The Moon: Meet The Man In Charge In Mission Control

NASA flight director Eugene F. Kranz at his console in Mission Control in Houston on May 30, 1965, during a Gemini-Titan IV simulation to prepare for the four-day, 62-orbit flight.
Credit NASA

Forty-five years ago this Sunday, Apollo 11 became the first space flight to land men on the moon.

At Mission Control in Houston, Gene Kranz was the man in charge.

Kranz spent more than three decades working for the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, serving as flight director for both the Gemini and Apollo space programs.

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Mississippi River Flooding
4:43 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Rising River Threatens Areas North Of St. Louis

Flooding near Clarksville in 2008
Credit St. Louis Beacon file photo

The National Weather Service is forecasting major flooding along stretches of the Mississippi River north of St. Louis early next week. A map on its site is regularly updated with river stages.

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Bridgeton Landfill
9:09 am
Thu July 3, 2014

State Concerned About Potential For Surface Fire At Bridgeton Landfill

In this diagram of landfill infrastructure, temperature monitoring probes (TMPs), gas interceptor wells (GIWs), and gas extraction wells (GEWs) are all labeled by number.
Credit Map provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources

Updated 7/3/14 with a link to the state's finalized Incident Management Plan for the Bridgeton Landfill.

State agency officials are concerned that the underground fire at the Bridgeton Landfill could break through to the surface.

That scenario was raised in a recent memo by landfill fire expert Todd Thalhamer, who has been consulting for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

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Coal Ash
7:42 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Missouri Public Service Commission Gives The Go-Ahead To Ameren's Coal Ash Landfill Plans

This diagram shows the design of Ameren's proposed 167-acre coal ash landfill in Labadie.
Credit Image courtesy of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources

The Missouri Public Service Commission has signed off on Ameren Missouri's plan to build a coal ash landfill at its power plant in Franklin County.

The five member commission unanimously granted the utility company’s request for a Certificate of Convenience and Necessity on Wednesday. That certificate gives Ameren the ability to expand the area of its Labadie power plant to build the new landfill.

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Missouri Botanical Garden
2:01 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Stopping To Smell A Corpse (Flower) At The Botanical Garden

Izzy, the Titan Arum, or "corpse flower" bloomed Monday night at the Missouri Botanical Garden. People from all over the region came to see it and smell its nasty odor.
Credit Alan Greenblatt

You still have a few hours left to smell the corpse flower.

The Titan Arum, an Aroid plant from Sumatra, is currently in bloom at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It flowers rarely, but when it does, its strong odor definitely carries.

“It smells like rotting flesh,” said Andrew Wyatt, the Garden's vice president of horticulture. “It spreads the foul smell over many miles because it’s trying to attract pollinators from another plant several miles away.”

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