Health, Science, Environment

Health Care Economy
10:06 pm
Sun December 15, 2013

Getting Ahead By Starting Over: Training To Be A Medical Assistant

Hollee Brooks aims to improve her life and the life of her children.
Credit Robert Joiner/St. Louis Public Radio and The Beacon

Following years of dead-end jobs in the fast-food industry, Hollee Brooks decided to trade her restaurant uniform for scrubs, and train to become a medical technician. If she makes it through nine months of training and gets state certification and some experience, she'll earn considerably higher wages and enjoy employment benefits that usually elude those who flip hamburgers for a living. 

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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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St. Louis on the Air
4:30 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

Heart Health: When Should Medicine Be Prescribed To Lower Cholesterol?

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The FDA's proposed ban on trans fats and new heart disease prevention guidelines jointly released by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have stirred up debate over best practices to improve heart health.

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St. Louis Zoo
3:42 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

It's A Bird! Saint Louis Zoo Welcomes Its Newest Addition

The Saint Louis Zoo's 17 day old Tawny Frogmouth gives a big smile for the camera!
(Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated Nov. 27 at 10:40 a.m. to correct two photo captions.

There’s a bird to be thankful for in St. Louis, but we’re not talking about turkey.

On Nov. 2, the Saint Louis Zoo welcomed yet another adorable addition, a fluffy Tawny Frogmouth chick.  Born to first-time parents, zoo keepers are taking extra precautions to ensure the chick develops properly.  

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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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