Health, Science, Environment

Saint Louis Zoo
4:58 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Sea Lion "Bennie" Dies At Saint Louis Zoo

Bennie was one of the zoo's most popular sea lions.
Credit Roger Brandt/Saint Louis Zoo

A sea lion has died at the St. Louis Zoo.

“Bennie,” as he was known, was born at the zoo in 2002 and would have been 12 years old in June.

The 500 pound sea lion was one of the stars of the zoo’s sea lion show. But he stopped performing two weeks ago and had been under veterinary care.

The zoo says a necropsy will be performed by its pathologist, but it will take several weeks for the zoo to get the lab results needed to determine the cause of death.

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Wildlife Conservation
5:03 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Saving The Monarch's Migration: A Conversation With Ecologist Lincoln Brower

Monarch butterflies cluster on the branch of an oyamel fir tree in Mexico.
Credit Lincoln Brower

Every year, monarch butterflies undertake what seems like an impossible journey.

By the millions, they leave their summer breeding grounds in the United States and Canada to fly thousands of miles to a small area of alpine forest in central Mexico.

Ecologist Lincoln Brower has been studying monarchs for almost 60 years.

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E-Cigarettes
10:47 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

E-Cigarette Bills Pass Missouri House And Senate On Same Day

Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Senate and Missouri House have both passed bills to ban sales of electronic nicotine delivery devices to minors.

House Bill 1690 and Senate Bill 841 would both limit the sales of these devices, sometimes called e-cigarettes, to consumers 18 years old and older, and both versions would not subject the devices to  regulation or taxation as tobacco products. 

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Bridgeton Landfill
4:03 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Bridgeton Landfill Owner To Pay Almost $7 Million To Neighboring Homeowners

Republic Services, the owner of the Bridgeton landfill, has agreed to pay almost $6.9 million to about 400 homeowners who had said that the landfill’s odors had damaged their property values.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

The owner of the Bridgeton Landfill has agreed to pay almost $6.9 million to about 400 nearby homeowners who had joined a suit contending that the landfill’s odors had damaged their property values.

A federal judge in St. Louis County gave initial approval Thursday to the settlement, which could be divided up among the homeowners as soon as this fall, their lawyers said.

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New roles for paramedics
9:26 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

New Take On Emergency Care: Christian Hospital Using Paramedics To Reduce 911 Calls

Shannon Watson, community health supervisor in the EMS; and EMS Chief Chris Ceborello reviewing EMS data on recent calls for service. in front of an EMS vehicle.
Credit (Credit: Nora Ibrahim, St. Louis Public Radio Intern)

Paramedic Jaclyn Kloecker has experienced her share of tension, turmoil, rising adrenaline and blaring sirens. She's been responding to 911 calls and rushing the sick or injured to emergency rooms for 15 years. 

On a recent rainy morning, however, Kloecker wasn't responding to an emergency. Rather, she was on a calmer, quieter mission, performing medical screenings aimed at reducing the number of 911 calls that Christian Hospital’s Emergency Medical Service system handles.

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Health, Science, Environment
12:07 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Encounters With Climate Change: A Discussion With Three St. Louisans

St. Louisan Brian Ettling spends his summers as a seasonal park ranger at Crater Lake in Oregon.
courtesy photo

St. Louisan Larry Lazar used to be a climate change skeptic, but a 2006 trip to see family in Alaska changed his mind.

“One of the things you do in Alaska is tour the glaciers. And when you see the before and after pictures there, and when you talk to the park rangers and read the information about why they’re doing what they’re doing, and they’re doing it around the world, you get hit with reality,” said Lazar. “I realized then that what I’d been reading and my sources of information at that time were just wrong.”

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Science
10:55 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Blood Moon Eclipse: A View From St. Louis

The "Blood Moon" during the eclipse early in the morning of April 15, 2014.
Brent Jones / St. Louis Public Radio

Very early this morning a "Blood Moon" Eclipse was visible in the St. Louis area. Did you stay up (or get up very early) to see it?

Our Brent Jones did, and shares some of his photos from the event here with you. 

This was a total eclipse — but what about the "blood" color? The Seattle Times explains:

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Author Appearance
11:12 pm
Sun April 13, 2014

Author Brings Story Of Disney Characters Saving His Autistic Son To STL

Owen Suskind with his parents, Ron Suskind and Cornelia Kennedy
Credit Disney Publishing Worldwide

Washington, D.C. author Ron Suskind and his wife Cornelia Kennedy were devastated when 2-year-old Owen stopped talking and began walking with a drunken gait.

When, how did their son’s regression begin? “It’s like reviewing clues to a kidnapping,” Suskind writes in “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism.”

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West Lake Landfill
5:40 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

Lawsuit Alleges West Lake Landfill Radiation Has Spread Off Site

A barbed-wire fence at the West Lake Landfill is intended to keep people out of the areas containing radioactive waste. But Friday's lawsuit alleges that radioactivity has spread off site.
Credit Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

A lawsuit filed on Friday alleges that radiation from the West Lake Landfill has spread into surrounding neighborhoods, contaminating properties there.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency maintains that the public is not at risk.

Attorney Daniel Finney, Jr., filed the suit on behalf of John James, who has lived near the landfill in Bridgeton for more than 30 years.

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Public Health
10:45 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Health Departments Still Mastering The Art Of Tweeting

Health departments aren't making the best use of Twitter.
Credit (Twitter)

Public health departments are trying to reach their audiences through social media, but most have yet to learn how to "tweet" beyond the choir.

That’s the basic finding of a study out of Washington University in St. Louis that looked at how effectively local health agencies reach audiences through Twitter. Based on the study’s findings, health department tweets are more likely to connect with other health experts, educators and non-profit groups rather than ordinary consumers in need of reliable health information.

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