Véronique LaCapra

Veronique is a science & technology reporter for KWMU in St. Louis.

Environment
8:32 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Missouri Environmental Group Sues Over Long-Term Risks Of Nuclear Waste

Ameren's Callaway Nuclear Reactor is the only commercial nuclear power plant in Missouri.

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:46 pm

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment is one of several groups filing suit against the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to try to get the agency to address the long-term storage of nuclear waste.

That suit follows similar cases filed by the states of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Prairie Island Indian Community in Minnesota.

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NPR Story
8:11 am
Tue June 3, 2014

New Carbon Dioxide Limits Could Mean Big Changes For Coal-Powered States Like Missouri, Illinois

Coal is transported by train from Wyoming to fuel Ameren Missouri's power plants, like this one in Labadie.

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 3:19 pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The proposal sparked immediate debate over the impact, especially in states such as Missouri that depend heavily on coal.

The new regulations would reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide by 2030, compared to 2005 emissions levels.

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Government
9:34 am
Thu February 13, 2014

Political Battle Over Ozark National Park Heats Up

This photo of the Current River is from the cover of the National Park Service's draft management plan for the Ozark National Scenic Riverways.
National Park Service

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 3:41 pm

(Updated at 3:39 p.m., February 20)

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Lethal Injection
9:09 am
Thu January 2, 2014

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

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:11 pm

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.

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Government
2:29 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Missouri Moving Forward With Executions, Despite Secrecy Over Drug Supply

Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

A month ago, St. Louis Public Radio reported on the questionable manner in which the state of Missouri got ahold of its potential execution drug. Now Missouri has a new plan to go ahead with two upcoming executions, but the process is anything but open.

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Environment
8:24 am
Thu November 7, 2013

New Clean Water Rules Protect More Streams And Lakes In Missouri

Missouri's new clean water standards will protect tens-of-thousands of additional miles of rivers and streams.
Credit Kelsey Proud / St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Clean Water Commission has approved a sweeping regulatory overhaul of the state's water quality standards.

In a vote held Wednesday, the governor-appointed seven-person panel unanimously approved revised regulations that greatly expand the number of protected water bodies in the state. An additional 2,100 lakes and 90,000 miles of rivers and streams will gain protection under the law, including specific limits on bacteria and other pollutants.

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Government
4:47 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Execution Drug Sources No Longer Public After Mo. Rule Change

A picture of propofol, a drug Mo. was planning to use for lethal injection. Under the state's new rule, showing who made or supplied the drug would be illegal.
Credit Veronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Two weeks ago, Gov. Jay Nixon instructed the Missouri Department of Corrections to come up with a new procedure for carrying out lethal injections.

On Tuesday, the department announced that it had chosen a new execution drug: pentobarbitol. But the state also made a change that will end up making it harder, if not impossible, to know where the drugs come from.

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Government
8:33 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Gov. Nixon Changes Plans, Halts Execution Using Controversial Drug

Gov. Jay Nixon has halted the first lethal injection execution scheduled to use the drug propofol.
Credit Veronique Lacapra / KWMU

On Friday, Gov. Jay Nixon postponed the execution of an inmate that was set for later this month. That execution was going to be carried out using propofol, a common anesthetic that has never been used in a lethal injection before. So why the change in plans?

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Government
7:44 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Governor Nixon: Europe Won't Block Missouri Executions

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:18 pm

Governor Jay Nixon said Missouri will be moving forward with two executions later this year, in spite of objections from the American Civil Liberties Union and the European Union.

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NPR Story
7:39 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Top U.S. Health Official Says Insurance Marketplace Will Help Many ― But Not All

U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius speaks to reporters at St. Louis City Hall, while St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis City Health Director Pam Walker, and St. Louis County Health Director Delores Gunn look on (left to right).

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:35 am

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was in St. Louis on Thursday to talk about the Affordable Care Act.

Sebelius met with city and county officials and representatives of the local healthcare community in a closed-door session at St. Louis City Hall.

Speaking at a press conference after the meeting, Sebelius said as of October 1, Missourians will be able to purchase health insurance through a new online marketplace.

Sebelius said many of Missouri's 800,000 uninsured will be able to get coverage.

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Environment
5:03 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Mo. Environmental Group Sues Army Corps Over Pipeline Project

Enbridge Energy Company, Inc.

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 5:01 pm

Updated at 5:00 p.m.

A St. Louis-based environmental group has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for failing to provide information about a multi-state oil pipeline project.

The Missouri Coalition for the Environment says the Corps unlawfully withheld documents requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

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KC Currents
12:36 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

St. Louis Students Forge Their Futures In The Galapagos

Maricruz Jaramillo (standing) and Samoa Asigau wait for their ride back to the Charles Darwin Research Station after an early morning of catching birds in an agricultural area on Santa Cruz Island.
Credit Véronique La Capra / St. Louis Public Radio

Charles Darwin revolutionized science. His theory of evolution was based on careful observations of birds and other wildlife in places like the Galapagos Islands.

One thing that has been really slow to evolve is the gender mix in science. Men still dominate many scientific fields, just like they did in Darwin’s day, more than 150 years ago.

But gradually, more women are breaking in. I met up with two young women scientists in ― where else? ― the Galapagos. Here are their stories.

Maricruz Jaramillo fulfills a dream

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Environment
9:34 am
Tue June 4, 2013

St. Louis Zoo Continues Efforts To Restore Endangered Beetle

American burying beetles eat carrion. When they are ready to mate, they find a small dead animal and bury it in an underground nest to feed their young.
Dan Kirk St. Louis Zoo

For a second year, the St. Louis Zoo is continuing efforts to bring back an endangered beetle to southwestern Missouri.

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Health
9:56 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Hospital Prices Vary Widely In Kansas City

For the first time, the federal government has released the prices that hospitals for the 100 most common inpatient procedures.  The prices for a given procedure can vary by tens of thousands of dollars.

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Environment
8:09 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Efforts To Restore Missouri Elk Herd Succeeding

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.
David Stonner Missouri Department of Conservation

Efforts to reestablish an elk population in southeastern Missouri are now in their third year, and the Missouri Department of Conservation considers the project a success.

There are close to 70 elk now living in parts of Carter, Shannon and Reynolds counties, with another 50 arriving in May.

A number of calves have been born at Peck Ranch, including this 2011 newborn.

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Health
10:08 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Missouri Gets Better Grade On Preterm Births

The March of Dimes has released its annual state rankings of premature birth rates, giving Missouri a grade of "C" for the second year in a row.

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Health
11:26 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Health Insurance Rebates En Route To Area Residents

Kristin/beautyredefined Flickr

About 590,000 Missourians and 67,000 Kansans are slated to get money back from their health insurance companies this month.

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Weather
9:56 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Transit Of Venus: A Once In A Lifetime Event

Venus Transit image, the striations of lines were caused by cloud cover.
Sylvie Beland NASA

A rare astronomical event will be visible over the skies of Kansas City at 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, June 5—the transit of Venus.  That’s when Venus, from our viewpoint, will pass across the sun.

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Health
10:22 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Lung Association Report Card: Missouri's Smoking Policies Fail To Protect

A new report by the American Lung Association puts Missouri near the bottom of the list when it comes to state tobacco control policies.

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Food Business
5:55 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Missouri Food Prices Surpass National Average

If you've noticed your grocery bill has gotten higher lately, you're not imagining things. Food prices in Missouri rose in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Missouri Farm Bureau's year-end Marketbasket survey.

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