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Conservation experts aren't sure why, but it seems the yellow jacket population is bigger than usual in the St. Louis area this year.
Mike Arduser of the Missouri Department of Conservation told Fox 2 News that the number of calls they've gotten regarding yellow jackets has doubled since last year. "Yellow jackets are always present and always abundant this time of year, because their colony cycle peaks right about now," he says.
And that can be a problem when the flying, stinging insects nest too close to humans. Consumers can buy products to kill the pests themselves, but for large nests, it may be best to call in a professional.
Dr. Anthony Scalzo with the Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center told Fox 2 that too many wasp stings can be dangerous. Dr. Scalzo says even people who are not allergic can die from too many stings. "In a toddler, maybe greater than five stings per couple of pounds of body weight" can be fatal, he says. "In an adult it could be, technically, as few as 30-50 stings from a wasp."
That's one reason Arduser says wasp and yellow jacket nests should be left alone if the insects aren't bothering anyone. "They're part of the landscape now," he says. "You just have to sort of learn to live with them like mosquitoes or horseflies or something else. They'll be gone soon, as soon as it gets cold.
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is scheduled to give a deposition Thursday in the sex abuse case involving Father Joseph Jiang.
Father Jiang has been charged with child endangerment for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old Lincoln County girl. He also faces witness tampering charges. Father Jiang has pleaded not guilty.
A spokesperson for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says this is the first time a high ranking Catholic official in St. Louis will give a deposition in a criminal child sex abuse case.
Part time employees at one of the metro area's biggest healthcare providers may soon lose their health insurance.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that BJC Healthcare is preparing to cut health insurance benefits for employees who work less than 24 hours each week.
The paper cites two part time nurses as saying that managers and Human Resources representatives recently began informing certain employees of the plan. Hospital official declined to comment on any planned changes, but did tell the paper that they are in the process of sharing their 2014 benefits plan with employees.
The change of policy could affect thousands of workers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Christian Hospital and other BJC hospitals, outpatient centers and clinics.