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Education
5:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

School Counselor, Librarian Mandates to Stand

The state's top school board has dropped plans to do away with requirements for counselors and librarians at public schools.

The Dept. of Education had recommended the change as part of a continuing push to give more flexibility to local administrators. The reversal came as a surprise to the dozens of critics who flocked to the BESE meeting to voice impassioned opposition Tuesday.

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Business
5:44 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Grocers Absent from BR's Scotlandville Neighborhood

Research compiled by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center shows the extent of food deserts in Baton Rouge. The Scotlandville community is located at the top with zip code 70807.
Credit Katy Drazba, MPH & Stephanie Broyles, PhD; Pennington Biomedical

For over 30 years, Scotlandville hasn’t been able to attract a grocery store.

Mayor Kip Holden has tasked the new Food Access Policy Commission with figuring out how to get grocers interested in investing in the community again.

Wednesday, the commission is looking over feedback recently collected from grocers about the worries that have kept them away.

With nearly 26,000 residents living in poverty without access to fresh food within a one-mile radius, Scotlandville is the largest food desert in Baton Rouge. 


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Smart Growth
12:53 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

NOLA Adjudicated Property Redemption Window Could Become State-Wide

A bill to shorten the time frame from three years to 18 months for owners of adjudicated properties to pay unpaid taxes has advanced in the house.


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The Jim Engster Show
12:52 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

WEDNESDAY: Civil Rights Activist Dorothy Cotton, Legalizing Marijuana

Dr. Beau Kilmer, with the RAND Drug Policy Research Center, with what everyone needs to know about legalizing marijuana.

Jim talks with civil rights activist Dr. Dorothy Cotton, who was a contemporary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


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Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
1:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

De-Institutionalizing Louisiana, Part Two: Demand vs. Expansion

The chapel at St. Mary's Residential Training School in Boyce, La.
Credit St. Mary's Residential Training School

In Boyce, La., St. Mary’s Residential Training School offers both residential care and educational services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

This concludes our two-part series on the state’s goal to wind down the number of individuals living in places like St. Mary’s.


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Culture
6:36 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Postcard from Baton Rouge Blues Fest

Henry Gray, the blues pianist, at work, April 13, 2013.
Amy Jeffries WRKF

The Memphis Blues, the Chicago Blues, the Mississippi Delta Blues have all had their fair share of the spotlight. But what about the Baton Rouge Blues?  -- the Swamp Blues? 

This weekend the Baton Rouge Blues Foundation hosted its annual festival downtown to celebrate the music of our city.


Medicaid
1:04 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Bill to Create Hospitalization Stablization Formula Passes With Few Details

The House Appropriations Committee has approved a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to try and maintain the level of funding to hospitals that take Medicaid patients.  

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The Jim Engster Show
11:10 am
Mon April 15, 2013

TUESDAY: The Boston Marathon Bombing, Judge Darrell White, Libertarian Michael Wolf, Swine Palace

Jim talks with Danny Bourgeois, with the Louisiana Marathon, who was at the Boston Marathon yesterday.

Conservative activist Judge Darrell White and Libertarian Michael Wolf discuss another attempt this year to repeal Louisiana's Science Education act, which allows teaching divine creation theory in public school science classes.

Local ophthalmologist Dr. Pam Williams, discusses proposed legislation (HB 527)that would allow optometrists to perform certain ophthalmological procedures. She is opposed.

Joe Chrest and Jason Bale,  actors appearing in LSU's Swine Palace production of "All The King's Men". 


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Capitol Access
10:46 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Income Tax Repeal Bills Shelved

Last week Governor Bobby Jindal announced his main priority this session would be repealing the income tax. Lawmakers took that off of the table on Monday.

Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Joel Robideaux, said he’d spoken with constituents, House leadership, and policy analysts. There’s little support for bills that repeal the income tax without making up the revenue. “As a result of my conversations and review of the analysis," Robideaux said, "I would prefer if we indefinitely shelve bills to repeal the income tax. It’s a difficult, but I believe necessary measure.”

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Capitol Access
6:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Some Policy Analysts Say Ditch Tax Reform "Plan B"

Now that the governor’s plan to replace the income tax with a higher and broader sales tax is off the table, lawmakers, policy analysts and other officials are coming up with new ideas. 

Governor Jindal isn’t requiring a new plan to make up for lost revenue, but eliminating the income tax would cost the state 23.7 billion dollars if it’s phased out over the next ten years.

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