Amy Jeffries

News Director

Amy started her career in public radio at WNPR in Hartford, CT more than a decade ago. NPR flew her in to Baton Rouge to help WRKF cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while she was still based in the North. Here she found her journalistic calling.

After getting a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley and taking a detour through online media as a local editor for Patch, she finally returned to public radio and to Baton Rouge in January 2012.

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Politics
5:42 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Political Consultant: Landrieu Will Get 90-95% of Black Vote

Ben Jeffers

Wednesday at Southern University’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, political consultant Ben Jeffers delivered a talk about the minority vote — the black vote — as a factor in this fall’s Congressional elections.

Jeffers has been involved in national, state, and local campaigns for more than 40 years. He was the first African American to head the Louisiana Democratic Party. And he’s working with the party this year to help turn out the vote.


Education
6:22 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Magnet, Gifted and Talented Programs at the Core of St. George Fight

Dufrocq Elementary students performing at the East Baton Rouge Parish School System's recruitment fair showcasing magnet and gifted and talented programs.
Amy Jeffries WRKF

The latest applications for annexation into Baton Rouge by LSU and L’Auberge casino could cut further into the tax base for the proposed city of St. George and undermine the incorporation petition.

But supporters of the breakaway aren’t giving up.

They still want their new city, and even more so, a new school district.

Meanwhile, it’s recruitment season for the parish school district and it’s been holding open houses this week for its magnet and gifted and talented programs.

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Politics
5:31 am
Fri October 10, 2014

DHH Punts on 'America Next' Health Reform Plan, State Senator Disappointed

During the last legislative session, state Sen. Ben Nevers fought hard for the expansion of Medicaid in Louisiana under the Affordable Care Act. But ultimately, a bill to put the issue on the ballot didn’t even make it out of committee. 

But the legislature did pass another bill from Nevers, compelling the state Department of Health and Hospitals to come up with a plan for Louisiana to pilot “America Next” — Gov. Bobby Jindal’s alternative to Obamacare. 

DHH put out their initial report in response a few weeks ago.


Culture
5:12 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Constance Navratil: Stalwart Defender of Classical Music, Founder of WRKF

Connie died Monday after a car accident. She was 84.

The final broadcasts of LSU School of Music Presents that she recorded will be heard Sunday evenings at 7 p.m. throughout the month of October on WRKF.


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Health
4:24 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Abortion Restriction on Hold in Louisiana, Shut Down Clinics in Texas

A requirement that doctors providing abortion have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles has yet to take effect in Louisiana, while a legal challenge is pending.

Texas started enforcing a very similar restriction last November. Half the abortion clinics in that state immediately closed.

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Politics
3:12 am
Fri October 3, 2014

With SLFPA-E Nomination, Fate of Lawsuit and Levees Hangs in the Balance

The nominating committee for the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has made its selection to fill a slot on the levee board. They voted 7-3 a week ago to renominate Paul Kemp — a geologist in the Coastal Ecology Institute at LSU — who’s current term is expiring. 

The ball is back in Gov. Jindal’s court — he can accept or reject Kemp’s nomination or ask the state Senate to consider it — and the fate of the levee board’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands hangs in the balance. 

Bob Marshall, reporter with The Lens in New Orleans, has been following all this.

Politics
5:09 am
Fri September 26, 2014

With State Employee Health Plan Changes, Some will Pay More

UPDATE: The state Office of Group Benefits announced on Oct. 1 -- the first day of the enrollment period for the new health insurance plans -- that the enrollment period will extend until Nov. 30 and the changes will take effect March 1, instead of Jan. 1. In a statement, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said, “Shifting our timeline will give people the chance to get accurate information and better understand their options.”  

The state House Appropriations Committee spent all day Thursday taking testimony about changes to health insurance plans offered for 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their family members through the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits.

The Legislative Fiscal Office had looked over the offerings and estimated maximum out-of-pocket costs for people covered through OGB could go up significantly, 47 percent on average, more than $1,600 per year for a single active employee.

The new plans are supposed to take effect in January. The enrollment period is slated to start next week.

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Politics
5:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

State Senator Seeks Baseline for Handling of Sexual Assault on Louisiana Campuses

Sen. JP Morrell

The Louisiana Board of Regents unleashed a 500-plus page report earlier this week about sexual assault. The report shows wide variation in how sexual assault is dealt with on state college and university campuses. 

State Sen. JP Morrell requested the report and is now putting together a working group that may wind up crafting legislation to make campus responses to the problem more uniform.


Business
5:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Despite Latest BP Spill Ruling, Deepwater Drilling in the Gulf Still Worth It

Credit U.S. Coast Guard

BP was to blame — that was U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling a week ago in the case over the Macondo well disaster. The judge found Transocean, which was operating the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, and cement contractor Haliburton at fault too. But Barbier said BP was guilty of “gross negligence”. And that could mean that payouts by BP balloon to $50 billion or more ultimately.

Dr. Jim Richardson, professor of public administration and economics at LSU explains some of the business implications.


Politics
5:28 am
Fri September 5, 2014

What it All Boils Down to: 'Get Out the Vote'

The fundraising push is over, and the ground game has begun in Louisiana’s hotly contested Senate race.

Researchers at Tufts University recently pinpointed Louisiana as one of a handful of states where the youth vote could decide the outcome of a key Senate race this fall.

Jeremy Alford, Publisher of LaPolitics.com, paints a picture of how the campaigns are honing in on voters.

 


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