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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Science and Environment
6:05 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Environmental Groups Draw Recommendations from Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan

Credit Restore the Mississippi River Delta Coalition

What to do with all the billions in Clean Water Act fines to be paid by BP and its contractors for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill?

Officially, it’s up to the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, made up of governors from the five affected states and heads of several federal agencies, to decide.

A coalition of environmental groups has come up with their own ideas for how the first millions can best be spent to restore the coast.

Education
6:50 am
Fri December 12, 2014

What Business Interests Get with New School Board Majority

BRAC CEO Adam Knapp

Business-backed candidates secured a new 5-to-4 majority on the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board last Saturday.

FuturePAC, which is affiliated with the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, put up about $50,000 for candidates in these school board elections. BRAC CEO Adam Knapp discusses what business interests are investing in.


Politics
4:19 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Secretary of State Projects Turnout for Runoffs at 40%

Louisiana Secretary of State Tom Schedler

We’ve come to the final act in the fall elections. Saturday voters will cast their ballots in runoffs for Senate, Congress, school board, and judge. The polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Secretary of State Tom Schedler is projecting turnout will be around 40 percent statewide, down from about 50 percent for the primary.


Politics
8:01 am
Thu December 4, 2014

One-on-One: Graves Talks Coastal Protection, Climate Change, and Congress

The final votes in the 6th District Congressional race will be cast Saturday, Dec. 6.

Former four-term governor and veteran of Congress Edwin Edwards is in a runoff with first-time candidate Garret Graves.

Graves is no stranger to politics though, having worked with former Congressman Billy Tauzin, Sen. David Vitter, and former Sen. John Breaux in Washington. And, until February Graves was Gov. Bobby Jindal’s coastal chief.

But none of that apparently prepared his voice for the long campaign season.

Graves was still a bit hoarse when WRKF’s Amy Jeffries reached him by phone Wednesday afternoon.


Politics
7:53 am
Tue December 2, 2014

One-on-One: Edwards Talks Traffic, Political Gridlock, and Transgressions

Edwards calls prospective voters Sept. 17, 2014.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR

This Saturday, Dec. 6, voters in the 6th District — from Baton Rouge to Houma — will select their next Congressman.

Garret Graves — Gov. Bobby Jindal’s former coastal chief — is in a runoff with Louisiana political legend Edwin Edwards.

Of the 26 times Edwards has been on a ballot, he’s only lost once, but he’s considered a longshot in this one. A recent poll has him down by more than 25 points.

But Edwards says he takes the projections with a grain of salt.  


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Health
3:50 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Premiums Go Up, So Might Enrollment

Credit Healthcare.gov

It’s that time of year — the open enrollment period for health plans.

In the second year of insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, premiums in Louisiana, as elsewhere, will be higher on average.

“And there are some understandable reasons for that," said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. The No. 1 reason is that insurers can no longer turn away people with pre-existing conditions. "They have to take all comers."


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Politics
6:54 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Governor Searches the Couch Cushions to Pay State's Bills

Credit aliceintheflowers

It has not been a terrific few weeks for state finances.

Oil revenues dropped. And then a $180 million hole appeared in the state budget.

Melinda Deslatte, AP reporter on the state budget beat, explains how Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to close the gap.


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Politics
6:12 am
Tue November 25, 2014

One-On-One: Sen. Landrieu Talks Keystone, Obamacare, and What's Next

Credit Ann Marie Awad

Ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff, we’ve invited each of the candidates for Congress in the 6th District and for Senate for an interview. 

Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu was on the campaign trail — literally — driving from Shreveport to Baton Rouge — when WRKF’s Amy Jeffries reached her to talk about some of the big issues in the Senate race, starting with Obamacare.

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Education
6:32 am
Fri November 21, 2014

State Superintendent: Learning More Important Than Scores

The state Dept. of Education has been rolling out all sorts of tests results in the last few weeks – student test scores, teacher evaluations, and school performance calculations.


Education
6:20 am
Fri November 14, 2014

School in Voucher Program Misses the Mark, Presses On

Headmaster Josh LaSage in Hosanna Christian Academy's in 2012 in "war room" where the student progress is tracked.
Credit Sue Lincoln

In 2012, when Louisiana’s taxpayer funded scholarship program was expanded statewide, Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge went all in.

In that first year, the school took on almost 300 voucher students, nearly doubling its enrollment. By the start of this school year, Hosanna had more voucher students than any other school in the state -- about 85 percent of its student are enrolled with a voucher. 

Hosanna's students didn't score well enough on state tests, and it won't be allowed to enroll more voucher students next year. Still, headmaster Josh LaSage says the school isn't giving up. 


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