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.

Ways To Connect

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.


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.


Edwards calls prospective voters Sept. 17, 2014.
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.  


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."


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.


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.

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.


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


Louisiana has gone immediately from a primary campaign to a runoff campaign.

Sen. Mary Landrieu will again be at the top of the ticket Dec. 6 fighting for reelection. Congressman Bill Cassidy is continuing to battle to win her seat.

Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, says with Republicans taking control of the Senate Tuesday, both candidates have new war cries. 

 

 


Tuesday marks the first East Baton Rouge Parish school board election since a redistricting plan was passed this summer, shrinking the board from 11 members to 9.

Charles Lussier is a reporter for The Advocate and has been following the races for the six contested seats.


Pages