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
6:10 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Insight: Over Hospital Deals, Louisiana and CMS at Loggerheads Again

A week ago, the federal Centers for Medicaid Services once again threw a wrench in Louisiana’s works, giving a thumbs down to the privatization of the LSU charity hospital system, which is nonetheless charging forward.

 

 


Politics
5:50 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Insight: What Goes Up (for Debate) Often Comes Down

A couple of high-profile bills were on the Louisiana legislature's docket in the past week, both were dashed. A proposal to allow for medical marijuana was rejected and the possibility for the return of the electric chair was commuted to a more palatable proposal for shielding suppliers of lethal injection drugs.

Science and Environment
3:21 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Insight: Gen. Honoré's New Mission -- Fighting Pollution

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré
Credit Restore Louisiana Now

Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré gets credit for restoring order in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. And from that, he emerged as a national hero.

Since then, he’s retired and launched headlong into the fight against pollution, gathering the troops in a Green Army.


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Culture
5:38 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Growing Up, Cokie Roberts Didn't Learn Much About the Founding Mothers Either

Roughly a decade ago, NPR news analyst Cokie Roberts authored a best-selling book about the women who were behind, and in some cases alongside, the Founding Fathers.

There’s a new illustrated version, for kids, called, Founding Mothers: Remembering the Ladies.


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Capitol Access
3:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Attempt to Put Medicaid Expansion on the Ballot Fails

Supporters of Medicaid expansion gather on the state capitol steps. April 23, 2014.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

At the conclusion of nearly five hours of emotional testimony, Senate Health and Welfare Committee Chairman David Heitmeier read the names of those weighing in on Senator Ben Nevers’ bill. The proposal would have put a constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act before voters in Louisiana.

“You’ve got a lot of support here, Sen. Nevers," Heitmeier said.

But Nevers didn’t have the support of the committee. His bill was stopped on a 6 to 2 vote that fell along party lines.


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First Bell
2:54 am
Mon April 21, 2014

First Bell: In a Time of Racial Tension, Quarterback's Team Wasn't With Him

Eric Reed as a young first lieutenant with his wife Julia at a military officers function in 1989 at an Army base in Garlsted, Germany. They went to Istrouma High School together.
Credit Courtesy of Eric Reed

The First Bell series is a growing collection of stories from students, parents, and educators about pivotal experiences in education. To tell your story, email amy@wrkf.org with "My First Bell" in the subject line or tweet with the hashtag #MyFirstBell.

__________

Eric Reed was the first black quarterback at his elementary, middle, and high school when the Baton Rouge public schools were being integrated.

Epithets were used against him more than once.

Reed’s junior year at predominantly white Istrouma High School, 1974, was a turning point. The night after a race riot at the school, the football team played the last game of the regular season against all-black McKinley.

“Anytime Istrouma played McKinley, I happened to be the target of a lot of trash talk, because I’m the one who didn’t go to McKinley or Capitol, I chose to go to Istrouma, so I was -- the term they used back then -- the ‘oreo’, you know, I sold out.”

Both teams needed the win to get to the playoffs, but Reed says he didn’t have the usual fire in his belly. Istrouma lost 7 to 6.


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Insight
3:01 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Insight: With Fresh Analysis of State Budget, Lawmakers Go 'OMG!'

At the halfway mark in the state legislative session, all of the state departments have presented their piece of the state budget and the House Appropriations Committee invited the public to weigh in this week. Next it will be the committee’s turn at making changes to what the Jindal administration proposed. And new analysis of the 2014-2015 proposal shows a patchwork of funding that could leave the state could with a really big hole to fill for 2015-2016.

Robert Travis Scott, president of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, has been following the developments.
 


Politics
3:07 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Insight: Congressman's Scandal Yields Political Turf War

Vance McAllister, shown in a photo provided by his campaign, will be the next representative from Louisiana's 5th Congressional District after winning Saturday's special election.
Credit AP

Vance McAllister swept into Congress six months ago, elected in a special election to finish out Rodney Alexander's term representing the 5th District in north Louisiana. And already, McAllister has been ensnared in a scandal, caught on tape kissing a woman who is not his wife. 

Now political opportunists on all sides are calling for McAllister's resignation and chomping at the bit to fill his seat.  

JR Ball, NOLA.com's news manager in Baton Rouge, has had an ear to the frenzy. 


Culture
4:41 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Lil Buck Sinegal: 'With the Blues, You Can Express Yourself'

Lil Buck Senegal
Credit High ISO Music

Lil Buck Sinegal, a Louisiana Music Hall of Famer, started playing as a kid in Lafayette on a Harmony box guitar before his father, a cement finisher, bought him an electric guitar -- paid for in installments of $10 a week.

Buck played in zydeco legend Clifton Chenier's band for 17 years, and he says it was Chenier who taught him the blues.


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Politics
4:14 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Insight: Why Does Everyone in Louisiana Seem to be Up in Arms Over Common Core?

On Wednesday, Louisiana’s capitol building was full to the gills with people representing all sides of the debate over the Common Core state standards. Associated Press Capitol Correspondent Melinda Deslatte helps explain all the hubbub.

 

 

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