Ann Marie Awad

Host and Reporter

Ann Marie came a long way to WRKF. Originally from Buffalo, NY, where she was a freelance print reporter, she moved to New York City to get a masters in journalism from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. During her time at CUNY, she interned with Brooklyn's Heritage Radio Network and Philadelphia's WHYY FM. When she's not wielding a microphone, Ann Marie loves comic books, politics and a great cup of coffee.

Ways to Connect

ACLU of Louisiana

In 1883, the federal government banned debtors prisons in the United States. In 1972, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that "pay or stay" practices - which compel someone to pay a court fine on the spot or be jailed - were also illegal. In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people can only be jailed for refusing to pay court fines, not for being too poor to do so.

However, according to a recent report by the ACLU of Louisiana, these practices are still happening today.

Rebekah Allen

In light of a national conversation about police use of force, body cameras for officers have been touted as a solution. Last week, the Baton Rouge Police Department announced they would be piloting the devices with 100 officers in the high-crime first district. The aim of the 10-month pilot is to determine the costs of a full-force rollout, as well as ironing out concerns over privacy.

Robert Travis Scott
Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana

As you may have heard, we have an election coming up this month. Aside from voting on a new governor, Louisiana voters will be asked to weigh in on four proposed constitutional amendments. To help voters better understand these amendments, the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana puts out a guide every year. It just came out last week. PAR President Robert Travis Scott helps explain the story behind each amendment.

Every two years, Louisiana's governor appoints a poet laureate. In August Governor Jindal appointed Peter Cooley. Cooley is the director of the creative writing program at Tulane University, he has authored ten full-length collections of poetry and has been published in magazines such as the New Yorker and the Atlantic. He gave his inaugural reading as Poet Laureate earlier this week.

Dr. Jessica Kemp is Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Planning Excellence. She authored CPEX's report on "disconnected workers," which explores barriers to economic development statewide, and particularly in the nine-parish Capitol region.