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

Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Louisiana’s 2nd congressional district, which encompasses North Baton Rouge and a large part of New Orleans, is what’s called a majority minority district. In this case, it’s predominantly black. Districts like this are required by federal law to protect minority representation, but ironically, it may be doing the opposite.

Ann Marie Awad / WRKF

Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at news@wrkf.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.

Carlos Roldan came to Baton Rouge from Argentina more than ten years ago. He started playing tennis at the age of nine, and started competing by age 13. By the time he was 18 he was competing semi-pro and coaching on the side, which took away from his training time. He loved to coach so much that he decided to stop competing and coach full time. In 1998, after coaching for many years, it turns out he had something new to learn.

  "By accident I received a flier for something called wheelchair tennis that I’ve never seen before, even though I’ve played tennis all my life, never seen before. So I approached the person who gave me the flier and that’s how it started," Roldan says. "I went there one time to see their practice and I really was impressed with what they do and how they do it, and the coach told me 'Would you be interested in coaching some players?' and I said 'Well, absolutely, but I don’t know much about this, and he told me 'If you know how to coach tennis you can start' and that’s how it started."

Now, Roldan coaches wheelchair tennis every Saturday at BREC’s Highland Park. He’s also helped kickstart similar programs elsewhere in the state. He teaches beginners, intermediate and advanced, with students as young as six, and as old as 65.


Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

A small group of students at Winbourne Elementary in North Baton Rouge, have been picked to be part of an experiment. The East Baton Rouge Parish School District is hoping that teaching the kids music will help them with reading and math. 


Kelly Tate

You know, sometimes I'll get in my car with someone, and I'll switch on the radio and go straight for the nearest public radio station and whoever I'm in the car with, they'll say something like "no, I want to listen to music!"

And that's just weird to me! Because I have found out about so much great music on NPR, on shows like Morning Edition or All Things Considered.

Baton Rouge General's mid-city emergency room at night.
Sue Lincoln

The state Department of Health and Hospitals has found funds to allow Baton Rouge General Hospital to keep its emergency room open after an imminent threat of closure.

Several local media outlets reported Wednesday morning that the hospital administration had notified staff that the ER would close Nov. 1.

DHH preempted any official closure announcement with a last-minute deal, providing the hospital $18 million in state and federal money to care for the uninsured. Hospital President Mark Slyter called the deal a “hail Mary pass”.

Ridesharing: A Tale of Two Cities

Aug 14, 2014
Via: https://www.uber.com/cities/baton-rouge

The ridesharing company Uber has gotten a mixed reception in Louisiana. WWNO's Malorie Marshall has been following the company’s foray into New Orleans, where politicians and members of the taxi industry have been resistant.

Meanwhile, Baton Rouge has seized on the opportunity, quickly passing an ordinance that allowed Uber to get rolling in the capitol city in July. A couple weeks later, I opened up Uber’s app on my smartphone to see if I could catch a ride.


Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Tuesday afternoon, North Boulevard in downtown Baton Rouge was draped in red. Patches of a giant quilt were spread out all over the grass, each one of them telling a story of a survivor of sexual assault and abuse. 


Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Heroin-related deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish spiked last year - the Coroner's office recorded 35 fatalities. Only Jefferson and Orleans Parish had as many.

To try to stop the deaths, a new law will allow not just paramedics, but all first responders to carry the drug Narcan - which can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose within seconds.

But some activists say the law doesn't go far enough. They say they'll keep distributing Narcan themselves directly to drug users illegally.

Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Governor Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday his intent to withdraw the state from the Common Core Educational Standards.  

Ann Marie Awad / WRKF news

Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at news@wrkf.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.

Franklin Brown has owned Bayou Café at 5688 Airline Highway in Scotlandville since 2000.

Brown says his first love is Southern University, where he graduated in 1975. He says the entire North Baton Rouge community comes in close second. In his last 14 years of business, Bayou Café has become something of a meeting place. In the mornings, the place is slammed.

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