Ashley Westerman

Host and Reporter

Ashley, born in Manila, Philippines, was adopted and raised in Western Kentucky. She is a 2010 University of Kentucky graduate with a B.A. in Journalism and Political Science. She also attended the University of Maryland for graduate studies in Journalism for one year. Ashley interned with Morning Edition at NPR Headquarters in Washington, DC, in 2011 and was hired afterward as a temp production assistant. In March 2012, Ashley started her reporting and hosting career at WRKF. She is also a member of the Center for International Journalists 2013 International Reporting Fellowship Program. In addition to public radio, Ashley also loves UK basketball, her Fantasy Football team, traveling and cats.

Ways To Connect

A bill seeking to expand the state's ban on texting-while-driving to include posting statuses on social networks has advanced in the legislature.


Despite the threat of rain, proponents of state-funded supports that allow developmentally disabled individuals to live at home – rather than in institutions or group homes – rallied at the state capitol Wednesday.

Lauren Richard

Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge closed its doors for good last month. The cooperative endeavor agreement between the hospital, the state and Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center for the take-over and eventual shutdown of EKL was reached more than two years ago.

Erica Barham, Kimberly Burkett and Lauren Richard are all former Registered Nurse Supervisors in the EKL Emergency Room. Mental Health Emergency Room Extension Supervisor Amy Germain also used to work there.

They tell WRKF’s Ashley Westerman the transition was bungled and even on closing day, critical questions about how patients would get care and follow-up remained unanswered.

A bill filed in response to a decision by high school principals to change football post-season play has been voluntarily deferred.

Legislation seeking to allow for more mental health courts to be set up in Louisiana has been approved by the Senate. These new problem-solving courts would work much like drug courts do now.

The Legislative Fiscal Office estimates Louisiana could save up to $554.9 million over five years and between $185.2 million to almost $511 million over 10 years by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

House committees took up two big ticket items Monday: budget reform and tobacco taxes.  Bills that would makeover the process of building the state’s budget passed favorably in the House Appropriations committee. A packed Ways and Means committee did not vote on tobacco taxes; representatives deferred their bills.

All four bills seeking to increase taxes on tobacco products in the state have been voluntarily tabled amid legislative opposition to raising taxes.

Seven of eight bills to loosen restrictions on firearms passed through the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday.

One bill seeks to circumvent federal restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, despite several members questioning how it would stand up to the Supremacy Clause, which establishes federal law as the law of the land.

The Oxford American

Festival season is upon us and there are plenty of opportunities to boogie down to Louisiana music - both old and new. Some new artists bringing a different sound to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival this year are Luke Winslow-King, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and Alexis and the Samurai.

Alex Rawls, a New Orleans-based writer and editor who runs the music and culture website, was the guest editor of The Oxford American magazine’s 2012 Southern Music Issue, which was entirely dedicated to all things Louisiana music. He also helped put together its accompanying album.

And Rawls tells WRKF’s Ashley Westerman that even though this new music comes from a younger generation and may sound a little different - it is still authentically Louisiana.