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.

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The Second Amendment
12:22 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Bill To Prohibit Federal Gun Regulations Squeaks By Committee

A bill that seeks to prohibit the enforcement of federal restrictions on semi-automatic firearms in Louisiana barely advanced Wednesday in the House.

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Smart Growth
12:53 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

NOLA Adjudicated Property Redemption Window Could Become State-Wide

A bill to shorten the time frame from three years to 18 months for owners of adjudicated properties to pay unpaid taxes has advanced in the house.


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Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
1:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

De-Institutionalizing Louisiana, Part Two: Demand vs. Expansion

The chapel at St. Mary's Residential Training School in Boyce, La.
Credit St. Mary's Residential Training School

In Boyce, La., St. Mary’s Residential Training School offers both residential care and educational services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

This concludes our two-part series on the state’s goal to wind down the number of individuals living in places like St. Mary’s.


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Medicaid
1:04 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Bill to Create Hospitalization Stablization Formula Passes With Few Details

The House Appropriations Committee has approved a proposed constitutional amendment that seeks to try and maintain the level of funding to hospitals that take Medicaid patients.  

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Citizens with Developmental Disabilities
1:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

De-Institutionalizing Louisiana, Part One: Waivers vs. Facilities

Roberta Fontenot, 70, once lived in the state's largest institution for individuals with developmental disabilities. She now lives in her own apartment on waiver supports.
Credit WRKF

Louisiana's efforts to move more individuals with developmental disabilities out of congregate living and back into the home with supports actually started pretty late compared to the rest of the country.

In the 1980s when other states were beginning to shut down their large, state-run facilities as part of the national de-institutionalization movement, Louisiana was still building. Only in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina forced the shutdown of the New Orleans metropolitan facility did the state start ramping up its de-institutionalizing efforts.

This is the first of a two-part series exploring the progress of that effort over the years since.

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In The Area
1:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Schapiro's 'Heroes': 20th Century Movers and Shakers on Display

Steve Schapiro, Provided by art2art

The list of people Steve Schapiro  has photographed reads more like a Who’s Who list of the 1960s and ‘70s. During his career, Schapiro worked for magazines such as Life, Time, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair and captured the images of influential politicians, celebrities and musicians. He also extensively covered the Civil Rights Movement in the South.

Those icons - Jackie Kennedy, Ray Charles and James Baldwin - are who Schapiro labels "Heroes" in an exhibit of  work is on display at the West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen.

This audio is pending

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The Affordable Care Act
5:00 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Rep. Cassidy On Affordable Care Act, Offers Up Alternative Reforms

Rep. Bill Cassidy, LA-6th District
Credit Bill Cassidy

News broke Tuesday that 6th District Rep. Bill Cassidy will announce his candidacy for Senate Wednesday.

While Congress has been off last week and this week for their annual April recess, Cassidy has spent some of his time off here in Baton Rouge.

Cassidy recently co-sponsored the Defund Obamacare Act, which is part of the Republican handling of the Affordable Care Act three years after the healthcare overhaul was signed into law.


 

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High School Athletics
12:08 pm
Thu March 28, 2013

High School Football Playoff Split Issue Heads to the Legislature

A state lawmaker has pre-filed a bill that aims to make it illegal for an association or organization to prohibit any school from participating in athletic activities based on its admissions criteria.

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Affordable Care Act
1:31 pm
Wed March 27, 2013

DHH Report: Could Be Savings In Medicaid Expansion

A new report by the state Department of Health and Hospitals shows Louisiana could save millions of dollars over the next decade by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

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Dept. of Health and Hospitals
7:52 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Greenstein Skips DHH Budget Hearing Amid Investigation

Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration has been instructed to stay quiet about the specifics of the cancelation of a nearly $200 million Medicaid contract.

That’s what State Inspector General Stephen Street told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday before a hearing on the Department of Health and Hospital’s budget for the next fiscal year got underway.

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