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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What We're Reading
5:10 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

Author Pens Stories of African American Life in Rural North Carolina

Stephanie Powell Watts, 2012 recipient of the Ernest J. Gains Award for Literary Excellence presented by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation
Credit Stephanie Powell Watts

Stephanie Powell Watts will be accepting this year’s Ernest Gains Award for Literary Excellence from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation.

Watts is being recognized for her collection of 10 stories, “We Are Taking Only What We Need," chronicling the lives of African Americans in rural North Carolina.

Watts writes from experience. 


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Early Childhood Development
5:52 am
Wed January 9, 2013

New Study Maps Out Risks to Early Childhood Development

LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel
Credit WRKF

A unique study released last week by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center uses maps to show where certain risk factors that could impede early childhood development are most prevalent across the state.

LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel and Epidemiologist Lina Brou said their study found that 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have at least one high-risk factor that could impede childhood development such as high unemployment, high teen birth rate and high percentage of uninsured children. The nature of that risk was also found to differ from parish-to-parish.

Goidel said the initial step to addressing the needs of the children across Louisiana is to first understand the nature of the risk in each parish.


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Early Childhood Development
12:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Study Finds Risk To Early Childhood Development Widespread

A report released Thursday by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center reveals 35 percent of children under  five in Louisiana live in parishes with moderate-to-high risk of factors that could impede their development.

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Consolidation Campaign
1:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In Vegas, Merger Led to More Efficient Law Enforcement

The Fight Not Fear campaign is pushing for consolidated law enforcement in Baton Rouge.
Credit Fight Not Fear

Ads by Fight Not Fear, the campaign to consolidate law enforcement in Baton Rouge, were on heavy rotation during the weeks leading up to the November election for mayor-president and metro council members.

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Business
12:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Chemical Company Declares Force Majeure After Facility Fire

Surface coating and specialty products giant PPG Industries declared a force majeure Thursday for vinyl chloride monomer made at its Lake Charles facility.

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Gulf Coast
1:36 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Scientists Seek To Develop Less Toxic Dispersant

Scientists at LSU, Columbia and Iowa State University have teamed up to develop a more environmentally-friendly oil dispersant.

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Economic Development
1:11 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Shaw Group Shareholders Approve Sale To CB&I

Shareholders of the construction and engineering company The Shaw Group voted Friday to sell the company to Netherlands-based infrastructure giant CB&I.

Baton Rouge’s only Fortune 500 Company said in a statement that 99-percent of its shareholders voted in favor of the deal worth a little over $3-billion-dollars.

Baton Rouge Area Chamber CEO Adam Knapp said CB&I sees Baton Rouge as a center for engineering talent.

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LSU Hospitals
7:03 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Medical Students Weigh In On Changes To LSU Charity Hospitals

(L to R) Third-year LSU medical students Matt Landrum and Dan Logsdon with fourth-year medical student, Clark Alsfeld.
Credit WRKF

When the federal government reduced its funding of Medicaid in Louisiana, the LSU charity hospital system took the brunt of the $152 million in cuts. LSU’s medical students, for whom the charity hospitals are a training ground, have been caught in the tumult.

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What We're Reading
4:40 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

'Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper': Where Louisiana and California Collide

Myra Jolivet, author of 'Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper'
Credit Myra Jolivet

Author Myra Jolivet is a lot of things. She’s a former TV personality, a communications strategist, a brain tumor survivor, and above all a California native with Louisiana Creole roots.

In Jolivet's new murder-mystery novel, a family therapist from California survives her fiancé’s plot to kill her, embraces her gift of psychic visions and learns her Creole heritage is the foundation of her survival.


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Politics
3:07 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Official Use of Private Email Prompts Call for Records Law Revisions

Top Jindal administration officers used personal email accounts to come up with a media strategy around cuts to Medicaid.

LSU Mass Communications Professor Craig Freeman says the new revelations point to a need for Louisiana to update its public records laws.

"We haven’t really, effectively updated public records laws in probably 30 years. But we’re essentially using a 1960’s remedy for a new millennium problem," Freeman said.

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