Sue Lincoln

Reporter

Sue Lincoln is a veteran reporter in the political arena. Her radio experience began in the early ’80s, in “the other L-A” — Los Angeles.

Since her transplantation to Louisiana 25 years ago, she has covered the state, the capital, and its colorful cast of characters for Louisiana Radio Network, LPB and the Southern Education Desk.

Now she’s focusing her experience and expertise on producing WRKF’s Capitol Access.

Ways To Connect

courtesy Southern University

There’s a new president of the Southern University System, and he’s looking at the system’s struggles from a new perspective.

“We can make a difference. We should be making a difference,” says Dr. Ray Belton.

Belton, who previously served as chancellor of Southern-Shreveport before taking on the combined duties of system president and chancellor of the Baton Rouge campus three weeks ago, has ideas about making Southern more inclusive.


Sue Lincoln

Oil prices have dropped again, closing just above 50-dollars per barrel all last week. What does that mean for Louisiana’s precariously balanced budget?

“Obviously, if oil prices stay in the low to mid-50s, relative to our 60, 62 dollar price, at some point we’ll have to, you know, reconsider that forecast price,” Legislative fiscal analyst Greg Albrecht says.

Albrecht explains each one dollar drop in the yearly average price of oil costs Louisiana $11-million in revenue.

Crime Stoppers / NOPD

The state Bond Commission met Thursday, and the most-debated agenda item was a request for $24.5 million from Memphis-based Global Ministries Foundation. The religious non-profit is trying to buy the Hidden Lakes Apartments in New Orleans-East, which it already manages.  Area residents delivered their objections to the proposal.

“We’re not in opposition to this property being sold to a worthy buyer,” stated Joan Heisser, a member of the Eastern New Orleans Civic Association. “This is just not the buyer we think is best for our community.”

EPA

Louisiana’s share of the $18.7 billion BP settlement is of intense interest to the state’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. But director Chip Kline told the board Wednesday that most details are remain under wraps.

“Some of us are still under a confidentiality agreement as this thing plays out, so there’s only so much that we can discuss,” Kline explained, by way of apologizing for not being more forthcoming.

CPRA staffer Alyson Graugnard was able to give a timeline of the next steps, now than an agreement-in-principle has been reached.

Dan4th Nicholas / Flickr

The names Melissa Sellers, Kyle Plotkin, Frank Collins, Sean Lansing, Sarah Haley, Shannon Bates, Mike Reed, Alexis Nicaud, and Doug Cain may not mean anything to you, but each of them has served in Governor Bobby Jindal’s press office at some point during the past seven and a half years.

“I’ve never seen this kind of revolving door,” says Marsanne Golsby, who served as Governor Mike Foster’s press secretary for his entire two terms. “And before I was Governor Foster’s press secretary, I was a reporter covering the capitol, and I don’t remember this much turnover. I do think it’s unusual.”

Hurricane Katrina, as pictured in the Gulf of Mexico at 14:45 UTC on August 28, 2005.
NOAA

Don’t you love your smart phone, giving you information and instantaneous communication in the palm of your hand? But what if cell service, power and internet weren’t there? Remember Katrina?

“Then you have your response, which, if you remember, uh, didn’t go real well,” Kevin Davis, head of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), said, in a masterpiece of understatement. “It was a huge disaster,” he added, quite frankly.


Sue Lincoln

What’s it like out on the campaign trail? Over the next couple of months, I’ll be checking that out with candidates for governor. First up is Democrat John Bel Edwards. I caught up with him just past the midpoint of last week’s statewide tour, and traveled with his caravan around DeRidder and up to Leesville.

Unlike David Vitter, Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle -- who have held statewide posts – it’s a constant round of introductions.

“Lettin’ us know who you are?” asked a barber in DeRidder.

“I’m known more than you might think,” Edwards replied, “But I’ve got the most room to grow.”

Sue Lincoln

Leesville residents are breathing sighs of relief, as across-the-board troop reductions have mostly spared Ft. Polk.

“It shouldn’t hurt us too much,” Elmer Phillips said.

Ft. Polk is losing 388 soldiers, but the worst-case scenario would have cut 6500 troops from the military base in west-central Louisiana. The U.S. Army is reducing forces by 40,000 worldwide.

“We just did not want to lose these troops,” Beryl Ford said, visibly relieved.

Treasurer John Kennedy / Flickr

State Treasurer John Kennedy addressed the Baton Rouge Rotary Club Wednesday. He had quite a bit to say about the budget, and the lawmakers who crafted it.

“I was very, very disappointed in what the legislature did this past session, in terms of our budget," Kennedy said.

The Treasurer asserts legislators didn't even try to address the things that had created the $1.6 billion budget hole.

Just as the summer days are heating up, so is the governor’s race. Some of the candidates are actively wooing the women’s vote.

“I don’t view women as a special interest. I view ‘em as Louisiana’s interest, with an absolutely deserving right to sit at every table, with equal pay for equal work,” Republican Scott Angelle says in one of his ads.

“Scott Angelle’s trying desperately to be in the runoff with Vitter at this point, and he’s appealing to women,” U-L Lafayette political science professor Pearson Cross observes.

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