WRKF reporters get behind the headlines, in conversation with news makers.

The long and contentious race for Governor will soon come to a close. Kyle Kondik from the University of Virginia's Crystal Ball blog weighs in on State Rep. John Bel Edwards' chances of victory given his lead in the polls over U.S. Sen. David Vitter.

The Baton Rouge City Court will have a new judge-at-large next year. The legislature created the seat over the summer in response to allegations that the court did not accurately reflect the racial makeup of the city. Previously there were three majority white districts and two majority black in a city that is more than 50 percent black. Tarvald Smith, a former public defender in Baker and a former member of the East Baton Rouge School Board won the seat.

Cities like New York, Chicago, San Francisco and even New Orleans have joined the "ban the box" movement. This means banning the question on city job applications that asks about applicants' criminal history. Metro Councilwoman C. Denise Marcelle wants Baton Rouge to follow suit.

To Plan for The Future, Lafayette Does The Math

Oct 30, 2015

Cities all over America are dealing with the unintended effects of "suburban sprawl." That is, development post-World War II that focused on building out , which ultimately resulted in residents abandoning urban cores for the suburbs. Lafayette is working on addressing problems associated with sprawl as part of their comprehensive design plan. They're doing it with the help of Chuck Marohn, president of the nonprofit Strong Towns.  He says cities like Baton Rouge can learn from Lafayette's example. 

ACLU of Louisiana

In 1883, the federal government banned debtors prisons in the United States. In 1972, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled that "pay or stay" practices - which compel someone to pay a court fine on the spot or be jailed - were also illegal. In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people can only be jailed for refusing to pay court fines, not for being too poor to do so.

However, according to a recent report by the ACLU of Louisiana, these practices are still happening today.