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

Louisiana’s Commissioner of Administration has a tough job, overseeing state spending at a time when revenues have not kept up with funding needs. And while Kristy Nichols has had to wield the budget-cutting sword more often than anyone – even she – might like, she has also kept her public shields intact through some vigorous attacks by lawmakers, the press, and the public.

How has she kept it all together? What wells of strength does she draw from, in order to hold her head up, keep smiling, and keep working? She shares some of that with Sue Lincoln.

Harper Collins

There has never been much in public view related to the work of novelist Harper Lee. There were certainly no manuscripts of To Kill a Mockingbird, let alone the newly discovered and now published companion Go Set a Watchman.

While working in special collections at Lee's alma mater, the University of Alabama, Jessica Lacher-Feldman, who is now at LSU, put together exhibitions mostly with writings from the novelist's days as a student and copies of her famous first published book from all over the world.

Confederate flag for the Second Louisiana Cavalry.
Public Domain

The confederate battle flag is coming down from the South Carolina statehouse. And New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked the city council to consider removing four monuments commemorating confederate leaders and battles from public spaces in that city.

Controversy bubbled up across the country after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston last month. The suspected shooter had posted pictures of himself holding a confederate flag.

But, Maxine Crump, director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana, says most of the people around her aren't talking about it.

Marriage in Louisiana: What Just Happened

Jul 3, 2015
Victoria Pickering / Flickr

No matter what your perspective on marriage it has been a remarkable week.

It's certainly been a whirlwind for Kenneth Upton. He's a lawyer for Lambda Legal and lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Robicheaux case that challenged Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. A final ruling in that case has been issued in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision that same-sex couples can marry.

Pickleball Players Agree: Paddle Plus Ball Equals Fun

Jun 26, 2015
Pickleball court

The newest sport to be played in the National Senior Games — taking place in Minnesota next month — pickleball.

The guy directing the competition, Tom Burkhart, is a Baton Rougean. And at a local gym, players have been practicing.