Talk Louisiana

Weekdays at 9am

Talk Louisiana connects listeners with Louisiana newsmakers through live interviews and original feature reporting. Hosted by award-winning journalist and broadcast veteran, Jim Engster, Talk Louisiana brings listener insight into the conversation by phone and email. In addition to the weekday morning broadcast, hear Talk Louisiana at wrkf.org and the WRKF App.

  Louisiana Pollster Bernie Pinsonat discusses the political landscape in Louisiana 39 weeks after the inauguration of President Trump. The state’s congressional delegation continues to back the president’s agenda in a state won by Donald Trump by 20 percentage points over Hillary Clinton. How does the national political environment affect Louisiana where less than 14-percnet of the electorate cast ballots last week in a statewide election for Treasurer. Also, documentary filmmaker James Younger on his work, “The Story of US,” now appearing on the National Geographic Channel. Younger collaborated with veteran actor Morgan Freeman on this project after the two combined previously for “The Story of God.” 

  New Orleans Rep. Walt Leger, Speaker Pro Tem of the Louisiana House, on negotiations to address the fiscal cliff next year. Louisiana Political Consultant Michael Beychok offers insights into  the abysmal turnout for Saturday’s statewide election, a preview of the 2019 governor’s election and the state’s support for President Trump. 

  Louisiana Voice Publisher Tom Aswell on Louisiana sheriffs and their reliance on payments for housing inmates. The practice has become a major story in Caddo Parish. Yale University Psychology Professor John Bargh on his book, “Before You Know It, The Unconscious Reasons We Do What We Do.” Bargh is recognized as a leading authority on the study of the unconscious mind. Sally Quinn, veteran journalist and widow of Ben Bradlee, the legendary Washington Post editor, on her memoir, “Finding Magic.”  

  Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere on the appeal of the Republican Party in statewide elections and the reluctance of elected officials in Louisiana to challenge policies of President Trump. Christina Bronsing-Lazalde and Anna Lappe’ of Real Food Media on the impact of “Big Soda” on health care in America. Sportswriter Rich Cohen on long-suffering Chicago Cubs fans hoping for a second consecutive World Series championship.        

  Darryl Gissel, candidate for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish last year, has been named chief administrative officer by Mayor Sharon Weston-Broome. We will talk with Darryl Gissel about his decision to join the city government.          Veteran Jazz announcer Zia Tammami and saxophonist and clarinetist Victor Goines of New Orleans on a Wednesday event that is part of the River City Jazz Masters series.         Author Nancy Koehn of the Harvard Business School on her book, “Forged in Crisis, The Power of Courageous Leadership in Turbulent Times.” 

  Secretary of State Tom Schedler on turnout for tomorrow’s election. The current forecast is that fewer than one in five registered voters will participate in a statewide election for treasurer with three constitutional amendments. Former LSU football stalwart Ramsey Dardar on his return to Baton Rouge after serving more than 19 years in prison. Dardar is expected to address the LSU team prior to Saturday’s game at Tiger Stadium against Auburn.  

  LSU and MIT Physics Professor Rainer Weiss on winning the 2017 Nobel Prize for his work with the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory in Livingston Parish. A discovery in September of 2015 confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 theory of relativity. Professor Joseph Giaime of LSU, the director of the LIGO Observatory in Louisiana, on the major scientific discovery at the facility and the implications of detecting tiny ripples in the fabric of space-time caused by the merger of two massive black holes over a billion years ago. 

  Famed Political Consultant Raymond Strother, who began his career after graduating from LSU in 1962, assesses the challenges of President Trump. Strother is a former advisor to Bill Clinton, Albert Gore and Gary Hart. Pro Football Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle died Sunday in California. The former LSU star was 91. He was a four-time NFL Most Valuable Player. We revisit a conversation with Tittle from Nov. 13, 2009.  

  Baton Rouge Symphony Conductor Tim Muffitt on Bachtoberfest this week at the Capitol Park Museum. Metro Councilwoman Tara Wicker and Melissa Silva of Mental Health Services in Baton Rouge discuss mental health issues in the Capital region. Veteran sportswriter Jim Kleinpeter on LSU’s challenge against Auburn Saturday at Tiger Stadium and the death of LSU great Y.A. Tittle.            

Damon Baldone on his campaign for the open Public Service Commissioner seat. Gov. Edwards appointed Baldone to serve in the interim position in June. 

 Baton Rouge Representative C. Denise Marcelle on crime in the Capital City. Marcelle discusses a crime summit that will be held on Thursday night at Baton Rouge Community College.  


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