WRKF interns

Seeing a New City in a Blank Wall

Oct 23, 2015
Case Duckworth / WRKF News

The Walls Project is a Baton Rouge nonprofit that’s been painting about ten murals a year since 2012. Most of their artists’ work is downtown, though they’ve started expanding to Mid City and North Baton Rouge. Starting this month, they’ll offer biking and walking tours of their murals.

LSU Genetics Lab Contributes to 1000 Genome Project

Oct 12, 2015

When you think "mutant," you probably think of Magneto from the X-Men. But if you ask Dr. Mark Batzer, a biology professor at LSU, he might start talking about Barbara McClintock, who discovered transposons in 1953. She won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discovery.

Peter Gallagher

The Mamou, sometimes called the Coral Bean, is a large shrub that grows here in Louisiana. Maybe you’ve seen one: it produces bright, scarlet flowers and distinctive bean pods.

“When the bean pod splits open,” says botanist Larry Allain, “the beans are brilliant red. And the Indians would drill ‘em and use ‘em as jewelry. But the Cajuns used them to make cough medicine and blood thinner.”


Travis Lux

Local band The Rakers recently dropped by the WRKF studios where they spoke with Travis Lux about their sound, their origins, and the joys of being in a rock band.

They kindly played a few tunes, too. You'll hear bits from three original songs: "John the Baptist," "Bunch of Cans," and "There is a Snake!"

Creating Land at the Edge of Louisiana

Aug 31, 2015
Nick Janzen

  In Bayou Grand Liard, down by the toe of Louisiana’s boot, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority is creating marsh. Chuck Perrodin, a spokesman for CPRA, sums up what’s going on: “We’re taking what used to be land and marsh, went back into open water, and now we have made it back into land.”

Creating land where there’s open water seems like an impossible task, but the basic idea is remarkably simple—fill in the water with lots of sand. Finding that sand, and transporting it, is the hard part.

2005 Hurricane Season Still Most Active on Record

Aug 24, 2015

Ten years later, the 2005 hurricane season remains the most active on record.

Barry Keim, Louisiana’s state climatologist, says that in 2005, “The sea surface temperatures were off the charts.” Keim explains that hurricanes need warm water to develop. The warmer the water, the stronger hurricanes can potentially become.

There were 28 named storms in 2005. “It was a crazy year,” Keim says. The last storm of the season, Tropical Storm Zeta, formed on December 30th—a full month after what should have been the end of hurricane season.

Louisiana's Treasury Department holds onto unclaimed property for citizens. Last Saturday, they had an awareness day at the mall.

Fixing a Swamp's Broken Plumbing

Aug 3, 2015
Ann Marie Awad

The Nature Conservancy is beginning a long term restoration effort in the Bayou Sorrell region of the Atchafalaya Basin. Bryan Piazza is a scientist for The Nature Conservancy working on that project.

“The restoration,” he says “is fixing the broken plumbing that is a problem in the Basin.”

According to Piazza, here’s how the plumbing should work:

Ann Marie Awad

The Atchafalaya Basin is a wedge of wetlands that stretches south to the Gulf of Mexico between the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers. At a million-plus acres, it's America's largest freshwater swamp--and it's long been at risk. But with a new land purchase, The Nature Conservancy will experiment with fixes to those problems.

Sex Ed in the Community, If Not Schools

Mar 30, 2015
Lori Lauve/Flickr

As state law restricts sexual education curriculum, and who can teach it in schools, community organizations are taking up the task.

Earlier this year, an HIV advocacy group in Baton Rouge launched a program called Fantastic Young Individuals. On March 31, the second session of FYI begins, with students learning the basics of reproductive health.