WRKF News

LGBT Life
6:00 am
Thu January 10, 2013

In Baton Rouge, the Closet is Crowded

FILE: A group from Baton Rouge's L Bar holds up a pride banner at the capitol, June 23, 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

In its municipal survey released in November, the Human Rights Campaign scored Baton Rouge a two out of 100 based on the policies and services the city has in place for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.   

Only Montgomery, Al., Frankfort, Ky. and Jefferson City, Mo. scored lower.

So we wondered if Baton Rouge’s dismal score is indicative of life for LGBT people here.


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Early Childhood Development
5:52 am
Wed January 9, 2013

New Study Maps Out Risks to Early Childhood Development

LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel
Credit WRKF

A unique study released last week by the LSU/Tulane Early Childhood Policy and Data Center uses maps to show where certain risk factors that could impede early childhood development are most prevalent across the state.

LSU Public Policy Research Lab Director Kirby Goidel and Epidemiologist Lina Brou said their study found that 55 of Louisiana’s 64 parishes have at least one high-risk factor that could impede childhood development such as high unemployment, high teen birth rate and high percentage of uninsured children. The nature of that risk was also found to differ from parish-to-parish.

Goidel said the initial step to addressing the needs of the children across Louisiana is to first understand the nature of the risk in each parish.


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Politics
5:34 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Vitter Slings Mud After Katrina Belittled

Even days after Katrina passed, parts of New Orleans and surrounding areas were still underwater.
Credit Lieutenant Commander Mark Moran / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Senator David Vitter made his opinion of Senator Harry Reid clear this morning via twitter. "Sadly," Vitter wrote, "Harry Reid has again revealed himself to be an idiot, this time gravely insulting Gulf Coast residents."

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Deepwater Horizon
4:17 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

Transocean's Battle in Gulf Oil Spill Case Concludes

Platform supply vessels battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon, April, 20, 2010.
Credit U.S. Coast Guard

The Deepwater Horizon rig exploded off Louisiana’s coast in 2010, unleashing an unmatched oil spill from BP’s Macondo well.

About eight months later, the Justice Department filed suit to recover damages.

BP entered into a $4.5 billion settlement of criminal claims in November.

The owner of the rig, Transocean, has just agreed to plead guilty and pay $1.4 billion in criminal and civil penalties for violating the Clean Water Act. A federal judge is likely to sign off on the agreement at a hearing set for Feb. 14.

Carrie Johnson, NPR’s Justice Correspondent, has been following this case from the beginning.

WRKF's Amy Jeffries speaks with NPR's Carrie Johnson about the Transocean settlement.

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School Safety
4:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Jindal Orders School Safety Review

Gov. Bobby Jindal has called for a state officials to look at safety measures at Louisiana public and private schools, from pre-K through college.

The governor issued the executive order Friday in the wake of the mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school last month.

On the day of that shooting, State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, said his department immediately started talking about making sure they would be able to respond if something similar happened here.

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Consolidation Campaign
1:30 am
Thu January 3, 2013

In Vegas, Merger Led to More Efficient Law Enforcement

The Fight Not Fear campaign is pushing for consolidated law enforcement in Baton Rouge.
Credit Fight Not Fear

Ads by Fight Not Fear, the campaign to consolidate law enforcement in Baton Rouge, were on heavy rotation during the weeks leading up to the November election for mayor-president and metro council members.

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Politics
5:16 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

New Laws Impact Voting, Sex Offenders, School Vouchers

One of the state laws going into effect Jan. 1 provides tax rebates for donations to organizations that will pay private and parochial school tuition for students from low and moderate-income families wanting to escape under-performing public schools. The rebates come into play barely a month after a state judge ruled a similar voucher program couldn’t be paid for through the formula for funding public schools.

Louisianians will also be able to check boxes on their tax forms to designate resources to fighting fraud in the state’s food stamp program.

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Business
12:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Chemical Company Declares Force Majeure After Facility Fire

Surface coating and specialty products giant PPG Industries declared a force majeure Thursday for vinyl chloride monomer made at its Lake Charles facility.

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Economic Development
1:11 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Shaw Group Shareholders Approve Sale To CB&I

Shareholders of the construction and engineering company The Shaw Group voted Friday to sell the company to Netherlands-based infrastructure giant CB&I.

Baton Rouge’s only Fortune 500 Company said in a statement that 99-percent of its shareholders voted in favor of the deal worth a little over $3-billion-dollars.

Baton Rouge Area Chamber CEO Adam Knapp said CB&I sees Baton Rouge as a center for engineering talent.

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School Shooting
12:54 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Bells Ring for Sandy Hook

Bells chimed at St. James Episcopal Church for the victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, Dec. 21, 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

In Louisiana and across the country church bells were rung at 9:30 a.m. this morning in memory of the women and children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT a week ago.

Without fanfare, the bell at St. James Episcopal Church in downtown Baton Rouge chime 26 times, once for each victim of the shooting at the school.

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