WRKF News

Politics
3:12 am
Fri October 3, 2014

With SLFPA-E Nomination, Fate of Lawsuit and Levees Hangs in the Balance

The nominating committee for the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has made its selection to fill a slot on the levee board. They voted 7-3 a week ago to renominate Paul Kemp — a geologist in the Coastal Ecology Institute at LSU — who’s current term is expiring. 

The ball is back in Gov. Jindal’s court — he can accept or reject Kemp’s nomination or ask the state Senate to consider it — and the fate of the levee board’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands hangs in the balance. 

Bob Marshall, reporter with The Lens in New Orleans, has been following all this.

Culture
6:30 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Meet The Neighbors: Carlos Roldan Takes Pride in His Players

Carlos Roldan
Credit Ann Marie Awad / WRKF

Meet The Neighbors introduces you to some of the remarkable people who live and work in the Baton Rouge area. Do you know someone we should meet? E-mail us at news@wrkf.org and keep up with Meet The Neighbors, follow us on Tumblr.

Carlos Roldan came to Baton Rouge from Argentina more than ten years ago. He started playing tennis at the age of nine, and started competing by age 13. By the time he was 18 he was competing semi-pro and coaching on the side, which took away from his training time. He loved to coach so much that he decided to stop competing and coach full time. In 1998, after coaching for many years, it turns out he had something new to learn.

  "By accident I received a flier for something called wheelchair tennis that I’ve never seen before, even though I’ve played tennis all my life, never seen before. So I approached the person who gave me the flier and that’s how it started," Roldan says. "I went there one time to see their practice and I really was impressed with what they do and how they do it, and the coach told me 'Would you be interested in coaching some players?' and I said 'Well, absolutely, but I don’t know much about this, and he told me 'If you know how to coach tennis you can start' and that’s how it started."

Now, Roldan coaches wheelchair tennis every Saturday at BREC’s Highland Park. He’s also helped kickstart similar programs elsewhere in the state. He teaches beginners, intermediate and advanced, with students as young as six, and as old as 65.


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Louisiana's Prescription
1:07 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

With Ban in Place, Smokers Migrate Off Campus

LSU Goes Tobacco Free
Credit LSU

Louisiana's legislature passed a law in 2013 prompting all state colleges and universities to go tobacco-free by Aug. 1 of this year. It's been almost two months now since tobacco products have officially been banned on LSU's Baton Rouge campus. 

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Politics
5:09 am
Fri September 26, 2014

With State Employee Health Plan Changes, Some will Pay More

UPDATE: The state Office of Group Benefits announced on Oct. 1 -- the first day of the enrollment period for the new health insurance plans -- that the enrollment period will extend until Nov. 30 and the changes will take effect March 1, instead of Jan. 1. In a statement, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said, “Shifting our timeline will give people the chance to get accurate information and better understand their options.”  

The state House Appropriations Committee spent all day Thursday taking testimony about changes to health insurance plans offered for 230,000 state employees, teachers, retirees and their family members through the Louisiana Office of Group Benefits.

The Legislative Fiscal Office had looked over the offerings and estimated maximum out-of-pocket costs for people covered through OGB could go up significantly, 47 percent on average, more than $1,600 per year for a single active employee.

The new plans are supposed to take effect in January. The enrollment period is slated to start next week.

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Health
5:19 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Local Healthcare Sector Booms with Associate Degree Workers

Toni Manogin, Dean of Nursing and Allied Health at Baton Rouge Community College
Credit Alison Lee Satake

Jobs that require only a two-year degree are the fastest growing in the healthcare sector. That’s especially true in the Baton Rouge area, according to the Brookings Institute. Roughly half of healthcare workers here have less than a bachelor’s degree, ranking Baton Rouge 17th among the top U.S. metros.

 


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Politics
5:33 am
Fri September 19, 2014

State Senator Seeks Baseline for Handling of Sexual Assault on Louisiana Campuses

Sen. JP Morrell

The Louisiana Board of Regents unleashed a 500-plus page report earlier this week about sexual assault. The report shows wide variation in how sexual assault is dealt with on state college and university campuses. 

State Sen. JP Morrell requested the report and is now putting together a working group that may wind up crafting legislation to make campus responses to the problem more uniform.


Politics
3:00 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Senate Tracker: A Close Race In Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu (L) is in a dead heat with Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is challenging her in a tight Senate race. (landrieu.senate.gov; cassidy.house.gov)

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 2:31 pm

In the latest installment of Senate Tracker, our weekly look at Senate races across the country, we turn to Louisiana, where Democratic senator Mary Landrieu is fighting to keep her job.

Her closest challenger is Republican congressman Bill Cassidy.

Sue Lincoln, reporter for WRKF in Baton Rouge, tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about the race.

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Education
6:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

High Tech Music Experiment Targets North Baton Rouge Elementary School

Ann Marie Awad WRKF News

A small group of students at Winbourne Elementary in North Baton Rouge, have been picked to be part of an experiment. The East Baton Rouge Parish School District is hoping that teaching the kids music will help them with reading and math. 


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Politics
3:00 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Edwin Edwards' Encore

50 years after he first won a congressional seat, Edwin Edwards is asking voters to send him back to Washington.

The four-time former governor is a Louisiana legend, but – as Sue Lincoln reports – it won’t be an easy sell.

The 87-year-old carries the baggage of a felony conviction, and he’s trying to mount a political comeback in district that’s become starkly conservative.


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Business
5:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Despite Latest BP Spill Ruling, Deepwater Drilling in the Gulf Still Worth It

Credit U.S. Coast Guard

BP was to blame — that was U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier’s ruling a week ago in the case over the Macondo well disaster. The judge found Transocean, which was operating the Deepwater Horizon rig in 2010, and cement contractor Haliburton at fault too. But Barbier said BP was guilty of “gross negligence”. And that could mean that payouts by BP balloon to $50 billion or more ultimately.

Dr. Jim Richardson, professor of public administration and economics at LSU explains some of the business implications.


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