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Politics
5:21 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Insight: Lots of Forgiveness in Congressional Elections; Lots of Money in Senate Race

A couple of this fall’s congressional races could be particularly entertaining — with the “kissing Congressman”, Vance McAllister running for re-election in the 5th District in northern Louisiana, and ex-con/ex-governor Edwin Edwards running here in the 6th District. Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, says both will be asking voters for forgiveness. 

Meanwhile, the Republican field in the senate race got a little thinner this week, with State representative Paul Hollis of St. Tammany dropping out. Congressman Bill Cassidy, of course, is still the GOP frontrunner to unseat Mary Landrieu. But another Republican, retired Air Force Col. Rob Manness, who has Tea Party support, is proving to be a factor. And Alford says this Senate race is already the most expensive Louisiana has ever seen.


Health
6:36 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Putting a Life-Saving Drug in More Hands - Legal or Not

A Baton Rouge EMS paramedic holds a single dose pre-filled syringe of Nalaxone, otherwise known as Narcan. Baton Rouge paramedics have been carrying the drug for years.
Credit Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Heroin-related deaths in East Baton Rouge Parish spiked last year - the Coroner's office recorded 35 fatalities. Only Jefferson and Orleans Parish had as many.

To try to stop the deaths, a new law will allow not just paramedics, but all first responders to carry the drug Narcan - which can reverse the effects of an opiate overdose within seconds.

But some activists say the law doesn't go far enough. They say they'll keep distributing Narcan themselves directly to drug users illegally.

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Politics
5:32 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Insight: Protection from Discrimination for LGBT People in Baton Rouge Too?

New Orleans passed a so-called "fairness ordinance" in 1999, banning discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodation. Shreveport followed suit last year. Later this month, the Baton Rouge Metro Council is slated to consider an ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, sex, veteran status, and, yes, gender identity and sexual orientation. But here it looks to be a tougher sell.

Rebekah Allen, city hall reporter for The Advocate, discusses the dynamics at play. 


Health
4:15 am
Fri July 4, 2014

Insight: Research Points to Cost Savings for Coverage of Obesity Treatment

In their long list of recommendations for how the state could save money, the Jindal administration's consultants, Alvarez & Marsal, suggested Louisiana could find a billion dollars in savings from the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) over the next five years -- largely by redesigning state employee health insurance plans and what they cover.

Dr. Phillip Brantley, senior scientist at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, has been looking into whether specifically the state could save money by covering medical treatment for severe obesity. 

Education
5:12 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Insight: With Executive Order Over Common Core, Jindal Upends Testing Plans

Gov. Bobby Jindal issued an executive order last week canceling the testing contract that was meant to implement learning benchmarks once adopted by Louisiana and 44 other states.

And that has Jindal squaring off against the state superintendent and the president of the BESE board he hand-picked to push through major state education reforms in recent years.  

Melinda Deslatte, the Associated Press state capitol correspondent, discusses the clash.


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Culture
3:40 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Award Winning Vocalist Brings Bluegrass to Baton Rouge

Claire Lynch

Tonight at 8 PM, the Unitarian Church will be filled with the rolling rhythms of award winning bluegrass.  Though The Claire Lynch Band might not be a mainstream name, the band and its members are well-known and respected in the bluegrass community.  Claire Lynch, who heads the band, spoke with Elizabeth Eads earlier this week while on the road heading to Baton Rouge.
 

Playlist:

The Claire Lynch Band-Once the Teardrops Start to Fall 

The Claire Lynch Band-I'll Be Alright Tomorrow

The Claire Lynch Band-Doin' Time

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In The Recording Booth
11:16 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Land, Air, Water, Wildlife: Why Does it Matter to You?

Earth
Credit NASA Observatory

Saturday June 21, 2014 is the first day of summer; the season for play-time, vacations and - if you can take the heat - enjoying the great outdoors.

Back in April, we set up our recording booth at the Earth Day Festival in downtown Baton Rouge and we heard from people about their love for the environment.

They told us about things like growing up with recycling parents and watching the Louisiana coastline recede when we asked a simple question: Land, Air, Water, Wildlife - Why does it matter to you?

That was Freda Yarborough Dunne, Bob Williamson, Lindsey Short, Ramesh Subramanian, Amy Canada, Marifer Manns, Antoine Mitchell, Kyle Hymell, and kids Ethan Ferguson and Christa Bartholomew.

They stepped into the WRKF Recording Booth at the Earth Day Festival in April to tell us why the environment matters.

Look for the WRKF Recording Booth at events near you in the year to come.

Business
4:43 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Insight: Entrepreneurial Spirit, Numbers, and Good Stories

Marketplace Host Kai Ryssdal

On June 30, WRKF is bringing the daily business show Marketplace back to the air, weekdays at 5:30 p.m. And you’ll hear the Marketplace Morning Report at 51 minutes past the hour during Morning Edition on weekday mornings.

The return of Marketplace gives us an excuse to talk with host, Kai Ryssdal, about how Louisiana fits in to the bigger economic picture.


Education
4:03 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Jindal Moves to Withdraw Louisiana from Common Core

Jindal addresses the press on Wednesday
Credit Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

Governor Bobby Jindal announced Wednesday his intent to withdraw the state from the Common Core Educational Standards.  

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Politics
6:20 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Insight: Super PACs Have Arrived in Louisiana Politics

 

The race for Senate is just starting to heat up. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s campaign started running a new TV ad recently.

Congressman Bill Cassidy, who is challenging Landrieu for her seat, released his first ad this week. 

Each cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to air. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, wrote this week about how the floodgates for campaign fundraising are opening up in Louisiana. 

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