Joseph A. Marcus / www.wildflower.org

Modern medicine was born out of folk medicine. Today, though, modern medicine feels pretty distant from whatever folk traditions have stuck around, and it's easy to assume they don't have much in common. Travis Lux tells us about a collaborative study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center investigating the healing potential of native Louisiana plants.


Every two years, Louisiana's governor appoints a poet laureate. In August Governor Jindal appointed Peter Cooley. Cooley is the director of the creative writing program at Tulane University, he has authored ten full-length collections of poetry and has been published in magazines such as the New Yorker and the Atlantic. He gave his inaugural reading as Poet Laureate earlier this week.

Health care funding bleeds the most when Louisiana’s budget is in the red. Since it appears the scalpel will be wielded for some time yet to come, how do gubernatorial candidates plan to stitch Louisiana’s health care together?

”I would accept the Medicaid expansion, and I would do it very early in my administration,” John Bel Edwards says, adding that it makes fiscal sense. “They’re our tax dollars that are going to other states.”

David Vitter is more reserved about accepting the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

“I have not taken off the table — I’ve been very clear about this — expanding coverage under the Medicaid program.” But, Vitter says he would set conditions for doing so.


Higher education in Louisiana has been steadily dealt the budget axe, even as the state worked to grow its community and technical college system. How do the candidates for governor plan to fund higher ed, with continued budget shortfalls expected?

David Vitter says he’ll just put a halt to the problem.

“Higher ed has been cut and cut and cut, that has to stop, pure and simple. That's why I would start my administration with a special session on spending reform and tax reform to stop that never-ending cycle of cuts.”


For many, Louisiana’s environmental concerns start at the coast. Certainly, all four of the main gubernatorial candidates agree it’s a crucial issue.

“For our very survival, one of those key challenges is protecting and restoring and stabilizing the coast,” David Vitter says.

Jay Dardenne goes further.

“There is no greater threat to Louisiana than the loss of our coastline. It affects Shreveport and Chicago as much as it does Chackbay and other places along the coast.”

“It threatens many things that are special about Louisiana, including our fisheries, our wildlife, tourism, oil and gas,” John Bel Edwards elaborates.

Sue Lincoln

How are the candidates for governor planning to fix the state’s deficit—and what will that mean for the taxes you pay? Thus far, Scott Angelle, Jay Dardenne, John Bel Edwards and David Vitter have offered more generalities than specifics.

Sue Lincoln

While campaign songs may be “so last century”, many of the same issues that prompted Huey Long to pen “Every Man a King” still plague Louisiana more than 80 years later. A line in the song says, “There’s enough for all people to share,” yet Louisiana’s on-going budget problems contradict that sentiment. For the men who would be king -- the candidates for governor – the state’s budget problems dwarf everything else.

“The budget is going to be the first, second and third topics for the next governor to deal with,” Louisiana Budget Project director Jan Moller says, noting last year’s budget, the current budget, and next year’s budget are all in the red.

A Man and His Tiger

Sep 25, 2015
Frank Barnett, WRKF

The big question about LSU’s Mike the Tiger lately has been: "Will he ever go to another football game?" Personally, I've always wondered: "What does he do all day?"

Tonight, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra welcomes pianist Jonathan Biss as it opens its concert season with some Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. WRKF's Adam Vos sat down with musical director Timothy Muffitt to talk about the music.


Dr. Jessica Kemp is Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at the Center for Planning Excellence. She authored CPEX's report on "disconnected workers," which explores barriers to economic development statewide, and particularly in the nine-parish Capitol region.