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Politics
8:01 am
Thu December 4, 2014

One-on-One: Graves Talks Coastal Protection, Climate Change, and Congress

The final votes in the 6th District Congressional race will be cast Saturday, Dec. 6.

Former four-term governor and veteran of Congress Edwin Edwards is in a runoff with first-time candidate Garret Graves.

Graves is no stranger to politics though, having worked with former Congressman Billy Tauzin, Sen. David Vitter, and former Sen. John Breaux in Washington. And, until February Graves was Gov. Bobby Jindal’s coastal chief.

But none of that apparently prepared his voice for the long campaign season.

Graves was still a bit hoarse when WRKF’s Amy Jeffries reached him by phone Wednesday afternoon.


Politics
7:53 am
Tue December 2, 2014

One-on-One: Edwards Talks Traffic, Political Gridlock, and Transgressions

Edwards calls prospective voters Sept. 17, 2014.
Credit Debbie Elliott / NPR

This Saturday, Dec. 6, voters in the 6th District — from Baton Rouge to Houma — will select their next Congressman.

Garret Graves — Gov. Bobby Jindal’s former coastal chief — is in a runoff with Louisiana political legend Edwin Edwards.

Of the 26 times Edwards has been on a ballot, he’s only lost once, but he’s considered a longshot in this one. A recent poll has him down by more than 25 points.

But Edwards says he takes the projections with a grain of salt.  


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Health
3:50 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Premiums Go Up, So Might Enrollment

Credit Healthcare.gov

It’s that time of year — the open enrollment period for health plans.

In the second year of insurance exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, premiums in Louisiana, as elsewhere, will be higher on average.

“And there are some understandable reasons for that," said Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. The No. 1 reason is that insurers can no longer turn away people with pre-existing conditions. "They have to take all comers."


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Politics
6:54 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Governor Searches the Couch Cushions to Pay State's Bills

Credit aliceintheflowers

It has not been a terrific few weeks for state finances.

Oil revenues dropped. And then a $180 million hole appeared in the state budget.

Melinda Deslatte, AP reporter on the state budget beat, explains how Gov. Bobby Jindal plans to close the gap.


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Politics
5:33 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Packing Districts with Minority Voters Could Do More Harm Than Good

Congressman Cedric Richmond marching in the Southern University homecoming parade in October.
Credit Ann Marie Awad / WRKF News

On Nov. 4, Democratic incumbent Congressman Cedric Richmond won by a landslide. He got nearly 70 percent of the vote in District 2 -- Louisiana's only majority black district.

Dr. William Arp, a political scientist at Southern University, had predicted that when Ann Marie Awad spoke with him before the election.

Arp calls District 2, which encompasses most of New Orleans and north Baton Rouge, a "packed" district -- packed with minority voters. And when Awad visited Arp again he said, that's a bad thing.


Politics
6:12 am
Tue November 25, 2014

One-On-One: Sen. Landrieu Talks Keystone, Obamacare, and What's Next

Credit Ann Marie Awad

Ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff, we’ve invited each of the candidates for Congress in the 6th District and for Senate for an interview. 

Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu was on the campaign trail — literally — driving from Shreveport to Baton Rouge — when WRKF’s Amy Jeffries reached her to talk about some of the big issues in the Senate race, starting with Obamacare.

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Health
3:55 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Mouth Guard Records When Players' Heads Rattle

An i1 Biometrics concussion-detecting mouth guard in its charging cradle.
Credit Wallis Watkins

To keep a better eye on head injuries in the past, the LSU football team has had concussion detectors installed in players’ helmets. This season, LSU became the first team in the NCAA to try high-tech mouth guards to measure hits.


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Education
6:32 am
Fri November 21, 2014

State Superintendent: Learning More Important Than Scores

The state Dept. of Education has been rolling out all sorts of tests results in the last few weeks – student test scores, teacher evaluations, and school performance calculations.


Politics
3:00 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Obamacare Pros and Cons at Play in Senate Runoff

With a battle cry of “Repeal Obamacare”, Republicans took control of the U.S. Senate earlier this month. Wrangling in Washington over when—or if—to actually act on that campaign promise is part of the backdrop to Louisiana’s Senate runoff.


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Education
6:20 am
Fri November 14, 2014

School in Voucher Program Misses the Mark, Presses On

Headmaster Josh LaSage in Hosanna Christian Academy's in 2012 in "war room" where the student progress is tracked.
Credit Sue Lincoln

In 2012, when Louisiana’s taxpayer funded scholarship program was expanded statewide, Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge went all in.

In that first year, the school took on almost 300 voucher students, nearly doubling its enrollment. By the start of this school year, Hosanna had more voucher students than any other school in the state -- about 85 percent of its student are enrolled with a voucher. 

Hosanna's students didn't score well enough on state tests, and it won't be allowed to enroll more voucher students next year. Still, headmaster Josh LaSage says the school isn't giving up. 


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