WRKF News

Many of us in Baton Rouge may think we're not really the "creative type", but Wendy Overton says we should give ourselves more credit. To foster local ingenuity, she started Creative Louisiana. The monthly meet-up features lectures from homegrown artists and entrepreneurs.

Creative Louisiana just hit its first anniversary. WRKF's Tegan Wendland asked Overton about the results so far.

June's Creative Louisiana will be held at Baton Rouge Gallery, located at 1515 Dalrymple Drive, on June 29, 2012. The event will include a panel discussion, with a panel comprised of prior Creative Louisiana guest speakers. More information here.


Sociologist Says Fear of Crime Out Of Proportion

Jun 21, 2012

The most recent CityStats survey released by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation said that residents are more scared and more concerned that crime will become worse, despite overall crime in the city declining.

To find out why that is, WRKF's Ashley Westerman spoke with LSU Professor of Sociology Edward Shihadeh about the study.

And he said the fear of crime is typically out of proportion with actual crime stats.


Charlie the Noise Guy is Always Listening

Jun 13, 2012

What does going to the airport really sound like? Charlie Williams says it sounds like - joy. He's a southern-born foley artist visiting Baton Rouge's libraries this week. He specializes in replicating the sounds of our everyday lives. WRKF's Tegan Wendland talked with him about how we all have the talent as children, but lose it as we grow up.

Charlie the Noise Guy has eight more performances coming up at East Baton Rouge Parish Libraries. View the full calendar here.


With Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu's vote, the Senate decided Thursday to move ahead with debate on the reauthorization of the farm bill.Meanwhile, two other significant pieces of legislation that the senior senator backs have stalled.

WRKF's Amy Jeffries caught up with Sen. Landrieu about the progress of the farm bill and the stalemate around the Transportation and Paycheck Fairness bills.


Play Highlights the Human Side of the BP Spill

Jun 1, 2012

Actors, directors and theater groups all over the country are marking the anniversary of the BP oil spill this spring with a play. ‘The Way of the Water" focuses on the aftermath of 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. It was written by an award-winning playwright and will be performed by a group of volunteers in Baton Rouge this weekend. WRKF's Tegan Wendland talked with local Director and doctoral theater student at LSU, Eric Mayer Garcia, about why he thought it was important to bring the play to Louisiana for the first time.The performance will be Saturday, June 1 at 7:30p.m.at The Red Shoes Center for Personal & Spiritual Growth, 2303 Government St. Donations are welcome.


The State of Honey Bees in Louisiana

May 30, 2012

Earlier this week Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill into law that creates a "Save the Honeybee" license plate.

But why are honeybees so important?

For that answer WRKF's Ashley Westerman turned to Dr. Tom Rinderer, the researcher leader at the USDA Honey Bee Lab here in Baton Rouge. That lab will benefit from the proceeds from license plate.

"Honeybees are absolutely vital to American agriculture, they pollinate in excess of $20-billion worth of crops a year," said Rinderer.


One scientist with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality says the key to improving our watersheds is educating our farmers. A new partnership between the LDEQ and the state and federal departments of agriculture aims to do just that.

WRKF's Tegan Wendland had a conversation with Jan Boydston, Senior Environmental Scientist at the LDEQ, about the new initiative, which focuses on educating and training farmers in Acadia, Lafayette, Vermilion, Catahoula and Tangipahoa parishes.


This week the state legislature unanimously approved the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, a 50 year blueprint for restoring disappearing wetlands and protecting the state's natural resources.

Coastal land loss is an ongoing problem in gulf states and there are many agencies, non-profits and universities working to solve it. An independent research institute hopes to be the linchpin that brings them all together. The Water Institute of the Gulf was founded last year and has just selected UL-Lafayette civil engineering professor Ehab Meselhe as the new director of natural systems. He's also heading up a five-year, $25 million federally funded project studying land loss and restoration.

WRKF's Tegan Wendland talked with him about how he hopes the Water Institute will streamline efforts to save the gulf.


Classrooms aren't as simple as they used to be - traditional chalk boards and pencils used to do the trick, but now computers play a huge rule in the way our kids learn.

Educator, author, and founder of the Mentorship Academy of Digital Arts, Brian Dixon, says that's a good thing. At his charter school in downtown Baton Rouge smartboards and iPads are the norm. He's the featured speaker at this month's Creative Louisiana and WRKF's Tegan Wendland talked with him about using technology in the classroom and the future of education.


The senate finance committee has yet to reach a decision on the proposed state budget, which currently includes major cuts to health care and education.

WRKF's Tegan Wendland had a conversation with LSU Professor of Finance, Rajesh Narayanan, who says year after year the state has faced major deficits and the future doesn't look too bright - unless there are major changes in the way the state makes investments.


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