WRKF News

Sue Lincoln

Leesville residents are breathing sighs of relief, as across-the-board troop reductions have mostly spared Ft. Polk.

“It shouldn’t hurt us too much,” Elmer Phillips said.

Ft. Polk is losing 388 soldiers, but the worst-case scenario would have cut 6500 troops from the military base in west-central Louisiana. The U.S. Army is reducing forces by 40,000 worldwide.

“We just did not want to lose these troops,” Beryl Ford said, visibly relieved.

Treasurer John Kennedy / Flickr

State Treasurer John Kennedy addressed the Baton Rouge Rotary Club Wednesday. He had quite a bit to say about the budget, and the lawmakers who crafted it.

“I was very, very disappointed in what the legislature did this past session, in terms of our budget," Kennedy said.

The Treasurer asserts legislators didn't even try to address the things that had created the $1.6 billion budget hole.

Just as the summer days are heating up, so is the governor’s race. Some of the candidates are actively wooing the women’s vote.

“I don’t view women as a special interest. I view ‘em as Louisiana’s interest, with an absolutely deserving right to sit at every table, with equal pay for equal work,” Republican Scott Angelle says in one of his ads.

“Scott Angelle’s trying desperately to be in the runoff with Vitter at this point, and he’s appealing to women,” U-L Lafayette political science professor Pearson Cross observes.

Sue Lincoln

How do you start a whole new industry from the ground up, especially when that industry is medical marijuana? That’s what state Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain has to figure out. His department has to come up with the rules and regulations for producing and processing the marijuana by January.

“We are responsible all the way from the seed to the delivery of the final chemical product,” Strain told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday.

Court Hands Down Healthcare Sentences

Jul 6, 2015

Inside the 22nd Judicial District Court in Covington, 20 Behavioral Health Court clients await their turn in front of Judge Peter Garcia and his team. The one thing missing: lawyers. 

Once court is in session, a young man walks through the swinging doors, approaches the team. There’s the judge, two case managers, two probation officers, a mental health clinician and a peer support specialist.

Running for office these days means more than just shaking hands and kissing babies. It now requires social media savvy. And while Twitter and Facebook offer free venues for candidates to get their messages across, they can also mean that missteps go viral.

Case in point: #AskBobby. Last week, the super PAC supporting Governor Bobby Jindal’s presidential campaign invited Twitter users to submit questions to the candidate. Within hours, #AskBobby was the top trend in Louisiana, and trending nationally as the number three most-used hashtag – even though the questions were far from pretty.

Marriage in Louisiana: What Just Happened

Jul 3, 2015
Victoria Pickering / Flickr

No matter what your perspective on marriage it has been a remarkable week.

It's certainly been a whirlwind for Kenneth Upton. He's a lawyer for Lambda Legal and lead counsel for the plaintiffs in the Robicheaux case that challenged Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. A final ruling in that case has been issued in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision that same-sex couples can marry.

Whether it’s a Catholic priest, a Baptist minister, or one of the House members, each day of a legislative session, the House convenes with a Christian prayer. I asked House Clerk Albert “Butch” Speer when was the last time a prayer was something other than Christian?

“I don’t remember any time,” said the man who has served as House Clerk for 32 years.

Much of the reason is that invocations are done on a volunteer basis; members themselves or their pastors.

“The vast majority of the members of the House profess Christianity as their major religious belief, and so that’s what we’re going to end up with--because it’s purely voluntary,” Speer said.

There’s a battle going on in New Orleans-East and at the Louisiana Bond Commission, over acquisition of a 442-unit apartment complex known as Hidden Lakes. GMF -- Global Ministries Foundation, based in Memphis, Tennessee --is the buyer.

“We have almost 11-thousand units in eight states, as a faith-based housing development corporation,” GMF president Rev. Richard Hamlet told Louisiana’s Bond Commission last month.

Among those units are nearly 2500 apartments in Louisiana; in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and the greater New Orleans area. GMF is asking the bond commission to guarantee $24.5 million dollars so they can buy, renovate and run Hidden Lakes.  Area homeowner associations have been fighting it, because it’s Section 8 housing. State Sen. Edwin Murray has been facilitating meetings between homeowners’ associations and GMF property management, in an effort to resolve the impasse.

On June 26, WRKF lost one of its founders, Lew Carter. He was also a radio personality, with a capital “P”. 


Ten days before he died, Lew, at age 92, drove himself in his red car the few blocks from his house to the station to talk about his radio legacy. 
He came prepared with a 6-page-long narrative he’d emailed in advance.


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