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Tuesday, August 21, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Buddy Caldwell
Louisiana Attorney General

James D. “Buddy” Caldwell was sworn in as Louisiana's 43rd Attorney General on January 14, 2008. Prior to his election as the chief legal officer for the state of Louisiana, Buddy served for 29 years as the District Attorney for the parishes of East Carroll, Madison and Tensas. As District Attorney, Buddy personally tried most major felony cases in his three-parish district achieving a 99% conviction rate.

As Attorney General, Buddy is committed to the people of Louisiana. He is committed to protecting our children from those who use the Internet to prey on our children. His High Technology Crime Unit gives presentations across the state to students, educators and parents on how to stay safe on the Internet. Buddy is committed to keeping our children safe in school. He has advocated for installing cameras in and around the perimeters of schools and in school buses. Buddy knows the importance of working together to bring criminals to justice. With this in mind he created the Attorney General's Fugitive Apprehension Unit. This unit was created for the purpose of assisting local law enforcement agencies in locating and apprehending fugitives from justice.

In 2008 Buddy had the honor of being inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. He also serves on the Executive Working Group on Prosecutorial Relations for the National Association of Attorneys General.

Buddy's roots run deep in northeast Louisiana. He was born May 20, 1946, the fourth of seven children, in Columbia located in Caldwell Parish. The family moved to Madison parish in 1949 and has lived there ever since.

Buddy attended Tallulah High School and graduated with honors. Not only did he excel in academics but also athletics. He lettered in basketball, football, and track, and played semi-professional baseball in north Louisiana. Buddy earned a Bachelor's degree from Tulane University where he also played football and ran track. In 1973 he received a law degree from Tulane Law School.

Buddy divides his time between Baton Rouge and Tallulah where he lives with his wife, Pat. Together, they have seven children and six grandchildren.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

Recent Topics


     07/18 - Preventing Suicide

How is Louisiana addressing its suicide problem?

     06/18 - Louisiana: Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?  (ENCORE)

Is Louisiana a Sportsman’s Paradise or Problem?

     05/18 - News About the News

How can viewers distinguish between fact and fake news and is social media blurring the difference?

     04/18 - Balancing Eldercare

How much does Louisiana spend on nursing homes versus home and community-based care?
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