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Sunday, August 19, 2018
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Louisiana Public Square
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Panelist Bio


Joe Salter
Representative (D), District 24 Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives

Representative Joe Salter of Florien has been Speaker of the Louisiana House of Representatives since January, 2004. Representative Salter has served in the Legislature since 1986.

A retired Assistant Superintendent in the Sabine Parish School System,Representative Salter serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts and on the Advisory Board of Northwestern State University- Leesville/Fort Polk.

Salter started his career as an elected official by being elected to the Board of Aldermen for the Village of Florien. He was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1986 to fill an unexpired term and was reelected without opposition to serve his first full term in 1987. He was reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999 (without opposition), and with 76 percent of the vote in October, 2003.

During his tenure in the House, he has served on the House Education Committee and on the key committees which address the budget and financing of state government – Appropriations Committee, the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, and the Joint Capital Outlay Committee.

He has also served as Chairman of the House Legislative Bureau and Rural Legislative Task Force, and as a member of the Special Committee on Louisiana Homeland Security.

Representative Salter and his wife Bettye Lilly have two children - Mandy Salter Gibbs and Brantly Salter.

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)

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     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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