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April 28, 2017
Legislative Wrap, Louisiana Land Conservation Funds, Coastal Erosion Update

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CLICK HERE to view in player: April 28, 2017
Legislative Wrap, Louisiana Land Conservation Funds, Coastal Erosion Update



Legislative Wrap


Kelly Spires gives us a wrap-up of activities at the capitol during this 3rd week of the Legislature.


Louisiana Land Conservation Funds


The Natural Resources Conservation Service encourages Louisiana landowners to take advantage of its expertise. See how conservation funds are reaping what they sow.


Coastal Erosion Update


Louisiana is in a battle against devastating land loss. The state’s 2017 updated coastal restoration Master Plan will be presented to the Legislature during the regular session that begins this month. For the first time in its history, Louisiana will have significant funding to begin implementing coastal projects, as the first of the state's long awaited oil and gas revenues kick in this year.





April 21, 2017
Opioid policy round table



Opioid policy round table


In 2016, overdose deaths related to opioid use outpaced homicides in East Baton Rouge and Orleans parishes. Studies show 80 percent of heroin users become addicted after misusing prescriptions. Drs. Beau Clark and SreyRam Kuy will join host Andre Moreau for a special edition of Louisiana: The State We’re In to discuss what lawmakers can do to limit prescriptions.





April 14, 2017
Legislative Wrap Week 1, Veteran Health, LDMA: Louisiana Music, Happy Birthday, U.S.S. Kidd Anniversary, Whooping Crane



Legislative Wrap Week 1


The state’s expenses are projected to grow faster than the revenue the state has to meet them. You’ve heard it before. That means colleges, hospitals and prisons are on unstable financial ground. Governor John Bel Edwards kicked off the Legislative session on Monday by outlining his plan to make up the gap between money in and money out. But what Edwards sees as a revenue problem, House leadership says can fix by cutting spending.


Veteran Health


In collaboration with the US Army, Pennington Biomedical Research Center has released a program and smartphone app that uses the latest in mobile technologies to customize health programs for soldiers, veterans and military families. We take a look at how the “HEALTH Intensive” program puts a healthy lifestyle at a soldier’s fingertip.


U.S.S. Kidd Anniversary


It was April 11th, 1945, at a location 90 miles east of Okinawa when a Japanese kamikaze plane bombed the naval destroyer – the USS Kidd – killing 38 crewmen. Since that time, their shipmates have gathered each year to pay tribute to those who died in the attack. Fred King shares his experience.


LDMA: Louisiana Music


The Louisiana Digital Media Archive celebrates our state’s music in April, just in time for festival season. We highlight Cedric Watson, a zydeco musician from Lafayette who is working hard to preserve the legacy of Louisiana’s traditional creole style while adding a few twists of his own.


Happy Birthday, Whooping Crane


Louisiana’s first wild-hatched whooping crane turned one-year-old this week.





April 10, 2017 - Governor’s Address to the Opening of the 2017 Regular Legislative Session
Governor John Bel Edwards Addresses the Opening of the 2017 Regular Legislative Session






April 7, 2017
Flood Recovery Update, Early Spring Impacts Louisiana Agriculture, Legislative Preview, Louisiana Young Heroes Recap



Flood Recovery Update


A program to deliver long-awaited federal aid to flood victims kicks off this week as Louisiana officials work to get additional recovery dollars from Washington.


Early Spring Impacts Louisiana Agriculture


Devastating floods last year and unseasonably warm weather this spring are impacting Louisiana’s growers and shoppers.


Legislative Preview


Next week marks the start of another legislative sessions as lawmakers work to solve the state’s fiscal crises. Capitol reporters Jeremy Alford and Greg Hilburn sit down for a preview of the top issues.


Louisiana Young Heroes Recap


Louisiana Public Broadcasting and the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge held the 22nd annual Young Heroes awards to celebrate the achievements and contributions of some spectacular young people.





March 31, 2017
Gross Receipts Tax, Women in Science, Infant Health, Louisiana Legends 2017



Gross Receipts Tax


Governor John Bel Edwards’ plan for tax reform is now in lawmakers’ hands. What are the pros and cons? And how could it affect taxpayers’ pocketbooks? Lawmakers begin debating next month when the legislative session kicks off.


Women in Science


On this last day of Women’s History Month, we highlight Gabriela Gonzalez, an astrophysicist with LIGO, who has contributed to the world of science by opening up our ears to the sounds of space.


Infant Health


Pennington researcher Dr. Leanne Redman joins us on set to talk about an ongoing study on women’s and infants’ health. Redman uses a metabolic chamber designed for infants to study nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life.


Louisiana Legends 2017


Louisiana Public Broadcasting honors the best and brightest of Louisiana’s sons and daughters who have distinguished themselves in a variety of disciplines and have brought honor to the state. Julian E. Bailes, Jr., M.D., James Moncus, Juan Pierre, Dee Dee Reilly, and Toni and Emmet Stephenson are the 2017 honorees.





March 24, 2017
LSU and Southern University Medical Marijuana Program, Entrepreneur Boot Camp for Vets, Miss Universe Hails from Louisiana, Kids Say What - Women’s History Month



LSU and Southern University Medical Marijuana Program


LSU and Southern University have been approved to build medical marijuana production facilities. Officials at both schools have been busy setting up the marijuana growing programs over the last year. Dr. Janana Snowden of the SU AgCenter and Dr. Bill Richardson of the LSU AgCenter are in the studio to discuss the details.


Entrepreneur Boot Camp for Vets


A group of veterans from across the nation traveled to LSU recently as part of an Entrepreneurship Boot Camp for Disabled Vets. This program is completely free for veterans. Part of the instruction includes eight days of intensive instruction at one of ten campuses around the country, including LSU.


Miss Universe Hails from Louisiana


The best brahma cow in the world is from Church Point, Louisiana. Troy Thibodeaux breeds red Brahman cattle and he's been racking up trophies, banners and ribbons for quite a while. Avery Davidson takes a tour to his ranch in St. Landry Parish to show you how his efforts means you have a tastier steak on your plate.


Kids Say What - Women’s History Month


In this month's Kids Say What? Segment, the eighth grade broadcast class at Southeast Middle Magnet School in Baton Rouge searches for the significance behind Women’s History Month through the eyes of grade school students.





March 17, 2017
Oil and Gas Industry Update, Art Rocks! Profiles Shreveport Artist Rachel Stuart-Haas, Siege of Port Hudson Remembered



Industry Update


The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics released its latest employment numbers this week. Lafayette had the largest job loss in the state in 2016 with losing 9000 jobs. Houma lost roughly 6000 jobs last year. Layoffs in the oil and gas industry are largely to blame in these two regions. Ken Stickney, Oil and Gas Reporter with the Lafayette Advertiser is in the studio to discuss the current state of Louisiana’s oil and gas industry and what the future holds.


Shreveport Artist Rachel Stuart-Haas


This north Louisiana resident focuses her time and energy on producing one of a kind paintings that feature females as seen through Stuart-Haas’s introspective vision. See more stories of Louisiana artists every week on LPB’s Art Rocks! program with host and publisher of Country Roads Magazine James Fox-Smith, Fridays at 8:30pm and Saturdays at 5:30pm.


Siege of Port Hudson Remembered


We are nearing the 154th anniversary of the Siege of Port Hudson. It marks the turning point of the Civil War and the Union's final engagement with the Confederates to recapture the Mississippi River. Confederate batteries just north of Baton Rouge fired down on Union gunboats in the siege that lasted 48 days. Port Hudson Curator Michael Fraering offers insight and information on the upcoming Battle of Port Hudson Reenactment March 25-26 at the Port Hudson State Historic Site.





March 10, 2017
North Louisiana News, Arthur Miller Visits Louisiana, Louisiana’s First Black Nurses on the LDMA



North Louisiana News


Monroe native Greg Hilburn of the USA Today Network of Louisiana sits down to discuss some of the important news items in north Louisiana. Louisiana college campuses including Grambling and Louisiana Tech are crumbling under the weight of $1.7 billion in statewide deferred maintenance. Central and north Louisiana lawmakers are discussing how the state will address a $400 million shortfall in next year’s budget and Barksdale Air Force Base B-52 navigator Lt. Col. Steve “Thirsty” Smith was recognized recently for his record breaking number of flight hours in Air Force history.


Arthur Miller Visits Louisiana


One of the nation’s most distinguished legal scholars, Arthur Miller visited Baton Rouge this week as part of the LSU Law Center’s Visiting Professor Law Program. A renowned commentator on law and society, the former Professor of Law at Harvard won an Emmy for his work on the PBS series “The Constitution: That Delicate Balance.” Miller’s full speech can be watched on LPB’s Newsmakers viewable online at www.lpb.org/newsmakers.


Louisiana’s First Black Nurses on the LDMA


In recognition of Women’s History Month, the Louisiana Digital Media Achieve (LDMA) is highlighting some of Louisiana’s female figures that made a difference. More than five decades ago, a small First Aid class at Shiloh Baptist Church in Baton Rouge led to the creation of a school that gave men and women of color a chance for a better life for themselves working in medicine. Shauna Sanford introduces us to the first black nurses in Louisiana who battled segregation and paved the way for so many others. You can find more stories on Louisiana Women’s History at www.ladigitalmedia.org.





March 3, 2017
Political Roundup, A Cut Above – Louisiana’s Forestry, Women’s History Month Featured on LDMA, Caroline Dormon



Political Roundup


Jeremy Alford, publisher and editor of LaPolitics Weekly and LaPolitics.com is in the studio to discuss the latest Louisiana political news including Governor John Bel Edwards’ recent trip to DC and his meeting with President Donald Trump, as well as the race for the open seat for state treasurer that opened following John Kennedy’s successful run for U.S. Senate.


A Cut Above – Louisiana’s Forestry


Louisiana’s forestry accounts for nearly 40% of the total value of all plant commodities grown in the state. Neil Melancon takes an insider’s look at developing a successful strategy through a technique called “managed clear cutting”.


Caroline Dormon, Women’s History Month Featured on LDMA


This month, our LDMA, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive (www.ladigitalmedia.org) highlights Women’s History Month. It’s time to meet Caroline Dormon, who is known as the first female forester in Louisiana. Back in the 1930’s Caroline began to lobby lawmakers to create and fund a state Arboretum just outside of Ville Platte. Louisiana was the first state in the south to create a funded state Arboretum. Since its beginning in 1964, the Arboretum has grown. It now contains 600 acres, nearly six miles of hiking trails and a 6,000 square foot Nature Center in addition to the Caroline Dormon Lodge.





February 24, 2017
Special Session Budget and Analysis, Black and the Blue, E-Cigarettes, Mardi Gras



Special Session Wrap Up and Analysis


The special legislative session to address a $304 million current year budget deficit is over. Lawmakers and Governor John Bel Edwards agreed to use $99 million dollars from the state’s rainy day fund to help bridge the gap. The Louisiana Department of Health took the biggest hit with a budget cut of roughly $40 million. Kelly Spires has the details from the Capitol. Julia O’Donoghue, State Political Reporter for the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com and Barry Erwin with Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) discuss state politics and budgets and where the state goes from here.


Black and the Blue - Louisiana Public Square


Close to 200 people gathered this week at Star Hill Church in Baton Rouge, a half mile from the site of the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling to discuss how the city and state are working to move productively beyond his death and those of three law enforcement officers killed during the summer.


Prescription for Health - E-Cigarettes


How safe are e-cigarettes? Sports medicine and family physician Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio to discuss the pros and cons of e-cigarettes. Medical doctors and researchers have mixed views on whether e-cigarettes are truly a safer option compared to tobacco cigarettes.


What is Mardi Gras


Fat Tuesday is next week and the 8th grade broadcasting class at Southeast Middle Magnet School in Baton Rouge has this holiday offering asking students to explain some of the traditions and reasons behind Mardi Gras.





February 17, 2017
Budget Battle at the Captiol, Marie Therese Coincoin, Top This Marriage Proposal



Budget Battle at the Capitol


Dealing with a $304 million shortfall in the state spending plan, Democrats and Republicans in the Louisiana Capitol can’t agree on whether to tap the state’s “Rainy Day Fund,” or how much. Kelly Connelly has more about the tense negotiations.


Happy Marie Therese Coincoin Day


What is Marie Therese Coincoin Day? It’s an annual event held along the Cane River Creole National Historic Area celebrating the life of a freed slave who would go on to become a landowner, businesswoman, nurse, hunter and tobacco grower. Charlie Whinham tells us about the celebration from Isle Brevelle.


Top This Marriage Proposal


We pull out one of our show’s most romatic Louisiana stories for this Valentine’s Week. Back in 2014, Louisiana resident Max Zoghbi wanted to ask Bonnie Kate Pourciau to marry him, but he wanted it to be memorable, if not shocking. Max pulled off one of the most elaborate and surprizing marriage proposals you will ever see.





February 10, 2017
February 10, 2017 - Tornadoes Hit Louisiana • Special Session Preview • Black History Month – Eddie G. Robinson Museum



Tornadoes Hit Louisiana


Powerful storms and at least nine confirmed tornadoes ripped through Louisiana on Tuesday. Some of the affected areas included Donaldsonville, Ponchatoula, Madisonville and New Orleans East. Dozens of injuries were reported, but fortunately there were no fatalities. Mike Steele with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) offers the latest information on the Louisiana storms and gives a post-storm evaluation on the state’s response.


Special Session Preview


Louisiana lawmakers are coming back to Baton Rouge next week to balance the state’s budget. We’re a little more than halfway through this year’s budgeting period, and policymakers have realized the spending plan is another $300 million short. News about multi-million dollar shortfalls grew repetitive years ago. Kelly Spires spoke to the governor’s administration, the republican leader in the House, and a good government group to put the deficit into context.


Black History Month – Eddie G. Robinson Museum


In honor of Black History Month LPB showcases the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University. Coach Robinson led the Grambling State Tigers to 408 victories during his 56 year career that began in 1941. Thanks to the Friends of the Eddie G. Robinson Museum, a dream to build a museum in his honor became a reality in 2005. Charlie Whinham talks with two men key to creating the museum, former Grambling Baseball coaching legend Wilbert Ellis and Lincoln & Union Parish District Attorney John Belton. Find out more about the Eddie G. Robinson Museum at www.robinsonmuseum.com.





February 3, 2017
How Could U.S. Immigration Policy Affect Louisiana? • Louisiana School Recovery Efforts – Part 2 • Opera Louisiane Performs Feb. 10th and 12th



How Could U.S. Immigration Policy Affect Louisiana?


President Trump’s executive order on suspending immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries has spurred protests across the nation. Supporters of Trump’s plan say he is on firm legal ground to ban immigrants and refugees temporarily from those countries because they pose a national security threat. How could this affect Louisiana? We start the conversation with professionals familiar with immigration issues including Lauren Aronson of the LSU Immigration Law Clinic, State Rep. Beryl Amedee (R-Gray) and Brian Breaux Associate Commodity Director with Louisiana Farm Bureau.


Louisiana School Recovery Efforts – Part 2


LPB continues to follow up on the recovery efforts to some the hardest hit school systems in Louisiana following the catastrophic floods of August. This week Charlie Whinham travels to Livingston Parish to talk with the teachers and principal of Denham Springs High School. Students and teachers returned to their campus following the Christmas break. It was an ambitious goal that many people were unsure they would reach.


Opera Louisiane Performs Feb. 10th and 12th


It’s been ten years since Opera Louisiane brought its first production to Baton Rouge stages and although opera might sound like a hard sell in today’s digital age, the company’s future is looking brighter than ever.





January 27, 2017
Flood Recovery Effort in the Classrooms - Part 1, Promising Crawfish Season Underway, West Monroe HS Marching Band Performs at Inauguration



Flood Recovery Effort in the Classrooms - Part 1


The floodwaters of August caused an estimated 50 million dollars in property damage to East Baton Rouge Parish Schools. Glen Oaks Parks Elementary was completely flooded and its teachers and entire student body relocated to Banks Elementary which had been vacant for the last two years. Charlie Whinham checks in on the school leaders for a follow up. Overall, the staff and children are very upbeat, but some of the nerves are still raw at times.


Promising Crawfish Season Underway


High rainfall totals could mean high yields this crawfish season. We will go from farm-to-market to catch the latest developments with an Acadia Parish crawfish farmer along with the owner of Tony’s Seafood Market in Baton Rouge.


West Monroe HS Marching Band Performs at Inauguration


While several entertainers and bands decided to pass on invitations to perform at Presidential Donald Trump’s Inauguration festivities, West Monroe High School Band Director Robert Freeman jumped at the chance to perform in the Inauguration Parade. This marks the second time the WMHS Marching Band has performed in an Inauguration Parade, the first time was in 2005 for President George W. Bush. Their performance viewable online at www.marching.com already has over 300,000 views.





January 20, 2017
Healthy New Year!, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield, LA Veterans Coming Home – Bastion Community



Healthy New Year!


January heralds the beginning of a New Year and for many, a resolution to practice a healthier lifestyle. If you live in the Bayou State, that can be a challenge. According to the 13th annual State of Obesity Report, Louisiana now has the highest rate of adult obesity in the country. So, what is the best approach to shedding pounds in a state where cuisine is part of its culture? Louisiana Public Square dives into healthy eating and more on “Healthy New Year!” airing Wednesday, January 25 at 7pm on LPB-HD and in New Orleans on WLAE.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


This month we tackle the rising costs of insulin. The price of insulin has more than tripled in ten years. It is an increasing challenge particularly for those who are uninsured or underinsured and those who need large daily doses. Nearly 14% of Louisiana’s adult population has diabetes. Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio to discuss the what’s led to this situation and what can be done about it.


LA Veterans Coming Home – Bastion Community


There is a non-profit organization that is building a neighborhood for returning veterans with lifelong rehabilitative needs. The Bastion Community of Resilience is a five acre site in New Orleans that is designed to serve veterans, their families and the community members who volunteer there. Bastion Executive Director of Dylan Tete is in the studio to explain how this new concept is designed to serve veterans who are at the greatest risk of falling through the gap of existing care. LPB is among 20 television public television stations across the country highlighting issues our nation’s servicemen and veterans face with the Veterans Coming Home initiative. Continued local support for Veterans Coming Home is provided by Entergy. See more stories at veterans.lpb.org.





January 13, 2017
Governor Edwards' First Year in Office, Not in My Bayou



Governor Edwards' First Year in Office


One year ago Wednesday, Governor John Bel Edward took office. Edwards marked the one year anniversary with a speech at the Governor’s mansion. With challenges in 2016 ranging from the state budget deficit, two catastrophic floods, a summer of civil unrest following shootings in Baton Rouge, Edwards remains hopeful. “I’m even more optimistic about our future because I’ve seen what we all can accomplish in one year in spite of the significant obstacles we’ve faced.”


Not in My Bayou


The Army Corps of Engineers and Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality held a public meeting Thursday on the proposed Bayou Bridge Pipeline project; a 162-mile pipeline that would carry oil through 11 southern parishes. Several environmental groups are against the pipeline including the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and Sierra Club stating it would cause permanent damage to the environment. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation the permit application conforms to mandated safety standards. We’ll hear from supporters on both sides of the pipeline issue.





January 6, 2017
Restoring the Coast, Pennington Receives $5 Million NIH Grant



Louisiana’s Moon Shot – Restoring the Coast


The Louisiana Coastal and Restoration Authority (CPRA) released their 2017 draft of the Coast Master Plan this week. The 50-year, $50 billion plan began following Hurricane Katrina. Bolstered with money from the BP Oil Spill settlement, the Master Plan is updated every five years. Charlie Whinham talks with Windell Curole of the South Lafourche Levee District, as well as lead CPRA researcher Bren Haase to get the latest on the program many call “Louisiana’s Moon Shot.”


Pennington Receives $5 Million NIH Grant


The National Institute of Health (NIH) awarded LSU Biomedical Research Center a $5.28 million grant to study the molecular effects of exercise. The Molecular Transducers of Physical Activity (MoTrPAC) program aims to understand the importance of physical activity on a molecular level. Dr. Eric Ravussin explains the research that will include recruiting Louisiana adults for the study.





December 30, 2016
Year-End Special - We review the top news stories of 2016 with some of the top journalists in our state. Our distinguished panel includes Louisiana Politics Reporter for Gannett Newspapers Greg Hilburn, Political Columnist for The Advocate Newspapers Stephanie Grace and WAFB-TV Lead Investigative Reporter Kiran Chawla.



Year-End Special


This week marks a special year end edition of Louisiana: The State We’re In. We review the top news stories of 2016 with some of the top journalists in our state. Our distinguished panel includes Louisiana Politics Reporter for Gannett Newspapers Greg Hilburn, Political Columnist for The Advocate Newspaper Stephanie Grace, and WAFB-TV Lead Investigative Reporter Kiran Chawla.





December 23, 2016
2016 Louisiana Floods, LSU Hires New Football Coach, Christmas Concert at Governor’s Mansion, Bonfires Along the Mississippi River



2016 Louisiana Floods


Two major floods hit Louisiana in 2016. North Louisiana took heavy flooding in March, while the worst natural disaster since Superstorm Sandy hit much of south Louisiana in August. We share some of those flood stories that devastated residents including thousands of school children, teachers, and schools.


LSU Hires New Football Coach


In September, LSU fired head football coach Les Miles and replaced him with interim head coach Ed Orgeron. The label “interim” was removed in November when he was officially named Head Coach of the Tigers. “Coach O” grew up in south Louisiana and his roots are deeply planted in his hometown of Larose. Back in the fall, Charlie Whinham headed to his hometown to talk with former teammates and friends from South Lafourche High School.


Christmas Concert at Governor’s Mansion


This holiday season features a special performance of renowned singer/songwriter Zachary Richard featuring the Myrtle Place French Immersion Children’s Choir for a Christmas performance at the Governor’s Mansion.


Bonfires Along the Mississippi River


One of the most unique Louisiana Christmastime traditions take place in St. James Parish for the annual Christmas Eve Bonfires along the Mississippi River. Photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry provides this video postcard for the holidays.





December 16, 2016
Not Home For the Holidays, Louisiana Veterans Coming Home, Authors Alford and Bridges Discuss LONG SHOT



Not Home For the Holidays


Congress recently approved an additional $1.25 billion in flood recovery aid for the state. The total amount is still nearly $2.5 billion short of what state officials requested. Still, thousands of Louisiana residents continue to pick up pieces, short on money and solutions and still waiting for assistance. As part of LPB’s continuing flood recovery coverage, senior producer Kevin Gautreaux visited with some families still waiting to return home for the holidays.

Louisiana Veterans Coming Home


What challenges do our returning veterans face? Louisiana has one of the highest percentage of residents aged 25 and under in the country that have served in the military. This month’s encore presentation of LOUISIANA PUBLIC SQUARE looks at the challenges and needs veterans face when they return stateside including securing civilian employment, obtaining healthcare and oftentimes housing. Catch the full LOUISIANA PUBLIC SQUARE program Wednesday, December 21st at 7PM or online at www.lpb.org/publicsquare.

Authors Alford and Bridges Discuss LONG SHOT


Long identified as top flight political journalist in Louisiana, Jeremy Alford and Tyler Bridges teamed up to write a book on the 2015 race for Governor titled LONG SHOT. Released this month, the book delves deep into the inner workings of the campaigns of republican David Vitter and democrat John Bel Edwards. Jeremy and Tyler sit down with Charlie Whinham to discuss the book and the most recent wild, no-holds-barred campaign for the state’s top office.




December 9, 2016
Run-off Elections This Saturday • Crisis Counseling During Emotional Holidays • Martin Accordions Tour



Run-off Elections This Saturday


Louisiana has attracted national attention as the last state in the nation to choose representatives and senators to send to Washington, D.C. Elections include the congressional race in the 3rd district in southwest Louisiana, the 4th district in northwest Louisiana, and the statewide Senate race. Kelly Spires spoke to several pundits about Saturday elections.


Crisis Counseling During Emotional Holidays


The holidays can be a very stressful time and this year in Louisiana, those emotional strains can be amplified following the devastating floods this year suffered by thousands of residents. Nicole Peace Coarsey oversees the Louisiana Spirit Crisis Counseling Program and will discuss important programs available, how to identify abnormal stress and depression levels and what to do if you see this in yourself or a loved one.


Martin Accordions Tour


As part of our LOUISIANA TRAVELS series, Charlie heads to Scott for a toe-tapping good trip to the musical workshop of Martin Accordions. This family-run business creates colorful Cajun accordions and is known the world over for its exceptional quality, sound and beauty. But there’s so much more to this story than just manufacturing exquisite music boxes.





December 2, 2016
Louisiana Shootings • Louisiana Remembers 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor • Civil Air Patrol Celebrates 75 Years • Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield • Deeply Rooted Premiers Tuesday 12/6



Louisiana Shootings


Last weekend Louisiana was startled by two high profile shootings on well-trafficked corridors in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. With fears that violence on Bourbon Street could spook tourists, Kelly Spires sat down with state police superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson to discuss police presence in the French Quarter, what could be improved, and what you should do if you’re in an active shooter situation.


Louisiana Remembers 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor


Wednesday, December 7th will mark the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The early morning attack killed 2,403 Americans and destroyed 188 U.S. aircraft and vessels. The attack led to the United States’ entry into World War II. Thanks to the Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA), we hear the accounts of three Louisiana veterans who were there on that fateful day.


Civil Air Patrol Celebrates 75 Years


This month marks the 75th anniversary of the Civil Air Patrol. The CAP was actually formed one week before the Pearl Harbor attack and played a vital role in national defense strategy as a wounded country headed into World War II. These days, the mission of the Civil Air Patrol is to assist federal and state emergency services, teach children the science of flying, and build future leaders through the Civil Air Patrol Cadet Program.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


Dr. Rani Whitfield joins us for his monthly health segment. This time we discuss medical marijuana. What patients can benefit from medical marijuana and what is the current status of state operated dispensaries designed to provide the marijuana based medicines?


Deeply Rooted Premiers Tuesday 12/6


Master Gardner John Coykendall has spent the last 40 years traveling the state to save heirloom seeds and documenting farming traditions of rural Louisiana. Catch the LPB’s premiere of Deeply Rooted: Saving our Seeds & Stories Tuesday night at 7PM.





November 25, 2016
New BP Oil Spill Report Released • Hi-Tech Jobs Coming to North Louisiana • Tasty Louisiana Wild Turkey • Video Postcard – Washington Parish



New BP Oil Spill Report Released


There’s a new study out by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA that shows the BP oil spill in 2010 not only caused widespread damage to Louisiana’s already shrinking wetlands, but also speeded up coastal erosion. David Muth, Director of the Gulf Restoration Program with the National Wildlife Foundation offers his thoughts on the study and what the future holds for Louisiana’s coastline and wetlands.


Hi-Tech Jobs Coming to North Louisiana


Folks in the Shreveport/Bossier City are celebrating a new business expansion for the region. The expansion by CSRA Inc. promises to add hundreds of new high tech jobs to the area and tie several Louisiana colleges and universities into the strategic plan for success.


Tasty Louisiana Wild Turkey


Even though it’s the day after Thanksgiving, we thought it was the perfect time to talk “wild” turkey in Louisiana. As part of his successful cooking series on LPB “After the Hunt” chef John Folse served up one of the tastiest turkey recipes around and shared some tips on hunting the bird with Jimmy Riley, lodge manager of Giles Island.


Video Postcard – Washington Parish


We leave you with an offering of thanks from Rex Q. Fortenberry and his video postcard of beautiful rural Washington Parish.





November 18, 2016
Congressman Abraham on President-elect Trump • Louisiana Public Square – Beyond the Flood • Life After MLK Symposium



Congressman Abraham on President-elect Trump


Northeast Louisiana U.S. Representative Ralph Abraham (R) easily won his House seat with 82 percent of the vote, nothing close to the drama for the race for President between eventual winner republican Donald Trump and democrat Hillary Clinton. Rep. Abraham talks one-on-one with Charlie Whinham about President-elect Trump and how he believes the new administration will benefit Louisiana.


Louisiana Public Square – Beyond the Flood


The May and August floodwaters that inundated north and south Louisiana have receded but the recovery continues. What lessons did residents and state officials learn from these historic events and what challenges remain? LOUISIANA PUBLIC SQUARE tackles these important issues and more this month. Go online at www.lpb.org/publicsquare to learn more about this month’s topic.


Life After MLK Symposium


In his new four-hour series, BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE, Henry Lewis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. This week LPB co-hosted a premiere viewing of the program with Southern University. The evening also included a panel discussion that asked, “What would you say to Dr. Martin Luther King since his death in 1968?” Episode two of BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE airs on LPB Tuesday, November 22nd at 7PM.


The Winner of a 2016 Honda Civic


Tonight is our drawing for LPB’s “Win the Wheels” Raffle. We are grateful to Ryan Honda of Monroe for their generous sponsorship in this year’s raffle. Together we raised over $70,000 and sold over 1500 tickets to viewers like you.





November 11, 2016
2016 Election, Captain John Rogers, Vietnam Veteran Lieutenant Sonny Kifer, Chenault Museum



Reviewing the 2016 Election


Most pollsters had the presidential election wrong as Republican nominee Donald Trump won the race over Democrat Hillary Clinton. How did so many election predictors have it wrong? We’ll analyze the national and Louisiana numbers with LSU Political Communications Professor Martin Johnson and Southern University Political Science Professor Dr. Albert Samuels, as well as review some of the upcoming Louisiana run-off races for Congress.


Remembering Army Capt. John Rogers


As we observe Veterans Day, LPB sends its condolences to the family and friends of World War II veteran Capt. John Rogers. The Denham Springs resident served in the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Division as a tank commander in the days following D-Day. Charlie Whinham first met Capt. Rogers at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans a few years ago, and as he has been a treasured source of sharing first hand history lessons of WWII to younger generations.


Vietnam Veteran Lt. Sonny Kifer


North Louisiana resident and Vietnam veteran Sonny Kifer recently visited the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe and found an incredible surprise. The Navy fighter pilot not only saw an airplane similar to the one he flew during his missions, but upon further inspection, he discovered it was the same plane he flew in.


Chenault Aviation & Military Museum Tour


Take a tour of Monroe’s Chennault Aviation and Military Museum which highlights the career of General Claire Chennault through the eyes of his granddaughter and museum director Nell Calloway. Gen. Chennault was an American military aviator best known for his leadership of the “Flying Tigers” and the Republic of China Air Force in World War II.





November 4, 2016
11/04/16 - Election Dynamics of 2016 • M6 Propellant Disposal at Camp Minden • Louisiana Author Rebecca Wells • 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes



Election Dynamics of 2016


Election Day is drawing near and we’ve seen record early voting turnout in Louisiana and across the country. Kelly Spires chatted with several pundits about the dynamics of the race for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat and what we can expect for the December runoff.


M6 Propellant Disposal at Camp Minden


Two years ago, residents in northwest Louisiana successfully blocked plans by the U.S. Army to open burn over 15 million pounds of deteriorating munitions materials at Camp Minden. The end result is a $35 million dollar closed burning chamber located at Camp Minden that is currently half-way through of a scheduled year long process.


Louisiana Author Rebecca Wells


Another successful Louisiana Book Festival is in the books. Thousands attended this year’s event along the grounds of the state capitol. University of Louisiana at Lafayette professor Mary Ann Wilson caught up with best-selling Louisiana author Rebecca Wells who shares some insights into her novels.


2016 Louisiana Young Heroes


For over two decades, LPB has honored students in grades 7-12 who have excelled in the classroom, served their community and/or shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives. Over the next several weeks LPB will showcase the 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes award winners from this past spring. This week we celebrate a Atlanta High School student Marisa Mercer of Winfield. The nomination process for the 2017 Young Heroes is underway. For more information go to http://www.lpb.org/index.php/heroes/.





October 28, 2016
2016 Elections, Louisiana Book Festival, Old Glory Relay



Louisiana Public Square – 2016 Elections


The presidential election may be getting all the attention, but Louisiana voters will be making several important decisions at the ballot box in November including selecting a new U.S. Senator. What national concerns are on the citizens’ minds as they go to the polls and what statewide issues should be on the minds of Louisiana’s next Congressional leaders? This month’s Louisiana Public Square takes an in-depth look at Election 2016.


Louisiana Book Festival


This weekend marks the 13th annual Louisiana Book Festival. This free, world-class literary celebration is held in downtown Baton Rouge at the State Library of Louisiana. Studio guests Robert Wilson, Director of the Louisiana Center for the Book and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton highlights this year’s event.


Veterans Coming Home - Old Glory Relay


As Veterans Day nears, a military support group called Team Red, White and Blue is taking an American flag on a cross-country journey from Washington state to Florida. This week, the Old Glory Relay made its way through Louisiana. Charlie Whinham caught up with some central Louisiana chapter members that are running with the flag for several reasons. This story is part of LPB’s continuing Veterans Coming Home series. Continued local support for Veterans Coming Home is provided by Entergy.





October 21, 2016
U.S. Senate Debate, Veterans Coming Home - Flood Recovery, Fonville Winans, Battle of Leyte Gulf



U.S. Senate Debate Recap


This week marked the first statewide debate for U.S. Senate to replace the seat to be vacated by retiring Senator David Vitter. LPB and the Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) hosted a live debate Tuesday from the campus of Louisiana Tech University in Ruston. The five candidates to participate included U.S. Representatives Charles Boustany and John Fleming, state treasurer John Kennedy, New Orleans attorney Caroline Fayard and Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell. Here’s an excerpt from the debate. To see the debate in its entirety, go online at http://video.lpb.org/.


Veterans Coming Home – Flood Recovery


The catastrophic Louisiana floods of 2016 have seriously impacted residents across the state including veterans. The state’s only private Veterans’ Home in Louisiana is the Magnolia Care Center in Baton Rouge. Owner Byron Comeaux hopes to reopen his facility within the next few weeks. The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) says there are financial assistance funds available through the Military Family Assistance Fund. Alex Juan with LDWA and Byron Comeaux are in the studio to discuss these important issues veterans are facing. Continued local support for Veterans Coming Home is provided by Entergy. For more stories online visit veterans.lpb.org.


Fonville Winans’ Louisiana


In Louisiana, our politics are so vibrant, they’re often referred to as a spectator sport. Fonville Winans, a photographer, documented its cast of characters in the 40s, 50s and 60s. Cyril Vetter has a new book out featuring Winans’ portraits. LPB’s Kelly Spires sat down with Vetter to reminisce about the colorful figures of the past. Fonville Winans’ Louisiana is published by LSU Press and can be found at: http://lsupress.org/books/detail/fonville-winans-louisiana/


USS Kidd & The Battle of Leyte Gulf


The USS Kidd proudly docks along the shore of the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge but do you know the heroic story behind this WWII vessel? Seventy-two years ago this month the USS Kidd played a key role to help defeat the Japanese Imperial Navy along the coast of the Philippines.





October 14, 2016
LPB/CABL Senate Debate • PAR Guide to Constitutional Amendments • Zachary Richard and Attakapas • Restoration Experts After the Flood • Early Bird Drawing “Win the Wheels” Raffle



LPB/CABL Senate Debate


Louisiana Tech University in Ruston will host the first statewide U.S. Senate Debate on Tuesday, October 18th at 7PM on LPB. The five candidates include (in alphabetical order) U.S. Representative Charles Boustany, Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell, New Orleans attorney Caroline Fayard, U.S. Representative John Fleming and state Treasurer John Kennedy.


PAR Guide to Constitutional Amendments


Did you know there will be six state constitutional amendments to consider in the November 8th election? The independent, non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) has released their guide to the 2016 Constitutional Amendments. PAR president Robert Travis Scott offers an overview. You can find the PAR Guide online at: www.PARlouisiana.org.


Zachary Richard and Attakapas


LPB and Zachary Richard are working on an upcoming project ‘Attakapas – The Cajun Story’. Richard talks about this one of a kind, state of the art multimedia experience celebrates the rich story and traditions of the Cajun people and is a powerful means of recognizing the 250th anniversary of the arrival of the first Acadian exiles in Louisiana.


Restoration Experts After the Flood


For many Louisiana residents following the flood, many hope to keep and restore treasured keepsakes. This Sunday, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s Office, The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) and the West Baton Rouge Museum is offering free consultations on how residents can preserve their flood-damaged belongings. The event will is Sunday, October 16 at the Mall of Louisiana from noon to 4PM. Jack Pruitt, THNOC Director of Development and Community Relations is in the studio with more.


Early Bird Drawing Win the Wheels Raffle


Tonight we name the “Early Bird” winner of LPB’s “Win the Wheels” Raffle. Tonight’s winner will receive an iPad Pro. You have until midnight November 17th to purchase your raffle tickets for the Grand Prize of a 2016 Honda Civic Sedan. Go to www.lpb.org/raffle for more information.





October 7, 2016
LSU President’s Symposium • Mental Health Following the Flood • 2016 LPB Young Heroes



LSU President’s Symposium


Moment or Movement? A national dialogue on identity, empowerment and justice for all. LSU hosted a two-day symposium on race relations, diversity, poverty and the shooting deaths of Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling by city police followed by the death of three law enforcement officials two weeks later by a gunman from Kansas. President Alexander joins a panel discussion with CNN anchor Don Lemon, Michael Victorian of 100 Black Men, Rev. Raymond Jetson and Julie Baxter Payer, Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor John Bel Edwards.


Mental Health Following the Flood


Separate from the billions of dollars of damage left behind after the July floods hit Louisiana is the unknown toll of psychological strain this event has created for our citizens. Dr. Bryan Gros of the Capitol Area Human Services District and Dr. Roger Butner a licensed marriage and family therapist sit down to discuss warning signs of mental illness due to stress and anxiety and ways to find help.


2016 LPB Young Heroes


For over two decades, LPB has honored students who have excelled in the classroom, served their community and/or shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives. This week, we celebrate a pair of outstanding students including 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes Ruston High School graduate Collin King and Tara High School graduate Katie LeBlanc. Do you know a Young Hero? The nomination process for the 2017 Louisiana Young Heroes is underway. For more information go to http://www.lpb.org/index.php/heroes/.





September 30, 2016
Pass or Fail: Public Education in Louisiana • Chasing the American Dream in Louisiana – Part Three • LSU’s New Football Coach: Why Not Ba Ba?



Pass or Fail: Public Education in Louisiana


One national survey gives Louisiana' s education system a D+ for student achievement Another national education report ranks the state dead last. So, how well is the state’s public school system really performing? This month Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System. We get a preview featuring success stories from the Caddo Parish School System.


Chasing the American Dream in Louisiana – Part Three


Louisiana has been through a lot in the last year – a contentious governor’s race, three legislative sessions, racial unrest and extreme weather. In the final piece of a three-part series LPB’s Kelly Spires examines the writings of 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville to better understand the status of equality, community and the American Dream in Louisiana.


LSU’s New Football Coach: Why Not Ba Ba?


LSU’s new interim Head Football Coach is Ed Orgeron, a south Louisiana native that helped lead his high school football team to a state championship in 1977. Known as an intense defensive and offensive lineman at South Lafourche HS, friends and former teammates know him simply as "Ba Ba" (pronounced Bay-beh). Charlie Whinham headed to Larose and Galliano and talked with Tommy Gisclair, Scott Bouzigard, Windell Curole and Kevin Gros. Hear what they say as "Coach O" makes his debut at Tiger Stadium this Saturday night against Missouri.





September 23, 2016
Chasing the American Dream, FEMA Assistance Update, Meet the 2016 Young Heroes



Chasing the American Dream in Louisiana – Part Two


LPB’s Kelly Spires turned to the writings of 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville to better understand the status of equality, community and the American Dream in Louisiana. Our state has seen two epic rainfall events this year. In part two of her series, Kelly visited Monroe to check on recovery efforts.


FEMA Assistance Update


It’s been nearly six weeks since the catastrophic floods affected 22 parishes in Louisiana. FEMA has determined flood victims who live in mobile homes should not automatically be excluded from the “Shelter at Home” flood relief program. FEMA spokesperson Ray Perez will discuss the progress and setbacks regarding federal assistance for flood victims.


Meet the 2016 Young Heroes


For over two decades, LPB has honored students who have excelled in the classroom, served their community and/or shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives. This week, we celebrate a pair of outstanding students including 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes Peyton Cudd of Glenmora and Madison Fruge’ of Moreauville. Do you know a Young Hero? The nomination process for the 2017 Louisiana Young Heroes is underway. For more information go to http://www.lpb.org/index.php/heroes/.





September 16, 2016
2016 Floods Devastate LA Agriculture • Chasing the American Dream in Louisiana • 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes



2016 Floods Devastate LA Agriculture


The LSU AgCenter reports agriculture losses from the March and August floods totaled nearly $367 million dollars. One Caddo Parish rancher says it could be a knockout punch to a lot of people. U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham plans to use the report to justify adding $400 million in agriculture specific aid to a $2.8 billion relief package the Louisiana delegation and Governor John Bel Edwards are seeking to push through Congress this week.


Chasing the American Dream in Louisiana


Louisiana has been through a lot in the last year – a contentious governor’s race, three legislative sessions, racial unrest and extreme weather. In a three-part series LPB’s Kelly Spires turned to the writings of 19th century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville to better understand the status of equality, community and the American Dream in Louisiana. Spires talks with Baton Rouge area residents about their experiences with the recent floods and looked into what Tocqueville wrote about how civic society can overcome some of the ills of democracy.


2016 Louisiana Young Heroes


For over two decades, LPB has honored students in grades 7-12 who have excelled in the classroom, served their community and/or shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives. Over the next several weeks LPB will showcase the 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes award winners from this past spring. This week we celebrate a pair of outstanding students from the Lake Charles area, including Dylan Alvarez, recent graduate of Sulphur HS, and Sam Houston HS junior Alex Bauer. The nomination process for the 2017 Young Heroes is underway. For more information go to http://www.lpb.org/index.php/heroes/.





September 9, 2016
Post-Flood Issues, Louisiana Veterans Coming Home, Artist Candice Alexander



Post-Flood Issues


Thousands of Louisiana residents are picking up the pieces following the August floods that placed 20 parishes as federal disaster areas. Where do homeowners and citizens go from here? How can you find a reputable contractor? And, how can you avoid post-storm scam artists? Jim Stalls is president of the Better Business Bureau Serving South Louisiana and offers advice on how to avoid troubles following this recent natural disaster.


Louisiana Veterans Coming Home


A 2014 study of the needs of Louisiana transitioning veterans found that most frequently reported problems post-deployment are medical and psychological. But support groups such as “Veteran Peer Support” based out of Lafayette and “Wounded War Heroes” based out of Geismar, offer help to returning soldiers. LPB is one of two dozen public media outlets that is part of the national Veterans Coming Home initiative.


Artist Candice Alexander


Tour Candice Alexander’s art studio in Lake Charles and feel the pride of everything that symbolizes Louisiana.





September 2, 2016
Education & Recovery – Teachers in Need • Monday Night Pledge Special



Education and Recovery – Teachers in Need


As part of its core mission of supporting education, Louisiana Public Broadcasting is reaching out teachers, students and parents following the unprecedented Flood of 2016. We visited several schools and talked with many teachers in some of the most damaged school systems in the state. Tonya Bethly, assistant principal at Glen Oaks Park Elementary is one of the thousands of unwavering educators who said, “I have the world’s greatest teachers and if you give them a chalk and a sidewalk, they’re gonna do what they have to do. But we need the bare essentials and we need them now.” If you are a teacher in need of school supplies go to www.lpb.org/reliefrequest.


Education and Recovery – Monday Night Pledge Special


The unprecedented floods that turned 20 parishes into Federal Disaster Areas led to the unprecedented move by LPB to dedicate a night to raise funds for Louisiana teachers in need of school supplies. As the school year begins this month, First Lady Donna Edwards joined LPB president Beth Courtney Monday night to help raise money for educators affected by the floods. Other community organizations are joining to help including www.TeamComback.org based in New Orleans that is putting together 50,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for Louisiana students in need. LPB will be donating 10 percent of all the funds we raise during our August and September Pledge Drive to flood relief. Visit www.lpb.org for donation details. You can continue to make donations at www.lpb.org/lpbgivesback. To donate $10 for school supplies, text “LPBschool” to 80077 on your cell phone.





August 26, 2016
More on the recovery from the historic flooding that swept through Louisiana.



President Obama Visits Louisiana


President Barack Obama flew into Baton Rouge on Tuesday to access the flood damage and talk with Louisiana residents. He told the media on Tuesday, “I need all Americans to stay focused on this. I want the people of Louisiana to know that you’re not alone on this.”


When Will Schools Open in Livingston Parish


Following the unprecedented flooding last week, thousands of parents, teachers and students are wondering when schools will open. Charlie Whinham reports.


When Will Schools Open in Ascension Parish


Following the unprecedented flooding last week, thousands of parents, teachers and students are wondering when schools will open. Kelly Spires reports.


When Will Schools Open in Private Schools


Following the unprecedented flooding last week, thousands of parents, teachers and students are wondering when schools will open. Paul Boger of Mississippi Public Broadcasting reports.


FEMA Assistance


Over 100,000 Louisiana residents have already filed for FEMA assistance. Some people are still living in FEMA shelters as they work on returning back to their homes.


BREC Steps Up with Extended Camps


With no school for thousands of children due to the flooding, the Baton Rouge Recreation Department (BREC) is setting up day camps for children that will help offer relief for parents as the flood has pushed the opening of East Baton Rouge Parish schools to September 7th.


Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré on Flood Recovery Efforts


Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré (US Army ret.) has been around many Louisiana disasters. The Southern University graduate gained national recognition during Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts and restoring calm to the city of New Orleans.





August 19, 2016
This week will focus entirely on the historic flooding that swept through Louisiana.



The Flood of 2016


This week’s Louisiana flooding is the worst storm-related disaster to hit the country since Super Storm Sandy in 2012. Over a dozen deaths are blamed to the flooding and an estimated 40,000 homes have been affected. President Obama declared a state of emergency in the area.


Indiana Helps Louisiana Flood Victims


An 18-wheeler of supplies including clothes, diapers and food came to the LPB parking lot on Friday. The Helping His Hands Disaster Response Team from Vincennes, Indiana traveled overnight to drop off donated supplies from southwest Indiana. Special thanks goes out our public television station partner WVUT-TV at Vincennes University who helped make this possible.


Red Cross Assistance


The American Red Cross, the National Guard and other organizations are working around the clock to bring in supplies, evacuate threatened areas and set up temporary shelters. Patrick Pannett of the Red Cross is on the ground in Louisiana. Pannett says 50 shelters have begun housing over 10,000 people, and those numbers are likely to rise.


The Science Behind the Disaster


With the help of two LSU scientists, we look at what the experts are saying about this historic flood. While many catastrophes may be given the label “100-year event” the storm that hit areas in Livingston reached an unprecedented label of “1,000-year event”.


Looking for Volunteers and Donations


Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser is coordinating volunteers and donations for flood relief through www.VolunteerLouisiana.gov.





August 12, 2016
LSU President Speaks Out • Louisiana Veterans Coming Home • Remembering Jimmy Long • Remembering Pete Fountain



LSU President Speaks Out


Louisiana is among many states that have cut funding for public universities and colleges for nearly a decade. LSU President F. King Alexander wrote an editorial this week in The Washington Post urging a federal-state partnership that would incentivize continued or enhanced state support. Alexander wrote, “... more than 200 universities charge the equivalent of the median American annual household income --$51,000 -- or more. We are pricing our students out of their futures.” President Alexander talks one-on-one with Charlie Whinham.


Louisiana Veterans Coming Home


What challenges do our returning veterans face? Finding a job is one of the biggest. There is free help offered by the Louisiana Workforce Commission as well as the state and U.S. Departments of Agriculture. Thanks to these programs people like Shreveport veteran Albert Robinson is now an engineer for Union Pacific Railroad and husband/wife veterans Ken and Stella Gibson are becoming small farmers in Rayville. LPB is one of two dozen public media outlets that is part of the national Veterans Coming Home initiative. Watch more stories online at www.VeteransComingHome.org.


Remembering Jimmy Long


Former state Rep. Jimmy D. Long, Sr., was killed Tuesday in a car wreck in Natchitoches. Long was 84 years old. He served 32 years in the House of Representatives (1968-2000) and was named an LPB Louisiana Legend in 2009. Long was a champion of education and one of his many enduring legacies will be the creation of the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) in Natchitoches. We remember Jimmy Long through some pf LPB’s historic footage available on the Louisiana Digital Media Archive at www.ladigitalmedia.org.


Remembering Pete Fountain


Louisiana lost another legend this week with the death of iconic New Orleans musician Pete Fountain. Named an LPB Louisiana Legend in 1993, Fountain brought the traditional jazz sounds of his clarinet to national audiences. We honor Mr. Fountain with this archival clip of his performance with the LSU Jazz Ensemble in 1988 at the LSU Student Union Theatre. You can watch this concert in its entirety online at www.ladigitalmedia.org.





August 5, 2016
Discussion on Race Relations and Baton Rouge Shootings, 21st Century Louisiana Farmers, Honoring Past Louisiana Olympians, Martin Accordions Music Video



Discussion on Race Relations and Baton Rouge Shootings


This week the Baton Rouge Press Club hosted a panel discussion on the aftermath of the Alton Sterling and police shootings. The panel featured Sen. Regina Barrow (D-Baton Rouge), Gary Chambers, publisher of “The Rouge Collection”, Rev. Joe Connelly of Wesley United Methodist Church and Rep. Ted James (D-Baton Rouge). You can watch the full discussion online at www.lpb.org/pressclub. This month Louisiana Public Square hosts a community dialogue Tuesday, August 16th at Star Hill Church in Baton Rouge from 5:00-6:00pm that will air the following night at 7:00pm. Go to www.lpb.org/publicsquare for more information. The taping is open to the public but space is limited. RSVP by calling 225-767-4218 or email at publicsquare@lpb.org.


21st Century Louisiana Farmers


Newsletters are the things of the past and Louisiana famers are beginning to receive vital information from LSU’s AgCenter via text messages. The Remind app was originally developed for school teachers to send texts to students and parents. LSU’s AgCenter is offering specialized version of the app to allow farmers real time information on updates of disease and pest outbreaks as well as updates on state and regional meetings.


Honoring Past Louisiana Olympians


The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio begin this week. We take a look back at some of Louisiana’s past Olympians through the LDMA, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive. The LDMA is highlighting sports in Louisiana throughout the month of August. Explore the stories of Louisiana athletes and coaches who have made us proud over the years that include track and field stars Willie Davenport and Hollis Conway, as well as 2004 USA men’s weightlifting coach Gayle Hatch.


Martin Accordions Music Video


Finish your week off with some happy tunes from Cajun Country. Charlie Whinham stopped by Martin Accordions in Lafayette for a story that will airs next month on LOUISIANA TRAVELS. The family run business makes and repairs accordions. It is also home to some impromptu music sessions by clients who happen to pop in from time to time.





July 29, 2016
July 29, 2016 - Louisiana Teacher Honored by PBS, Remembering The Fallen, Louisiana Film Industry takes Hit, The Louisiana/Cuba Connection



Louisiana Teacher Honored by PBS


Cassie Krause of The Re-New Charter Network in New Orleans has been named a 2016 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator. The national award honors teachers across the country who are tech-savy with a passion to use digital technology and media with their students.


Remembering The Fallen


Baton Rouge Police officers Matthew Gerald and Montrell Jackson along with East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Garafola were honored this week at a memorial that included Vice President Joe Biden in attendance. The three law enforcement died in the line of duty on July 17th by Kansas City, Missouri, gunman Gavin Long. “I didn’t have the privilege of knowing these brave men. But I knew them,” Biden said.


Louisiana Film Industry takes Hit


Once dubbed “Hollywood South” by the film industry, Louisiana is seeing a downturn in movie production following lawmakers’ moves to cap the film tax credit redemption per year to $180 million. This year’s tax breaks were completely claimed with more than eleven months to go. Charlie Whinham looks at where Louisiana’s movie making industry goes from here, and finds not all filmmakers are disheartened by the tax credits cap.


The Louisiana/Cuba Connection


Cuba and the United States restored diplomatic relations on July 20, 2015. Although President Obama has called for the end of the U.S. economic embargo, U.S. law requires congressional approval to end it. That appears to be only a matter of time and many states, including Louisiana have already been working to develop new relations with the communist country. Two Louisiana convoys by state officials have already taken place. The most recent trip to Cuba included State Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain and journalist Avery Davidson. They join us in the studio.





July 22, 2016
July 22, 2016 - Three Baton Rouge Officers Killed, Who Wants to Be a Politician?, 2016 Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival



Three Baton Rouge Officers Killed


Last weekend, a gunman from Missouri shot and killed three police officers in Baton Rouge and wounded three more. The Sunday morning assault could have been worse if not for a quick response from the Baton Rouge Police SWAT team. This event follows the shooting death of 37-year-old African-American Alton Sterling by Baton Rouge Police currently under federal investigation. Residents across the city and the state are looking how to move forward following all this bloodshed. Full column of publishers Rolfe McCollister and Gary Chambers


Who Wants to Be a Politician?


This week marks the official kick off of several elections across the state, most notably, the races for US Senate and the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts. Candidates had until Friday afternoon to qualify. Kelly Spires talked to LSU politics professor Martin Johnson about some trends he’s seeing this cycle.


2016 Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival


The Eighth Annual Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival starts next week and we’ll have a preview. It is four days of films that includes 7 features, 14 short films, two documentaries, and one musical. The BRIF premieres downtown at the Manship Theatre Friday, July 29th. Photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry has the story.





July 15, 2016
This week’s program will be dedicated to the shooting of Alton Sterling as we hear from voices locally and across the country who are speaking out, as well as law enforcement officials who are working to maintain order while allowing citizens their right to assemble and protest.



Remembering Alton Sterling


Over one thousand mourners gathered Friday at Southern University’s F.G. Clark Center in Baton Rouge. The public funeral drew local and national figures including Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jessie Jackson. Sterling was killed last week during an altercation outside the Triple S Food Mart with Baton Rouge Police. The death also prompted President Barak Obama to call a meeting earlier this week that was attended by Governor John Bel Edwards and State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson.


State Police Col. Mike Edmonson Interview


One day after his visit with President Barack Obama, State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson talked about the four hour DC meeting as well as what law enforcement agencies are doing in preparation for this weekend.


Together Baton Rouge


Earlier this week, the public was invited by the civic group Together Baton Rouge to sit down over lunch and talk about what’s on everyone’s minds following the death of Alton Sterling. It began with the basic question of “How is it with your soul?”



| PBS NewsHour - America in Black and Blue - Broadcast 7/15/16 |

July 8, 2016
Police Shootings, Veterans Coming Home – Tanya’s Tale, Teachers Learning About Gulf Trash, 2016 Louisiana Legend Charlie Weems



Police Shootings


Kelly Spires reports on the fatal shooting by police of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, and the struggle of covering such events in the media. Thursday’s deadly attack on police in Dallas was sparked by the shootings in Baton Rouge and Minnesota. Spires speaks with Dr. Okoye Ahmose of Southern University and Sterling family lawyer Edmond Jordan on the incident.


Veterans Coming Home – Tanya’s Tale


Returning from a war zone can be difficult and overwhelming. Sorrento native U.S. Army (ret.) Master Sergeant Tanya Whitney deployed on numerous missions and coming home was not easy. Whitney soon learned that family support and getting involved in her community were key to a successful return. LPB is part of the Veterans Coming Home initiative. For more stories on this topic visit www.veteranscominghome.org.


Teachers Learning About Gulf Trash


Have you ever wondered what teachers do on their summer vacation? Most prepare for the next school year. But some very lucky teachers go back to school. The environmental Education Commission of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries received a grant from NOAA to instruct teachers in new opportunities on how to teach students about marine debris in the Gulf of Mexico.


2016 Louisiana Legend Charlie Weems


This year’s Louisiana Legends were recently honored at the Old State Capitol. Among this year’s honorees include two-time Olympic medalist high jumper Hollis Conway, political analyst Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, Shreveport philanthropist Sylvia Goodman, former U.S. Congressman W. Henson Moore, Alexandria attorney Charlie Weems and retired CEO of Global Industries, Ltd., William J. Dore. This week we profile Charlie Weems. Over the years, Weems has distinguished himself not only as a top attorney in Louisiana and the U.S., but also as a civic leader and dedicated servant for higher education and law reform. Watch every profile of our 2016 Louisiana Legends online at www.lpb.org/louisianalegends.





July 1, 2016
Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana, Lake Charles Movie Screening – No Greater Love, Remembering Two Coaching Legends



Medicaid Expansion in Louisiana


Today marks the first day that new enrollees in Louisiana’s expanded Medicaid program can receive care. Governor John Bel Edwards accepted the Medicaid expansion under the “Affordable Care Act” in January and enrollment began last month. His office projects the state will save $677 million dollars over the first five years of expansion. This story is part of the “Chasing the Dream” initiative – covering issues of poverty and opportunity in America. For more LPB stories on this topic visit www.lpb.org/chasingthedream.


Lake Charles Movie Screening – No Greater Love


McNeese State University graduate Justin Roberts served as a U.S. Army Chaplin in Afghanistan for two years with the 101st Airborne Division battalion. As a chaplain, Roberts was not allowed to carry a weapon. Instead, he carried a video camera to illustrate the war through the eyes of the soldiers and produced an award winning documentary called No Greater Love. Justin’s main goal is to use the film as a catalyst to reconnect communities and veterans. A special screening of the documentary is this Fourth of July weekend at the 10th Annual Patriot’s Ball in Lake Charles this Sunday. Admission is free. This story is part of the Veterans Coming Home project. For more stories on this topic visit www.veteranscominghome.org.


Remembering Two Coaching Legends


Legendary women’s college basketball coach Pat Summitt passed away this week at the age of 64 from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. Back in 2005, Coach Summitt met another coaching icon, Edna “Tiny” Tarbutton of northeast Louisiana as “Tiny” was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in Knoxville, Tennessee. Under Coach Tarbutton, the Baskin High School girls basketball team set a national record with 218 consecutive victories from 1947 to 1953. As we remember Pat Summit this week, we also remember Coach Tarbutton, who passed away seven years ago this month at the age of 87.





June 24, 2016
June 24, 2016 - This Week at the Capitol; Chasing the Dream – Louisiana’s Working Poor; LDMA – Louisiana Travels and Avery Island; Saturday on PBS NewsHour Weekend – Native Lands Washing Away



This Week at the Capitol


After 19 weeks at the Capitol, lawmakers are finally done. They didn’t raise the $600 million Gov. John Bel Edwards wanted to fully fund state services, but they were able to send more cash to TOPS, hospitals and other needs. According to political correspondent Kelly Spires, this isn’t the end of the story.


Chasing the Dream – Louisiana’s Working Poor


Meet Louisiana resident Larose Taylor who is a single mom with four kids working two minimum wage jobs. She is part of the estimated 40% of Louisianans who live either below or just above the federal poverty line. These members of the working poor now have a name or term called ALICE – asset limited income constrained employed. A recent study by the Louisiana Association of United Ways is being using to help the working poor find stable financial footing. This story is part of Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative covering issues of poverty and opportunity in American. Funding is provided by the JPB Foundation and Ford Foundation. More information at lpb.org/chasingthedream.


LDMA – Louisiana Travels - Avery Island


Summer is here and we are highlighting some of Louisiana’s top travel destinations this month on the LDMA, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive. Take a virtual tour of Avery Island, located in Iberia Parish and home to Tabasco hot pepper sauce. For more stories on this month’s LDMA topic go online at www.ladigitalmedia.com.


Saturday on PBS NewsHour Weekend – Native Lands Washing Away


A Native-American tribe located in coastal Terrebonne Parish will become the first community in U.S. history to be relocated due, in part to rising sea levels. This Saturday, PBS NewsHour Weekend follows the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw which has lost 98 percent of its land since 1955. Here is a preview.





June 17, 2016
This Week at the Capitol, Veterans Coming Home - Burn Pit Registry, 2016 Louisiana Legend Hollis Conway, Take the LDMA for a Virtual Summer Vacation



This Week at the Capitol


With the special session set to expire next week, lawmakers are struggling to find the revenue needed to fully fund hospitals, K-12 and higher education and TOPS. Two longshot measures were given the thumbs up in their first committee screening. Will they have what it takes to go all the way? LPB’s political correspondent Kelly Spires has the details.


Veterans Coming Home - Burn Pit Registry


Gold Star Mom Alice Daniel and Louisiana Dept. of Veteran Affairs Secretary Joey Strickland discuss the Federal Burn Pit Registry. In 2012 Congress passed legislation to set up an Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. The registry has roughly 59,000 entries. Alice Daniel would like to see more medical attention given to soldiers who have been exposed to open burn pits during their service. Louisiana was the first state to pass its own registry in hopes of getting word out to service members and vets about the issues. Louisiana’s Burn Pit Law is named after her son, SSG Austin Daniel, who died in 2009 of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. LPB is among 20 television public television stations across the country highlighting issues our nation’s servicemen and veterans face with the Veterans Coming Home initiative. See more stories at www.veteranscominghome.org.


2016 Louisiana Legend Hollis Conway


Among this year’s honorees include two-time Olympic medalist high jumper Hollis Conway, political analyst Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, Shreveport philanthropist Sylvia Goodman, former U.S. Congressman W. Henson Moore, Alexandria attorney Charlie Weems and retired CEO of Global Industries, Ltd. William J. Dore. This week we profile former world-class high jumper Hollis Conway. The Monroe resident won a silver medal in the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul and four years later won the bronze in Barcelona. These days he is a motivational speaker, author and also serves as a youth counselor with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Watch every profile of the 2016 Louisiana Legends online at www.lpb.org/louisianalegends.


Take the LDMA for a Virtual Summer Vacation


With the help of the LDMA, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive (www.ladigitalmedia.org) you can take a virtual summer vacation across some of Louisiana’s top travel destinations. One great spot is the Global Wildlife Center (www.globalwildlife.org) located just north of Hammond for one of the most unique animal adventures you will ever find.





June 10, 2016
This Week at the Capitol, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield, 2016 Louisiana Legend Charlie Cook



This Week at the Capitol


Gov. John Bel Edwards urged lawmakers to pass “meaningful reforms” in his opening address to the second special session, but he’s running into some hurdles implementing that plan. First, some republican lawmakers think his package is meant to purely raise revenue, that it doesn’t contain real reform. Others, after working in Baton Rouge for so many weeks, just want to go home. Kelly Spires has the details.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


To date, four cases of Zika virus have been confirmed in Louisiana residents who traveled to Caribbean and South American countries. The Zika virus is carried through mosquitos and there is a clear link between the virus and serious birth defect of microcephaly in babies. With the mosquito season well on its way, how serious a threat is this to Louisiana and the rest of the country? Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio to discuss the Zika concerns and precautions.


2016 Louisiana Legend Charlie Cook


This year’s Louisiana Legends were recently honored last month at the Old State Capitol. Among this year’s honorees include two-time Olympic medalist high jumper Hollis Conway, political analyst Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, Shreveport philanthropist Sylvia Goodman, former U.S. Congressman W. Henson Moore, Alexandria attorney Charlie Weems and retired CEO of Global Industries, Ltd., William J. Dore. This week we profile renowned political analyst Charlie Cook. The New York Times has called Charlie “one of the best political handicappers in the nation” and has said the Cook Political Report is “a newsletter which both parties regard as authoritative.” Watch every profile of the 2016 Louisiana Legends online at www.lpb.org/louisianalegends.





June 3, 2016
This Week at the Capitol, One-on-One with Dr. Rebekah Gee, Louisiana Legend Sylvia Goodman



This Week at the Capitol


Negotiating over a cash-strapped budget didn’t leave a lot for Senators to discuss. The bill moved through committee and out of the chamber in record time. Now they’ll have to make up their differences with the House. In the meantime, Gov. John Bel Edwards claimed a win by kicking off Medicaid enrollment for the newly eligible population under expansion. Kelly Spires has our weekly wrap up from the capitol.


One-on-One with Dr. Rebekah Gee


Thursday the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) officially changed its name to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). But the big news took place one day earlier as the state’s top health official Dr. Rebekah Gee joined Governor John Bel Edwards to announce the expansion to Medicaid enrollment. Charlie Whinham sits down with Secretary Gee to discuss some of the details on Medicaid expansion as well as the looming budget cuts facing her department.


Louisiana Legend Sylvia Goodman


This year’s Louisiana Legends honorees include two-time Olympic medalist high jumper Hollis Conway, political analyst Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, Shreveport philanthropist Sylvia Goodman, former U.S. Congressman W. Henson Moore, Alexandria attorney Charlie Weems and retired CEO of Global Industries, Ltd. William J. Dore’. This week, we profile Sylvia Goodman, a civic leader and philanthropist that has touched numerous lives throughout the Shreveport area.





Get A Gameplan PSA
Get A Gameplan PSA 2016






May 27, 2016
This Week at the Capitol, Louisiana Veterans Coming Home, 2016 Louisiana Legends Gala airs Tuesday



This Week at the Capitol


As the regular session nears its conclusion, it’s time to take stock of what has been accomplished. Some of the initiatives Governor John Bel Edwards supported also won lawmakers approval, like increasing the waiting period before an abortion and clarifying law regarding medical marijuana. Others, like stricter regulation of charter schools and raising the minimum wage, bit the dust. Kelly Spires spoke with The Advocate’s Capitol Bureau reporter Elizabeth Crisp.


Louisiana Veterans Coming Home


What challenges do our returning veterans face? Louisiana has the second highest percentage of veterans aged 25 and under. This month’s edition of LOUISIANA PUBLIC SQUARE explores the challenges our returning veterans face, what resources are available to assist them and how do we bridge the military/civilian divide. LPB is one of two dozen public media outlets that is part of the national Veterans Coming Home initiative.


2016 Louisiana Legends Gala airs Tuesday


Catch the 26th Annual Louisiana Legends Gala this Tuesday, May 31st at 8PM. Among this year’s honorees include two-time Olympic medalist high jumper Hollis Conway, political analyst Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report, Shreveport philanthropist Sylvia Goodman, former U.S. Congressman W. Henson Moore, Alexandria attorney Charlie Weems and retired CEO of Global Industries, Ltd. William J. Dore. This week we profile William J. Dore, a native of New Iberia who has personally donated over $8 million dollars in scholarship money to over 900 Louisiana students through the Horatio Alger Scholarship Award.





May 20, 2016
This Week at the Capitol, Remembering Bobby Freeman, Veterans Coming Home



This Week at the Capitol


Lawmakers aren’t allowed to make changes to tax code in even-numbered years during the regular session, but they’re still finding ways to save or generate money. Lawmakers vetted a program to collect fees from uninsured drivers, shot down a cost-saving measure for elderly care and took a look at tax incentives in preparation for next fiscal session. Kelly Spires wraps up this week at the capitol.


Remembering Bobby Freeman


Former two-term Lieutenant Governor Bobby Freeman passed away this week after suffering an inoperable aneurysm. Freeman was 82. LPB pays tribute to the public servant that his friends and colleagues hail as a fair-minded person that did his best to help the disadvantaged. Thanks to LPB’s Digital Media Archive (www.ladigitalmedia.com) you can view many stories of Bobby Freeman during his time as a state legislator and lieutenant governor working on important issues of the day.


Veterans Coming Home Program


Find out more about a public media campaign called Veterans Coming Home (www.veteranscominghome.org). A TV crew made up of veterans and civilians are crisscrossing the United States that includes a stop in Louisiana. We will meet the crew and see some of their amazing stories they are finding on the road.





May 13, 2016
This Week at the Capitol, Charlie Cook on Race for White House, Student Leaders in West Monroe, Lake Charles Artist Brian Frederick



This Week at the Capitol


All eyes were on this week’s report from the Revenue Estimating Conference to review the official revenue forecast for fiscal year 2016. Lawmakers also considered measures that would allow Louisiana colleges and universities to set their own tuition and fees. House budget committee chair Rep. Cameron Henry (R-Metairie) has proposed a spending plan for next year that fully funds the TOPS scholarship program for next fiscal year and funds all nine safety net hospitals. Henry’s plan would also eliminate the Office of Inspector General.


Charlie Cook on Race for White House


The New York Times calls him one of the best political handicappers in the nation. Shreveport native Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report tells us what he thinks about the 2016 race for the White House with LPB President Beth Courtney.


Student Leaders in West Monroe


Keeping at-risk students on the path to a high school degree is the main objective of JAG, the “Jobs for America’s Graduates” program. We highlight a JAG program in West Monroe that helps mold future leaders through activities like its annual “Safety Town” event. LPB is one of 80 public media stations across the country promoting the national “American Graduate” initiative (www.lpb.org/americangraduate).


Lake Charles Artist Brian Frederick


Catch LPB's Art Rocks! every weekend. You'll see great stories celebrating Louisiana artists like Lake Charles artist and musician Brian Frederick.





May 6, 2016
2016 Louisiana Legends Gala, This Week at the Capitol, Opiates and the Bayou State, LSU Museum of Art Expansion



2016 Louisiana Legends Gala


This year marked the 26th Annual Louisiana Legends Gala. Thursday night’s event at the Old State Capitol honored Olympic high jumper Hollis Conway, political analyst Charlie Cook, philanthropist and businessman William Dore, Shreveport civic leader Sylvia Goodman, former Congressman and Deputy Chief of Staff for the George H.W. Bush Administration Henson Moore, and former LSU Board of Supervisors Chair and Alexandria attorney Charlie Weems. LPB’s Louisiana Legends Gala will air Tuesday, May 31 at 8PM.


This Week at the Capitol


Lawmakers are expected to vote on two important financial documents soon, the budgets for the state’s operating and capital expenses. Capitol correspondent Kelly Spires reports the committees that approve the lists are unique this year. Kelly talks with some of the freshmen lawmakers including Rep. Stephen Dwight (R-Lake Charles) who compares this experience like drinking water out of a firehose.


Opiates and the Bayou State


Heroin related deaths in East Baton Parish reached a record high this year, even after the state Legislature increased penalties for use of the drug. In Shreveport, opioid arrests have risen dramatically over the last two years. How is Louisiana tackling the serious opiate addiction epidemic? We take an in-depth look in the latest edition of “Louisiana Public Square”


LSU Museum of Art Expansion


Take an in-depth tour of the new exhibits as the LSU Museum of Art. The downtown Baton Rouge museum recently expanded its exhibit space by 10,000 sq. feet. The added space allows the museum to show off priceless paintings, silver, pottery and much more that have never been on public display or have not been accessible to the public for many years.





April 29, 2016
Governor John Bel Edwards Interview – Part Two, This Week at the Capitol, French Immersion Programs in Louisiana



Governor John Bel Edwards Interview – Part Two


Governor Edwards recently hit the benchmark of his first 100 days in office. In part two of his conversation with the Governor, Charlie Whinham discusses his executive order that bans LGBT discrimination, his hopes to raise the minimum wage, and on a lighter note, feeding the chickens in the back of the Governor’s Mansion after a long days work.


This Week at the Capitol


Despite a law passed last year laying the framework for medical marijuana in Louisiana, advocates say patients who need the drug have yet to find relief. Proponents are back at the State Capitol hoping to iron out some kinds. Capitol reporter Kelly Spires has the details.


French Immersion Programs in Louisiana


A pair of major announcements took place over the past two weeks on the topic of French Immersion. Rougon Elementary in Point Coupee Parish is the latest school to be added to the list of French Immersion Schools in Louisiana. Meanwhile LPB, the Council for Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) and Groupe Media TFO (Television française de l’Ontario) have partnered to bring French Language children’s programming to LPB2 for the Francophones and future Francophones across Louisiana.





April 22, 2016
The First 100 Days, This Week at the Capitol, National Organ Donor Awareness Month



The First 100 Days


In the first of a two-part interview with Governor John Bel Edwards, LPB’s Charlie Whinham discusses the Governor’s first 100 days in office. There was not much of a “honeymoon” period for the Governor as he and lawmakers addressed a $2 billion budget deficit to begin the year. Cuts to the popular TOPS college tuition program and the closure of four safety net hospitals are just some proposals under consideration to balance the budget. Edwards discusses some campaign promises already fulfilled including Medicaid expansion to roughly 300,000 people that will start July 1st.


This Week at the Capitol


This week during the regular session, lawmakers debated many issues including whether 17-year-olds should be tried as an adult, raising the minimum wage up to $8.50/hour in the next two years, and equal pay for women who do the same work as men. Kelly Spires recaps this week at the capitol.


National Organ Donor Awareness Month


April is Organ Donor Awareness Month. Over 120,000 people are waiting across the country for a life-saving transplant. More than 2,000 of them live in Louisiana. Lori Steele with the Louisiana Procurement Agency (LOPA) along with liver/kidney organ recipient Wendy Lipsey discusses the importance of becoming organ donor.





April 15, 2016
Celebrating The 2016 Young Heroes, This Week at the Capitol, Louisiana Delegation Returns from Cuba, Remembering Ed Steimel



Celebrating The 2016 Young Heroes


This week the Rotary Club of Baton Rouge and LPB honored eight young men and women as 2016 Louisiana Young Heroes. The awards spotlight young people who have overcome adversity, excelled in academics or have served their community. Watch LPB’s Young Heroes Program this Saturday at 8AM and Sunday at 4PM on LPB-2.


This Week at the Capitol


Governor John Bel Edwards and his budget chief Jay Dardenne presented their revised spending plan to lawmakers this week. They were able to add in over one billion dollars of revenue raised during the special session earlier this year, but that still left an $800 million hole. Kelly Spires recaps this week at the Capitol.


Louisiana Delegation Returns from Cuba


North Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham returned from his trip to Cuba recently and talks with Charlie Whinham on who he met and how this trip could set up future trade deals with the communist country and Louisiana farmers. Rep. Abraham also shares a few surprises he saw during his visit to Cuba.


Remembering Ed Steimel


Louisiana Legend Ed Steimel passed away last week at the age of 94. The former executive of the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) dedicated his life to the improvement of the state. He was in the middle of a public fight during the 70’s when Louisiana lawmakers passed “Right to Work” legislation. Over the years, Steimel made many appearances on LPB, including this Louisiana Legends interview from 1997. This and many more historic video clips on Mr. Steimel can be seen on the LDMA, the Louisiana Digital Media Achieve.





April 8, 2016
LEH Awards, Public Defenders Shortage, This Week at the Capitol, Jackie Robinson Documentary, Remembering the Monroe Monarchs



LEH Awards


The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanites held its annual awards dinner Thursday night in New Orleans. Among this year's honorees included world renowned singer and songwriter Zachary Richard and LPB President Beth Courtney.


Public Defenders Shortage


Just how serious is the shortage of public defenders in Louisiana. If you’re currently accused of a crime in Louisiana, but can’t afford to hire an attorney, you may literally be “Defense-less.” Public Defenders Offices in twelve Louisiana districts say they don’t have the resources to keep up with the demand for court-appointed attorneys. Louisiana Public Square (www.lpb.org/publicsquare) takes an in-depth look at the current situation facing our state.


This Week at the Capitol


Lawmakers have begun to turn their attention back to the budget. The House Appropriations Committee, which handles the document (HB 1) has broken into small groups to take in-depth looks at specific parts of the payout plan. Kelly Spires has this week’s update from the capitol.


Jackie Robinson Documentary


The countdown is on as the Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson airs next Monday (4/11) and Tuesday (4/12) on PBS. Louisiana Public Broadcasting hosted a pair of preview screenings throughout the state including the Baton Rouge Main Library and The Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University. Both events drew enthusiastic viewers and included several Louisiana baseball legends discussing the impact of Jackie Robinson’s life on sport and American history.


Remembering the Monroe Monarchs


Monroe is the only city in Louisiana to host a professional baseball World Series. Back in 1932, the Monroe Monarchs hosted Satchel Paige and the Pittsburgh Crawfords for the Negro League World Series. The games were played at Casino Park, a structure that no longer exists. Charlie Whinham shares this forgotten story.





April 1, 2016
April 1, 2016 - Weekly Capitol Wrap-up, Louisiana Delegation Heading to Cuba, Remembering Edgar “Sonny” Mouton



Weekly Capitol Wrap-up


Lawmakers are in the process of a study to address state tax loopholes. There are 460 exemptions, credits and deductions in the state tax code that are worth over $8 billion. Will the study resolution make any difference to future state budget policy? Also, a recent Louisiana Law Institute study indicates over 40 Louisiana laws and statutes are unconstitutional. Baton Rouge Senator Dan Claitor is pushing to get unconstitutional laws off the books. Kelly Spires recaps these and other topics this week at the state capitol.


Louisiana Delegation Heading to Cuba


North Louisiana Congressman Ralph Abraham wants Louisiana to be first in line as a trading partner with Cuba when normalization between the U.S. and communist country is complete. Louisiana agricultural leaders hope the first of many Louisiana crops to be sold there will be rice. Northeast Louisiana rice grower Scott Franklin believes Rep. Abraham’s visit is “the most important trade mission of his lifetime.” Charlie Whinham talks with Rep. Abraham about his trip to Cuba scheduled for next week.


Remembering Edgar “Sonny” Mouton


Lafayette attorney and lawmaker Sonny Mouton died last week at the age of 86. Mouton lived a colorful life as a Louisiana politician and public servant. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for Governor at the age of 50, seeking to become the “Cajun” candidate to succeed Governor Edwin Edwards. One of his many legislative accomplishments includes pushing legislation to create CODOFIL, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. Thanks to LPB’s Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA www.ladigitalmedia.org) we look back at the life and career of Sonny Mouton.





March 25, 2016
March 25, 2016



Legislative Wrap Up


The second week of the regular legislative session is in the books. Some of the issues by lawmakers this week included state credit unions practices, wage issues for direct support workers of special needs clients, and whether the legislature should get involved in the recent decision by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) to split post-season playoffs between public and private schools. Charlie Whinham has a recap.


Flood Assistance


Twenty-six parishes in Louisiana have been declared disaster areas by the federal government due to heavy flooding from heavy storms that hit the state two weeks ago. Bob Howard with FEMA is in the studio to help inform flooding victims what types of assistance may be available. So far, twelve disaster recovery centers have opened and more are expected over the next few days.


Louisiana Survey Says...


We take a look at the 2016 Louisiana Survey with LSU’s Dr. Michael Henderson. Each year since 2003, the LSU Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs tracks public opinion on some of the state’s most pressing issues. The most recent survey is out and shows that Louisiana residents are disgruntled with the direction of the state, increasingly dismayed with economic conditions and have little confidence in government to solve the state’s most important problems.





March 18, 2016
Still Under Water, Criminal Justice Reform, Gibbens Robichaux, Jackie Robinson Screenings



Still Under Water


The rains of last week continue to wreak havoc across Louisiana rivers and roadways this week. Mike Steel with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) will discuss the latest flooding threats the state is facing and what vital information people need to know if they are impacted by the floods.


Criminal Justice Reform


Over 1200 bills were filed heading into the 2016 regular legislative session that began this week. In his opening address, Governor John Bel Edwards laid out a set of priorities that includes finding ways to remedy a $800 million dollar budget deficit. Kelly Spires has the latest from the first week at the State Capitol.


Gibbens Robichaux


LPB recognizes the passing of a cherished man and resident-historian to his town of Thibodaux. Gibbens Robichaux passed away last week at the age of 85. He was a fixture at St. Joseph’s Co-Cathedral, serving as church organist for 50 years. Tonight, we reflect on two of his greatest passions; his love for St. Joseph’s and his five decades of music from that “church upstairs”.


Jackie Robinson Screenings


Next month, PBS premieres a two-part Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson. LPB invites you to be part of two special screening events previewing the documentary this month at the East Baton Rouge Main Library and the Eddie G. Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University





March 11, 2016
Louisiana Flooding, Special Session Comes to a Close, Zika Virus in Louisiana, Expanding Medicaid



Louisiana Flooding


It’s been a wet and deadly week. Three people have been killed and 3,000 homes have been evacuated as severe storms has created widespread flooding in Louisiana. Governor declared a state of emergency in several parishes and sent the Louisiana National Guard to help with water rescues. We’ll have an update.


Special Session Comes to a Close


The three-week special legislative to address the state’s budget deficit wrapped up. Lawmakers were dealing with options of increasing taxes or cutting programs and services. Kelly Spires wraps up the final week.


Expanding Medicaid


Governor Edwards signed an executive order directing the Department of Health and Hospitals to pursue Medicaid expansion. LPB’s Louisiana Public Square investigates how this would affect current insurance plans, small business owners as well as the state budget.


Monroe Monarchs


LPB and PBS will debut the two-part Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson in April. LPB will host special preview screenings of the documentary in Baton Rouge and north Louisiana later this month. Baseball in Louisiana is not only about the sport, but also reveals powerful tales of the segregated South and the human spirit. Monroe can take claim to one very special story as Charlie Whinham explains.





March 4, 2016
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Special Session Update


The three-week special legislative session ends Wednesday and the clock is ticking away for lawmakers to find solutions to the current budget shortfall. Kelly Spires talks with the lawmakers at the heart of the budget negotiations and recaps the week at the State Capitol.


STEM Education in Louisiana


The Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City, North Caddo Magnet School, and Shreveport’s Southwood High School are part of a concerted effort in north Louisiana to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s 21st century technology jobs. Louisiana educators lag behind the nation in teaching Science, technology, engineering and math curriculums (STEM) subjects. Kevin Gautreaux looks at these programs.


Dulcimer Fete and History


The rich acoustic sounds of the dulcimer has its roots in Appalachia but the 3 or 4 stringed folk instrument is enjoyed by musicians and listeners around the world. The 15th Annual Lagniappe Dulcimer Society Fete runs March 10-13 at the West Baton Rouge Parish Community Center and Museum. Event organizers share some of the history and sounds of the dulcimer’s sweet songs.





February 26, 2016
Picking up the Pieces, Student Rally on Capitol Steps, Tax or Cut? Week Two of Special Legislative Session, Lake Charles Artist Candice Alexander



Picking up the Pieces


Governor Edwards declared a state of emergency in seven parishes after numerous tornadoes hit southeast Louisiana earlier this week. Two deaths have been confirmed at the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent while another 30 people were transported to hospitals after a tornado twisted though trailers and vehicles. Charlie Whinham has an update.


Student Rally on Capitol Steps


A large crowd of students from colleges and universities across the state gathered at the steps of the Capitol this week to protest proposed budget cuts. Higher education is poised to take a hit ranging from $70 to $200 million for the rest of the school year and more cuts are expected for the next fiscal year that begins July First.


Tax or Cut? Week Two of Special Legislative Session


Lawmakers continue to debate on how to make up a current $900 million budget deficit and time is running out on the three-week special session. Republican members of the House have offered up ideas on $117 million of additional proposed cuts to public schools, the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition District, as well as State Police. Kelly Spires recaps Week Two at the Capitol.


Lake Charles Artist Candice Alexander


We celebrate the art and passion of Lake Charles artist Candice Alexander. Her arts education began in high school and she now pays it forward with several projects painting murals with the help of the local school children. Alexander says she learned much of what she needed to succeed in high school and wants to make sure others have the same opportunities.





February 19, 2016
Special Session Legislative Recap, One on One with LSU President F. King Alexander, Crazy About Camellias



Special Session Legislative Recap


Lawmakers assembled this week at the capitol for a special session to address the current budget deficit of over $900 million and a projected $2 billion shortfall for next fiscal year. Governor John Bel Edwards is pushing a combination of raising taxes and cutting state programs and services. With republicans holding a majority of both the House and Senate, how likely will they sign on with Governor Edwards’ proposals to raise revenue? Kelly Spires recaps the week at the capitol.


One on One with LSU President F. King Alexander


Higher education leaders are pleading their case to lawmakers during the special legislative session addressing the $900 million shortfall. LSU President F. King Alexander warns mid-year budget cuts could mean closure of the flagship university before the end of this semester. He sits down for a one-on-one discussion with Charlie Whinham.


Crazy About Camellias


The Burden Center Rural Life Museum hosted the recent annual Baton Rouge Camellia Society Show. Novice and veteran growers from southern states competed in the 50 year old event. Over 700 blooms were on display and dozens of plants were available for purchase.





February 12, 2016
Governor’s Address to the State, Special Session Preview, PAR Recommendations on the Budget



Governor’s Address to the State


Governor John Bel Edwards laid out his plans in a statewide speech on Thursday to address the state’s budget crisis just days before lawmakers come to Baton Rouge for a three-week special session. New numbers from the Revenue Estimating Conference show current budget deficit for at nearly $850 million and a $2 billion projected shortfall next fiscal year. Lawmakers and the governor will debate raising taxes, cutting programs or a combination of both to balance the budget.


Special Session Preview


House Speaker Taylor Barras (R-New Iberia) and Senate President John Alario (R-Westwego) discuss the upcoming session and share their thoughts with Kelly Connelly on how the three-week special session could unfold. House Speaker Barras says, “As you search for this amount of revenue or to fill this kind of hole, I think you probably need to get a little creative in your thought process of how you accomplish that.” Senate President Alario adds, “I think there’s going to be some new revenue measures that come along. Nobody wants to do that, but unfortunately that may be the only place we can go.”


PAR Recommendations on the Budget


A policy brief crafted by the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) states “The state’s budget malady is the worst Louisiana has seen since the 1980s oil bust. PAR President Robert Travis Scott discusses how Louisiana got into this hole and recommends a framework to design balanced budgets in the future.





February 5, 2016
Southern Education Desk- School Choice, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield, Louisiana Travels - Eddie Robinson Museum



Southern Education Desk- School Choice


What choices do parents have in finding quality education options in charter schools, magnet schools and homeschooling? We will meet one Louisiana parent, Krystal, and her 7th grade daughter who was attending a failing public school in Louisiana. She is one of over 7000 school children in the state to qualify for a scholarship voucher. We’ll also hear from Steve Monaghan of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers who believes vouchers are not the answer to Louisiana’s education problems.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


Health officials say breathing secondhand smoke can cause heart attacks and strokes adding nonsmokers who breathe secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25-30%. This month, Stasha Rhodes with Smoke Free Baton Rouge joins Dr. Rani Whitfield to discuss the health risks as well as a proposed smoking ban for Baton Rouge bars and casinos. Nearly 700 cities have passed smoking bans in bars and casinos including New Orleans in January of 2015.


Louisiana Travels - Eddie Robinson Museum


Over 50,000 visitors from around the country and the world have visited the Eddie Robinson Museum on the campus of Grambling State University since its opening in 2010. In observation of Black History Month, Charlie Whinham gets a tour of the museum to remember one of the greatest football coaches and civil rights leaders with a pair of north Louisiana men who knew “Coach Rob” very well.





January 29, 2016
Higher Education Budget Crisis, Police Body Cameras



Higher Education Budget Crisis


Thousands of layoffs, summer school closures and shuttering of five Ag Centers are just some of the consequences if Governor John Bel Edwards and the legislature can’t agree on revenue-raising measures during a three-week Special Session beginning February 14. We discuss the current state of affairs with Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Joseph Rallo; Rachel Kincade, the Vice President for External Affairs for the University of Louisiana System; Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, the Southern University System Vice President and Provost; and Jason Droddy, the Executive Director of Policy and External Affairs for the LSU System.


Police Body Cameras


What happens when police and the people they arrest have different versions of their encounters? Major cities in Louisiana are looking at equipping their police officers with body cameras and LPB takes an in-depth look. How do they work? How much does it cost and what privacy issues do they raise? This month’s topic of Louisiana Public Square is called Police POV: Body Cameras in Louisiana.





January 22, 2016
Tackling Louisiana’s Budget Deficit, Photography Field Trip with C.C. Lockwood, School Choice Issues in Louisiana.



Tackling Louisiana’s Budget Deficit


Louisiana is currently facing a $750 million shortfall in the budget and a projected gap of $1.9 billion for the budget that begins July 1. What are Governor Edwards’ proposals? Charlie Whinham takes a look.


School Choice Issues in Louisiana


National School Choice Week is January 24-30. Several activities supporting opportunity in K-12 education are taking place in Louisiana to promote K-12 options available, including charter schools, magnet schools, and homeschooling. We will discuss school choice issues in Louisiana.


Photography Field Trip with C.C. Lockwood


Hop on a motorboat with world-renowned nature photographer C.C. Lockwood as he heads into the bayou for a photography field trip. As part of our series called Louisiana Travels, Charlie Whinham covers some of the state’s most picturesque landscapes and hears a few photography tips and Louisiana stories along the way from Lockwood.


Shauna Sanford’s Farewell


Wishing you all the best from your LPB family!





January 15, 2016
President Obama Visits Baton Rouge, Governor John Bel Edwards – Week One, Panel Discussion: New Governor, What’s Next?



President Obama Visits Baton Rouge


Two days after his final State of the Union address, President Barack Obama toured Baton Rouge on Thursday. The visit marked Obama’s 10th trip to Louisiana during his time in office and the first time in Baton Rouge. Shauna Sanford followed the president on his Louisiana stop.


Governor John Bel Edwards – Week One


Amite native John Bel Edwards became Louisiana’s 56th Governor on Monday. On Tuesday, Edwards signed an executive order expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The new Governor’s first legislative tussle dealt with who would be Speaker of the House. His nominee Rep. Walt Leger (D-New Orleans) lost to New Iberia Republican Taylor Barras. Charlie Whinham recaps the week.


Panel Discussion: New Governor, What’s Next?


There are several campaign promises Governor John Bel Edwards looks to fulfill including expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, raising minimum wage and equal pay for women. Where do these ideas go from here? Joining the discussion is Jan Moller with the Louisiana Budget Project, Jim Patterson of Louisiana Association of Business & Industry (LABI) and Julie Schwan Harris with the Legislative Agenda for Women (LAW).





January 8, 2016
One-on-one with Governor-elect John Bel Edwards - In this special edition of Louisiana: The State We’re In, Shauna Sanford sits down with for an in-depth interview with Governor-elect John Bel Edwards as he is days away from taking the oath of office.






January 1, 2016
Louisiana Elects New Governor, 2015 Legislative Recap, Same Sex Marriage, Lafayette Shooting, Environment, In Memoriam



Louisiana Elects New Governor


One of the biggest headlines of the year happed in November when Louisiana selected a new Governor. Lone democrat state Rep. John Bel Edwards defeated republican U.S. Senator David Vitter in the runoff election.


2015 Legislative Recap


While a special session will likely be called in February to deal with the state’s $1 billion deficit, we take a look back at how lawmakers dealt with the budget issue during the regular session of 2015.


Same Sex Marriage


One of the many hot button issues at the Capitol and in the courts in 2015 dealt with same sex marriage. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the unions legal last year. We talk with citizens on both sides of the issue, including the first same sex couple to legally marry in Louisiana.


Lafayette Shooting


The heart of Cajun Country captured the attention of the nation after a deadly movie theatre shooting in Lafayette. It ignited the emotional debate over gun laws. Four months after the shootings the Grand Theatre reopened with overwhelming community support. A group called “Acadiana Strong” grew out of the tragedy with the mantra “Faith Over Fear.”


Environment


2015 marked the third anniversary of the Bayou Corne sinkhole disaster, the ten year anniversaries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and an unprecedented environmental settlement over the BP Oil Spill.


In Memoriam


We reflect on some of the people who passed away this year that made an impact to Louisiana. They were from all corners of the state. While their fields of expertise differed, they were all Louisiana proud.





December 18, 2015
Southern Education Desk - Tough Subjects, Global Wildlife Center, Bonfires of St. James Parish



Tough Subjects


Images of the Confederate Flag has ignited a discussion on how certain periods of American History are represented in public spaces. How are these issues being addressed in Louisiana schools? Producer Kevin Gautreaux and Shauna Sanford look at how some teachers and curators are presenting controversial historical issues to be more inclusive. It’s part of our stories we cover for the Southern Education Desk.


Global Wildlife Center


Are you looking for a place to take the kids during Christmas break? Consider the 900-acre wilderness located just north of Hammond known as the Global Wildlife Center. Take an African safari-like adventure and blend in with thousands of animals including giraffes, kangaroos, zebras and antelope. It’s one of LPB’s top travel destinations in our series called “Louisiana Travels”.


Bonfires of St. James Parish


For many generations, communities in Lutcher, Gramercy and Paulina have been lighting large bonfires on the levee along the Mississippi River on Christmas Eve. As part of our Louisiana Christmas Journey series, kick back and enjoy the Bonfires of St. James Parish.





December 11, 2015
Gender Wage Gap in Louisiana, A Confederacy of Dunces Stage, Confederacy Cookbook, Christmas at Acadian Village



Gender Wage Gap in Louisiana


The gender wage gap in Louisiana is the worst in the nation. For every one dollar a man makes in the Bayou state, a woman earns 65 cents. The statistics are even worse for women of color. But as Shauna Sanford reports Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards wants to change that.


A Confederacy of Dunces Stage


The colorful cast of characters and comic misadventures of one of the most beloved stories set in New Orleans has not only captured the attention of the world but it has taken another giant step. As Shauna Sanford shows us, one of Louisiana’s very own has brought the novel A Confederacy of Dunces to life and now audiences from everywhere are being taken on an unbelievably wild ride.


Confederacy Cookbook


Confederacy Cookbook


Christmas at Acadian Village


Noel Acadien Au Village is a Lafayette holiday tradition that has been delighting guests for 35 years. Every night until December 23rd, you can enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas, with a healthy dose of Cajun flavor. Charlie Whinham takes us along on this Louisiana Christmas Journey.





December 4, 2015
Power and Politics, Living Below the Poverty Line, Christmas in Roseland



Power and Politics


Governor-Elect John Bel Edwards will be sworn into office on January 11th. What can we expect? It’s power and politics with veteran political pollster and analyst Ron Faucheux, political editor and columnist with Gambit Clancy DuBos and Dr. Ryan Teten, head of the political science department at the University of Louisiana Lafayette.


Living Below the Poverty Line


Louisiana has one of the highest rates in the nation with one fifth of residents earning less than 12 thousand dollars a year. Louisiana Public Square looks at what life is like for those living below the poverty line.


Christmas in Roseland


It is the Christmas season and Charlie Whinham takes us north to Shreveport for a tradition 32 years strong. With more than one million twinkling lights this winter wonderland is sure to make you smile.





November 27, 2015
November 27, 2015 - Post-Election Recap, Devon Gales Recovery, The Festival of Lights



Post-Election Recap


The 2015 gubernatorial election is one for the history books. Pollsters and political analysts Dr. Silas Lee of Xavier University, Dr. Michael Henderson of LSU and John Couvillon of JMC Enterprises explain why the tide turned for Governor-elect John Bel Edwards and David Vitter.


Devon Gales Recovery


About two months ago, the Southern jaguars took on the Georgia Bulldogs, but in a split second, tragedy struck wide receiver Devon Gales who was paralyzed during the game. In a special report from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, we’ll see how Devon is using faith and determination to make great strides in his recovery.


The Festival of Lights


It’s lights, lights and more lights to usher in the Christmas season in Natchitoches. Charlie Whinham takes us on a tour of the Festival of Lights.





November 20, 2015
Election Day is Saturday, Syrian Refugees in Louisiana, LDMA – Honoring Louisiana’s Veterans



Election Day is Saturday


Voters will elect a new Governor, Lt. Governor and Attorney General. We take a look at the statewide races with a pair of political experts, columnist Stephanie Grace of The Advocate and Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com.


Syrian Refugees in Louisiana


In the wake of the deadly terror attacks in Paris that killed at least 129 people, Governor Bobby Jindal issued an executive order to stop any more Syrian refugees from coming to Louisiana. So far 14 Syrian refugees have resettled in Louisiana. Shauna Sanford talks with counter-terrorism expert and former New Orleans FBI Chief Jim Bernazzani who says fears about the refugees being here are unfounded.


LDMA – Honoring Louisiana’s Veterans


This month, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive is highlighting LPB’s stories of Louisiana’s proud military history. This week we share the story Iraqi Freedom Army Veteran and LSU Law School graduate Lauren Wolfe. Explore more stories of Louisiana veterans who have proudly served at www.ladigitalmedia.org.





November 13, 2015
Recapping Governor Debate, Honoring Our Veterans, Remembering Allen Toussaint



Recapping Governor Debate


U.S. Senator David Vitter and State Representative John Bel Edwards squared off Tuesday night in a live debate televised statewide on Louisiana Public Broadcasting. The one hour debate turned heated and personal in the closing minutes. With less than ten days to go, Michael Henderson LSU political researcher, UL-Lafayette political science professor Dr. Pearson Cross and political pollster John Couvillon of JMC Enterprises discuss the race for the state’s top post. Election day is November 21st.


Honoring Our Veterans


In honor of Veterans Day this month, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive is highlighting LPB’s stories of Louisiana’s proud military history. This week we share the story of the late Thomas Stagg, a WWII veteran and former Shreveport Federal Judge. The U.S. Army Captain and Purple Heart recipient was saved from death in Germany when an enemy bullet struck a Bible he carried in his shirt pocket. Explore more stories of Louisiana veterans who have proudly served.


Remembering Allen Toussaint


We remember one Louisiana’s most influential and iconic musicians ever. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Grammy-winning musician Allen Toussaint died this week of a heart attack following a performance in Madrid, Spain. He was 77. Toussaint wrote classic hits including “Working in the Coal Mine,” Mother-in-Law,” “Southern Nights” and countless more.



| Recapping Governor Debate | | Louisiana Digital Media Archive |

November 6, 2015
Gubernatorial candidates David Vitter and John Bel Edwards talk one on one with LPB’s Shauna Sanford this Friday, November 6th, on a special edition of Louisiana: The State We're In. The candidates discuss why they want to become governor, their faith, family, political attacks, contrasts and similarities.






October 30, 2015
Election 2015 - Race for Governor, Louisiana Book Festival, LDMA Honors Our Military History



Election 2015 - Race for Governor


The runoff election to select Louisiana’s next governor is Saturday, November 21. Republican U.S. Senator David Vitter faces Democrat state lawmaker John Bel Edwards. Three political experts will join the discussion including nationally-recognized pollsters and strategists Dr. Silas Lee and John Couvillon, as well as Dr. Martin Johnson, LSU professor of Mass Communications & Political Science.


Louisiana Book Festival


The 2015 Louisiana Book Festival is Saturday from 10am to 5pm in downtown Baton Rouge. Dozens of authors will be participating with workshops and speeches at the State Capitol, Capitol Park Museum and State Library of Louisiana. One of those authors includes participating this year includes Cokie Roberts who recently authored Capitol Dames: The Civil War & the Women of Washington.


LDMA Honors Our Military History


During the month of November, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive showcases Louisiana’s rich military history. Charlie Whinham highlights some of the memorable WWII tales from our Louisiana veterans.





October 23, 2015
Louisiana Primary Election 2015, Louisiana Public Square – Funding the Future, Football Safety



Louisiana Primary Election 2015


Louisiana is getting closer and closer to deciding who will be the next governor. October 24th is election day and while there are many races for voters to consider the turnout is not expected to match the gravity of this election cycle. Shauna Sanford talks with pollster and political analyst John Couvillon about the early voting numbers and what we can learn from them.


Louisiana Public Square – Funding the Future


How can improving early childhood programs improve the state’s educational outcomes, workforce and economics? How could the next governor and a newly elected BESE alter the early childhood arena? This month’s topic of Louisiana Public Square looks for answers on “Funding the Future: Early Childhood Opportunities.”


Football Safety


The open to the Louisiana football season began with a pair of tragic events. Franklin Parish High School freshman Tyrell Cameron died during a football game in a game against Sterlington High. Three weeks later Southern University receiver Devon Gales suffered a spinal injury during a contest against the University of Georgia. How safe is football in this day and age? Charlie Whinham discovered the LSU football program is currently using technology inside helmets to collect data intended to help make the sport safer.





October 16, 2015
October 16, 2015 - Debate Recap, Four Constitutional Amendments on Ballot, Artist Caroline Youngblood



LPB’s Governor’s Debate Recap


LPB along with the Council for a Better Louisiana hosted a gubernatorial debate this week on the campus of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. The debate included Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, and State Representative John Bel Edwards. We recap the debate with Jeremy Alford, publisher of LaPolitics.com, and Gannett newspapers political reporter Greg Hilburn.


Four Constitutional Amendments on Ballot


Elections for state and local office are not the only issues for voters. There are four constitutional amendments to consider as well. Robert Travis Scott of the non-partisan Public Affairs Research Council gives an overview of all four ballot items.


Artist Caroline Youngblood


Meet north Louisiana artist Caroline Youngblood. She shares how her family and rural roots have influenced her art. Youngblood is one of many Louisiana artists donating works to the annual LPB Art & Travel Auction.





October 9, 2015
2015 Statewide Races, BP Oil Spill Settlement, Remembering Chef Paul Prudhomme WEB EXTRA: Four Constitutional Amendments on Ballot



2015 Statewide Races


With so much attention focused on the race for Louisiana’s next governor, don’t forget that there are several statewide races on the ballots as well. The issues facing Louisiana are serious and the time for voters to make up their minds is now. Women outnumber men in registration but with such low level interest in this election cycle who will actually show up? Shauna Sanford talks with longtime political science professors Robert Hogan of LSU and Albert Samuels of Southern University.


BP Oil Spill Settlement


This week U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a settlement with BP of over $20 billion dollars following the BP oil spill in 2010. Louisiana is expected to receive roughly $8 billion dollars of that settlement according to Kyle Graham, executive director of the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. Charlie Whinham reports how this money is part of the CPRA’s 50-year/$50 billion Master Plan to protect and restore Louisiana’s vanishing coast.


Remembering Chef Paul Prudhomme


Internationally known Chef Paul Prudhomme died on Thursday after a brief illness. He was 75. Louisiana Public Broadcasting celebrates the life and legacy created by this Opelousas native. You can also watch archival footage of the iconic chef on the LDMA-Louisiana Digital Media Archive.



| Submit Your Questions for the Governor's Debate | | LDMA |

WEB EXTRA: Four Constitutional Amendments on Ballot
WEB EXTRA: Four Constitutional Amendments on Ballot






October 2, 2015
The State of Louisiana Workers, Countdown to Election 2015, American Graduate Day is Saturday



The State of Louisiana Workers


Most Louisiana workers are still getting paid less than they were before the Great Recession. That’s the finding of a new report by a watchdog group that monitors how public policy affects moderate to low income families in the state. Shauna Sanford reports on the trends.


Countdown to Election 2015


Election Day is Saturday, October 24. Are the political races on your radar? We review some of the statewide races with columnist Stephanie Grace of The Advocate LSU Political Science and Mass Communications professor Martin Johnson.


American Graduate Day is Saturday


PBS dedicates seven hours of television this Saturday to celebrate education success stories across the country with American Graduate Day. Guests during the broadcast includes President George W. Bush, Shaquille O’Neal and Jane Pauley. American Graduate Day will also highlight the success story of LSU’s XCITE STEM Program. Each summer LSU hosts a one-week camp geared toward young women that introduces them to careers in engineering. LPB is proud to join more than 80 public radio and television stations across 30 states helping to keep more students on the path to a high school diploma.



| LPB American Graduate | | Submit Your Questions for the Governor's Debate |

September 25, 2015
Remembering Hurricane Rita – Part Two, Louisiana Public Square – Agenda Louisiana, Big School Sports v. Small School Sports



Remembering Hurricane Rita – Part Two


This Thursday marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Rita hitting landfall along the coast of southwest Louisiana. Rita caused $12 billion worth of damages, was more powerful than Katrina and is the fourth most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record. Charlie Whinham visited southwest Louisiana recently to check on recovery efforts in the region.


Louisiana Public Square – Agenda Louisiana


The state primary election is Saturday, October 24. This fall Louisiana voters will elect a new governor, state legislators and new members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. What issues will candidates face and where do they stand? How will big money from outside donors influence the races? “Agenda Louisiana” is the topic of this month’s Louisiana Public Square. For more information and to take our survey go online at www.lpb.org/publicsquare.


Big School Sports v. Small School Sports


When the media tackles the subject of college football, they often look to the money-making programs like LSU, Florida and Georgia. But how do small colleges afford to maintain their programs, and even see them flourish? We spoke to Rob Bernardi, the Athletic Director at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux to find out how and why he keeps his programs running.





September 18, 2015
Hurricane Rita – The Forgotten Storm, Remembering Doris Robinson, Louisiana Travels - Kisatchie National Forest Fall Tour



Hurricane Rita – The Forgotten Storm


One month after Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita hit the southwest coastline of the state causing $12 billion in damages across Louisiana and Texas. In Cameron Parish, the damage was catastrophic. We remember Rita and observe the tenth anniversary to what some have called the forgotten storm. Charlie Whinham returned to Cameron Parish for an update.


Remembering Doris Robinson


“One wife, one job, one school,” were the often repeated words of the late legendary Grambling Football coach Eddie Robinson. Doris Robinson died Wednesday morning in north Louisiana at the age of 96. The two married in 1941 and Doris was a foundation to the success of husband Eddie, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 88. LPB pays tribute to Doris with a story from 2006 when she helped lead an effort to create The Eddie Robinson Museum. Four years later, the EGR Museum opened in 2010.


Louisiana Travels - Kisatchie National Forest Fall Tour


Charlie Whinham hops in a classic 1966 Chevy Suburban to showcase some of Louisiana’s best travel destinations. Looking for a place to hunt, hike, bike or fish this fall? One of the state’s best kept secrets for outdoor recreation is the Kisatchie National Forest. There are over 40 recreational sites among the five Ranger Districts that stretch across 600,000 acres in central and northwest Louisiana.





September 11, 2015
Candidates Qualifying Week, Conversation with U.S. Rep. John Fleming, Louisiana Travels – Avery Island



Candidates Qualifying Week


This week marked the official start to the fall elections as the three day qualifying period began Tuesday. The Governor’s race tops the October 24th open primary elections, but voters will also be choosing a lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, insurance commissioner and commissioner of agriculture. Find out who’s in and who’s not.


Conversation with U.S. Rep. John Fleming


With the recent shootings of police officers in Louisiana and around the country, the nation is on alert and looking for answers. One north Louisiana lawmaker is proposing a National Day of Prayer. This week U.S. Congressman John Fleming (R-4th District) offered a resolution calling on the President and members of the House to end what he calls a disturbing trend. Shauna Sanford speaks one-on-one with Congressman Fleming.


Louisiana Travels – Avery Island


Charlie Whinham heads to some of the top travel destinations in the state. This week, we tour Avery Island, birthplace of Tabasco hot pepper sauce. The first bottle of Tabasco sold to the public was created here in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny. Tour of the Tabasco manufacturing plant as well as well as nearby Jungle Gardens, an incredible 170-acre wildlife sanctuary.


LPB 40th


Happy Anniversary, LPB!





September 4, 2015
September 4, 2015 - Pop Quiz on the Governor’s Race, The 80th Anniversary of Huey P. Long, Louisiana Travels - National WWII Museum in New Orleans



Pop Quiz on the Governor’s Race


The state primary election is just seven weeks out. One approach to create a different dynamic for a candidate forum occurred this week at Southeastern University where the candidates (excluding U.S. Senator David Vitter) fielded questions from a panel of college students. Charlie Whinham reviews the Governor’s race with Jeremy Alford, publisher and editor of LaPolitics.com and LaPolitics Weekly.


The 80th Anniversary of Huey P. Long


It remains one of the greatest unsolved murder mysteries in Louisiana history: Who killed Huey P. Long? September 8th will mark the 80th anniversary of the day one of the state’s most iconic politicians was shot to death at the State Capitol. The documentary 61 Bullets examines the details and doubts about what happened. Shauna Sanford talks with the film’s producer whose great uncle is Dr. Carl Weiss, the alleged assassin.


Louisiana Travels - National WWII Museum


World War II came to an official end 70 years ago this week with the signing of Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard the USS Missouri docked in Tokyo Bay. Louisiana is home to the National WWII Museum that has drawn over two million visitors since its opening in 2000. Charlie Whinham takes us on a tour of the latest museum addition known as the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center.





August 28, 2015
Special edition: We dedicate our entire program to recognize the Tenth Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Is New Orleans and the state better off ten years later? We will look at the changes made to public education, health care, as well as levee and coastal protection efforts. President Obama visits NOLA.



President Obama visits NOLA


President Obama visits NOLA

Lt. General Russel Honoré


Ten years later, Shauna Sanford tours New Orleans with retired Lt. General Russel Honoré (U.S. Army), the man heralded as one of the heroes in the middle of chaos as residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast fought for survival.


Nurse Gail


Rooftop pleas for help were not limited to residents in neighborhoods. Nurse Gail Gibson recalls how staff of the University Medical Center in downtown New Orleans were also waiving out to rescue helicopters for attention as they lay stranded without power and in desperate need of help to evacuate pregnant mothers and premature newborns.


Post-Katrina Public Education


One of the biggest changes to occur since Katrina was the overhaul of the New Orleans public school system. Times-Picayune reporter and parent Jessica Williams shares her experience navigating the new system.


Wendell Pierce’s New Role


New Orleans native and actor Wendell Pierce has a new role since Katrina as a community rebuilder. His childhood home in Pontchartrain Park was destroyed, but ten years later Pierce has been a guiding force to help rebuild his parents’ home as well as his old neighborhood.


At the Intersection of Art and Assistance


Evacuation plans fell woefully short for thousands of New Orleans residents during Katrina. Thanks to a local non-profit organization called Evacuteer.org, seventeen new locations have been designated as bus shuttle evacuation sites. But there’s more than a signpost telling residents where to find help. A national call to artists resulted in the creation of Evacuspots; 14-foot high stainless steel sculptures that designate evacuation areas.





August 21, 2015
Katrina Ten Years Later, Charter Schools Ten Years Later, Public Pools in Peril?



Katrina Ten Years Later


LPB’s newest documentary Katrina 10 Years After: A Second Life A Second Chance looks back at those tragic days and how, ten years later, the people from New Orleans, with help from around the world, have accomplished what looked impossible a decade ago. The program is narrated by Wendell Pierce and premieres this Sunday, August 23 at 7PM on LPB.


Charter Schools in New Orleans


Since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans has become the top spot for the charter school movement. Ten years later, how is it working? Other southern states such as Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida have adopted the education alternative as well. This week, the Southern Education Desk travels to some of those states to see how the movement is progressing across the Gulf south.


Public Pools in Peril?


Many community pools throughout Louisiana have been closing down over the years. Officials with Baton Rouge Parks and Recreation, for example, say pools are getting too expensive to maintain. Critics of the closings say community pools located in poorer areas are an important reflection of the civil rights movement in the 60’s and are worth protecting.





August 14, 2015
Brain Eating Amoeba, Hurricane Katrina: Ten Years Later, Childhood Obesity, Exercise and the Heat



Brain Eating Amoeba


The brain eating amoeba is now in two Louisiana parishes and residents want answers. Dr. Jimmy Guidry of the Department of Health and Hospitals along with State Senator Troy Brown and J.P. Morrell will be in studio to talk about concerns of Ascension and St. Bernard Parishes and why despite the deadly parasite, the water is still safe to drink.


Hurricane Katrina: Ten Years Later


As we near the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, what progress has been made. We visit with Leah Chase, the Queen of Creole Cuisine and Sister Camille Campbell of Mt. Carmel Academy. The segments are produced by LPB’s Tika Laudun and photographed and edited by Rex. Q. Fortenberry.


Childhood Obesity


We all seem to be dieting more than ever and yet obesity is still on the rise, and children are no exception. The Pennington Biomedical Research Center has released a new study on childhood obesity, the problem and the solutions. But it’s not without controversy. Funded by Coca-Cola, critics say the findings are exactly what Coke wanted. The lead author says Coke had nothing to do with the research.


Exercise and the Heat


Kids need more physical activity to get healthy but the heat these days can be very dangerous. Dr. Rani Whitfield talks about heat illnesses and keeping hydrated.





August 7, 2015
Status of Medical Marijuana, Upward Bound 50th Anniversary, and Louisiana Artist Christopher Turner



Status of Medical Marijuana


Now that the state has legalized the process for dispensing medical marijuana, what’s next? Meet Jacob Irving, who suffers from spastic quadriplegia. He has seen impressive results since going out of state to use the cannabis oil. Shauna Sanford talks with Agricultural Commissioner Mike Strain who says it could be at least two years before it becomes available in Louisiana.


Southern Education Desk – Upward Bound 50th Anniversary


Census data (2013) shows that nearly 30 percent of Louisiana’s 2.4 million working-age adults hold a two- or four-year college degree. The national rate is 40 percent. A federally-funded program called Upward Bound is more than doubling the chances of low-income, first-generation students attending and graduating from college. This summer Upward Bound celebrates 50 years at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Producer Kevin Gautreaux explores why it’s so successful.


Autism Society of Louisiana


An interview


Louisiana Artist Christopher Turner


Meet a Louisiana artist that is known for something called “live painting.” Baton Rouge native Christopher Turner performs in front of live audiences as he creates his contemporary art. His audiences have even included a halftime show at Tiger Stadium to create his works of art.





July 31, 2015
Lafayette Theatre Shooting-Looking for Answers, Lafayette Theatre Shooting-Sense of Security, and Bayou Corne Sinkhole 3-Year Anniversary



Lafayette Theatre Shooting-Looking for Answers


Described as a deeply troubled man, John Houser who opened fire in the Lafayette movie theater killing two and injuring 11 had a history of mental illness. But is it to blame for the death and destruction he caused? Is enough being done to treat those who suffer from it? Shauna Sanford talks with experts about the effects of the disease and the impact of funding cuts to critical resources in Louisiana.


Lafayette Theatre Shooting-Sense of Security


The Lafayette theater shooting has once again fueled the debate on gun control. How can we prevent this tragedy from happening again? What are current gun laws and where are the loopholes? We hear from superintendent of Louisiana State Police Col. Mike Edmonson, former State Police superintendent and Acadiana lawmaker Terry Landry, as well as Wade Duty from Precision Firearms in Baton Rouge.


Bayou Corne Sinkhole 3-Year Anniversary


On August 3, 2012, a 2.5 acre sinkhole formed in northern Assumption Parish near the community of Bayou Corne. Nearly three years later, the sinkhole is now 32 acres and most Bayou Corne residents have left their homes for good. A blue ribbon commission of scientists concluded the Texas Brine Co. mined a salt dome cavern too close to the dome’s outer supporting wall. Texas Brine denies legal liability but has agreed to a court approved $48.1 million class action lawsuit. Former Bayou Corne resident Mike Schaff along with retired Army General Russel Honoré offer an update as the third anniversary approaches this Monday.





July 24, 2015
Confederate Flag Controversy, Louisiana Legend Terry Bradshaw, Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival



Confederate Flag Controversy


Racially motivated violence in Charleston, SC, has prompted state governments around the South to reevaluate the display of the Confederate battle flag on public grounds. Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans is calling for input on the removal of the Civil War memorials as the city prepares for its tri-centennial. Is the display of Civil War statues in public justified or do they belong only in museums? This month’s Louisiana Public Square looks for answers.


Louisiana Legend Terry Bradshaw


As baseball season continues through the dog days of summer and fans are beginning to count down to the start of the football season, the LDMA (Louisiana Digital Media Archive) is highlighting sports legends in Louisiana throughout the month of July. This week we highlight NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and Shreveport native Terry Bradshaw. Before he won four Super Bowl trophies for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bradshaw was turning heads in college at Louisiana Tech in Ruston.


Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival


Next weekend marks the 7th Annual Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival. Dozens of movies will be featured at venues across the city including the Celtic Media Centre movie studios. Charlie Whinham and photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry previews of some of the coming attractions.



| Louisiana Public Square | | Louisiana Digital Media Archive |

July 17, 2015
July 17, 2015 - Lethal Injections in Louisiana, Honoring NBA Basketball Great Willis Reed, Shape of Shreveport



Lethal Injections in Louisiana


Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that lethal injections are constitutional, what are the implications for Louisiana? The execution of convicted child- killer Christopher Sepulvado has been on hold since last year. Shauna Sanford talks with one of Sepulvado’s attorneys about the status of his case and a constitutional law professor on how the recent court ruling has re-ignited the debate over the death penalty.






Honoring NBA Basketball Great Willis Reed


Named one of the 50 greatest players in the history of NBA Basketball, Bernice native and Grambling Alumnus Willis Reed has made Louisiana proud. This month, Reed and a host of other sports legends from around the state are featured in the Louisiana Digital Media Archive.






Shape of Shreveport


It’s a small city in the corner of north Louisiana that’s filled with a rich history. A newly-released series of documentaries called The Shape of Shreveport trace the beginnings of Shreveport and Bossier City from the Caddo-Adai tribal settlement, to the clearing of the 180-mile log jam along the Red River, to some of the tragic and incredible events and figures that have shaped the city.





July 10, 2015
BP Oil Spill Settlement, Remembering former Louisiana Senator Virginia Shehee, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame



BP Oil Spill Settlement


A week after the major BP Oil Spill settlement was announced we learn more about how it all came together. Shauna Sanford talks with Congressman Garret Graves who explains what it means for Louisiana and responds to critics who say the settlement is not nearly enough.


Remembering former Louisiana Senator Virginia Shehee


Former Louisiana Senator Virginia Shehee has been called a trailblazer and force of nature. She was the first woman elected to the state senate in 1974 without succeeding a husband. Shehee died this week after battling a lengthy illness. LPB honors this Louisiana Legend.


Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame


As the Louisiana Digital Media Archive highlights sports legends of Louisiana; we’ll take a look at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. Charlie Whinham travels to Natchitoches where they are building legends by remembering legends.





July 3, 2015
U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Same Sex Marriage, Louisiana Sports Legend Joe Dumars, Honoring Judge Thomas Stagg



U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Same Sex Marriage


The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on the issue of same sex marriage, saying it is legal in all 50 states. But the pushback continues in Louisiana and elsewhere. Shauna Sanford speaks with the first same sex couple married in Louisiana, clergy on opposing sides of the issue and a constitutional law professor who offers his independent expert analysis of the high court’s ruling.


Louisiana Sports Legend Joe Dumars


This month, the Louisiana Digital Media Archive highlights sports legends from all eras. Tonight it’s the quiet hero Joe Dumars who won a pair of NBA Championships with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990. This spring, he was named a Louisiana legend.


Honoring Judge Thomas Stagg


As we celebrate the Fourth of July weekend, we pay tribute to the rich military history of LSU and the LSU Law School. This next story is all about a distinguished serviceman, World War II veteran and U.S. District Judge Thomas Stagg of Shreveport.





June 26, 2015
Southern Education Desk- Common Core, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield, Louisiana Travel Stories



Southern Education Desk- Common Core


Major strides have been made with Common Core Standards here in Louisiana but it is still a very controversial issue throughout the south. LPB is part of the Southern Education Desk which is a consortium of public media stations in five southern states that is exploring the challenges confronting education in the south. Shauna Sanford will have the latest on the common core battle in Alabama and Mississippi.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


After honoring Dads last weekend, this month’s Prescription for Health topics deals with men’s health. Dr. Rani Whitfield will discuss a number of men’s health issues including heart disease, prostate and colorectal cancers and offer advice on how to maintain a healthier lifestyle.


Louisiana Travel Stories


Summertime means travel for so many. This month’s Louisiana Digital Media Archive (LDMA) topic features dozens of great places in Louisiana to visit. Charlie Whinham takes a trip down memory lane for a visit he took to Lecompte, a town known as the Pie Capitol of Louisiana and was named after one of the biggest names in horse racing history.



| LOUISIANA DIGITAL MEDIA ARCHIVE |

June 19, 2015 - A Session of Compromise
A Session of Compromise - Political promises aren’t new but nothing seemed to prepare Louisiana lawmakers for their impact during the 2015 state legislative session. Louisiana was faced with one of the largest deficits on record and lawmakers’ hands were tied. Why? Shauna Sanford explores the promises made, promises kept and the power of politics at play.






June 12, 2015
Regular Session Ends at the Capitol, Capitol Roundtable Discussion



Regular Session Ends at the Capitol


Lawmakers wrapped up their two month session this week with the state’s $1.6 billion budget deficit the largest looming issue remaining. Higher education and health care funding hangs in the balance. Governor Bobby Jindal said during the session he would veto any budget that is not revenue neutral. Kelly Connelly has a full wrap up from the final week at the Capitol.


Capitol Roundtable Discussion


With the end of the regular session of the legislature over, who are the winners and losers? What are some of the new laws that will take effect and what’s Louisiana’s budget situation? If Governor Jindal vetoes the budget, would lawmakers come back this summer for a veto session? Columnist Stephanie Grace with The New Orleans Advocate and LaPolitics publisher Jeremy Alford give their take on the 2015 session.





June 5, 2015
2015 Legislative Session Down to the Wire, The Passing of Dr. Dolores Spikes, Great Places to Travel to in Louisiana



2015 Legislative Session Down to the Wire


There is just one week left in the legislative session and tensions are mounting as lawmakers in the House and Senate try to reach a compromise on the state budget. Kelly Connelly will have a full recap of the week’s ups and downs.




The Passing of Dr. Dolores Spikes


Southern University and the state mourn the passing of former SU President Dr. Deloris Spikes, the first woman in the United States to become head of a university system and Louisiana’s first woman chancellor of a public university. We pay tribute to her life and legacy this week.


Great Places to Travel to in Louisiana


Now’s the time to start your summer vacations. This week we highlight great places to travel throughout the state. Have you ever heard of Start, Louisiana? It’s home to country music star Tim McGraw and a few other surprises Charlie Whinham uncovers.





May 29, 2015
Legislative Session Winds Down, Discussing the Session, Technology and Innovation



Legislative Session Winds Down


There are only two weeks left until the legislative session ends and this week was an important one. Kelly Connelly will have a complete wrap up of the big highlights.




Discussing the Session


Plus, political experts Stephanie Grace of the Advocate and Robert Travis Scott of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana weigh in on what has been accomplished and what big hurdles are still left for legislators to clear.




Technology and Innovation


This month Louisiana Public Square examines the importance of innovation in Louisiana and how universities get their research and development to the marketplace and how budgetary pressures sometimes put these efforts at risk. See the big story this week





May 22, 2015
Legislative Wrap – Week 6, New Safety App at LSU, Summertime Hunger



Legislative Wrap – Week 6


A busy Week Six is in the books at the state capitol. The $1.6 billion dollar budget deficit continues to top the concerns of lawmakers. The House offered their budget to the Senate late this week. A religious freedom bill by Bossier Representative Mike Johnson (R-Bossier City) was shelved in committee, but Governor Bobby Jindal gave it new life hours later with an executive order. Charlie Whinham recaps the week at the capitol.


New Safety App at LSU


It’s hard to deny what you see on video and given the recent cases involving police arrests and shootings, personal cell phone video has become increasingly important. In some cases it dramatically changed the direction of the investigations. Two LSU seniors have created a cell phone app that will now allow the public to share their video directly with newsrooms. Shauna Sanford talks with them about the POWER app and how it will help keep the community and cops accountable for their actions.


Summertime Hunger


Childhood hunger is an issue for this nation and our state. As school is about to end the concern for thousands of children in Louisiana is even greater. The Baton Rouge Area Food Bank and the Gamma Eta Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority are teaming up to bring awareness and help feed kids. The Changing and Advancing Nutrition Now 5K is a way for everyone around the state to participate. We’ll have the details.





May 15, 2015
Common Core Debate, Legislative Wrap – Week 5, Louisiana Travels – N. Toledo Bend State Park



Common Core Debate


Has the fight over Common Core come to an end? The answer to that question may not come until the legislative session ends, but some big compromises were approved by both sides in the House Education Committee this week. Still, there are some hardline differences between the two. Shauna Sanford sits down with both sides this week.


Legislative Wrap – Week 5


Education issues dominated this week at the capitol, but lawmakers also considered bills to address the $1.6 billion deficit as well as assist the new Bell Helicopter facility. The company will be manufacturing its 505 Jet Ranger X in Lafayette later this year. Charlie Whinham recaps the week from the capitol.


Louisiana Travels – N. Toledo Bend State Park


It’s getting closer and closer to Memorial Day weekend. Perhaps it’s time to consider a visit to one of Louisiana’s State Parks. Charlie Whinham takes us on a trip to North Toledo Bend State Park where you can camp, bike or drop a hook in the water for a chance at some big bass or catfish.





May 8, 2015
Legislative Wrap – Week 4, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield, Alexandria Sculptor Morris Taft Thomas



Legislative Wrap – Week 4


Lawmakers in the House this week looked to raise roughly $1 billion in taxes to offset a looming budget deficit. House Ways & Means Committee Chair Joel Robideaux (R – Lafayette) says the increases are needed to avoid significant cuts to higher education and the public health care system. Governor Bobby Jindal has threatened to veto the entire budget if it doesn’t pass his “revenue neutral” test. Kelly Connelly recaps this week at the Capitol.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


May is American Stroke Month and Dr. Rani Whitfield offers advice on this debilitating illness. One out of six people will suffer a stroke in his or her lifetime and it is the 5th leading cause of death in the U.S. Stroke threaten millions of Americans, young and old, male and female, from every background. At the same time, stroke is largely preventable, treatable and beatable.


Alexandria Sculptor Morris Taft Thomas


Internationally known artist and sculptor Morris Taft Thomas envisions life as a sphere and “we are mere passengers who pass through and orbit in a circle starting with inception to infinity.” His works were recently showcased on LPB’s Art Rocks! The Series that showcases Louisiana’s thriving arts community. Now in its second season, Art Rocks! The Series airs Saturdays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.



| LPB’s Art Rocks! The Series |

May 1, 2015
The Last Days of the Vietnam War, Legislative Wrap, Kisatchie Quarter Launch



The Last Days of the Vietnam War


April 30, 2015 marked the 40 year anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. Millions lost their lives but thousands found their freedom in the United States, including Louisiana. The PBS American Experience documentary The Last Days in Vietnam captures the chaos that erupted as American soldiers pulled out. Many who managed to escape landed in New Orleans where they have since cultivated a very tight knit community. Shauna Sanford shares the story of the journey they will never forget.


Legislative Wrap


Some of the big topics lawmakers discussed this week included Medicaid expansion, film tax credits, tobacco taxes, and medical marijuana. There’s plenty of talk on how to deal with the state’s $1.6-billion deficit, that may result in significant cuts to higher education and healthcare. Kelly Connelly recaps Week Three from the capitol.


Kisatchie Quarter Launch


There’s new U.S. currency that includes a wild turkey, blue stem grasses and the long leaf pines of Louisiana. The U.S. Mint officially launched a new quarter that recognizes the Kisatchie National Forest. The new coin celebrates the natural and cultural resources of the Kisatchie National Forest that spans over 600,000 acres across northwest and central Louisiana. Charlie Whinham has more from the big ceremony and celebration in Alexandria.



| Last Days in Vietnam Website |

April 24, 2015
BP Oil Spill 5 Year Anniversary, Legislative Recap – Week Two, Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates



BP Oil Spill 5 Year Anniversary


It has been five years since the BP Gulf Oil Spill. Eleven men were killed and millions of gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico. Louisiana was among the hardest hit coastal states. What has happened since then to the communities, fishermen, wildlife and areas directly impacted by the spill? Shauna Sanford talks with leading researchers and scientists.


Legislative Recap – Week Two


Budget, budget, budget. During the second week of legislative session at the capitol, lawmakers are trying to figure out ways to overcome a $1.6 billion dollar budget deficit that could mean significant cuts to higher education and healthcare. Kelly Connelly has the weekly wrap up from Week Two.


Back on Track: Louisiana Graduates


What help is available for Louisiana students who have dropped out of school? This month’s Louisiana Public Square brings together former dropouts and at-risk students who have remained in school with the help of caring adults and resources available in the state.



| Louisiana Public Square |

April 17, 2015
Legislative Session Begins, Southern University Enrollment, Walk for Humanity, Remembering Percy Sledge



Legislative Session Begins


Lawmakers from across Louisiana converged on Baton Rouge for the start of the regular legislative session. The state is facing a $1.6 billion shortfall and it could leave higher education and health care taking the brunt of the cuts. Governor Jindal’s proposed budget calls for cutting business tax credits and rebates to help reduce the deficit. The Democratic Caucus opposes that plan and is calling for lawmakers to curb using one-time dollars to fund annual expenditures. Charlie Whinham recaps Week One at the capitol.


Southern University Enrollment


Facing potentially huge budget cuts by state lawmakers, Southern University is taking aggressive steps to increase enrollment. Attorney Preston Castille, president of the SU Alumni Federation and the head of recruitment Anthony Jackson will explain how they are trying to attract more students.


Walk for Humanity


One Shreveport woman has inspired thousands around the state to join her global walk for humanity. The Institute for Global Outreach is changing the lives of orphaned and HIV positive children in Africa. Shauna Sanford will show us how in a short amount of time Velma Tarver is helping countless children and how you can get involved.


Remembering Percy Sledge


Iconic R&B singer Percy Sledge died this week in Baton Rouge after battling liver cancer. He was 74. Louisiana Public Broadcasting remembers the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy nominee who sung the timeless classic “When a Man Loves a Woman.” LPB honored Sledge as a Louisiana Legend in 1995.





April 10, 2015
Legislative Session Coverage Begins, Legislative Session Analysis, Ron Guidry Remembers



Legislative Session Coverage Begins


The 2015 legislative session begins Monday and we will preview some of the major issues that lawmakers will tackle within the coming months. Charlie Whinham’s story will focus on such controversial issues as potentially deep budget cuts to higher education, possible changes to current business tax incentives and how their passage or failure could impact health care and the push to once again repeal the Common Core academic standards for school age children.


Legislative Session Analysis


Two experienced political analysts and close capitol watchers will join us on-set to dig deeper into those issues and more, columnist for The Advocate newspaper, Stephanie Grace and ULM political science professor Joshua Stockley.


Ron Guidry Remembers


This week marks the start of the Major League Baseball season. Louisiana native and former New York Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry sat down with Charlie Whinham to talk baseball. Known as “Gator” in the majors, the left-hander explains how his little league baseball career in Lafayette began with a lie.





April 3, 2015
CASA Volunteers, B.R. General ER Closure, Francophone Mayors, French Immersion Schools



CASA Volunteers


Thousands of Louisiana children living in foster care are waiting for volunteers to help them find safe homes. Court appointed special advocates, also known as CASA, are their lifeline. Find out how you can help.


Baton Rouge General ER Closure


Despite public outcry from state and community leaders and residents, the Baton Rouge General Hospital’s Mid City Emergency Room closed its doors on March 31st. In the final hours, the hospital gathered teams to pay tribute, commemorating more than 65 years of service. Some of those health care providers will join us to talk about what the future holds.


Francophone Mayors


Lafayette City Hall resembled the United Nations this week as over 30 mayors from 22 countries attended the International Association of Francophone Mayors meeting. It’s the first time the organization has held its meeting in the U.S.


French Immersion Schools


French immersion classes in Louisiana grade schools began in the 1980’s and continue to offer grade school children a dynamic way to learn. Studies show students in bilingual settings perform better in standardized testing compared to students in monolingual settings.





March 27, 2015
One on One with DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert, Cancer in Louisiana, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield. March is Colo-rectal Cancer Awareness Month.



One on One with DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert


The Department of Health and Hospitals made its case before the House Appropriations Committee this week. DHH Secretary Kathy Kliebert explained that that without the approval of tax credit changes this legislative session, the department could see some big money problems. Shauna Sanford talks one on one with Secretary Kliebert.


Cancer in Louisiana


Why in Louisiana’s cancer death rate so much higher than the rest of America? What can be done to identify cancer earlier and provide the treatment patients need to defeat this disease? This month’s topic on Louisiana Public Square (www.lpb.org/publicsquare) brings together residents with cancer and experts on the front lines of diagnosis, looking for answers.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


March is Colo-rectal Cancer Awareness Month. This disease is highest among Cajun white males and yet it is almost completely preventable. Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio to offer possibly lifesaving information for you or someone you know.





March 20, 2015
Health Care Issues and Budgets, Stephen Spires - Louisiana Budget Project, Women's History Month -- Irma Thomas



Health Care Issues and Budgets


With less than one month before the legislative session begins, only time will tell how deeply and drastically state funding for healthcare will ultimately be cut. Shauna Sanford takes a look at what state lawmakers will have to tackle.


Louisiana Budget Project


Don Gregory and Senior Policy Analyst Steve Spires discusses the latest situation regarding Louisiana’s healthcare. His research for the Louisiana Budget Project focuses on healthcare, anti-poverty initiatives, fiscal policy, and tax exemptions.


Women’s History Month – Irma Thomas


As a teenager, Irma Thomas was fired as a waitress for singing on the job. Decades later she would be better known as “The Soul Queen of New Orleans.” As part of Women’s History Month, LPB showcases this Louisiana native and Grammy Award winning artist.





March 13, 2015
This week, we will dedicate our entire show to Louisiana’s higher education system and looming budget cuts. With the state facing a $1.6 billion budget deficit, higher education is bracing for another year of cuts. But just how much? It’s a moving target that can range anywhere between $100 - $500 million. A panel of state education leaders including UL-System President Sandra Woodley, Southern University System President Ronald Mason, and LSU System Vice Chancellor Stuart Bell will discuss the future of higher education in Louisiana.



Higher Education Budget Cuts


This week we dedicate our entire show on Louisiana’s higher education system and looming budget cuts. With the state facing a $1.6 billion budget deficit, higher education is bracing for another year of cuts. But just how much? It’s a moving target that can range anywhere between $100 - $500 million.


Future of Higher Education Panel


A panel of state education leaders including UL-System President Sandra Woodley, Southern University System President Ronald Mason, and LSU System Vice Chancellor Stuart Bell are in the studio to discuss the future of higher education in Louisiana.


Ireland is Calling Baton Rouge


One year ago, the LSU Tiger Marching Band performed in Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It just may have led to this-a summer school to promote the Gaelic language to Irish youth put together a music video of “Calling Baton Rouge”. Singer Matthew O’Donnell leads the crowd in Dublin this year for your St. Patrick’s Day





March 6, 2015
Why Are Crawfish Prices High?, Women's History Month, Sightseeing in North Louisiana



Why Are Crawfish Prices High?


Have you bought any crawfish lately? Prices are high and the mudbugs are small. The industry is battling with the Federal Government over wages and availability of migrant workers. Shauna Sanford reports the problem is affecting more than just crawfish farming.


Women's History Month


In 1976, Shreveport native Virginia Shehee made history when she became the first woman elected to the Louisiana Senate without succeeding a husband. As part of Women’s History Month, we showcase Shehee’s impact and success the male dominated world of business and politics over the last four decades.


Sightseeing in North Louisiana


%ake a tour of some north Louisiana landmarks that include Frogmore Plantation in Ferriday, the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum in Monroe, and the 3000-year-old earthen mounds of Poverty Point State Historic Site in Epps.



| Louisiana Digital Media Archive |

February 27, 2015
Oil Prices and Louisiana, Creole WWII Vets, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield



Oil Prices and Louisiana


Crude oil prices have dropped from close to $110 per barrel last summer to around $50 per barrel in January. Who are the winners and losers in Louisiana from the drop in prices? How will the decrease in oil and gas revenues affect the state’s budget? This month’s Louisiana Public Square looks for answers.


Creole WWII Vets


In honor of Black History Month, we head to Cane River country to recognize three Creole veterans who served in WWII. Pa-Joe, John and Tony are true examples of our Greatest Generation with service in the Army, Navy and Merchant Marines. But as they fought an enemy overseas this trio also battled against prejudice when they returned home. It’s a story you can also watch and share on LPB’s Louisiana Digital Media Archive.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


February is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio to help us understanding the different symptoms between men and women, as well as manage better heart-healthy food choices and activity into your everyday routine.



| Louisiana Public Square | | Louisiana Digital Media Archive |

February 20, 2015
Opting Out of Common Core Test, Play Ball!, Art Rocks! Profiles Geeta Dave



Opting Out of Common Core Test


What should happen to public school children who don’t take the Common Core test next month? Some have called for the state’s top school board to hold a special meeting on the issue but it looks like that is not going to happen. Many parents around the state have opted their children out of taking the test. Is this an issue for local school boards or the state? Steve Monaghan of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and Scott Richard of the Louisiana School Boards Association will join us in-studio to talk about it.


Play Ball!


In honor of Black History Month and the start of the collegiate baseball season, we recognize the only time Louisiana hosted a professional baseball World Series. Not many people know the city of Monroe hosted three World Series games. In 1932, Satchel Page and the Pittsburgh Crawfords faced the Monroe Monarchs for the Negro League World Series title. It’s a story you can also watch and share on LPB’s Louisiana Digital Media Archive.


Art Rocks! Profiles Geeta Dave


Meet middle school art teacher Geeta Dave. She works in the Talented Visual Arts program at Glasgow Middle School. The award winning muralist and painter’s talents go beyond her artwork and into the community she now calls home. To learn more about Louisiana’s vibrant artist and art communities watch LPB’s “Art Rocks! The Series” every weekend, Saturdays at 5:30pm and Sundays at 4:00pm.



| Louisiana Digital Media Archive |

February 13, 2015
February 13, 2015 - Louisiana/Cuba Connection Part 2, Italian-Americans, Masks of Mardi Gras



Louisiana/Cuba Connection – Part 2


What is the potential economic impact for Louisiana if U.S. relations with Cuba open up? In part two of her Louisiana/Cuba Connection series, Shauna Sanford looks at how new talks could bring significant business to the Port of New Orleans, plus a look at the first flight in 50 years from New Orleans to Havana that is set to leave in March.


Italian-Americans


PBS premieres The Italian Americans on Tuesday, February 17th. The series peels away myths and stereotypes to reveal a world uniquely Italian and uniquely American. Charlie Whinham looks at the history of the Italian immigrants that made their impact and carry on their traditions in Louisiana.


Mardi Gras Masks


Carnival season is in full swing across Louisiana. This week, we look at how they party in Cajun Country. Mardi Gras in Acadiana is full of unique costumes and very special handmade masks that help the residents put their personal touch to the celebration. Meet Lou Trahan, one of those special mask makers.





February 6, 2015
Louisiana/Cuba Connection – Part 1, Historic Fort Pike Closure, Black History Month and the LDMA



Louisiana/Cuba Connection – Part 1


The connection between Louisiana and Cuba exists on many levels especially between New Orleans and Havana. As President Barack Obama moves to restore relations with Cuba, passions have been ignited among those for and against. This week, in Part One of the Louisiana/Cuba Connection, Shauna Sanford explores the deep ties between the cities and gets reactions to efforts that could lead to lifting the 50 year old embargo on Cuba.


Historic Fort Pike Closure


One of the first casualties in the recent mid-year budget cuts hit historic Fort Pike located 20 miles east of New Orleans. The Louisiana Office of State Parks recently shut down the 19th century facility as part of a $1.5 million cut in funding. The move disappoints one LSU-Alexandria history professor who has a special connection with the facility built during the James Monroe administration after The War of 1812.


Black History Month and the LDMA


As we recognize Black History Month, Shauna Sanford takes a look back at the pioneering women who were some of the first Black nurses in Louisiana. The first black nurses who worked at the Baton Rouge General Hospital were relegated to one unit called “Four South. Hear how they worked tirelessly to care for their patients and break the color barrier. Their story is now part of the Louisiana Digital Media Archive.



| Louisiana Digital Media Archive |

January 30, 2015
State Budget, Louisiana After Ferguson, An Incredible Louisiana Love Story Seen Nationwide



State Budget


The state budget shortfall has gotten worse. It’s now projected to be $1.6 Billion dollars and things don’t look any better in the coming years. The consequences could be dire for higher education and health care. As state lawmakers gear up for the legislative session many fear that right now there are no easy answers. A panel of political experts weigh in on the state of the budget and the possible fallout.


Louisiana After Ferguson


Who is policing the police in Louisiana? It’s a question raised around the nation after the recent cases of police officers who were not charged in the deaths of unarmed Black men in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York. The Department of Justice is currently investigating another case in New Iberia Parish. Is the distrust of law enforcement by the Black community justified? We’ll explore Louisiana After Ferguson.


An Incredible Louisiana Love Story Seen Nationwide


It is the incredible Louisiana love story that has captured the attention of the country. When Max Zoghbi asked Bonnie Kate, a survivor of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting in 2012, to marry him, it became the kind of thing movies are made of. In fact, there has been so much interest that it was recently shared on the national stage and this week Charlie Whinham shares the making of that epic proposal.





January 23, 2015
Police Cameras in Louisiana, Louisiana Digital Media Archives Launch, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield



Police Cameras in Louisiana


More and more police departments around the nation are using body cameras in light of the fatal shootings in Ferguson, Missouri and New York. They are also being used by law enforcement throughout Louisiana. Shauna Sanford looks at how they are working and what impact they are having on the public and police.


Louisiana Digital Media Archives Launch


Take a front row seat to Louisiana history as LPB and the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office launch a new digital media website. This is the culmination of a five-year effort and currently offers over 1,500 historic Louisiana film and video clips. This is the first project in the nation to combine the media collections of a public broadcaster and a state archives.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


Louisiana has been one of the hardest hit states during this flu season. Plus, how are those New Year’s resolutions working out for you? Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio to discuss these two topics on this month’s “Prescription for Health” segment.



| Louisiana Digital Media Archives |

January 16, 2015
Giving Away Louisiana - Part Two, Genealogy Roadshow Premieres from Louisiana, Caroline Dormon, A Name to Know and Appreciate



Giving Away Louisiana - Part Two


This week Advocate reporter Gordon Russell reveals more about how Louisiana is giving away billions of dollars in tax incentives that could jeopardize the state’s future. It’s part two of his interview with Shauna Sanford. The facts and figures are laid out in an eight-part series called “Giving Away Louisiana” by The Advocate newspaper. Russell and a team of writers looked at several tax incentive programs offered by the state and examines whether Louisiana is getting a good return on its investments.


Genealogy Roadshow Premieres from Louisiana


Another nationally televised show made a stop in Louisiana. This time, PBS’ Genealogy Roadshow came to the Cabildo in New Orleans to unravel some historic mysteries for several Louisiana families.


Caroline Dormon, A Name to Know and Appreciate


Who is Caroline Dormon? Back in 1961, Louisiana became the first state in the South to create and fund an arboretum. It was all thanks to Caroline Dormon, considered the Louisiana’s first female forester. This Saturday (1/17) is Arbor Day in Louisiana and Charlie Whinham travels to the Louisiana Arboretum in Ville Platte to explore one of the best kept secrets to most Louisiana residents.





January 9, 2015
Same Sex Marriage Case, Giving Away Louisiana – Part 1, 25th Anniversary of Steel Magnolias



Same Sex Marriage Case


A federal appeals court in New Orleans will hear arguments Friday from Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi involving state bans on same sex marriage. Currently same-sex marriages are legal in 36 states. In a story originally airing last September, Charlie Whinham talks with two of the plaintiffs in the Louisiana case. Derek Penton and Jon Robicheaux live in New Orleans and were married two years ago in Iowa. Last year, a federal district judge upheld Louisiana’s ban on same sex marriage.


Giving Away Louisiana – Part 1


Did you know that Louisiana taxpayers are subsidizing the rich and famous? That’s the claim in an eight part series called Giving Away Louisiana by The Advocate newspaper. Gordon Russell and a team of writers looked at several tax incentive programs offered by the state and examines whether Louisiana is getting a good return on its investment. Russell talks with Shauna Sanford about why there is a concern that billions of dollars in tax incentives could pose a danger to Louisiana’s future.


25th Anniversary of Steel Magnolias


Hollywood and Natchitoches have an impressive connection to box office hits. The Natchitoches and Cane River region is a historic area that has hosted several Hollywood movies including John Wayne’s The Horse Soldiers. 2014’s Best Picture Academy Award went to Twelve Years a Slave about the kidnapping of a free black man (Solomon Northup) that was sold into slavery in the Cane River region. And, Charlie Whinham notes a recent milestone of the 25th anniversary celebration of the making of the movie Steel Magnolias in Natchitoches.





January 2, 2015
Vanishing Wetlands, Hooks, Lies, and Alibis, Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, Beautiful Caddo Lake



Vanishing Wetlands


Louisiana's wetlands and barrier islands are vanishing at an alarming rate and threatening a way of life in south Louisiana. WWL videographer Brian Lukas has dedicated several years to documenting their disappearance.


Hooks, Lies, and Alibis


Chef John Folse has created a new 13-part series featuring fantastic Louisiana fish and seafood recipes. Here is a preview of Hooks, Lies & Alibis airing on LPB this spring.


Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame


The Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame opened in Natchitoches in the summer of 2013. As part of LPB's recent special Natchitoches: A Tri-Centennial, discover how the past, present and future are neatly tied together at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.


Beautiful Caddo Lake


LPB photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry takes us on a tranquil journey to Caddo Lake in northwest Louisiana.





December 26, 2014
Varsity, Inc., Great American Seafood Cook-off, Artist Tony Bernard, Christmas in Roseland



Varsity, Inc.


College sports generate $11 billion annually and a court ruling earlier this year found that college athletes can profit from the use if their likeness on television and video games. Should student athletes be paid to play. Louisiana Public Square examined that issue a few months back.


Great American Seafood Cook-off


For the last seven years,LPB has produced the Great American Seafood Cook-off Show and this year's event in New Orleans pitted the nation's best chefs to compete for the top honor.


Artist Tony Bernard


Profile of Lafayette artist Tony Bernard, two-time winner of the Louisiana Duck Stamp Competition.







Christmas in Roseland


Shreveport celebrated their 31st annual Christmas in Roseland at the American Rose Center.





December 19, 2014
Decoding Common Core, Prescription for Health, Natchitoches Walking Tour



Decoding Common Core


A ruling is expected this month on Governor Jindal’s lawsuit against President Obama over the Common Core academic standards. Jindal has accused the Obama Administration of illegally coercing Louisiana and other states into adopting a national curriculum by tying the requirements for federal grant money and waivers to the standards. We’ll hear from both supporters and opponents of the standards.


Prescription for Health


A recent report by the American Diabetes Association states the annual direct and indirect costs of diabetes in Louisiana is estimated at $5.4 billion. Roughly 380,000 people in Louisiana have diabetes. Research indicates moderate diet and exercise can help. Dr. Rani Whitfield and Chef Celeste are in the studio to help us better understand how to live and eat healthier, especially during the holidays.


Natchitoches Walking Tour


How would you like to cover 300 years of history in a 45-minute walk? That’s exactly what’s happening in the city of Natchitoches as they celebrate this year’s tri-centennial. Charlie Whinham put on his walking shoes to discover a new way on learning more about the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase.





December 12, 2014
Immigration Debate, How Do You Set Up 300K Lights?, Acadian Village Christmas



Immigration Debate


Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and others are revving up for a court battle to stop President Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration. Seventeen states are part of the lawsuit which was filed in Texas. But Baton Rouge based immigration attorney Paul Scott says the case is without merit. Shauna Sanford will have the details.


How Do You Set Up 300K Lights?


With over eighty years of practice, the City of Natchitoches has their annual holiday display set up down to a science. Charlie Whinham discovered all the work behind the scenes for “45 Nights of Holiday Lights” begins in September. This marks the 88th year that Natchitoches welcomes one and all for a Christmastime spectacular along the banks of Cane River Lake.


Acadian Village Christmas


We head to Lafayette for another holiday tradition at Acadian Village. For over 30 years, visitors enjoy a unique experience of Christmas complete with a dose of Cajun flavor.





December 5, 2014
Football and Politics, The Tale of Absinthe



Football and Politics


Win or lose, it’s all how you play the game. That’s true whether you’re talking about football or politics and on Saturday, December sixth, the two collide. But are the early voting numbers any indication of what might happen on election day? Shauna Sanford talks with Secretary of State Tom Schedler and Dr. Albert Samuels, Southern University political science professor.


Football and Politics, 2


Shauna Sanford talks with political analysts Stephanie Grace and Jeremy Alford.


The Tale of Absinthe


Friday, December 5, 1933 marks 81 years since the end of national Prohibition. We uncork one of the show’s most popular stories on the history of absinthe. The anise flavored spirit rose to great popularity in 19th century France and made a name for itself in New Orleans in the mid 1800’s. A Louisiana distillery began crafting a new formula based on old recipes to great fanfare.





November 28, 2014
Destination Graduation, Historic Natchitoches Education, LSU Rural Life Christmas



Destination Graduation


After reaching an all-time high graduation rate of 74 percent in 2013, the state’s dropout rate is slowly increasing. What is being done? Educators and innovators look for answers.


Historic Natchitoches Education


As Natchitoches celebrates its tri-centennial, education has been a cornerstone to the vitality of the oldest city in Louisiana. Charlie Whinham highlights the impacts of two very important schools to the area, Northwestern State University and the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA). As Natchitoches turns 300 this year, NSU is celebrating its 130th birthday.


LSU Rural Life Christmas


Ring in the holiday season with the LSU Rural Life Christmas celebration. There will be live music, artists, storytellers and a visit by Papa Noel. Charlie Whinham takes a step back in time to celebrate the holiday spirit.





November 21, 2014
Conversation with the Candidates: 6th Congressional District Runoff Former Governor Edwin Edwards takes on Garret Graves in the race for Louisiana’s sixth congressional district. Where do they stand on the issues that matter to the voters they are fighting to represent in Washington? Each candidate sits down with Shauna Sanford. Hear what they have to say.



Edwin Edwards


Conversation with the Edwin Edwards


Garrett Graves


Conversation with the Garrett Graves





November 14, 2014
Conversation with the Candidates: 5th Congressional District Runoff With just weeks to go until the December 6th election, things are heating up in the race for Louisiana’s fifth and sixth congressional districts. Who are the candidates vying for votes and where do they stand on the issues? This week, it’s part one of our conversation with the candidates. Shauna Sanford talks with Dr. Ralph Abraham and Mayor Jamie Mayo.



Dr. Ralph Abraham


Dr. Ralph Abraham








Jamie Mayo


Jamie Mayo





November 7, 2014
Election Update, Esperanza Project, Three Cheers for Penu Green



Election Update


La Politics publisher Jeremy Alford and ULM political science professor John Sutherlin talk politics. Runoff is the name of the game for three congressional races. Incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) has a showdown with U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R). The 6th District features former Louisiana Governor and ex-convict Edwin Edwards (D) against former Coastal Protection Restoration Authority head Garret Graves (R), while Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (D) and Dr. Ralph Lee Abraham battle it out for the 5th District seat.


Esperanza Project


Only months ago, tens of thousands of children crossed into the United States from Central America, creating what President Obama called a humanitarian crisis. A few thousand ended up in Louisiana, where a Catholic organization has come to their aid, despite strong political opposition. Shauna Sanford explains.


Three Cheers for Penu Green


As we observe Veterans Day this Tuesday it is time to share a past feature of a Louisiana veteran’s story that resonates with a younger audience. Thanks to the curiosity of one Baton Rouge girl and her big brother, they would learn more about their grandfather’s unique service in WWII. It resulted in a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal honor for Cpl. James “Penu” Green.





October 31, 2014
LA Public Square-What Do Voters Want?, Reviewing the Louisiana Races and Amendments, PBS NewsHour in Baton Rouge



LA Public Square-What Do Voters Want?


With the November elections next week, Louisiana Public Square explores what the priorities should be for the state’s congressional delegation. Should the focus be on job creation or tax relief? What about coastal restoration, border security and the Affordable Care Act? In short, what do the voters want?


Reviewing the Louisiana Races and Amendments


Robert Travis Scott of the Public Affairs Research Council (PAR) and LaPolitics publisher and political columnist Jeremy Alford discuss the heated political races and the large number of constitutional amendments voters will consider on Tuesday, November 4th.


PBS NewsHour in Baton Rouge


This Saturday marks the first remote broadcast of PBS NewsHour Weekend and the national production crew selected Louisiana. Hari Sreenivasan will anchor the national newscast from the studios of Louisiana Public Broadcasting. But before that, Hari sits down with Shauna and Charlie to discuss the upcoming elections, Ebola outbreak and other key stories being covered by PBS NewsHour.





October 24, 2014
Congressman John Fleming Interview, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Best Proposal Ever?



Congressman John Fleming Interview


As the Centers for Disease Control prepares to roll out a new plan to fight the spread of Ebola, Congressman John Fleming, the new co-chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus, explains why they are still pushing for a travel ban. Plus, as the fight against ISIS continues, Fleming says sending ground troops is inevitable. Fleming also tells Shauna Sanford about an important new development in the removal of explosives from Camp Minden.


Domestic Violence Awareness Month


Two to four women are the victims of domestic violence every year. October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Unfortunately, Louisiana ranks fourth in the nation for murders related to domestic violence and the number is rising. LaQueda Ricks of the Iris Domestic Violence Center will join us on-set with how survivors can become empowered.


Best Proposal Ever?


Competition is fierce to make such a lofty claim, but a guy asked his girlfriend to marry him by creating a fake movie trailer that played in a Baton Rouge movie theatre. Charlie Whinham shares the love story of Bonnie Kate and Max Zoghbi and the making of an epic proposal.





October 17, 2014
Ebola Preparations and Concerns in Louisiana, U.S. Senate Debate Recap, LPB Art and Travel Auction Profile – A.J. Meek



Is Louisiana Prepared for Ebola?


As more cases of the Ebola Virus come to light , there is growing concern among health professionals nationwide about the protocols in place for treating potential patients. The two Texas based nurses diagnosed with Ebola became infected while treating the first patient in the United States who died from the virus. It has many health professionals in Louisiana looking at the training and protocols in place here. Dr. Karen Lyon, Executive Director of the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, is in studio to talk about the issues and concerns facing Louisiana nurses.


U.S. Senate Debate Recap


LPB hosted the first debate between all three major candidates for U.S. Senate this week at Centenary College in Shreveport. Here is a recap of some of the debate’s highlights between incumbent Sen. Mary Landrieu (D), Congressman Dr. Bill Cassidy (R) and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rob Maness.


LPB Art and Travel Auction Profile – A.J. Meek


LPB’s annual Art and Travel Auction is underway and wraps up next Thursday, October 23rd with our live televised auction from 7 pm to 10 pm. We highlight participating artist and photographer A. J. Meek. The retired LSU art and photography professor’s latest work captures clouds that are paired with children’s perceptions of hope seen within.



| LPB’s annual Art and Travel Auction | | U.S. Senate Debate |

October 10, 2014
Fact Checking Political Ads, Issues Voters Care About, One-on-One with LSU President F. King Alexander



Fact Checking Political Ads


Millions of dollars are being spent on political commercials, but how much is fact and how much is fiction? Shauna Sanford talks with PolitiFact.com Editor Angie Drobnic Holan about which ads are true and which ads are so bad they got PolitiFact’s worst rating - Pants On Fire! .


Issues Voters Care About


Are Mary Landrieu, Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness talking about the issues voters are concerned about? The LSU Public Policy and Research Lab has completed a survey. Research Director Michael Henderson and Southern University Political Science Professor Dr. Albert Samuels provide us in-depth analysis.


One-on-One with LSU President F. King Alexander


LSU President/Chancellor F. King Alexander sits down with Charlie Whinham this week to discuss university and college rankings. Alexander is critical about rankings by U.S. News and World Report, among others. He is pushing for more students and parents to find more information available online to help them determine the best return on investment for secondary and post-secondary education.





Web Extra October 10. 2014 PolitiFact.com
Watch the extended interview with PolitiFact.com Editor Angie Drobnic Holan.






Web Extra October 10. 2014 LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander
Watch the extended interview with LSU President and Chancellor F. King Alexander






October 3, 2014
Elections One Month Away, Billing Victims of Rape, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield



Elections One Month Away


November 4th elections are just one month away. Stephanie Grace, political columnist with The New Orleans Advocate and Jeremy Alford, Publisher and Editor of LaPolitics.com are in the studio to handicap the big U.S. Senate race between incumbent Mary Landrieu (D), and top contenders U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R) and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Rob Maness (R).


Billing Victims of Rape


This week, a group solely dedicated to helping rape victims with their hospital costs met at the state health department. Many have been shocked to learn that some victims are being billed, in some cases thousands of dollars, for medical examinations. Shauna Sanford talks with Baton Rouge Representative Pat Smith, Olivia Watkins with the Department of Health and Hospitals and Rachel Hebert of the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response Center about finding a solution.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. was confirmed this week at a Dallas hospital. What health concerns does this raise in Louisiana? Dr. Jimmy Guidry with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals will join Dr. Rani Whitfield to with discuss the disease, how it is spread and dispel fact from fiction.





September 26, 2014
State Workers Health Care Changes, LPB American Graduate Day, Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports



State Workers Health Care Changes


Next month is the open enrollment period for state workers to decide on a health insurance plan provided by the Office of Group Benefits. Attorney General Buddy Caldwell said the plans may not be legal because the Jindal Administration did not allow sufficient time for public comment and legislative review. The Louisiana House of Representatives scheduled a special public meeting on the matter. Charlie Whinham will have the latest.


Varsity, Inc.: The Business of College Sports


How big is the business of college sports in Louisiana? Should student-athletes receive compensation for their efforts? Expenditures in big-time college sports grew nearly twice as much as spending on academics. This month’s Louisiana Public Square explores the future of college sports in Louisiana and across the country.


LPB American Graduate Day


JAG stands for Jobs for America’s Graduates. It’s a national dropout and recovery program that is being used in middle and high schools statewide. The program will be featured on PBS’ American Graduate Day this Saturday. Shauna Sanford will have a preview.





September 19, 2014
Hurricane Rita Nine Years Later, 2014 Constitutional Amendments, Meet the Artists



Hurricane Rita Nine Years Later


September 24th marks the 9th anniversary of Hurricane Rita, which delivered a crushing blow to southwest Louisiana. Charlie Whinham returns to the town of Cameron to talk with the residents who have decided to stay.


2014 Constitutional Amendments


There are over a dozen constitutional amendments on the upcoming November ballot. Just the thought of deciding yes or no can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Shauna Sanford talks with Robert Travis Scott of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana who will help you get prepared.


Meet the Artists


This Friday marks the kickoff of LPB’s annual Art & Travel Auction. Over 300 Louisiana artists are participating in this year. Meet two artists whose work is part of this popular event.





September 12, 2014
The Faces Behind the Case, Hurricane Awareness, LA International Film Festival



The Faces Behind the Case


Jon Robicheaux and Derek Penton filed a lawsuit challenging Louisiana’s ban on same sex marriage last November. Last week a federal court judge in New Orleans upheld Louisiana’s stance, snapping a streak of over 20 federal cases so far that have stuck down similar state bans. While the final ruling will likely end up with the U.S. Supreme Court, Charlie Whinham asks just what makes up a modern family and who decides?


Hurricane Awareness


Retired Army Lt. General Russel Honoré prepares coastal residents for the peak of the 2014 Hurricane Season with life saving tips. General Honoré will discuss vital preparations that every coastal family and business should adhere to in the event of a hurricane and offer useful tips that may mean the difference between life and death in the event of a hurricane.


LA International Film Festival


The state’s burgeoning film industry is creating mega opportunities for so many people. The Louisiana International Film Festival is one example. Professional actors, directors and writers are flocking to the festival and its mentorship program is helping to develop up and coming talent. This week Shauna Sanford talks with the executive director and one of its brightest stars.





September 5, 2014
Traffic, Congestion, Frustration - Childhood Obesity - Rum Runners



Traffic, Congestion, Frustration


Louisiana has a backlog of $12 billion in road and bridge projects primarily due to a lack of funding. In the next 30 years, Louisiana’s economic health and quality of life may be at risk because of transportation funding challenges. What should the state’s transportation priorities be? What are the sources for funding? Our most recent Louisiana Public Square looks for answers.


Childhood Obesity


The American Heart Association launched a new initiative this month to help combat childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is now the number one concern among parents in the US, topping drug abuse and smoking. The EmpowerMEnt Challenge is designed to help families live a heart-healthy life. It’s this month’s Prescription for Health topic with Dr. Rani Whitfield.


Rum Runners


Louisiana Spirits in Lacassine began selling Bayou Rum and Spiced Rum in 2013, and has already won 42 taste awards including Best in Class at the prestigious Miami Rum Festival. Charlie Whinham stopped by the distillery to see the secret behind this early success.





Web Extra September 5, 2014
Taste Testing at Bayou Rum - Trey Litel of Louisiana Spirits gives Charlie Whinham a sampling of Bayou Rum’s three varieties from their Tasting Room in Lacassine.






August 29, 2014
Election Count Down, Election Low Down



Election Count Down


With Louisiana potentially being the last state in the country to vote in the December runoff elections, the Bayou state could decide which political party controls the U.S. Senate. Secretary of State Tom Schedler says Louisiana can’t afford any voting glitches and his office is meticulously working to make sure there aren’t any problems. Come November, Louisiana voters will decide the fate of some 4400 candidates in more than 2400 races, 108 local propositions and 14 statewide constitutional amendments. Secretary Schedler talks with Shauna Sanford about what voters need to know.


Election Low Down


Respected political science professors Dr. Joshua Stokley of UL-Monroe and Dr. Pearson Cross of UL-Lafayette are in the studio for an in-depth discussion on the big races.





August 22, 2014
Common Core Lawsuit, Film Tax Credits Part 2



Common Core Lawsuit


Governor Jindal lost another round in court over Common Core. A judge has lifted Jindal’s suspension of the contract to allow an essential test associated with controversial academic standards. Ken Campbell of the Black Alliance for Educational Options and Steve Monaghan with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers will join us in studio with a breakdown of the case.


Film Tax Credits Part 2


We’ve heard why actor John Schneider is such a big fan of the state’s film tax credit program. It is helping his new studio in Holden, Louisiana, to flourish. But critics warn the program is much too expensive for taxpayers. Shauna Sanford has reaction from industry executives.





August 15, 2014
Depression: Signs and Treatment, Actor John Schneider’s new movie studio in Louisiana, Journey of the Dance



Depression: Signs and Treatment


The shocking death of actor and comedian Robin Williams has brought the serious disease of depression to the forefront. This week we will talk about what it really is and isn’t and how we can all become more sensitive to the warning signs.


Actor John Schneider’s new movie studio in Louisiana


From the Dukes of Hazzard to Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman to Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots, actor and filmmaker John Schneider has traded the Hills of Hollywood for the bayous of Louisiana. Thanks to the film tax credits and the state’s beautiful scenery he is creating a haven for independent filmmakers. Shauna Sanford will have his story this week.


Journey of the Dance


Enjoy and learn two classic dance forms, flamenco from southern Spain and kathak of northern India that were showcased recently in Louisiana. Even though thousands of miles separate these countries, see how the two styles share a common bond. It’s a story featured recently on LPB’s weekly series “Art Rocks!”





August 8, 2014
The Immigration Crisis and the Impact on Louisiana, The Annual Feast of the Assumption



The Immigration Crisis and the Impact on Louisiana


It has been reported that more than one thousand immigrant children are living in Louisiana but authorities don’t know where. Governor Bobby Jindal traveled to the Texas-Mexico border this week as some state lawmakers charge the federal government with secretly transporting illegal aliens to various states. What’s happening on the border and how is it affecting Louisiana? State Police Superintendent Col. Mike Edmonson traveled with the governor and will share what he witnessed, plus Shauna Sanford talks with State Representative Valerie Hodges and Loyola Law Professor Isabel Medina.


The Annual Feast of the Assumption


As the Annual Feast of the Assumption approaches one of the smallest churches in the world, which happens to be in Louisiana, prepares to celebrate. Charlie Whinham travels to Bayou Goula for the story that began over 200 years ago when thousands of Italian immigrants made their way to Louisiana.





August 1, 2014
BESE Sues Governor Bobby Jindal, Boy Scouts Adventure Camp in Louisiana



BESE Sues Governor Bobby Jindal


The controversy over Common Core intensifies now that the state’s top school board has joined a lawsuit against Governor Bobby Jindal. Jindal has responded with more legal action. BESE President Chas Roemer and Kenneth Campbell of the Black Alliance for Educational Options are going against Jindal and will be in studio with details.


Boy Scouts Adventure Camp in Louisiana


Hundreds of Boy Scouts from across the nation traveled to the Atchafalaya swamp this summer for an adventure of a lifetime. The Atchafalaya Swamp Base Adventure Trek includes camping and kayaking over sixty miles in the swamps in one week. As Charlie Whinham explains, the goal is to have fun, learn the importance of conservation and earn one of the coolest patches in scouting today.





July 25, 2014
A measure to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in Baton Rouge went nowhere after more than three hours of debate. This week we talk with Councilwoman Denise Marcelle who authored the “Fairness Ordinance” and Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum who fought against it. How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others? A California stabbing and shooting spree in May has renewed the debate over how and whether to require people with serious mental illness to receive psychiatric care. We preview this month topic of Louisiana Public Square entitled “Defining Dangerous.”



Fairness Ordinance


A measure to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in Baton Rouge went nowhere after more than three hours of debate. This week we talk with Councilwoman Denise Marcelle who authored the “Fairness Ordinance” and Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum who fought against it.


Defining Dangerous


How does Louisiana determine if someone is a danger to themselves or others? A California stabbing and shooting spree in May has renewed the debate over how and whether to require people with serious mental illness to receive psychiatric care. We preview this month topic of Louisiana Public Square entitled “Defining Dangerous.”





July 18, 2014
Common Core Update, St. George Incorporation Effort



Common Core Update


School is just a few weeks away. Gov. Jindal and leaders of the Board of Elementary & Secondary Education (BESE) have not come to an agreement regarding Common Core test plans in Louisiana for this school year. BESE President Chas Roemer and Barry Erwin with Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) what the latest developments mean for students and teachers this school year.


St. George Incorporation Effort


The proposed pullout of St. George from the city of Baton Rouge was the focus of a PBS Frontline documentary this week called “Separate and Unequal.” It has sparked great debates about the impact of school desegregation. Hear the major players on both sides of the issue respond to the documentary and speak out on the current state of public education from LPB’s special “Breaking Away.”





July 11, 2014
St. George Debate Goes National, Skin Cancer, B.R. Irish Film Fest Preview



City of St. George Debate Goes National


The vigorous and passionate debate over the proposed pullout of St. George from the city of Baton Rouge is captured in the provocative PBS FRONTLINE documentary Separate and Unequal. This is not something unique to Louisiana but Baton Rouge was of particular interest due to its history of having the longest running desegregation case in the country. What does the St. George movement say about race, class and public education? Producer Mary Robertson spent nearly a year meeting with and interviewing the major players on both sides of this controversial issue. She talks candidly with Shauna Sanford about the unlimited access she was given and the difficult questions that this unfolding story raises.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Be informed and stay safe as Dr. Rani Whitfield offers tips on how to protect you and your family this summer.


BR Irish Film Fest Preview


Ireland comes to Baton Rouge for the 6th annual Irish Film Festival beginning next week. What started as a “wee” film festival in 2009 has gained momentum and notoriety. LPB has a preview.





July 4, 2014
Pot or Not?, Louisiana Filmmakers and PBS Online Film Festival, North Toledo Bend State Park



Pot or Not?


What is Louisiana’s stance on legalized marijuana? While proposals to allow for medical marijuana in Louisiana failed this legislative session, even Governor Bobby Jindal expressed an openness to the idea. Would a reduction in criminal penalties encourage more use or does the state need additional laws in place to combat what some call a “gateway drug.”


Louisiana Filmmakers and PBS Online Film Festival


Love stories never get old and although many movies have been made around that central theme, there are still many more stories to be told. One of the latest is by three young Louisiana actors who have created a moving tribute that shows one man’s journey from heartbreak to hope. As Shauna Sanford reports, it’s part of the PBS Online Film Festival and your vote could put it over the top.


North Toledo Bend State Park


Looking for a 4th of July vacation spot? Consider the Toledo Bend Reservoir along the Louisiana/Texas border. Created in 1966, Toledo Bend Reservoir is the largest manmade body of water in the South and 5th largest in the country. Charlie Whinham takes us on a tour to the North Toledo Bend State Park and discovers plenty of fabulous fish stories that are actually true.





June 27, 2014
Hot Topics Following the Regular Session – Part 2 and Poverty Point Gains United Nations Status



Hot Topics Following the Regular Session – Part 2


The debate gets hotter as Governor Bobby Jindal makes moves to officially end the Common Core standards in Louisiana. It was one of the biggest issues state lawmakers took on during the legislative session along with pro-life bills and the coastal lawsuit against 97 oil companies. We’ve heard from legislators now we hear from some of the people on the front lines of those major issues. Part Two includes Slidell High School English teacher and Common Core opponent Mercedes Schneider. She is also the author of “A Chronicle of Echoes: Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education”. Other guests include Benjamin Clapper, Executive Director of Louisiana Right to Life and John Barry with Restore Louisiana Now.


Poverty Point Gains United Nations Status


Northeast Louisiana’s Poverty Point Historical Site includes groupings of 3500 year old earthen mounds that now share the same distinction as the Great Wall of China, England’s Stonehenge and the Pyramids in Egypt. “This is huge,” Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne tells Charlie Whinham regarding the site being named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This seven-year, statewide effort for United Nations status is a story LPB has been following every step of the way. Learn more about the largest and most complex U.S. archaeological site.





June 20, 2014
Hot Topics Following the Regular Session, Breathe Easy Concert Series, and Prescription for Health



Hot Topics Following the Regular Session


The debate over Common Core gets hotter as Governor Bobby Jindal makes moves to officially end the tougher standards in Louisiana. It was one of the biggest issues state lawmakers took on during the legislative session along with pro-life bills and the coastal lawsuit against 97 oil companies. We’ve heard from legislators now we hear from some of the people on the front lines of those major issues. Part one includes Barry Erwin of CABL, Raegan Carter of Planned Parenthood and Lauren Chauvin of The Louisiana Oil and Gas Association.


Breathe Easy Concert Series


Smoke free concert venues are becoming more popular across the nation. The Breathe Easy Statewide Concert Series comes to Baton Rouge as the group U4ria performs this weekend at The Varsity Theatre.


Prescription for Health


LPB’s Prescription for Health host and U4ria band member Dr. Rani Whitfield joins Quanda Charles with the Louisiana Campaign for tobacco free living to discuss the importance of addressing second hand smoke in the workplace.





June 13, 2014
End of Session Special Report – Part 2 (June 13, 2014) - The regular session at the state capitol wrapped up last week. LPB talks in-depth with lawmakers on the three month session. In Part Two of our special report, Charlie Whinham talks with south Louisiana lawmakers including: Rep. Terry Landry (D-New Iberia), Rep. Karen St. Germain (D-Pierre Part), Rep. Dee Richard (I-Thibodaux), Sen. Conrad Appel (R-Metairie), Rep. Vincent Pierre (D-Lafayette) and Rep. Pat Smith (D-Baton Rouge).






Representative Rob Shadoin (R) Ruston
Special Web Edition: 2014 Legislative Interviews: Representative Rob Shadoin (R) Ruston






Representative Sherman Mack (R) Livingston
Special Web Edition: 2014 Legislative Interviews: Representative Sherman Mack (R) Livingston






Senator Rick Gallot (D) Ruston
Special Web Edition: 2014 Legislative Interviews: Senator Rick Gallot (D) Ruston






June 6, 2014
End of Session Special Report – Part 1 (June 6, 2014) - The regular session at the state capitol wrapped up this week. LPB talks in-depth with lawmakers on the three month session. In Part One of our special report, Shauna Sanford talks with north and central Louisiana lawmakers including: Rep. Jim Fannin (R-Jonesboro), Rep. Henry Burns (R-Haughton), Sen. Greg Tarver (D-Shreveport), Sen. Robert Adley (R-Benton), Sen. Francis Thompson (D-Delhi), Rep. Joe Harrison (R-Gray) and Rep. Kenneth Cox (D-Natchitoches).






May 30, 2014
Legislative Recap, Louisiana Job Market 2014, Remembering John Maginnis



Legislative Recap


It’s the final week of the legislative session and state lawmakers plan to work through the weekend to meet the June 2nd deadline when it all has to come to an end. This week, there was a big push to approve the multi- billion dollar spending plan for public schools that has caused sparks to fly between some lawmakers and members of the state’s top school board. Plus, the state budget made it through the full senate but still has a long way to go. Shauna Sanford will have the highlights in our legislative recap.


Louisiana Job Market 2014


Louisiana’s job market ranks among the best in the country but there is concern about whether there’s a well trained workforce to fill thousands of positions in the petrochemical and manufacturing industries. State lawmakers are addressing the issue and this month, Louisiana Public Square explores the state’s job growth and what it means for this year’s graduates and returning veterans looking for employment.


Remembering John Maginnis


John Maginnis, political columnist and publisher of LaPolitics Weekly passed away this week at the age of 66 after battling serious health issues. Word of his death left many shocked and saddened. LPB pays tribute to a journalist and author who combined charm, drive and intellect to weave some of the best political stories of our time.





May 23, 2014
Legislative Wrap, In Depth with Reps. Lambert and Williams, Three Cheers for “Penu” Green



Legislative Wrap


Lawmakers are busy at the capitol as the legislative session wraps up in a little over a week. A house committee voted to kill a lawsuit by the Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East that was suing 97 oil and gas companies for environmental damages. One abortion bill passed by the full house could lead to the closure to three of five abortion clinics in the state. And, will a ten percent cut across the board on consulting contracts help the state budget? Charlie Whinham recaps the week at the capitol.


In Depth with Reps. Lambert and Williams


Rep. Eddie Lambert (R-Gonzales) and Rep. Alfred Williams (D-Baton Rouge) are in the studio to discuss the latest activities at the capitol and what lies ahead in the final days of the legislative session.


Three Cheers for “Penu” Green


As a tribute to this Memorial Day weekend, we share a story LPB first aired last fall. What began as a 12-year-old girl’s request to see her grandfather’s gravesite revealed the story of a WWII hero. Marine Cpl. James W. Green died in 1974 and he was a member of the Montford Point Marines. Charlie Whinham explains how a Louisiana family uncovered Green’s heroic story that would end with receiving the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor.





May 16, 2014
This Week at the Capitol, In-depth with Reps. St. Germain and Foil, Don Vappie and Friends



This Week at the Capitol


Should sex education be taught in public schools? State lawmakers battled out the issue as supporters and opponents made their case for and against it this week at the capitol. Also in the agenda, the push to pay down the multibillion dollars state debt known as the unfunded accrued liability. But it would require charter schools to pay up in a way that they currently are not. Who prevailed? Shauna Sanford will have that story and more in this week’s legislative recap.


In-depth with Reps. St. Germain and Foil


Rep. Karen St. Germain (D-Plaquemine) and Rep. Franklin Foil (R-Baton Rouge) share perspectives from both parties on some of the top issues lawmakers are facing and what the last few weeks of the regular session may hold.


Don Vappie and Friends


LPB recently premiered “Art Rocks! The Series” that celebrates the flourishing arts scene in Louisiana every weekend. Creole Jazz musician Don Vappie and friends stopped by the studio to play his original blend of music. Vappie was featured in a 2009 PBS documentary “American Creole: New Orleans Reunion.” “Art Rocks! The Series” airs Saturdays at 5:30pm and encores Sundays at 4:00pm.





May 9, 2014
Legislative Wrap, Interview Segment, Louisiana Legend Dale Brown



Legislative Wrap


Lawmakers are in the final month of the regular session and the activity is picking up at the Capitol. The House is working on the state’s $25 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1st. One possible budgetary concern revolves around the federal government rejecting the state’s privatization plan for six hospitals across Louisiana. Bogalusa Senator Ben Nevers (D-Bogalusa) is now backing Governor Jindal’s alternative to Obamacare after his legislation supporting Medicaid expansion failed in committee. Charlie Whinham has LPB’s weekly recap.


Interview Segment


Rep. Steve Carter, (R) Baton Rouge, and Rep. Stephen Ortego, (D) Carencro discussed the House version of the state Budget Bill and where things stand at this point in the legislative session.


Louisiana Legend Dale Brown


Legendary LSU basketball coach Dale Brown is one of five individuals to be honored this week as a Louisiana Legend. This year’s other Louisiana Legends include former Louisiana Governor Mike Foster, blues musician Buddy Guy, civic activist Mary Frey Eaton and innovative rice producer W. Elton Kennedy. Tonight we profile Coach Brown, who led the Tigers for a quarter century and took LSU to a pair of Final Four appearances.





May 2, 2014
May 2, 2014 - This Week at the Capitol, The Leader of the Band, Prescription for Health



This Week at the Capitol


Medical marijuana has been legal in Louisiana since 1978, but even if you have a prescription for it you can’t get it filled. Why not? The state has never set up the process to dispense or purchase it. A bill by one senator seeks to change that but it was met with strong opposition this week at the capitol. Also, lawmakers take moves to stop parents from fighting with the referees at their children’s ball games when they disagree with a call. Shauna Sanford will have highlights from the session.


The Leader of the Band


LPB pays tribute to legendary Southern University band director Dr. Isaac Greggs, who passed away Monday at the age of 85.


Prescription for Health


May is Stroke Awareness Month. It is the 4th leading cause of death in the country. Dr. Rani Whitfield shares lifesaving information on how to safeguard yourself against stroke.





April 25, 2014
This Week at the Capitol, Capitol Topic In-Depth, State Contracts 101



This Week at the Capitol


Lawmakers reached the half-way point of the 2014 regular session. Some of the topics discussed included whether voters should decide to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, giving Louisiana optometrists more healthcare responsibilities and expanding the use of service dogs to include helping disabled veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.


Capitol Topic In-Depth


Rep. Pat Smith (D-Baton Rouge) and Mark Thomas, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Louisiana discuss the failure of Medicaid expansion and what it means.


State Contracts 101


Louisiana has nearly 13,000 active contracts – the majority for $50,000 or more. Will proposed legislation of ten-percent cuts help rein in costs or create arbitrary caps that hinder state agencies? This month’s Louisiana Public Square looks at the cost-effectiveness of state contract services.





April 18, 2014
Week Six at the Capital, The Future of Louisiana’s Military Families, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield



Week Six at the Capital


Should K-12 teachers be allowed to carry weapons to school? In the wake of school shootings around the country, one state lawmaker thinks it’s a good idea but his bill was met with tough opposition. Hear the debate over House Bill 707 plus the fight to cut spending of state consulting contracts which the state treasurer claims would generate millions of dollars for higher education. Shauna Sanford has LPB’s weekly recap.


The Future of Louisiana’s Military Families


The future of Louisiana’s military bases are being threatened once again as the federal government reviews which bases should be shutdown. Fort Polk Army base, Barksdale Air Force base and the Belle Chase Naval Station are all on the table. More than 350 past closures by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (or BRAC), has led to the emergence of political groups like Barksdale Forward and Fort Polk Progress. As part of this year’s McLeod Lecture Series, Shauna Sanford takes a look at what impact they are having in the fight to save Louisiana’s military installations.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


Just how common is autism? The Centers for Disease Control identify one in 68 children on the autism spectrum, which is a ten-fold increase over the last 40 years. Dr. Rani Whitfield is in the studio with LPB’s monthly segment “Prescription for Health.”





April 11, 2014
Minimum Wage Debate, Week Five at the Capitol, Southern University Celebrates Centennial



Minimum Wage Debate


State Lawmakers battle it out over whether to increase the minimum wage and we will hear from both sides of this hot button issue. Erika Zucker with the Workplace Justice Project at Loyola University Law School says it should be higher, but Dawn Starns with the National Federation of Independent Business says an increase in the minimum wage will cause big problems for small businesses.


Week Five at the Capitol


Some of the topics considered by lawmakers this week included regulating unmanned drone flights over petro-chemical plants and water facilities, whether to elect a state superintendent of education and text book choice in public schools. Charlie Whinham has the weekly legislative recap.


Southern University Celebrates Centennial


As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act, Southern University is celebrating 100 years of being located on what has been described as one of the most beautiful sites in the capital city. But the story of how it got there is far from serene. It’s filled with racial tension and backlash. In fact, re-locating from New Orleans to Scott’s Bluff was an accident. Shauna Sanford shares the university’s history of overcoming major obstacles just to open its doors to the current struggles it is still facing today.





April 4, 2014
April 4, 2014 - Common Core Debate, Legislative Wrap - Week 4, Swamp Pop in Bottles, Welcome Home Soldiers



Common Core Debate


The topic gaining the most attention at the capitol this week concerned Common Core. Louisiana is one of 45 states to adopt Common Core State Standards for Math and Language Arts, the first-ever national academic standards. Critics say the standards are untested and poorly implemented. Supporters say it will increase rigor and help students learn what they need to succeed. We will have an in-depth discussion to hear both sides.


Legislative Wrap - Week 4


As the first month of the three month regular session wraps up at the capitol, lawmakers considered issues on predatory payday lending practices and fair housing measures for the LGBT community. Shauna Sanford recaps Week 4 of the regular session at the state capitol.


Swamp Pop in Bottles


There is a new soda line hitting the market that is going “old school” by using Louisiana cane sugar. The creators of Swamp Pop crafted Louisiana flavors of Satsuma Fizz, Praline Cream Soda , Noble Cane Cola and Jean Lafitte Ginger Ale. Lafayette cousins John Petersen and Collin Cormier are enjoying early success and tell Charlie Whinham they’re surprised no one else came up with the idea before.


Welcome Home Soldiers


Thursday at Fort Polk, over twelve hundred soldiers returned home from a nine month deployment to Afghanistan.





March 28, 2014
Legislative Week in Review, Louisiana’s Minimum Wage Debate, Boot Camp is Fun



Louisiana’s Minimum Wage Debate


The showdown over whether Louisiana should establish a minimum wage happens at the state capitol in just a couple of weeks. This hot button issue has supporters and opponents fiercely fighting for their side. The governor opposes it, but several bills have been filed to make it law. Where do you stand? Hear both sides this week with Erika Zucker of the Workplace Justice Project and Renee Amar of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.


Legislative Week in Review


Week 3 of the regular session included members of AARP and Together Louisiana meeting with lawmakers to address predatory lending practices. Rep. Mike Huval (R-Breaux Bridge) wants to ban drivers using hand held cell phones and Rep. Steve Pylant (R-Winnsboro) hopes to combat small town speed traps by alerting motorists with a flashing “Speed Trap Ahead” sign. Charlie Whinham reviews this week at the capitol.


Boot Camp is Fun


What is leading hundreds of people to Brusly High School every week? It is a fast paced, exciting hour of boot camp that is physically challenging and spiritually uplifting. Hard to imagine? You have to see it to believe it. Led by Coach Shaeeta Williams, people of all races, ages and fitness levels travel from near and far to her class that started with six and in a short time has grown to well over 700. Shauna Sanford introduces us to the class and the woman who is imparting knowledge and impacting the community in ways no one ever expected.





March 21, 2014
March 21, 2014 - Week Two at the Capitol, Abortion Debate



Week Two at the Capitol


Topics discussed by lawmakers this week at the regular session included the annual budget for state tourism, possible funding cuts for Fort Polk, and debate on an abortion bill. Shauna Sanford has the latest from the State Capitol.


Abortion Debate


We take a closer look at HB 388 sponsored by Rep. Katrina Jackson (D-Monroe). “The Unsafe Abortion Protection Act” would require physicians who perform abortions to have active admitting privileges to a hospital that provide OB/GYN services within 30 miles. Opponents say the bill is unnecessary.





March 14, 2014
March 14, 2014 - Balancing the State Budget, Legislative Recap – Week One, Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield, Happy St. Patty’s Weekend!



Balancing the State Budget


State lawmakers have a difficult task ahead of them as they delve into the multi-billion dollar spending plan proposed by the governor. The process is complicated and legislators learned this week that an $87 million dollar shortfall has been projected before the fiscal year ends on June 30th. Will lawmakers find the money and where will it come from? Shauna Sanford talks with experts to help explain the intricate process of balancing the state budget.


Legislative Recap – Week One


Governor Bobby Jindal opened the 2014 Legislative session pushing tort reform, increased funding for higher education and combating human sex trafficking. Opponents call his agenda light and Rep. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) said the governor’s budget plan is a complete farce. Charlie Whinham recaps Week One at the capitol.


Prescription for Health with Dr. Rani Whitfield


Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. The disease is rare in men, but it does happen. Researchers estimate over 2,300 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. Survivor Charles Cooper joins Dr. Rani Whitfield to discuss this deadly disease.