Amy Jeffries

Amy started her career in public radio at WNPR in Hartford, CT more than a decade ago. NPR flew her in to Baton Rouge to help WRKF cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while she was still based in the North. Here she found her journalistic calling.

After getting a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley and taking a detour through online media as a local editor for Patch, she finally returned to public radio and to Baton Rouge in January 2012.

Right after Hurricane Katrina, tens of thousands of people rushed from New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The influx of evacuees and recovery crews was a recipe for road congestion. Traffic volumes hit 25-year projected growth overnight. There was gridlock in Louisiana’s capital city.

Amy Jeffries / Southern Education Desk

The big push for charter schools in Louisiana started after Hurricane Katrina. The state's Recovery School District took over most of the public schools in New Orleans, and quickly issued charters.

With charter school enrollment up to nearly 3 million nationwide last year, Louisiana was still among the states adding the most students.

There has never been much in public view related to the work of novelist Harper Lee. There were certainly no manuscripts of To Kill a Mockingbird, let alone the newly discovered and now published companion Go Set a Watchman.

While working in special collections at Lee's alma mater, the University of Alabama, Jessica Lacher-Feldman, who is now at LSU, put together exhibitions mostly with writings from the novelist's days as a student and copies of her famous first published book from all over the world.

The confederate battle flag is coming down from the South Carolina statehouse. And New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked the city council to consider removing four monuments commemorating confederate leaders and battles from public spaces in that city.

Controversy bubbled up across the country after a mass shooting at a black church in Charleston last month. The suspected shooter had posted pictures of himself holding a confederate flag.

But, Maxine Crump, director of Dialogue on Race Louisiana, says most of the people around her aren't talking about it.

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

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

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

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

The newest sport to be played in the National Senior Games — taking place in Minnesota next month — pickleball.

The guy directing the competition, Tom Burkhart, is a Baton Rougean. And at a local gym, players have been practicing.


Warren Drake had success running the Zachary School District, and then went over to the state Department of Education for a seemingly good gig working on curriculum.

Now he’s the acting and incoming superintendent of the East Baton Rouge Parish District. Why would he want to do that?

Because this is where he started, in 1974, as a teacher and then administrator, before  becoming Zachary’s superintendent for its first 10 years after it broke away from the parish district.

The state legislature is adjourned.

WRKF's Sue Lincoln explains that lawmakers passed a veto-proof budget in the final hours of the session and headed home.

As many as twenty-two states have budget shortfalls for the next fiscal year. Louisiana is dealing with one of the biggest $1.6 billion.

As lawmakers wrestle with the problem, they essentially have two choices: cut spending or raise taxes.

But, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ambitions for higher office are complicating the debate.