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.

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WRKF
2:22 am
Fri March 6, 2015

Sounding Baton Rouge's Song

John Gray

At his talk at TEDxLSU last Saturday, John Gray — a musician and educator — talked about “music as a connector”.

When you hear a few bars of the "Star Spangled Banner", that might make you feel patriotic. And, “When the Saints Go Marching in”, might stir up some football fandom.

If culture were a gumbo, he said, music is the roux — the special ingredient that binds us together and makes us who we are.

And he’s calling on his city, Baton Rouge, to consciously sustain its own culture.

At his talk at TEDxLSU last Saturday, John Gray — a musician and educator — talked about “music as a connector”.

When you hear a few bars of the Star Spangled Banner, that might make you feel patriotic. And, “When the Saints Go Marching in”, might stir up some football fandom.

If culture were a gumbo, he said, music is the roux — the special ingredient that binds us together and makes us who we are.

And he’s calling on his city, Baton Rouge, to consciously sustain its own culture.

 


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WRKF
5:04 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Social Influence as Crime Stopper

Tracey Rizzuto

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:24 pm

A couple of years ago, law enforcement in Baton Rouge decided to try a different approach to tackling violent crime.

The Baton Rouge Area Violence Elimination Project — or BRAVE — is premised by the idea that social influence can be a driver for amplifying or suppressing criminal behavior. That’s how Tracey Rizzuto — psychologist, researcher, and associate professor at LSU — got drawn into it.

She’s aiding the BRAVE project with social network analysis. And she’s going to be talking about her work tomorrow at TEDxLSU.


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WRKF
2:18 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Study Shows Increasing Incarceration Has Diminishing Returns

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 12:37 pm

Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

The Brennan Center for Justice recently put out a report on the effect of imprisonment on crime. Lauren-Brooke Eisen, one of the authors of the report, walks through some of the findings.


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WRKF
4:01 am
Fri February 13, 2015

In Debut Novel, Baton Rougean Gets Heard

Author M.O. Walsh in his hometown, Baton Rouge.

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 1:17 pm

There were four suspects in the rape of Lindy Simpson, a crime that occurred directly on top of the sidewalk of Piney Creek Road ... It was a crime impossible during daylight, when we neighborhood kids would have been tearing around in go-karts, coloring chalk figures on our driveways, or chasing snake down into storm gutters. But at night, the streets of Woodland Hills sat empty and quiet, except for the pleasure of frogs greeting the mosquitoes that rose in squadrons from the swamps behind our properties.

— That’s how “My Sunshine Away”, the debut novel from M.O. Walsh, begins.

It’s a suspense and a coming of age story set in an idyllic suburban neighborhood unsettled when a teenage girl — the narrator’s boyhood crush — is attacked.

Specifically, the novel is set in Baton Rouge. That’s where M.O. Walsh is from, but he now lives in New Orleans where he’s the director of the Creative Writing Workshop at UNO.


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NPR Story
10:21 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Conversations Intended As Starting Point for Healing What Ails EBR Schools

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 8:28 am

A new series of conversations about what to do with the East Baton Rouge Parish Schools has begun.

“Beyond Bricks EBR” got started in response to an effort to restructure the parish school district and allow individual schools to be more autonomous. Anna Fogle got drawn in to the search for other solutions as the head of a group representing parents of children in the Gifted and Talented Program, which was threatened by the restructuring plan.

But the conversations are much broader than just Gifted and Talented.

Rev. Robin McCullough-Bade with the Interfaith Federation, is helping to get churches and faith leaders involved.

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NPR Story
4:58 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Mann: Keep the Partisanship, Loosen the Gridlock

Working Congress

Robert Mann is sending every member of the recently convened 114th Congress a copy of the book Working Congress.

Mann put together the short volume — it’s just 120 pages — with advice from scholars, former Congressional staffers, and former members of Congress from both parties about how to get things moving again in Washington, D.C.


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WRKF
6:21 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Prayer, Fasting, and Running for President? or Drawing Protest?

Gov. Bobby Jindal is hosting a much anticipated and much talked about prayer rally Saturday. WRKF’s state government reporter, Sue Lincoln discusses what it’s all about.


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WRKF
3:56 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Minimum Wage Hike Congressman's Top Priority, and He Thinks It's Possible

Rep. Cedric Richmond

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 3:01 pm

Not even two weeks into its new session, the U.S. House has already passed a bill to chip away at Obamacare by only requiring that employers provide health insurance to employees working 40 hours or more, instead of 30 hours as is the current mandate. And the House voted for legislation meant to block President Obama’s executive orders on immigration.

But 2nd District Congressman Cedric Richmond — the sole Democrat left in Louisiana’s delegation — is optimistic that — with the presidential race coming up — there will be opportunity to get some things done for his minority constituents once the Republicans get past their conservative talking points.


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WRKF
6:26 am
Fri January 9, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Looks at Louisiana Same-Sex Marriage Case

HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow speaking with reporters outside of the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to take up Robicheaux v. George -- the case challenging Louisiana’s ban on the marriage of same-sex couples. It may be the case that decides the issue once and for all for the entire nation.


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WRKF
6:21 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Interim CEO: Redevelopment Authority's Credibility Relies on Making of Transformative Change

Gwen Hamilton

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 5:51 am

Gwen Hamilton was involved in forming the East Baton Rouge Redevelopment Authority. She was recently called back in as its interim CEO.

She talks a lot about “transformative change” — the sort of change you can’t help but notice.


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