Frank Barnett

Frank is a native Houstonian. He relocated to Baton Rouge to attend LSU where he earned a communications degree. After working in the film industry for three years as a production assistant, he decided to make the switch to radio and could not be happier with his decision.

After getting his start at WRKF as an intern in 2013, Frank is now a member of the WRKF news team and serves as the regular Friday host for All Things Considered and producer for The Jim Engster Show.

He enjoys reading (especially Stephen King and Ray Bradburry), fishing, and of course, watching movies.


4:23 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

With Changes to Sanitary Code, More Homemade Cane Syrup Hits the Market

The end result of reviving a Southern Louisiana "lost art": Pure Cane Syrup.
Frank Barnett, WRKF

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 4:19 pm

Make cookies and cakes at home and you can sell them without a health inspection of your kitchen. Ahead of this season, cane syrup was added to the list of foods Louisiana deems “low-risk”.

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3:55 am
Wed November 5, 2014

For Modest 6th District Campaign, a Modest End

Louisiana State Senator and former Congressional Candidate Dan Claitor at campaign party November 4, 2014.

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 2:19 pm


Gov. Bobby Jindal’s former coastal chief Garrett Graves was the top Republican finisher in the 6th Congressional District race on Tuesday. While he was celebrating at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Baton Rouge, State Sen. Dan Claitor, another Republican contender, was at a friend's house having gumbo. 

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NPR Story
10:14 am
Fri October 31, 2014

FRIDAY: John Wirt; Denny McLain; Ernest J. Gaines; and Rabbi Barry Weinstein

Louisiana native and world-renowned author, Ernest J. Gaines.

 Entertainment writer for The Advocate, John Wirt, joins us in studio as our first guest this morning to discuss the release of his first book, the biography of Huey "Piano" Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues. John will be at the Louisiana Book Festival this Saturday, November 1st, and he and Jim discuss what you can expect to find at the Book Fest.

Former MLB pitcher and the last man to win 30 games in one season, Denny McLain joins us as the day's second guest. He and Jim discuss the San Francisco Giants third World Series Championship in five years, and the performance by Series MVP Madison Bumgarner. They also get Denny's opinion on the DH; they compare the pitchers of today with the pitchers of yesteryear; and much, much more.

Louisiana native and world renowned author Ernest J. Gaines continues where Denny left off and reminisces with Jim about being in San Francisco the day the Giants moved from New York. Gaines tells Jim that he loved San Francisco and California, but that his heart was always in Louisiana. And tomorrow, on the Capitol grounds in Baton Rouge, Ernest J. Gaines will be at the Louisiana Book Festival.

Rabbi Barry Weinstein closes out the show today with Jim as both a spiritual advisor, listener, guest, and friend.

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NPR Story
10:17 am
Thu October 30, 2014

THURSDAY: Leo Honeycutt; Suzanne Terrell; and Steve Myers

Louisiana native and CenturyLink founder, Clarke Williams.

Biographer Leo Honeycutt is with us on his birthday this morning to discuss the release of his upcoming biography Nice Guy Finishes First: The Clarke Williams Story. Leo's biography tells the story of how Clarke took over his parents Oak Ridge Telephone company after serving in WWII, and turned it into today's third largest network provider in the country: CenturyLink.

Suzanne Terrell, the former elections commissioner and U.S. Senate candidate, joins us as our second guest this morning. In 2002 Suzie lost to U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu in a December runoff, and today she talks with Jim about the need for more female politicians in Louisiana politics.

Also, here to follow up on Mark Ballard's article written in The Advocate concerning Bill Cassidy's lakefront home in Baton Rouge is local attorney and realtor Steve Myers. Steve closes out the show today with Jim to discuss property taxes, property tax exemptions, and much more.


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8:52 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

FULL AUDIO: The Final Louisiana Senate Debate

Col. Rob Maness, U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu at the Final Louisiana Senate Debate on LSU's campus Wednesday evening.

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:19 pm

The LSU's Manship School of Mass Communication hosted a final debate Wednesday, Oct. 29, between the top three contenders in Louisiana's Senate race on Nov. 4. 

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NPR Story
10:40 am
Wed October 29, 2014

WEDNESDAY: Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron & Jennifer Shoub; Mark Ballard; John Pierre & Pamela Meanes

YWCA-USA CEO, Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron.

Dr. Dara Richardson-Heron, CEO of the YWCA-USA, and Jennifer Shoub, CEO of the YWCA Baton Rouge, both join us in studio for the first segment of today's show. From the abolition of slavery to equal and fare minimum wages, the YWCA has worked 156 years to end racism and empower women, and today they discuss their efforts to end domestic violence in Louisiana communities and the country.

Mark Ballard, the Editor of the Capitol News Bureau for The Advocate, is with us to discuss the possible candidate runoffs we could see after November 4th, and what the housing situation is with most of the candidates running for office. With the big fuss being made over U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's official residency status, Mark addressed the broader issue and wrote an article discussing the houses of all of the major candidates. 

Also, Southern University Law Center Vice Chancellor John Pierre and National Bar Association President Pamela Meanes are with us for the last portion of today's show to discuss the upcoming Wiley A. Branton Symposium at the Southern University Law Center on October 30th & 31st. The event marks the 25th Anniversary of the National Bar Association's Symposium, and the main topic will be focusing on education as the new civil right. For more info, visit

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NPR Story
10:36 am
Tue October 28, 2014

TUESDAY: Lieut. Gov. Jay Dardenne; Virginia Johnson; New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne is currently attending a series of town hall meetings to promote Louisiana tourism, and he joins from the road this morning to discuss the upcoming 11th annual Louisiana Book Festival. The La. Book Fest is an event Jay had pushed for for years, and on Novemeber 1st at the Louisiana State Capitol grounds from 10:00am-5:00pm, more than 100 different authors will be in attendance. The event is open and free to the public, and for more info visit

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu is in Baton Rouge today and he joins Jim in studio to talk about the upcoming elections and more. Mitch talks to Jim about how Louisiana politicians should put "Louisiana first" if they're going to run for office, and he tells Jim that he believes his sister U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu does exactly that. He also expresses his concerns of another hurricane coming to Louisiana in the future; the possibility of a light rail train between New Orleans and Baton Rouge; and much, much more.

Also, Virginia Johnson, the Artistic Director of the Dance Theatre Harlem, joins us briefly to discuss her upcoming performance and trip to Baton Rouge. For more info, visit

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NPR Story
10:35 am
Mon October 27, 2014

MONDAY: State Treasurer John Kennedy; and Advocacy Director for Louisiana AARP Andrew Muhl

Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy.

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 2:54 pm

  State Treasurer John Kennedy joins us this morning to discuss the recent news of a budget surplus. Governor Bobby Jindal's administration and the Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols say the state has $179 million surplus, but State Treasurer John Kennedy disagrees. For one thing, Kennedy wonders where this money came from; according to his numbers, the state in fact should have a $41 million deficit at the moment. Kennedy says he "hopes we have a surplus," but fears the state is pretending we do.  

Also, Andrew Muhl the Advocacy Director for Louisiana AARP is with us for the last segment today to discuss AARP's interest in Amendments I and II which are on the upcoming November 4th ballot, and why the AARP wants folks to vote 'No'. Andrew talks about how Amendments I & II are being advertised as a "package" but are in fact very different. He says Amendment I will make it harder for seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their own home and receive care there; and how Amendment II protects powerful companies from cuts which the AARP feels the state should not be doing.

  • Amendment I: Do you support an amendment to prohibit monies in the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly from being used or appropriated for other purposes when adjustments are made to eliminate a state deficit?
  • Amendment II: Do you support an amendment to create the Hospital Stabilization Fund to stabilize and protect Medicaid reimbursements for health care services by depositing assessments paid by hospitals, as authorized by the legislature, into a fund to support Louisiana hospital reimbursement?

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NPR Story
10:47 am
Fri October 24, 2014

FRIDAY: Pollster Bernie Pinsonat; A.P. Tureaud, Jr. & Felicia Harry; and Father Roy Bourgeois

A.P. Tureaud, Sr. and A.P. Tureaud, Jr. circa 1953.

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 12:47 pm

Independent opinion pollster Bernie Pinsonat is the first guest today, and he and Jim discuss how the numbers are looking the closer we get to election day, and what the history of Louisiana voting can teach us. Bernie tells us how a lot can happen in these last few days before November 4th, especially as the reality of election day and the thought of voting begins to enter the minds of many voters in the state. As of now, Bernie says, the poll numbers a pretty jumbled between the 5th and 6th District Congressional  races, and the only thing we can predict for sure is seeing Edwin Edwards and Jamie Mayo in the runoffs.

A.P. Tureaud, Jr., the first black undergrad to attend LSU and Felicia Harry, board member of the 2014 LSU Legends Forum, are with us to talk with Jim about the homecoming event this evening at 6:00pm at Peabody Hall on the LSU campus. The LSU Legends Forum recognizes excellence in African-American graduation from LSU, and tonight they will be establishing the Tureaud Alumni Chapter 1964 Scholarship.

Also, 2012 Nobel Peace Prize candidate Father Roy Bourgeois, a native of Louisiana and former Catholic priest, is with us to discuss his coming arrival to Baton Rouge this weekend. In 2008 Father Roy was excommunicated latae sententiae from the Catholic Church for attending and being a celebrant in the ordination of a woman; and he tells Jim how this affects him but does not break the bond he has with God. He's the recipient this year of the Wade Mackie Peacemaking Award from the Bienville House for Peace and Justice, and will receive the award this Saturday October 25th at the Unitarian Church in Baton Rouge.

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NPR Story
10:29 am
Thu October 23, 2014

THURSDAY: John Ed Bradley; Lod Cook; Monty Sullivan; and Cari Lynn

LSU Legend, Lod Cook.

Former LSU football player and current author John Ed Bradley joins us to remember his time spent at the Washington Post with his former boss Ben Bradlee. John tells us how he applied to the Washington Post after leaving LSU and how Ben Bradlee hand selected his application and hired him. Ben Bradlee passed away Tuesday, and John reminisces about him today with Jim.

LSU Legend Lod Cook is our second guest this morning and he joins Jim in studio to discuss his most recent business venture. Lod moved to Los Angeles after his time spent at LSU to begin an illustrious business career that would span over five decades; but he's not done yet. At the age of 86, Lod is the Chairman of NueroSigma, and he and Jim discuss this and more.

Monty Sullivan, President of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, joins us briefly to discuss the recent work that he and the LCTCS are accomplishing, and the work they expect to do in the years to come.

Also, journalist and author Cari Lynn is with us for the last few minutes of the show today to discuss the release of her first novel Madam: A Novel of New Orleans. Her novel tells the story of how one woman rises to the top of the high-class bordellos of Storyville's Basin Street in New Orleans to become the infamous Madame Josie Arlington.

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