Donna Landry, executive director of the Richard Murphy Hospice House, and staff member Darick Selders, work to make patients comfortable during their last days of life.
Tegan Wendland / WWNO

On a quiet little cul-de-sac in Hammond, there is a special place where people go to die. The Richard Murphy Hospice House offers an alternative to the clinical setting of a nursing home for people during their last days of life.

It's back to school season. And in New Orleans, it truly is a season — spanning late July to late August. The city has many school start dates and calendars.

In the chaotic days after Hurricane Katrina, law enforcement in New Orleans erroneously told evacuees to gather at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center to await rescue.

It was known as the "Swankiest Night Spot in the South" and considered one of the most famous clubs in the network of black cabarets known as the "Chitlin' Circuit." During the era of segregation, it was the cultural mecca of black New Orleans — what the Savoy Ballroom was to Harlem. Little Richard, a frequent performer there, even composed a song about the place.

Undeterred by the devastation, second line clubs returned to New Orleans a few months after the flood, determined to uphold the city's cultural traditions. This photo is of the 2009 Prince of Wales second line parade.
Jason Saul

Well, we’ve made it. Almost. It’s been a long, hot summer and this is our last episode as we come up on the tenth anniversary of Katrina.

The city is abuzz with journalists and experts and NGOs and politicians. We thought we’d use this last bit of The Debris to explore a word they’re all using to talk about New Orleans: resilience.

Local apparrel and accessory company NOLA Til Ya Die.
Nina Feldman

New Orleans is a city with a lot of nicknames. It’s been known as the Crescent City, the City that Care Forgot and the Big Easy. But there’s a new kid on the block.

Over the course of the past 10 years the name "NOLA" has made its way into businesses, non-profits, websites and even the city government. And while no one doubts its convenience, not everyone is on board with the new shorthand.

Paul Boger / Southern Education Desk

States across the US have increasingly been turning to charter schools in an effort to bolster struggling public school systems. Two of the most recent states to adopt the controversial form of education are Mississippi and Alabama. As part of the Southern Education Desk's series examining charter schools in the South, MPB's Paul Boger reports on how those states are adapting to the alternative form of public education. 

What do Louisiana’s statewide elected officials do when they’re off the clock?  Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain invited me out to Covington, to show me.

“The main building here is over 10,500 square feet now,” Strain said, as he looked fondly at Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital.

“How big was it when you started?” I asked.

“15-hundred,” he said, as we walked in the front doors.

“These are the original doors. Just think how many times they have open and closed for healing, over the past 31 years,” he said with a smile, as a parakeet in a cage on the front counter began to chatter at him.

Andre Natta / Southern Education Desk

Florida has about 650 charter schools. They're part of school districts but are privately managed and largely free of many of the rules governing traditional public schools. But as enrollment in charters has increased, so has the financial cost.

WFSU's Lynn Hatter reports for the Southern Education Desk that Tennessee and Georgia are also struggling to find ways to support their charter schools.

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.