Tegan Wendland / WWNO

The oil and gas downturn has resulted in a loss of about 12,000 jobs across Louisiana over the past year. Many of those jobs are concentrated in smaller metropolitan areas, like the Cajun city of Lafayette, which has lost the most. The city that once boomed as a result of oil and gas activity is now struggling to not go bust.

Governor Bobby Jindal is authorizing the state National Guard to protect the funerals for two women killed at a movie theater shooting. Law enforcement says the Westboro Baptist Church has indicated it plans to stage protests.

The suspect in the Lafayette movie theater shooting had a criminal record dating back decades. John Russell Houser was denied a concealed weapons permit.

The actions of two teachers who were in a Louisiana movie theater when a gunman opened fire Thursday night are being praised, as officials say the women's bravery and quick thinking saved the lives of unsuspecting patrons.

Two people were killed in the attack in Lafayette, La.; nine more were injured. After being cornered by police, the gunman, identified as John Russel Houser, 59, reportedly killed himself.

Police in Lafayette have identified the man they say opened fire at a movie theater, killing two others and wounding nine before turning the gun on himself. Little is known about the suspect and his motive.

Police say the man who opened fire at a movie theater in Lafayette, La., on Thursday was a 59-year-old "drifter."

During a press conference this morning, Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craft said that John Russel Houser was from Alabama, had moved around quite a bit, but had been living in Lafayette since early July. At the time of the shooting, Houser was living in a local motel. Craft said Houser was at a showing of the comedy Trainwreck when he stood up and unloaded at least 13 rounds into the audience, killing 21-year-old Mayci Breaux and 33-year-old Jillian Johnson.

Thomas Walsh

Michel Nischan, Toby Rodriguez and Brian Kyzar are all men with grand ambitions. Even though they work in different parts of the country, they each plan to bring about changes within their niche of the food industry. 

Michel's been in the game for over 35 years. Among the many jobs he's had, Michel's done farm work, cooked in a kitchen, and opened a restaurant with Paul Newman. Now he's focused on changing food policy on the federal level. We hope you'll be as inspired by Michel as we have.

Then we'll speak with Toby Rodriguez and Brian Kyzar as they prepare for a pop-up dinner on Frenchmen Street. They're joining us to talk about reviving the Cajun traditions that were on the verge of extinction as little as five years ago.  

Plus, Dr. Gourmet returns and Poppy shares a recipe for fried shrimp heads: don't let them go to waste!

Some red states like Louisiana and Texas have emerged as leaders in a new movement: to divert offenders from prisons and into drug treatment, work release and other incarceration alternatives.

By most counts, Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the country. In recent years, sentencing reformers in the capital, Baton Rouge, have loosened some mandatory minimum sentences and have made parole slightly easier for offenders to get.

But as reformers in Louisiana push for change, they're also running into stiffening resistance — especially from local prosecutors.

Jason Saul / WWNO

Festival International de Louisiane, the annual exploration and celebration of world music in the heart of Acadiana, transformed the city of Lafayette into a five-day entertainment showcase this past week.

The free festival featured six music stages, street musicians, arts and crafts, workshops, food, drinks and much more.

"What do I like about Festival?" wondered local resident Karl Schott. "It's open. You can pop your head into a local establishment for a little A/C or a different drink. And you run into everyone you know."

We sure did.

It wasn't an easy road to the Tiny Desk for the four guys from Louisiana who make up Brass Bed. Their tour, for the band's debut album The Secret Will Keep You, was plagued from the start: Singer Christiaan Mader had the flu, there was a death in the family and multiple dates had to be canceled. Their van was broken into and their instruments stolen. So when they heard that a big snowstorm was headed for D.C. at the same time they were to play the Tiny Desk, it felt like yet another bad omen.