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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Ashley Edwards
Policy Analyst to the Governor’s Office of Recovery and Renewal, Mississippi, Online Chat

Ashley Edwards joined Governor Haley Barbour's Office in February 2006. Today, he serves as the Deputy Director of Barbour’s Office of Recovery and Renewal, with the primary responsibility of coordinating Mississippi’s recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina.

As Deputy Director of Recovery, Ashley is tasked with overseeing the more than $5.5 Billion in Mississippi's Katrina-related Community Development Block Grants, and more than $2 Billion in FEMA Public Assistance Funds. Ashley has taken a lead role in crafting and implementing many of Mississippi’s recovery programs, including the Alternative Housing Pilot Program, better known as the Mississippi Cottage Program.

Ashley began his professional career at the Hattiesburg Police Department where he worked as the department's Crime Analyst, managing the only accredited Crime Analysis Unit in Mississippi. Later, Ashley worked as journalist and editor in print media, covering state and local news. Ashley has also served in several active roles in past local, state and national political campaigns.

Ashley is a native of Petal, Mississippi, and an alumnus of The University of Southern Mississippi and Tulane University. Ashley and his wife lost their home in Pass Christian, Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina and have since relocated to Gulfport, Mississippi.

Current Topic


08/16 - Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference (encore)

What difference has a decade made?

Due to severe flooding in Baton Rouge and the surrounding communities, the recording of “Black & The Blue,” which was to be the August episode of Louisiana Public Square, was cancelled. Instead we will be broadcasting an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference.” More information, including broadcast dates and times, is below.

“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference”
Eleven years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through Southeast Louisiana, triggering what would become the nation’s costliest disaster. Less than a month later, Hurricane Rita inundated Southwest Louisiana forever altering the landscape. The storms uprooted residents, while the rest of Louisiana and its neighboring states welcomed them with open arms.
What affect did the storms have on economic development along the I-10 corridor? Just over a decade later, how have public services changed? How prepared is Louisiana to handle hurricane evacuees? And how did the hurricanes change the demographics of the state?
This month Louisiana Public Square takes a look at where the state is now on an encore presentation of “Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” airing Wednesday, August 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 21 at 11 a.m. on LPB HD.

The panelists are:
· Andy Kopplin, Office of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu
· Paul Rainwater, Rainwater Consulting, LLC
· Stephanie Riegel, Greater Baton Rouge Business Report
· Nihal Shrinath, The Data Center

The program includes interviews with Jason El Koubi, One Acadiana; Chris Guilbeaux, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Department of Health and Hospitals; Allison Plyer, Executive Director of the Data Center; John White, State Superintendent of Education; and Christopher Bohnstengel and “Byrdie” Lane, owners of Byrdie’s Gallery and Café in New Orleans.

LPB CEO, Beth Courtney, and Kim Hunter Reed,Ph.D., who served in the Blanco administration during Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, moderate the discussion.
“Louisiana Post-Katrina: A Decade of Difference” will also air in New Orleans, on WLAE. It can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

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Thursday, August 25, 2016
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