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Friday, August 26, 2016
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Panelist Bio


Sen. Neil Riser
R- Columbia, sponsor of SB303 gun rights bill which became the “Strict Scrutiny” state constitutional amendment

Neil Riser is the state Senator for District 32. District 32 encompasses all of Caldwell, Catahoula, Concordia, Franklin, LaSalle, and West Feliciana parishes and parts of Avoyelles, Ouachita, Rapides, and Richland parishes. Sen. Riser is Chairman of the Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs Committee and is a member of several committees including the Homeland Security Committee. Sen. Riser was the sponsor of SB303 to strengthen Louisiana gun rights through the “Strict Scrutiny” state constitutional amendment. Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action is quoted as saying “No other state has passed a right to keep and bear arms constitutional amendment as strong as Louisiana’s.”

Senator Riser is president and owner of the Riser Funeral Homes located in Caldwell and LaSalle parishes. He serves as a board member of the Caldwell Bank and Trust Company. He is also the past president of the Pelican State Life Insurance Company. Neil has a strong background in the timber industry and has worked in logging and timber since the age of 14

After graduating from Caldwell Parish High School in 1980, Neil obtained a B.A. in Business Management from Northeast Louisiana University in 1984.
Senator Riser is happily married to Vicki Smith Riser. Vicki, native of Franklin Parish and former teacher at River Oaks High School in Monroe, is currently managing Riser Funeral Home. Neil and Vicki are the proud parents of two daughters, Emilie and Allison Riser.

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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05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

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09/16 - Pass or Fail? Louisiana’s Education System

How well is the state’s public school system really performing?

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Friday, August 26, 2016
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