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Louisiana: The State We're In - Season 31 »»»

SWI 3101 August 31, 2007

Louisiana's weekly statewide news magazine starts its 31st season on the air. We visit New Orleans on the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina where we find a mix of fear, disappointment and hope among residents there. Then we sit down with Republican Gubernatorial candidate John Georges who says he’ll take a business approach to running the state. Hear why an international cultural forum in New Orleans drew the world’s attention. Plus, visit with a Louisiana artist whose creation, “Floodwall,” evokes special memories of families who lost their homes as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

SWI 3102 September 7, 2007

We stake out the Secretary of State's office in Baton Rouge this week to watch the candidates qualify for the top statewide races including Governor. Then, in preparation for the September 23rd premiere of award-winning documentary producer Ken Burns' latest epic project The War, we begin a series highlighting the stories of Louisiana’s World War II veterans. This week, we visit with army sharp shooter Charles Breaux of Krotz Springs. Plus, we head to Lafayette for an exhibit of Newcomb Pottery, one of the most signifigant types of pottery of the first half of the 20th century.

SWI 3103 September 14, 2007

We visit the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans where "This Old House" unveils a new project focused on the revitalization of this devastated part of the city. Then hit the campaign trail with gubernatorial candidate Foster Campbell. As our series honoring World War II veterans continues, meet Joseph Cassin, a survivor of the Bataan Death March.

SWI 3104 September 21, 2007

We were in Jena this week when thousands of people rallied in support of the "Jena 6," six African American teenagers charged in the beating of a white student at Jena High School. On the second anniversary of Hurricane Rita, we visited southwest Louisiana where there is signifigant rebuilding progress. Then, hit the campaign trail with country music singer Sammy Kershaw as he campaigns for Lt. Governor. Plus, meet a man who creates magic with his models of historic homes and buildings.

SWI 3105 September 28, 2007

We have a wrap-up of Thursday night's Leading Louisiana: The Candidates Speak Gubernatorial Forum which was broadcast live on LPB. Then, we continue our series highlighting the stories of Louisiana's World War II veterans. This week, we visit with Dr. Donald Webb, the former president of Centenary College in Shreveport.

SWI 3106 October 5, 2007

We visit with World War II veteran John Iles of Shreveport, a former P.T. boat captain who fought side-by-side with former President John F. Kennedy. Then, we're on the road with the "Louisiana Solar Tour." Thanks to recent legislation approved in Baton Rouge, there will be an extra incentive to go solar in 2008--savings on energy bills. And as our "Folkmasters" series continues, we visit with a Mardi Gras mask maker in Mermentau, Louisiana who’s preparing for Carnival 2008.

SWI 3107 October 12, 2007

As we head into the final week of the primary elections, we're on the campaign trail with Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Walter Boasso. Then we continue our series on Louisiana World War II veterans with a visit with Bill Babington of Franklinton, one of the youngest B-17 bomber pilots to fly during the war. Plus, on the eve of the 17th annual Celtic Nations Heritage Festival in Lake Charles, explore the Celtic heritage of festival founder Danny O’Flaherty.

SWI 3108 October 19, 2007

It's election eve and we assess the standing of the four leading candidates for Governor. Then we travel to northwest Louisiana along the Cane River to continue our series on Louisiana World War II veterans. There, we hear the stories of three Creole soldiers. Plus, we'll cook up a storm at Lake D'Arbonne State Park near Farmerville for the 4th Annual Dutch Oven Cook-off where 23 states were represented.

SWI 3109 October 26, 2007

We examine some of the challenges facing Louisiana Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal as he prepares to take over the state's highest office. Also, we find out what it's like to live without any products manufactured in China in a visit with author Sara Bongiorni who has written a book about her year-long experiment being Chinese import-free. And then we head to New Orleans where the Old Mint is officially reopened for the first time since Hurricane Katrina with an exhibit that glitters gold.

SWI 3110 November 2, 2007

We reveal the results of a new state survey concerning Louisiana's health status and what's being done to improve our numbers. Then, hear from a group of Louisiana fourth graders who played an important role in the recent launch of the space shuttle from the Kennedy Space Center. Plus, as the duck hunting season prepares to officially open, we talk to members of Ducks Unlimited about the importance of conservation and the meaning to hunters who will be enjoying one of our state's traditional sports.

SWI 3111 November 9, 2007

Robyn Ekings talks politics with former Lt. Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris, who will turn 86 next week. Learn about a special program in Acadiana called "Louisiana Honor Air." Their goal is to give any WWII veteran a chance to see the World War Two Memorial in Washington, D.C. Finally, hear the poetry of Pulitzer Prize winner and Bogalusa native Yusef Komunyakaa.

SWI 3112 November 16, 2007

Robyn Ekings sits down with Louisiana native, author and former managing editor of Time magazine Walter Isaacson. His most recent book is a N.Y. Times best seller called Einstein: His Life and Universe. Charlie Whinham travels to Turkey Creek, Louisiana, just in time for Thanksgiving as we revisit our What’s in a Name series. Finally, meet Francis Pavy, a Louisiana artist who’s been called “The Picasso of Zydeco” by Rolling Stone.

SWI 3113 November 23, 2007

Best of SWI. Take a look at what historically has made Louisiana a power player in Washington D.C. politics. Then, we find out what it's like to live without any products manufactured in China in a visit with author Sara Bongiorni who has written a book about her year-long experiment being Chinese import-free. Finally, the sounds of the season-- barbershop-style--with the Louisiana Showboat Chorus.

SWI 3114 November 30, 2007

As Forbes magazine ranks LSU in the top 20 most profitable college football programs, Robyn Ekings takes a look at the balance between athletics and academics at LSU. Charlie Whinham travels the state and gives us a preview of LPB's "Louisiana World War Two Stories" airing Sunday December 2nd at 6:30 PM. Finally, we're in Ireland to experience the culture, traditions and scenery in the Connmara region.

SWI 3115 December 7, 2007

We have the latest news from Jindal Transition headquarters as the Governor elect continues to fill his cabinet. Robyn Ekings sits down to talk with the incoming Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis. Then we’re in the Senate where new members were given an orientation this week on the inner workings of the upper chamber. Finally, the chaos and sadness following Hurricane Katrina rekindles an artist’s love for the Crescent City and it’s people. Producer Donna LaFleur shows us how Rolland Golden has created a powerful body of work now on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

SWI 3116 December 14, 2007

Hear what former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer thinks about comparisons between himself and Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal. Then, we're at the capitol where Robyn Ekings finds newly elected housemembers struggling to learn the ropes. Charlie Whinham introduces us to the Clites family of Baton Rouge, winners of a $30,000 home energy efficiency makeover, Producer Donna LaFleur takes us to rehearsals of the holiday classic "The Nutcracker" as performed by a Baton Rouge dance group that draws it's members from a diverse community.

SWI 3117 December 21, 2007

Robyn Ekings travels to Bastrop where holiday spirits are running especially high thanks to its high school's championship football team. The team has shared its secrets for success with the town's biggest employer, a paper mill facing a possible shutdown next year. Charlie Whinham is in the kitchen with Governor-Elect Bobby Jindal's aunt Manjeet Bhatia who prepares three holiday dishes with an Indian flair. Producer Donna LaFleur visits Jackson, Louisiana where Christmas train enthusiasts are celebrating a 100-year-old holiday tradition.

SWI 3118 December 28, 2007

Robyn Ekings sits down with Governor Kathleen Blanco in her final weeks in office. We'll hear how she struggled in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, how she made her decision not to seek re-election and what she thinks of Louisiana's political scene, including the future for the state's democratic party.

SWI 3119 January 4, 2008

We'll sit down with a panel of political experts to discuss the events of 2007 and look forward to 2008. Joining us will be John Maginnis, Publisher of the Louisiana Fax Weekly; Michelle Millhollon with the Baton Rouge Advocate Capitol Bureau; and Jim Engster, WRKF Public Radio talk show host and General Manager of Louisiana Network.

SWI 3120 January 11, 2008

We preview Monday's inauguration of Bobby Jindal with a biography of the Governor-Elect including interviews with his past high school teachers from Baton Rouge Magnet High School. We talk with top political observers about how Jindal will use his inaugural address to turn campaign promises into policy. Plus, we look back to the pomp and circumstance of past inaugurations and find that many of the frills have been stripped from recent ceremonies.

SWI 3121 January 18, 2008

Hear about the surprise resignation of LSU Chancellor Sean O'Keefe. We recap the events of the week involving the inauguration of Governor Bobby Jindal. We are there for his first cabinet meeting and hear his charge to his appointees after an ethics briefing at the Governor's mansion. We also drop in at the Family Inaugural Festival. Plus, we preview the 2nd Annual Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival that features documentaries, comedies and dramas highlighting Jewish culture.

SWI 3122 January 25, 2008

We take a look at City Year, a growing youth service group. City Year provides a program for 17-24 year olds who do 10 months of full-time community service to their community and country. We talk with members about their contribution to the cause. Also, we find the Chancellor of the LSU AgCenter on the road to better health, and issuing a diet and exercise challenge for all Louisianians in the new year.

SWI 3123 February 1, 2008

They're burning up the airways and campaigning cross parish non stop on both sides of a battle over Pinnacle Entertainments plan to bring another casino boat to Baton Rouge. Robyn Ekings examines the arguments both pro and con. Charlie Whinham talks to Grammy nominated musicians from Louisiana in the new category for Best Zydeco or Cajun album. Our Folkmaster's series continues with a visit to a Louisiana Mardi Gras mask maker.

SWI 3124 February 8, 2008

Governor Bobby Jindal begins his special session on ethics reform Sunday night. We have a report on Louisiana's ethical image. Robyn Ekings sits down with House Speaker Jim Tucker to discuss the session, the governor’s call, and Jindal’s own recent ethics issue. Producer Donna Lafleur profiles Islenos balladeer Irvan Perez who died earlier this year. Perez sang traditional Islenos "becimas" -- songs handed down through his family and part of a disappearing culture in southeast Louisiana.

SWI 3125 February 15, 2008

Robyn Ekings is at the state capitol for a fast and furious first week of Governor Bobby Jindal's special ethics session. We have a complete report on what's been passed and what's having trouble in the process. Next, we talk with Dr. Donna Ryan of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center about the center's mission and future as it celebrates its 20th anniversary. The Pennington Center's research has focused on many areas of health including obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Finally, Charlie Whinham takes a Mardi Gras float ride with some special veterans in Metarie as they honor past and present soldiers.

SWI 3126 February 22, 2008

Robyn Ekings is at the Capitol as the special ethics session winds down. We have a complete report plus an interview with Sean Reilly, Vice Chairman of Governor Jindal's Ethics transition team about how well the panel's recommendations for change have been accepted by legislators. Finally, a beagle captured international headlines after winning the top prize at the Westminster Dog Show and we meet a Louisiana woman who has long been a fan of this unique breed.

SWI 3127 February 29, 2008

Robyn Ekings is at the capitol for the conclusion of Governor Jindal's special session on ethics reform and asks political observers if the Governor really hit a home run. LPB President and CEO Beth Courtney journeys to India to find out how the young Republican is being perceived in his ancestral homeland. Plus, we travel parts of the new African American Heritage trail, a collection of 26 historic sites around Louisiana.

SWI 3128 March 7, 2008

Governor Jindal comments on the 2nd Extraordinary Session of the Legislature which begins Sunday, March 9th. We have a tribute to Sen. B.B. "Sixty" Rayburn, D-Bogalusa, who passed away this week. We celebrate the 4-H Centennial Anniversary in Louisiana. Finally, we introduce the 2008 Louisiana Young Heroes.

SWI 3129 March 14, 2008

Robyn Ekings is at the Capitol where Governor Bobby Jindal's second special session is underway, including a debate about spending over a billion dollars of state surplus funds. Charlie Whinham reports from Ferriday where country music legend Mickey Gilley helps christen the re-opening of the historic Arcade Theatre. And Donna LaFleur sits down with creole artist Vergie Banks to discover how she draws inspiration from her Louisiana roots.

SWI 3130 March 21, 2008

A group of Gulf Coast FEMA residents sued the agency this week for sheltering them in trailers that allegedly exposed them to formaldehyde. Robyn Ekings visits with a Slidell couple as they meet with a representative of the Centers for Disease Control about results of testing fot the toxic chemical in their trailer. Charlie Whinham visits with Brian Hanson, a senior at Southeastern Louisiana University. Brian is the winner of the Omaha Symphony Guild competition, a national event that seeks to find the best young composers in the United States. And now that spring has sprung, Donna LaFleur is in the garden enjoying the Giant Blue Iris.

SWI 3131 March 28, 2008

Robyn Ekings previews the next episode in our McLeod Lecture Series with a look at the pressures and challenges facing Louisiana Representatives who deal with perpetual campaigning as they run for re-election every two years. We'll talk with friends of the late Jim Henson of Sesame Street fame about a new exhibit in Baton Rouge that celebrates the life of the Muppet master. And Donna LaFleur visits Baldwin and Franklin where high school students recently received a visit from a survivor of the 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima.

SWI 3132 April 4, 2008

Robyn Ekings reports from the State Capitol where the annual regular legislative session kicked off this week. Then we'll travel to the bottom of the world with LSU students and teachers as they conduct research on the polar ice cap. Also, the Forest Hill community contains the largest concentration of plant nurseries in the state. Donna LaFleur visits with one family who runs a nursery business that’s been in the family for five generations.

SWI 3133 April 11, 2008

We're at the capitol for the second week of the regular session with a wrap up of all the action. We head to Lafayette where a program to install traffic cameras to catch speeders and red light runners is fighting for it's life. Finally, from the trove of a French collector, we view a sampling of the dazzling exhibition of Napoleonic treasures on display in New Orleans.

SWI 3134 April 18, 2008

We have a complete wrap-up of all the action at the State Capitol as week number three heats up with a proposal to make all drivers use hands-free cell phones. With 10,000 homeless veterans in Louisiana, we meet one organization outside of Hammond trying to address the problem. Plus, they’re cooking up a storm at Lake D’Arbonne State Park near Farmerville where the 4th annual Dutch oven cookoff draws competitors from 23 states.

SWI 3135 April 25, 2008

Charlie Whinham is at the State Capitol for the fourth week of the regular Legislative session and has the latest on the week's top issues. Robyn Ekings takes a look at the super headache for Louisiana Democratic super delegates as their party’s top remaining two presidential contenders lobby the delegates for their support. Plus, Donna LaFleur introduces us to a woodworker whose historic subjects are finding their way into museums.

SWI 3136 May 2, 2008

Robyn Ekings reports from the State Capitol as lawmakers continue the regular Legislative session. Issues including gambling, illegal immigration and public comment on the state's 30-billion dollar operating budget are among the items considered. Then Charlie Whinham heads to Mitcham's Orchard in Ruston where a persistant plant disease is threatening the peach crop. Plus, Donna LaFleur goes to West Baton Rouge Parish where two families have made a signifigant contribution to local history.

SWI 3137 May 9, 2008

Robyn Ekings is at the state Capitol as the sixth week of the regular session wraps up with legislative pay raises, the repeal of the state's motorcycle helmet law and college pay raise tuition bills among the items up for debate. Next, for those interested in tracing their roots, Donna LaFleur takes us to the State Archives to show you how. Meet a New Orleans teenager who's researching his Creole ancestors. Plus, celebrate this year's Louisiana Legends who were honored recently at a gala. Tune in to find out who they are.

SWI 3138 May 16, 2008

Robyn Ekings updates us on the action at the State Capitol during the 7th week of the regular Legislative session. Tax cuts and the state's 30-billion dollar budget are among the items sparking debate. Charlie Whinham visits a non-descript warehouse near the Mississippi River that's quietly making a name for itself as a national leader in recycling computers. And Donna LaFleur is on hand as precious pooches walk the cat walk in a doggie fashion show designed to raise money for a new Humane Society animal shelter.

SWI 3139 May 23, 2008

The state's $30-billion budget is among the big issues discussed at the state capitol this week. Charlie Whinham recaps this week's action in the regular legislative session. In a Memorial Day tribute, The Reader's Theater of the Baton Rouge Little Theater performed monologues from Larry Smith's book, "Beyond Glory - Medal of Honor Heroes in Their Own Words." We will also pay tribute to Elemore Morgan, Jr. The world-renowned landscape artist passed away this week at the age of 76.

SWI 3140 May 30, 2008

Charlie Whinham recaps the week at the State Capitol as lawmakers address failing schools as well as the issue of the public display of nooses. A group of Native Americans are walking from San Francisco to Washington, D.C., to raise awareness on environmental issues. Donna LaFleur caught up with the group in Houma. Over 100 Louisiana artists have contributed their work to Friends of LPB's fifth annual Art and Travel Auction. We will feature participating photographers Charlie Heck of Monroe and David Mathis of Kenner.

SWI 3141 June 6, 2008

The regular session is winding down at the State Capitol. Charlie Whinham will have the weekly legislative recap. Plus, Donna LaFleur introduces us to a Louisiana Yo-Yo devotee and former National Yo-Yo Champion. We also preview the 5th Annual Friends of LPB Art and Travel Auction airing Sunday, June 8th at 7pm.

SWI 3142 June 13, 2008

Charlie Whinham reviews this week at the regular session as Legislators pay raises is the hot issue at the capitol. The 58th Annual Peach Festival is this month in Ruston, however the celebration is overshadowed because Louisiana's largest peach orchard may shut down. Plus, producer Donna LaFleur takes us to Studio In The Woods, the only artist's residency program in the Deep South.

SWI 3143 June 20, 2008

As the 2008 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature comes to a close, Charlie Whinham sits down with Legislators at the state capitol to discuss the issues and outcomes. Tune in to your local LPB station to hear what your lawmakers had to say.

SWI 3144 June 27, 2008

Newspaper and television State Capitol reporters join Charlie Whinham to discuss the regular legislative session that wrapped up this week. The panelists include Ed Anderson of the Times-Picayune, Michelle Millhollon of the Baton Rouge Advocate and Caroline Moses of WAFB-TV.

SWI 3145 July 4, 2008

Legislative pay raises, the Stelly Tax repeal and ethics reforms...Charlie Whinham discusses state politics with Jim Brandt of the watchdog group Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana. The country's largest museum dedicated to insects is in Louisiana and producer Donna LaFleur gives us a tour of the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans. We also revisit a group of Louisiana fourth graders invited by NASA to watch an October liftoff of the space shuttle Discovery.

SWI 3146 July 11, 2008

First, we head to the rodeo pen and find three Louisiana teenagers who qualified for the High School National Rodeo. Donna LaFleur explores the ecology and the economy of bringing whooping cranes back to Louisiana. Finally, we go to the dogs to revisit a Louisiana couple who, over the years, have rescued over 200 abandoned hunting beagles.

SWI 3147 July 18, 2008

This week we welcome Shauna Sanford to the Louisiana: The State We're In team as reporter/producer. We remember the life of Louisiana native and medical maverick Dr. Michael DeBakey who died this week at the age of 99. Then, we’ll hear from three of the latest scholars selected by La Fondation Louisiane who will study French art and language this fall in Europe. Finally, Donna LaFleur takes us to UL Lafayette's Hilliard Art Museum which is showcasing 40 items from their permanent collection to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

SWI 3148 July 25, 2008

Cutting Edge Technology. Louisiana is taking a lead role in women's health issues with the help of robotic assisted surgeries. Charlie Whinham has our story from the Oschner Medical Center in Baton Rouge. Lights… Camera… Money. Shauna Sanford just returned from the movie set at the Celtic Media Centre and takes a look at Louisiana's growing film industry. Also, Donna LaFleur visits with two certified bird banders who work with the tiniest of them all – hummingbirds.

SWI 3149 August 1, 2008

Domestic Drilling vs. Renewable Energy and Conservation - The debate on the nation's energy crisis came to Louisiana this week. Shauna Sanford reports from Tulane University as Democratic and Republican members of Congress squared off. Youth Served - Charlie Whinham introduces us to 24-year-old Ashley Scott of Shreveport, who is one of the youngest delegates heading to the Democratic National Convention in Denver this month. Citrus Crisis? - Donna LaFleur investigates citrus greening disease which has cropped up in roughly seven Louisiana parishes. Find out why this disease may be a more serious threat to home growers than the citrus industry.

SWI 3150 August 8, 2008

Environmental Architecture - Imagine life without an electric or water bill? Charlie Whinham takes us to an Edward Cazayoux designed Louisiana “green” home in Prairie Laurent. Calling Cajun Chefs - "The Louisiana Alligator Soiree" is a spin-off the highly successful "Great American Seafood Cook-Off." Shauna Sanford finds out there's more than one way to skin and cook a gator. 40 Days and 40 Nights - Donna LaFleur showcases this art exhibit which opens this weekend at the Louisiana State Archives. The exhibit shares the stories of communities rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina told through the eyes, hearts and souls of Louisiana artisans. Up, Up and Away - Photographer Rex Q. Fortenberry shows us the sights and sounds of the Pennington Balloon Championship that heats up this weekend in Baton Rouge.

SWI 3151 August 15, 2008

Shauna Sanford explores the successes and problems homeowners have faced, as a September 5th Road Home Program application deadline looms. Hear about a rare and deadly form of bacterial meningitis that killed an LSU student this summer. One Galliano mother lost her son to the same disease in 2006 and says the death is preventable with a vaccination. Plus, Donna LaFleur talks to two creative Louisiana artists about how Hurricane Katrina has affected their work.

SWI 3152 August 22, 2008

, Best of


Charlie Whinham introduces 24-year-old Ashley Scott of Shreveport, who is one of the youngest delegates heading to the Democratic National Convention in Denver this month. Shauna Sanford just returned from the movie set at the Celtic Media Centre and takes a look at Louisiana's growing film industry. Meet some Louisiana grandmothers as they pursued their fifth gold medal in the Senior Olympics.

SWI 3153 August 29, 2008

Katrina: Three Years Later, A Town Hall Meeting (Special Report)

Three years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the New Orleans area and the surrounding parishes, Louisiana Public Broadcasting is hosting a Louisiana: The State We're In Special which includes more of the discussion from the special town meeting held July 21 at the Grace Episcopal Church in New Orleans that was featured in Coastal Comeback: Louisiana & Mississippi After Katrina. This special will include new material that was not in the original special.

SWI 3154 September 5, 2008

Hurricane Gustav (Special Report)

We have a special half-hour report on the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav on Friday, September 5 at 7PM on the six-station LPB network. The program includes field reports from correspondents Charlie Whinham and Shauna Sanford and up-to-date information on the prognosis for getting the power restored to the affected areas in South and Central Louisiana.

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