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Louisiana: The State We're In - Season 32 »»»

SWI 3201 September 12, 2008

Shauna Sanford sees how people are coping without electricity in the Baton Rouge area and how extensive the damage remains 10 days after the storm. National Guard units from 21 states came to Louisiana in recovery efforts after Gustav. LPB follows one unit from Missouri. Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon joins Shauna and Charlie to discuss important issues regarding insurance coverage after Hurricane Gustav.

SWI 3202 September 19, 2008

LPB travels coast-to-coast in Louisiana after Hurricane Ike. Shauna Sanford headed to southeast Louisiana and Terrebone Parish where an estimated 15,000 homes flooded. Charlie Whinham reports from southwest Louisiana and found residents in Cameron Parish who returned after Hurricane Rita only to lose everything again after Ike. Plus, Allegra Yancey sits down with Cajun stand-up comedians Murry Conque, Kent Gonsoulin and Jonathan Perry, also known as the All-Star Cajun Comedy Tour.

SWI 3203 September 26, 2008

The Haynesville Shale could be the fourth largest natural gas reservoir in the world. Shauna Sanford discovered hundreds of people northwest Louisiana have become instant millionaires and stand to gain much more money in royalty checks. Also, Charlie Whinham visited Cameron Parish and found one Catholic Priest and his parishioners counting the missing and their blessings after Hurricane Ike. Plus, Immaculée Ilibagiza will tell her story of survival and forgiveness.

SWI 3204 October 3, 2008

The Haynesville Shale in northwest Louisiana is being called a modern day gold rush but not everyone is striking it rich. Shauna Sanford talks with C.C. Canaday of Keatchie who is determined to help out "the little guy." Liz Barnes explains why USDA Forest Service Teams are in Louisiana. GPS technology and laptops help them assess the staggering loss of trees after Hurricane Gustav. Allegra Yancey tells us about the recently signed French Accord at the Governor's Mansion that will offer more education and cultural exchange between Louisiana and France. Also, Dr. Donald Andrews, Dean of the Business School at Southern University talks about the current economic crisis facing our country.

SWI 3205 October 10, 2008

In part three of her series “The Haynesville Shale,” Shauna Sanford talks with Shreveport Mayor Cedric Glover to find out what the future holds for the city and residents. Charlie Whinham rode a Pioneer-era boat recently and retraced the journey of a young Abe Lincoln when the teenager transported goods and produce on a flatboat down the Mississippi River. Plus, economist Loren Scott sits down with Shauna and Charlie to discuss the recent national credit crisis and Louisiana’s economic future.

SWI 3206 October 17, 2008

Hear about a group based in Monroe that helps Louisiana patients of all ages get to distant hospitals for life-saving care. “Pilots for Patients” has already made over 150 flights this year. Also, the city of Shreveport is proud of their newest facility dedicated to independent films. Shauna Sanford gives us a tour of the Robinson Film Center in Shreveport that debuted earlier this year. Donna LaFleur takes us to the Imperial Calcasieu Museum in Lake Charles for a tour of their latest exhibit, “Java!” And we return to the skies with TD Smith of Lafayette with Louisiana Honor Air. The group’s mission is to take every Louisiana WWII veteran to the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.

SWI 3207 October 24, 2008

Charlie Whinham asks “What is the future of Big Charity Hospital in New Orleans?" The Foundation for Historical Louisiana says restoring the 80-year-old facility will be faster and cheaper than building new. Also, Shauna Sanford introduces us to the new chancellor of Southern University, Dr. Kofi Lomotey. He is making a big effort to reach out to the community, various business and community organizations, improve the university’s image and the relationship between the administration and the students. Plus, oilman-turned-activist T. Boone Pickens made a stop in Shreveport this week to discuss the country’s energy future.

SWI 3208 October 31, 2008

Over one-quarter million Louisiana voters decided to vote early. Shauna Sanford talks with Secretary of State Jay Dardenne about the record setting early turnout and what to know come Election Day. Producer Allegra Yancey takes a look at the growing high school dropout rate in Louisiana. Also Jim Brandt of the Public Affiars Research Council is in our studio to talk about the seven constitutional ammendments on next Tuesday's ballot.

SWI 3209 November 7, 2008

Shauna Sanford will talk with political analysts from Southern and LSU to discuss voting trends in Louisiana as well as across the South and how this week's presidential election has transformed American politics. LPB will pay tribute to former Marine Commandant General Robert H. Barrow, who passed away this week in St. Francisville at age 86. Plus, Secretary of the Department of Revenue Cynthia Bridges will be in the studio to talk about an innovative new tool for Louisiana businesses.

SWI 3210 November 14, 2008

"What's in a Name?" returns with reporter Charlie Whinham and photographer Virnado Woods visiting the town of Rayne, Louisiana, the self-proclaimed "frog capitol of the world." Producer Donna Lafleur visits with a successful children's book author and this year’s winner of the Louisiana writer’s award, William Joyce. WWL reporter Bill Capo and photographer Brian Lukas share the moving story of a pilgrimage to honor heroes.

SWI 3211 November 21, 2008

As auto executives ask Congress for billions of dollars, we hear from GM Plant workers in Shreveport as they lobby for their future. Sesame Street's Elmo visited Baton Rouge for the kick-off of LPB’s preschool reading program called "Raising Readers." Shauna Sanford sits down with Elmo and the puppeteer behind the big red ball of energy. Southern University's Dean of Business School Dr. Donald Andrews is our in-studio guest. Dr. Andrews will discuss Louisiana's economic outlook.

SWI 3212 November 28, 2008

Charlie Whinham talks with Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Woodruff has covered presidential campaigns for three decades and offers her thoughts on this year's election. Shauna Sanford discovered one Louisiana tourism office is making adventure travel as simple as child’s play. We take you on a "True or False Tour." Also, Donna LaFleur takes us inside the LSU Gallery of Art exhibit that is currently featuring art inspired by the words of late legendary Louisiana author Ernest Gaines.

SWI 3213 December 5, 2008

The state's Medicaid system has been called broken and rampant with fraud and abuse. Governor Jindal has given lawmakers a proposal to regain control of the system. It's called Louisiana Health First and Shauna Sanford will look at how the system would change from a fee-for-service system to a managed care system. Charlie Whinham continues his "What's in a Name?" series. Find out the origins to Cut Off, Louisiana, which is home to the largest alligator farm in the world. Also, Donna LaFleur introduces us to a Marine from Louisiana, whose role in helping the women of Iraq reflects the new face of the military.

SWI 3214 December 12, 2008

Shauna Sanford talks to critics of the governor's managed care program. Is the Louisiana Health First plan the cure for what ails the state’s Medicaid system or is it the wrong prescription for the wrong diagnosis? Charlie Whinham traveles to the beautiful Toledo Bend area as he continues his series "What's in a Name?" This week Charlie sheds light on the origins of the city of Many, Louisiana. Producer Donna LaFleur visits Jackson, Louisiana where Christmas train enthusiasts are celebrating a 100-year-old holiday tradition.

SWI 3215 December 19, 2008

Shauna Sanford has Part Three of her report on the Louisiana Health First Plan with DHH Secretary Alan Levine responding to critics of the plan. Charlie Whinham continues his “What’s in a Name?” series with a visit to a former state capital, Donaldsonville. Plus, Governor Jindal’s aunt shares some exotic and simple recipes for Christmas.

SWI 3216 December 26, 2008

What could be more festive than Elmo the day after Christmas? Shauna Sanford sits down with Elmo and the puppeteer behind the big red ball of energy. In his “What’s in a Name?” series, Charlie Whinham doesn’t meet Kermit, but he does venture into Rayne. Louisiana, the self-proclaimed “Frog Capital of the World.” And finally we head to the rodeo pen and find three Louisiana teenagers who qualified for the High School National Rodeo.

SWI 3217 January 2, 2009

The city of Shreveport is proud of their newest facility dedicated to independent films. Shauna Sanford gives us a front row seat at the Robinson Film Center in Shreveport which debuted earlier this year. History and mystery dominate this week’s “What’s in a Name?” segment from Charlie Whinham as he travels to a former state capitol, Donaldsonville. And Donna LaFleur introduces us to a Louisiana yo-yo devotee and former national yo-yo champion.

SWI 3218 January 9, 2009

Believe it or not, Louisiana is leading the nation in pursuing the digital entertainment market. Baton Rouge is home to the first North American office for EA Sports, the largest video game development company in the world. Shauna Sanford talks with some of the major players in the industry and learns how anyone who loves to play video games can get involved. Charlie Whinham sits down with Simon Marks of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The international correspondent shares his thoughts on how other countries are viewing the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama, as well as the political future of Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. And the Mardi Gras season began this week. We head to Mermentau to visit a master Mardi Gras mask maker.

SWI 3219 January 16, 2009

There are thirty-three Louisiana public schools eligible for state takeover. After heated debate this week by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the state is taking over ten public schools. Charlie Whinham recaps the decision. The Mardi Gras Indians have been part of the carnival tradition for more than 150 years, and this week, Shauna Sanford talks with one of the most well-known Mardi Gras Indians in the world, Darryl Montana. The Third Annual Baton Rouge Jewish Film Festival runs January 21-25. Allegra Yancey previews some of the films with organizers Harvey Hoffman and Paula Hoffman.

SWI 3220 January 23, 2009

The block of young voters have been singled out as one reason why Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States. Shauna Sanford talks with college students at Southern University and LSU on Inauguration Day. The state is facing mid-year budget cuts as well as projections to cut two billion dollars in the state budget next year. Speaker of the House Jim Tucker as well as Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Sally Clausen will weigh in on the challenges facing Louisiana.

SWI 3221 January 30, 2009

The first 100 days in office for President Barack Obama will be scrutinized by many people. You can count Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise among the many who’ll be watching closely. Shauna Sanford recently spoke with Scalise about the new administration, the president’s 800-plus-billion dollar stimulus package and his top priorities for Louisiana. Charlie Whinham introduces us to a national science fair champion from Lake Charles. Taylor Wood, a student at Sam Houston High School, is developing an environmentally-safe mosquito repellant. Catherine “Kitty” Kimball became the first female on Louisiana’s Supreme Court last month. Chief Justice Kimball will join Shauna and Charlie in the studio to discuss her priorities for the state’s highest court.

SWI 3222 February 6, 2009

Shauna Sanford looks into a vaccination for teens and pre-teens to prevent cervical cancer and whether the state should force insurance companies to cover the vaccine. A professor at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge is studying the effects of increased walking in a person’s daily routine. Catrine Tudor-Locke is so dedicated to her topic that she has a treadmill in her office. Lolis Elie, co-director and writer of FAUBOURG TREMÉ: THE UNTOLD STORY OF BLACK NEW ORLEANS joins us to talk about his documentary, which premieres February 8th on LPB.

SWI 3223 February 13, 2009

Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu talks with Shauna Sanford about the effort to get bipartisan support for the economic stimulus plan and why she believes inaction during this economic crisis was not an option. Abraham Lincoln turned 200 Thursday and Charlie Whinham talks with scholars and artists who have organized commemorative events in Louisiana that will last all year long. The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts is calling all middle and high school students from around the state who are interested in learning more about the creative arts. March 7th is the deadline to apply for the Summer Session. And the good news is that the tuition is FREE.

SWI 3224 February 20, 2009

The tragic story of a young woman who threw her newborn baby into Lake Pontchartrain has sparked an urgent push by the Department of Social Services to get the word out about the state’s Safe Haven Law. DSS says because of the law, that baby did not have to die. A young woman in crisis can relinquish her newborn at any safe haven site designated by the law without fear of prosecution. But why do so few people know about it? Shauna Sanford talks with DSS about how it’s working to make everyone aware of the law.

We pay tribute to a gentle icon of Louisiana. Former broadcaster and public relations executive Ralph Sims died last week at the age of 92. Charlie Whinham talks with friends of Ralph as they reflect on his impact on Louisiana.

SWI 3225 February 27, 2009

Governor Jindal's GOP response to President Obama's speech to congress this week has drawn plenty of opinions from across the state and around the country. Charlie Whinham recaps Jindal's week in the national spotlight. In the early 1900s, thousands of children from New York City were given up for adoption by their struggling immigrant parents. They were put on "Orphan Trains" and sent to live with families throughout the country. Some ended up in Louisiana. Ninety-two year old Alice Bernard of Erath talks with Shauna Sanford about her painful past and how, ironically, it has led to an abundance of love and family. Pulitzer Prize nominated author Earnest Gaines talked with LPB President Beth Courtney about his career and his book "A Lesson Before Dying." The book is part of the "One Book, One Community" program which provides readers with a shared experience that leads to open dialogue.

SWI 3226 March 6, 2009

The federal stimulus plan recently passed by Congress could offer some relief. Shauna Sanford talks to supporters and opponents of the stimulus money and looks at what it could mean for the state's unemployed. Louisiana lunch houses do more than just feed the body. • Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed stricter DWI legislation. We will hear from both sides of the issue. Charlie Whinham talks to two documentary filmmakers from Lafayette who produced "Raised on Rice and Gravy," a documentary about plate lunch houses in south Louisiana. The program debuts on LPB Wednesday, March 11.

SWI 3227 March 13, 2009

Shauna Sanford talks with a Parkinson's Disease patient who says President Barack Obama's reversal of the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research is the hope that she and others have been waiting for while the Louisiana Right to Life Foundation says it's unethical to use stem cells from embryos. Charlie Whinham discovered chess can be as exciting as recess for at-risk elementary school kids, thanks to former Alabama state trooper Orrin C. Hudson who travels the United States to show how the game of chess can prepare young minds for the game of life.

SWI 3228 March 20, 2009

State Representative Jane Smith is crafting legislation to increase the incentives for businesses and consumers to buy alternative fuel vehicles or converters for gasoline cars and trucks. Shauna Sanford takes a look at the CNG vehicle and what it could mean. Louisiana native Mel Ott, one of baseball's greatest players, would have turned 100 this month. His hometown of Gretna honored "Master Melvin" recently by unveiling a life-sized bronze statue of the Hall of Famer.

SWI 3229 March 27, 2009

Real estate experts say there is a troubling trend emerging in Shreveport, Baton Rouge and other parts of the state. Shauna Sanford talks with experts about the problem areas in the state and a homeowner who is experiencing the foreclosure crisis firsthand. Many in rural Louisiana feel they have been forgotten in the recovery process after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Charlie Whinham talks with residents from the fishing community of Dulac to see how they are rebuilding their homes and their lives. We will also head to Toledo Bend area to visit the historic village of Fisher, as part of our "What's in a Name?" series.

SWI 3230 April 3, 2009

Artist and activist Rhea Gary has been using her canvas to create and to educate the public about the beauty and necessity of the wetlands. This month, she and America's Wetland Foundation are sponsoring a one-artist show of her latest paintings. Shauna Sanford visited with Gary in her studio. Also, meet the UL-Lafayette Solar Decathlon Team, a group of students and faculty of the ULL Architecture School. UL-Lafayette is one of 20 teams chosen worldwide to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon. The “BeauSoleil” solar home will travel to the National Mall as part of the competition’s "Solar Village" this September. Laura Larkin of the Greater Baton Rouge Arts Council is our in-studio guest and will talk about the proposed 83% budget cut to state arts funding.

SWI 3231 April 10, 2009

April 15th is the federal income tax deadline! IRS tax consultant Diane Denton joins Shauna with some very important and helpful last-minute tax tips. President Obama is home from his trip abroad. What did he accomplish and, given the hard economic times facing this country and our state, what more needs to be done here at home? U.S. Representative Charlie Melancon of the 3rd Congressional District will talk about the latest developments. Music has the power to soothe the spirit, inspire the mind, and reach the heart. Donna LaFleur visited a group of ordinary citizens from the CENLA region, who have discovered the joy of song in a meaningful ministry through the Carlow choir.

SWI 3232 April 17, 2009

He's the tough, no nonsense three-star general who headed up the recovery effort after Hurricane Katrina. Lieutenant General Russel Honoré has written a book about how everyone can better prepare for the next storm. The General, now retired, gives a first-hand account to Shauna Sanford of what went on during those critical days after the storm. President George H.W. Bush he traveled to Cameron Parish with Gov. Bobby Jindal this week to review the recovery efforts in southwest Louisiana. Two years ago, the Bush-Clinton Foundation donated $2-million to rebuild South Cameron Memorial Hospital. Bush took a tour of the state-of-the-art hospital he helped rebuild. Louisiana based Marucci Bat Co. and Albin Athletics have joined forces and are poised to take a swing at the $250-million wholesale market of baseball and softball bats. Over 100 major leaguers swing Marucci wooden bats, while Albin aluminum bats have been used most recently in the 2008 Little League World Series.

SWI 3233 April 24, 2009

The 2009 legislative session begins next week and we will take a look at some of the pressing issues Governor Jindal and legislators will face. Charlie Whinham returned from Shreveport to witness the largest student art festival in the South. ArtBreak began twenty-five years ago and showcases the visual, literary and performing arts of over 100 north Louisiana schools. Career coach Dr. Shirley White of Success Images will sit down with Shauna and Charlie to discuss strategies on finding a new career in this ever changing job market.

SWI 3234 May 1, 2009

The 2009 legislative session is underway. Governor Jindal told state lawmakers that there will not be any easy fixes for budget shortfall. So far, he has been successful pushing legislation to help save a poultry plant in north Louisiana and a deal with the New Orleans Saints. Shauna Sanford will have the Capitol Beat wrap-up. Based in Natchitoches, the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts (LSMSA) is celebrating its 25th graduating class this spring. Charlie Whinham attended the high school's annual gala that took LSMSA's best and brightest on a road show to Baton Rouge. The First Annual Governor’s Games Unity Day will be held in Baton Rouge on Saturday, May 2. Unity Day Karate Commissioner John Daniel will join us to talk about the event, in which hundreds of children from around the state will participate.

SWI 3235 May 8, 2009

Some of the topics state lawmakers are considering include increased disclosure of public records in the governor's office, prohibiting dental services in schools, as well as offering solar energy tax credits for Louisiana homes and business. Charlie Whinham recaps happenings at the Capitol. How would you like to see state officials handle the 1.3 billion dollar budget shortfall? Should they cut spending or raise taxes? And what about ethics reform and economic development? Those are some of the questions recently posed to residents statewide by the Louisiana Public Policy Research Lab. Plus, we get the latest update on the Swine Flu from Dr. Frank Welch, Medical Director of Immunizations for the Department of Health and Hospitals.

SWI 3236 May 15, 2009

Shauna Sanford recaps Week 3 at the State Capitol as lawmakers weigh in on equal pay for women and concealed handguns on college campuses, as well as wrestling with the state’s $1.3-billion deficit. The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism is bracing for a 30% budget cut. Charlie Whinham reports the cuts could force CRT to greatly reduce the hours of operations to Louisiana’s 16 state historic sites. Plus, LPB honors eight of the most inspirational young people in the state when “Louisiana Young Heroes” airs Sunday, June 14. We will meet one of those honorees tonight.

SWI 3237 May 22, 2009

Super Bowl incentives, public smoking bans and developing a higher education task force are just some of the issues facing lawmakers this week. Charlie Whinham recaps Week Four at the state capitol. Barry Erwin with the Council for a Better Louisiana will also be in studio to discuss this Legislative session as it nears the mid-way point. Hurricane season will be here before you know it. It's only a couple of weeks away. The time to make plans for your family's safety, in the event of a big storm is now. What are the experts predicting for this year and what important lessons has Entergy learned from Hurricanes Gustav and Ike? Earlier this week Entergy hosted a panel of experts to answer those questions and more. Shauna Sanford will have the details. We salute St. Charles Catholic H.S. senior Zachary Revall who is one of eight LPB Young Heroes of 2009. Young Heroes airs Sunday, June 14th at 3pm.

SWI 3238 May 29, 2009

Shauna Sanford will recap the past week at the state capitol. Lawmakers this week are dealing with issues including defective Chinese dry wall used by Louisiana homeowners, higher GPA requirements for high school student/athletes, as well as Governor Bobby Jindal talking about using “rainy day” funds to mitigate cuts to higher education. Charlie Whinham is off to explore the state parks of Louisiana. This week, he shares the history and culture of the Longfellow-Evangeline State Historic Site in St. Martinville. Some simple steps can help individual and business taxpayers protect financial and tax records in the event of hurricanes and other disasters. Dee Harris with the IRS is our in-studio guest.

SWI 3239 June 5, 2009

Louisiana lawmakers took up proposed legislation ranging from getting tough on parents whose children skip school to increasing the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test in a suspected DWI case. Shauna Sanford has the legislative recap. Charlie Whinham continues to travel the state highlighting Louisiana State Parks and Historic Sites. Join Charlie as he discovers the history and tranquility of Fountainebleau State Park in Mandeville. We honor another winner of our Young Heroes award. Meet Craig Anthony Young of Baton Rouge who has learned to make the most out of life no matter the challenges that come his way.

SWI 3240 June 12, 2009

In this week's Legislative Session, lawmakers have fought hard to raise the price of cigarettes, create a new curriculum and diploma for high school students, and repeal the state motorcycle helmet law. Look back at some of the highlights. Celebrate author James Joyce. See the inspirational stories of two more winners of the Young Heroes award, Helen Meridy of New Orleans and Kristin Slack of Webster Parish.

SWI 3241 June 19, 2009

SWI 3242 June 26, 2009

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