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Refinery Explosions Raise New Warnings About Deadly Chemical

In the predawn hours of June 21, explosions at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in South Philadelphia shook houses, sent fireballs into the air and woke up nearby residents. "Three loud explosions, one after the other, boom, boom boom !" says David Masur, who lives about two miles from the plant and has two young kids. "It's a little nerve-wracking." Masur watched as the refinery spewed black smoke above the city, easily visible from his home. But what he didn't know at the time was...

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Committee Democrats Prepare For Highly Anticipated Robert Mueller Hearings

Updated at 12:45 p.m. ET Members of Congress likely won't confine themselves to former special counsel Robert Mueller's report when they question him next week in two open hearings , staffers said. Mueller, who is reluctant to appear, has said he would confine himself to what he's already written — but the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence won't. "I would expect us to ask some questions that would require answers that are not necessarily in the four corners of the report," an...

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Bruce Schultz / LSU AgCenter

After dodging the bullet with the short-lived Hurricane Barry, we analyze the difference between freshwater flooding and salt water flooding and how aspects of those two different types of flooding can have different impacts on your landscapes.

Nearly two years after the death of LSU student Maxwell Gruver, a jury in Baton Rouge found Matthew Naquin guilty of negligent homicide Wednesday.

Gruver, of Roswell, GA, was beginning his first year at LSU and pledging the Phi Delta Theta fraternity when he died of alcohol poisoning stemming from a hazing ritual. Gruver’s blood alcohol content was 0.495%, well over the Louisiana’s legal driving limit of 0.08%.

A suspect has been arrested in the killing of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, prominent civil rights activist and founder of the African American history museum in Baton Rouge.

Wallis Watkins

As Hurricane Barry was developing in the Gulf of Mexico, so was the race for governor in Louisiana. In light of the storm, Governor John Bel Edwards officially postponed a campaign bus tour across the state. And one of his opponents, Republican congressman Ralph Abraham, followed suit, putting his campaign on pause.

But the lines between natural disasters and politics can be delicate in Louisiana.

Residents and a pair of environmental activist groups are suing St. James Parish over an alleged secret meeting that plaintiffs claim violated Louisiana Open Meetings Law.

Wanhua Chemical US Operation, LLC has proposed construction of a polyurethane facility on a 250 acre tract of land in Convent, Louisiana. On May 20th, 2019, the St. James Planning Commission voted 5-3 to approve the company’s industrial land use application for the site.

The East Baton Rouge Parish coroner released a preliminary autopsy report Monday determining that the death of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, a prominent figure in the Baton Rouge African-American community, was a homicide.

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Beau Clark said in the report that Roberts-Joseph was killed by “traumatic asphyxia, including suffocation.”

Roberts-Joseph was found dead Friday afternoon in the trunk of a car in the 2300 block of North 20th Street in North Baton Rouge, approximately three miles from her Scotlandville home.

Sgt. L’Jean McKneely, a spokesperson for the Baton Rouge Police Department, said officers were directed to “a body inside of a vehicle” by an anonymous caller on their tip line.

Police identified Roberts-Joseph as the victim Saturday morning. Authorities have not identified any suspects.

Even as Hurricane Barry made its way through Louisiana, news of her killing earned national media attention and prompted reactions of shock from City-Parish officials at the unexpected loss.

Last update 10:00 a.m., July 15, 2019

Heavy rain bands from Tropical Depression Barry will continue to affect the southern Louisiana region throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.  Rainfall amounts between 1 to 3 inches are possible and could impact north of Interstate 10 and 12 corridors. 

The threat of flash flooding for the region, including Baton Rouge and New Orleans, remains "slight" according to an advisory released at 4:32 am by the weather service. 

Last update 5:15 p.m., July 12, 2019

Governor John Bel Edwards is urging residents to be ready to ride out Tropical Storm Barry by Friday evening, ahead of the storm’s anticipated landfall early Saturday morning.

[Read more: Why Cantrell says New Orleans isn't getting sandbags ahead of Barry]

Last Update 5:00 p.m., July 11, 2019

The latest forecasts have Tropical Storm Barry making landfall no longer as a hurricane, but as a tropical storm, just west of Morgan City, on Saturday. However, forecasters say the storm could still grow to hurricane force as it approaches the coast.

The main concern is still rain. Most of the New Orleans area can expect 10-15 inches of rain, but some areas could get up to 20 inches. Areas near Morgan City and Houma are predicted to get the worst of the deluge -- 20 to 25 inches.

Updated: 2019-07-10 5:33 p.m. Louisiana School Closures

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WRKF Receives Regional Edward R. Murrow Award

Reporting by WRKF's Wallis Watkins in collaboration with WWNO New Orleans, received a 2019 Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage of Louisiana's non-unanimous jury law.

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