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Thurs 6/13 5pm: WRKF's FM/HD broadcast is operating normally following tower maintenance.

‘Utility Bill of the Month’ series explores rising costs of water and power in the Gulf South

Meghan and Will Taylor look over a nearly $20,000 water bill they received last year from the Birmingham Water Works Board on May 31, 2023, in their home in Gardendale, Alabama.
Rasha McChesney
/
Gulf States Newsroom
Meghan and Will Taylor look over a nearly $20,000 water bill they received last year from the Birmingham Water Works Board on May 31, 2023, in their home in Gardendale, Alabama.

There’s a good chance that if you listen to WWNO often, you’ve heard NPR’s Bill of the Month series with Kaiser Health News. They look at one medical bill each month and break down what went wrong. This inspired the Gulf States Newsroom to do something similar with another type of bill that often goes wrong: utility bills.

Wealth and poverty reporter Stephan Bisaha speaks to a couple in Birmingham, Alabama, who received a water bill for $20,000, and learns why water costs often far exceed what residents expect. He also gives us an update on the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Board’s plan to install more smart meters in homes to allow residents to track their water usage. Then, he’s joined by the Gulf States Newsroom’s Deputy Editor, Rashah McChesney, for more information on their upcoming series, Utility Bill of the Month.

The election for the next governor of Louisiana is just six months away, and here on Louisiana Considered, we are bringing you a series of interviews with the candidates.

Today we bring you a conversation with Republican State Treasurer John Schroder. He spoke to the Times-Picayune’s editorial director and columnist, Stephanie Grace,about his long tenure in state politics and what he hopes to accomplish if elected.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Halle Parker. Our managing producer is Alana Schreiber and our digital editor is Katelyn Umholtz. Our engineers are Garrett Pittman and Aubry Procell.

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12:00 and 7:30 pm. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

Louisiana Considered wants to hear from you! Please fill out our pitch line to let us know what kinds of story ideas you have for our show. And while you’re at it, fill out our listener survey! We want to keep bringing you the kinds of conversations you’d like to listen to.

Louisiana Considered is made possible with support from our listeners. Thank you!

Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.