Author

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, former editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later NOLA.com) as a crime and courts reporter, an editorial writer, columnist and deputy opinions editor. He was on the team of Times-Picayune journalists awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service after that team’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the deadly flood that followed. In addition to the shared Pulitzer, DeBerry has won awards from the Louisiana Bar Association for best trial coverage and awards from the New Orleans Press Club, the Louisiana/ Mississippi Associated Press and the National Association of Black Journalists for his columns. A collection of his Times-Picayune columns, “I Feel to Believe” was published by the University of New Orleans Press in September 2020.

Lawsuit accuses Louisiana of insufficient emergency plans for upcoming elections

By: - August 4, 2020

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed suit against the state of Louisiana Monday, accusing state officials of a “failure to ensure all eligible voters can vote safely in the upcoming elections amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.”  Specifically, the Legal Defense Fund challenges the state’s restrictions on eligibility for mail-in ballots and its reduction in the […]

Louisianians collecting unemployment now expected to look for work

By: - August 3, 2020

The Louisiana Workforce Commission released a video Monday afternoon informing Louisianians receiving unemployment benefits that they are now expected to search for three jobs a week in order to remain qualified for  unemployment insurance. Looking for work while on unemployment is a part of the normal, pre-pandemic rules that had been suspended while the novel […]

Advocacy groups want emergency election plan from Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin

By: - August 3, 2020

Twenty-eight advocacy groups, including the NAACP, Voice of the Experienced and the Power Coalition for  Equity and Justice sent a letter to Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin last week asking that he develop a election emergency plan that will allow for maximum voter participation amidst the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic. In their letter to […]

Louisiana’s gig workers can still get a fraction of the unemployment help they’d been getting

By: - July 30, 2020

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program has expired, which means that the federal government has stopped adding $600 to the unemployment benefits provided by the states.  But contrary to what was previously reported in the Illuminator, that does not mean that gig workers in Louisiana, who are ineligible for state benefits, will see their checks […]

COMMENTARY

How long will it take America to move from ‘Pandemic to Prosperity?’

By: - July 29, 2020

It wasn’t long after Hurricane Katrina and the flood that followed that the New Orleans Index became an invaluable resource to people with an interest in the city and its slow — often painstaking — progress toward recovery.  Neither the hurricane or the water it pushed into the city could have discriminated against anybody, but […]

If $600 checks from Washington disappear, unemployed workers will have to make do with state’s amount

By: - July 28, 2020

CORRECTION: A new Illuminator story has been published explaining that self-employed workers in Louisiana are entitled to a fraction of the $600 they’d been getting and, therefore, won’t see their checks fall to zero.  Also, the headline of this story has been edited for accuracy.   The expiration of the $600 supplement that the federal […]

Formosa agrees to defer major St. James Parish construction until February

By: - July 27, 2020

Formosa Plastics will not proceed with any major construction on a $9.4 billion plastics manufacturing complex it plans for the west bank of St. James Parish before February, according to a stipulation agreement it signed with the plant’s opponents Thursday.  Those opponents had complained to a federal court in Washington, D.C., that Formosa should not […]

COVID-19 cases are straining the state’s healthcare capacity, Gov. Edwards warns

By: - July 24, 2020

As the state of Louisiana reached a grim milestone of more than 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, Gov. John Bel Edwards and officials from the two biggest hospitals in Acadiana said Thursday that the surging number of cases, including among health-care workers, is putting Louisiana at risk of running out of staff to treat incoming […]

Special redistricting session appears on after 5th Circuit removes stay

Court ruling striking split-jury verdicts should mean the release of inmates convicted that way, their attorneys say

By: - July 23, 2020

Using the term “Jim Crow juries” to describe the divided panels that sent an untold number of Louisianians to life imprisonment, the Promise of Justice Initiative announced Wednesday that it’s pushing for the retroactive application of an April U.S. Supreme Court ruling that declared split juries in felony trials unconstitutional. Between 1898 and 2019, Louisiana allowed […]

COMMENTARY

An unemployment fiscal cliff lies ahead; will Congress continue $600 federal aid?

By: - July 21, 2020

It was surprising Thursday evening to hear an aide for U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins express such concern and support for Louisianians who say they’ve been making do with the unemployment benefits they’ve been getting but fear they’ll be put outdoors if the larger, federal share of those checks is cut. Louisiana Republicans haven’t exactly oozed […]

Louisiana extends face mask mandate

Louisiana’s face-mask order gets push back from multiple sources across the state

By: and - July 17, 2020

Governor John Bel Edwards’ new mask mandate is getting push back and resistance from officials, businesses and attorneys across Louisiana. A Jefferson Parish law firm is even offering to represent, at no cost, businesses that are reprimanded for violating the mask mandate. Stephen Petit, an attorney and founder of Petit Law Firm in Harahan, on his […]

Jeff Landry sues ULM med school over vaccine mandate

Attorney General Jeff Landry says governor’s face-mask mandate can’t be enforced

By: - July 16, 2020

Two days after Gov. John Bel Edwards’ order that shuts down bars and mandates face coverings went into effect, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who has often clashed with Edwards,  issued an official opinion that the governor’s order “does not pass the constitutional test” and “cannot be enforced with criminal or financial sanctions.” In a […]