Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry

Jarvis DeBerry, former editor of the Louisiana Illuminator, spent 22 years at The Times-Picayune (and later 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.

Hurricane Laura was state’s most powerful storm but not as destructive as it could have been

By: - August 27, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards described Hurricane Laura — which came ashore in Cameron Parish with 150-mile-per hour winds near 1 a.m. Thursday — as “the most powerful storm to ever make landfall in Louisiana.”  Even so, a storm surge that was not as high as predicted and a death toll that, as of Thursday afternoon, […]

Hurricane Laura makes landfall as Louisiana’s strongest storm since 1856

By: - August 27, 2020

Hurricane Laura hit southwest Louisiana near Cameron about 1 a.m. Thursday morning as a Category 4 storm with sustained maximum winds of 150 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center reports. According to records maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, not since 1856 has a storm of that strength struck Louisiana. Around 7 […]

Louisiana extends face mask mandate

Despite positive trends, Louisiana will remain in Phase 2 of its reopening plan

By: - August 26, 2020

Louisiana will remain in Phase 2 of its coronavirus reopening plan until at least Sept. 11, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday.  That means nonessential businesses (such as amusement parks and playgrounds and concert halls) and bars without a food service permit will remain closed indefinitely and essential businesses must continue operating under the current […]

Election Plan Kyle Ardoin

Federal judge sets Sept. 8 hearing regarding Louisiana’s election plans

By: - August 26, 2020

Louisiana residents who have accused Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin of disregarding their safety by not creating an emergency election plan that will allow them to safely vote will have their day in federal court Sept. 8. Ardoin, a Republican,  presented an emergency election plan last week that Republican-led […]

Hurricanes Marco and  Laura to tag team a state already staggering from COVID-19

By: - August 23, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards warned residents across the southern half of the state Sunday to get prepared for an unprecedented “one, two punch” from separate hurricanes spinning toward the Gulf Coast. As the governor spoke Sunday evening, wind gusts from Hurricane Marco, a Category 1 storm, were already being felt in the coastal areas near […]

DEBERRY: Louisiana voters may not get a chance to trust the post office with their ballots

By: - August 20, 2020

It quickly becomes clear when talking with Mary Frances Berry about voting that the former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights doesn’t do talking points.  Four years ago, as we spoke about her book on the lingering practice of vote-buying — she calls it “Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich” — Berry […]

Postmaster pauses major changes at U.S. Postal Service until after election

By: - August 18, 2020

WASHINGTON — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said Tuesday that he will halt a series of sweeping policy changes to the U.S. Postal Service until after the general elections this fall. DeJoy said he will not change overtime rules, retail hours at local post offices, or the location of mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes, […]

FEMA makes Louisiana one of first states to get unemployment aid

By: - August 17, 2020

According to an Saturday, Aug. 15 press release from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor has approved Louisiana to receive its portion of the $44 billion in aid that President Donald Trump has redirected to unemployment assistance. Gaynor has also approved Arizona, Iowa and New Mexico. The president announced four pandemic-related executive […]

Rise St. James fights Formosa, but elected officials don’t

By: - August 14, 2020

The people in St. James Parish who are fighting against the planned construction of a $9.4 billion manufacturing complex planned by Formosa Plastics have waged that fight without the support of any elected officials. No Republicans, who have traditionally been friendly toward big business, have supported them as they’ve tried to keep a project worth […]


DEBERRY: Did the ‘hardworking Louisianians’ that politicians praise up and decide to become less so?

By: - August 13, 2020

You’d be hard pressed to find a politician who hasn’t described the people he or she represents as hardworking.  That modifier is such a part of the political lexicon that it’s rarely noticed.  It’s similar in that regard to the way that every governor claims to lead  “the great state of…whatever.” In political speech, everybody […]

Louisiana legislative auditor shoots down conspiracy theory concerning duplicate COVID-19 cases

By: - August 8, 2020

Last month, the Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office made Facebook posts suggesting that their COVID-19 numbers weren’t bad as state officials were making them out to be  because the lists of infected people that officials in those parishes had been given included some of […]

DEBERRY: Long lines at food pantry illustrate how hungry Louisianians are

By: - August 6, 2020

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act that Congress passed in March includes a provision that gives every family participating in the nation’s food stamps program the maximum amount of benefits for a household its size. But the long lines of motorists and pedestrians who appeared at a food pantry giveaway In New Orleans Wednesday helped […]