Author

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O'Donoghue

Julie O’Donoghue is a senior reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator and producer of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast. She’s received awards from the Virginia Press Association and Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press. Julie covered state government and politics for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune for six years. She’s also covered government and politics in Missouri, Virginia and Washington D.C. Julie is a proud D.C. native and Washington Capitals hockey fan. She and her partner, Jed, live in Baton Rouge. She has two stepchildren, Quinn and Steven.

Joe Burrow of the LSU Tigers looks to throw a pass against the Clemson Tigers during the College Football Playoff National Championship game at the Superdome on Jan. 13, 2020 in New Orleans.

Louisiana officials use campaign cash to buy LSU, Saints tickets

By: - October 4, 2022

Editor’s note: This story is the first in a two-part series that looks into the spending of campaign money on sports tickets. The second installment will be published Wednesday. If you’re looking for tickets to an LSU or Saints game this year, you might want to ask an elected official for help.  Forty-nine Louisiana politicians spent […]

Louisiana won’t say when incarcerated youth might go to Angola, citing ‘security reasons’

By: - October 2, 2022

Citing security concerns, Louisiana’s Office of Juvenile Justice won’t say when certain incarcerated young people in its custody might move to a refurbished building on the grounds of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. “The Office of Juvenile Justice is making sure that if and when any transfers take place, they are done so in […]

Lake Charles after Laura

Louisiana sends help to Florida as Hurricane Ian makes landfall

By: - September 28, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards announced Wednesday that Louisiana has sent National Guard units to Florida to help with Hurricane Ian, which hit Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday at almost Category 5 strength. “I have spoken with Governor DeSantis and instructed our state agencies to offer resources, personnel and expertise to Florida officials,” Edwards said in a […]

How much help should Louisiana crime victims get? State board looks at restrictions

By: - September 27, 2022

Crime victim advocates thought they had scored a big victory in June when Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a new law granting more flexibility and bigger awards out of Louisiana’s crime victims reparations fund.  But members of the state board who oversee the money are uncomfortable with the changes and considering new regulations to limit […]

Federal judge allows Louisiana to move incarcerated teens to Angola

By: - September 23, 2022

A federal judge will not stop Louisiana from moving incarcerated teens in the state’s juvenile justice system to a building on the grounds of one of the largest maximum security adult prisons in the country. “While locking children in cells at night at Angola is untenable, the threat of harm these youngsters present to themselves, […]

water meter

Hundreds of Louisiana water and sewer systems seek funding from state

By: - September 19, 2022

More than 335 local water and sewage systems in Louisiana have asked the state for a total of $954 million in financial assistance – more than twice the amount the state has to give. For the fortunate ones that receive money, their customers could have to pay higher bills. Gov. John Bel Edwards and state […]

Bob Dean warehouse

Louisiana nursing home owners seek changes to proposed state regulations from Hurricane Ida

By: - September 19, 2022

Nursing home owners are pushing back on proposed changes to state regulations governing their emergency operations.  Louisiana is expected to update its nursing home rules later this month, a little over a year after a botched evacuation of hundreds of nursing home residents during Hurricane Ida ended with people dead and hospitalized.  Mark Berger, executive […]

Louisiana monkeypox vaccinations surpass 7,770 first doses

By: - September 15, 2022

Louisiana has given 7,754 first doses of the monkeypox vaccine and fully vaccinated 2,341 people, which requires two shots about a month apart, as of Wednesday.   Most of the vaccinations – 4,899 of the doses – have been administered in New Orleans or its surrounding parishes. It’s also the area with the largest number of […]

Louisiana could face staffing shortage in moving incarcerated teens to Angola

By: - September 13, 2022

Louisiana will likely face challenges in hiring the guards, medical personnel, teachers and therapists and it needs for a new, controversial juvenile justice secure care facility it plans to open later this year at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola.  Officials have said inadequate staffing has contributed to riots, escapes and violence at the state’s other […]

Louisiana’s most troubled teen offenders statewide could be moved to Angola

By: - September 8, 2022

Incarcerated youth from across the state deemed the most troubled and aggressive could be moved to a building on the grounds of the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, one of the country’s largest and most notorious maximum security prisons for adults. Their relocation from existing juvenile correctional centers, where violence, escapes and staffing issues have […]

Louisiana expands eligibility for monkeypox vaccine

By: - September 1, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday expanded the list of people who are eligible to receive the monkeypox vaccine after the state received 6,000 additional doses from the federal government.   Health care providers are now allowed to give the vaccine to any person who they deem high risk. Initially, the vaccine was mostly limited […]

a fence topped with barbed wire

Louisiana breaks ground on new women’s prison

By: - September 1, 2022

Louisiana broke ground Thursday on a new $149 million women’s prison in St. Gabriel meant to replace a correctional facility damaged during widespread flooding in the Baton Rouge area in 2016.  The new building will have enough beds for 938 people and have more space for vocational training and rehabilitation classes than the old prison, […]