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.

Jamies Winston

Advocate for sexual assault survivors: Why is Louisiana cheering on Jameis Winston?

By: - September 22, 2021

The woman who runs Louisiana’s largest service organization for sexual misconduct survivors is questioning why Louisiana residents feel comfortable cheering on New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston, who has been publicly accused of sexual assault by two women.  “We need to examine the cultural norms which allow someone like Jameis Winston to work for an […]

Hurricane Ida was 'catastrophic' in St. John Parish, Gov. Edwards says

Louisiana governor replaces members of the Baton Rouge area groundwater commission

By: - September 18, 2021

Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed two new members to the 18-person board that regulates groundwater use in the Baton Rouge region, less than three months after rejecting legislation that would have allowed employees from companies who use the groundwater to continue to sit on the commission without penalty.  Alvin Broussard, the public works director and […]

Superdome

New Orleans construction projects see funding restored — for now

By: - September 17, 2021

The Louisiana State Bond Commission approved funding Thursday for over $30 million worth of New Orleans area construction projects and committed to spending $53 million more on city projects a month after blocking the same money over COVID-19 restrictions. Republicans on the bond commission withheld funding for New Orleans projects in August in part because […]

Elayn Hunt

New Orleans teens in detention center were evacuated to adult prison for Hurricane Ida

By: and - September 15, 2021

Thirty-six teenagers housed in the New Orleans juvenile detention center were evacuated to a state adult prison in Iberville Parish ahead of Hurricane Ida, a move that children advocates described as inappropriate and possibly illegal. The New Orleans Juvenile Justice Intervention Center’s director, Kyshun Webster, said Monday that his facility has a longstanding agreement with […]

Louisiana PAC supporting Sen. John Kennedy returns donation from nursing home owner

By: - September 9, 2021

The Conservative Louisiana political action committee (PAC), which supports Republican U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, returned a $25,000 donation from nursing homes owner Bob Dean last week, after media reports that Dean was housing nearly 850 of his nursing home residents in a warehouse during Hurricane Ida. Seven of those nursing home residents died after being […]

Nursing Home Scandal

Louisiana nursing home owner who warehoused patients is a political donor

By: - September 5, 2021

The nursing homes owner who left nearly 850 of his patients in an unsanitary warehouse following Hurricane Ida has been a generous supporter of both Democratic and Republican politicians in Louisiana. State and federal campaign finance records show Bob Dean has given at least $289,000 to candidates since 1994 both as an individual and through […]

Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center

With local hospitals damaged, Louisiana discusses ‘field hospital’ after Ida

By: - September 1, 2021

With four of the five hospitals in Louisiana’s bayou region almost entirely inoperable, state and federal officials are considering setting up a “field hospital” to provide medical care for Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida. Officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Louisiana Department of Health […]

Hurricane Ida

In LaPlace, residents prepare for a long recovery after Hurricane Ida

By: - August 31, 2021

Tiffany Guidry said she’ll always remember the wind from Hurricane Ida.  She rode out the storm Sunday in her house along Airline Highway in LaPlace. On Monday evening, there was still four inches of water surrounding her home and the sno-ball stand that she runs next door. The storm had ripped off parts of the […]

Louisiana starts recovery from Hurricane Ida with limited power, phone service

By: - August 30, 2021

Louisiana citizens started to dig themselves out of the wreckage left by Hurricane Ida Monday while dealing with widespread power failures, sewerage system outages and downed mobile phone service across much of the southeastern region of the state.  Some of the parishes most affected by the powerful storm — including New Orleans — didn’t have […]

Hurricane Ida

Louisiana residents seek shelter from Hurricane Ida

By: and - August 29, 2021

Mildred Webster, a Baton Rouge native, tried to evacuate too late when the city flooded in 2016. She and her family were “just a couple blocks away” from their house when their SUV was caught in the water and Webster’s family had to leave the vehicle behind and “wade through all that water.” “We had […]

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on Hurricane Ida: ‘We’re just getting started’

By: - August 29, 2021

Hurricane Ida will remain dangerous and destructive until at least Monday morning, Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a press conference Sunday afternoon. “We’re just getting started,” he said. The storm came ashore as a Category 4 storm in Port Fourchon on the Louisiana coast just before noon Sunday. With 150 mile-per-hour winds, it is […]

List: Hospital and medical clinic closures due to Hurricane Ida

When Ida meets delta: 5 ways the COVID-19 surge complicates Louisiana’s hurricane response

By: - August 28, 2021

Hurricane Ida is already expected to be a life-altering, Category 4 storm with winds over 100 miles per hour not only along the Louisiana coast but also more inland parts of the state like Baton Rouge and Lafayette.  But this hurricane also poses a bigger threat because it is expected to strike at a time […]