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.

LSU expects report on campus sexual misconduct in February

By: - November 25, 2020

The out-of-state law firm that LSU hired to investigate the university’s sexual misconduct and intimate partner violence procedures started its work Tuesday. The firm, Husch Blackwell, is expected to produce a public report in February. “Accountability matters, and if Husch Blackwell finds that any wrongdoing was done by individuals or the university itself, we will […]

LSU Student Union

Former LSU football star Derrius Guice’s name is redacted from a police report. Should it be?

By: - November 23, 2020

At a state court hearing in Baton Rouge Monday, LSU attorneys repeatedly objected to former college football standout Derrius Guice being brought up by name. They insisted on referring to Guice as “the accused”. But that didn’t stop Samantha Brennan from using Guice’s full name when she was asked who she reported to campus police […]

Row of Angola prison beds

Louisiana prisons hastily pull plug on resuming family visits during COVID-19

By: - November 19, 2020

Louisiana prisons have been preparing for about a month to resume family visits during the week of Thanksgiving after suspending them over eight months ago. But prison officials hastily pulled back on those plans Thursday, saying family visits would no longer take place in a few days.  The prison system is worried about the rising […]

LSU Student Union

LSU declined efforts to help students, sexual assault services group says

By: - November 18, 2020

One of Louisiana’s leading advocacy organizations for sexual assault survivors asked LSU to work more closely with the group for years, but its requests have been mostly ignored, according to the organization.  STAR — which is short for Sexual Trauma Awareness & Response — operates in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Alexandria. The group focuses […]

Cedric Richmond

Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond to join White House, sources say

By: - November 16, 2020

U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond is leaving Congress for a prominent position in President-elect Joe Biden’s White House, said two politically-connected sources in Louisiana who have spoken to Richmond recently. The congressman is expected to discuss his resignation at a press conference he’s called about the “future of the 2nd Congressional District seat” Tuesday morning in […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana governor vetoes changes to the emergency election plan process

By: - November 13, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed Wednesday legislation that would have changed the process for implementing an emergency election plan like the one used over the summer to make it easier to vote during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Edwards said he was uncomfortable with provisions of the bill that would have allowed the Legislature to approve an […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana governor vetoes oil and gas tax break from special session

By: - November 13, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoed Wednesday an oil and gas industry tax break passed by the Louisiana Legislature that would cost the state over $38 million over the next five years. Edwards said the bill contained technical errors that would have created difficulties for the oil well operators it was supposed to help as well […]

Row of Angola prison beds

Louisiana rewards prisoners with $5 for getting flu shot

By: - November 12, 2020

The Louisiana Department of Corrections is giving a $5 prison-canteen credit to inmates who get the flu shot in its state facilities this year — an incentive that is rare, if not unprecedented. “[G]iven the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical we go above and beyond to urge all inmates, who are otherwise able, to take […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana governor leaves most pet projects in state budget

By: - November 6, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards kept almost all of the 118 pet projects Louisiana lawmakers inserted into the budget intact when he signed legislation this week. He vetoed just five items — costing a combined $718,000 — out of the $25.2 million list Wednesday. The governor removed money for Madisonville lighthouse repairs ($250,000), Grant Parish waterworks […]

U.S. Capito

Letlow, Harris prepare for all-Republican runoff in Louisiana’s 5th congressional district

By: - November 5, 2020

Republicans Luke Letlow and Lance Harris are trying to distinguish themselves from each other as they head into a runoff election for Louisiana’s 5th congressional district Dec. 5. Letlow, 40, touts his experience working in politics and government for years. He served as outgoing Congressman Ralph Abraham’s chief of staff and has held other positions […]

Lake Charles voting

Battered by hurricanes and the pandemic, Lakes Charles headed to polls on Election Day

By: - November 4, 2020

Zoe Glaspie wasn’t able to get up and go just down the road to vote like most people this year. She and her family had to drive over two hours and 140 miles to reach their polling location. Glaspie lives in Lake Charles, but for the past month, her family has been crashing with relatives […]

Lamar Davis

Louisiana Governor picks new state police chief as agency grapples with controversies

By: - October 30, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards appointed a new Louisiana State Police superintendent Friday just a few hours before another round of allegations of racism within state trooper ranks surfaced. Captain Lamar Davis, who is Black, will succeed retiring Col. Kevin Reeves, who is White. Davis is a Baton Rouge native who previously worked on highway patrol, […]