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 | 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.

Louisiana Bond Commission delays refinancing of state debt over ‘gun rights’ questions

By: - October 22, 2021

Louisiana’s State Bond Commission delayed the refinancing of $700 million worth of the state’s debt Thursday over questions about whether the bank selected to handle the business was friendly enough to people who want to own military-style weapons. State Treasurer John Schroder, who leads the bond commission, pulled two items off the group’s agenda that […]

Tax reform would reduce tax rates and enact tax cut triggers

Shreveport region risks losing elected seats in Louisiana’s political redistricting

By: - October 22, 2021

SHREVEPORT, La. – Northwest Louisiana residents urged state lawmakers Thursday to draw political boundaries that allow their region to retain the same number of political seats it currently has for the next decade — a challenging task given the area’s population loss. The residents spoke during a public hearing at LSU-Shreveport set up by the […]

Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Louisiana osteopathic medical school settles with students over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

By: - October 19, 2021

A northeast Louisiana osteopathic medical college and three of its students who did not want to be vaccinated against COVID-19 have reached a settlement that ensures the students won’t be kept out of classes they need to graduate, according to settlement documents filed in federal court Tuesday.  U.S. District Judge Terry A. Doughty signed off […]

Bob Dean Warehouse

Who’s responsible for Louisiana’s nursing home evacuation plans? State officials won’t say

By: - September 30, 2021

Louisiana state government does little to screen the nursing home natural disaster evacuation plans required by law or to ensure that nursing homes carry out those plans as written, according to several state government officials and records released by the Louisiana Department of Health this month. The health department reviews the nursing home evacuation plans, […]

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 […]


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 […]