Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson

Piper Hutchinson is a reporter for the Louisiana Illuminator. She has covered the Legislature and state government extensively for the LSU Manship News Service and The Reveille, where she was named editor in chief for summer 2022.

Library board meetings at book challenge capital of the nation settle into predictable chaos 

By: - August 22, 2023

MANDEVILLE — One year after it received its first book challenge, a Louisiana library system that has received more challenges than any other in America has come to a decision on 17 out of over 100 titles under scrutiny.  At a Monday meeting, the St. Tammany Library Board of Control voted to keep two more […]

LSU reverses course, will raise pay for all doctorate-seeking graduate assistants 

By: - August 21, 2023

In a reversal, LSU announced it will offer pay raises to all Ph.D. degree-seeking graduate assistants, after initially excluding about 200 students on grants.  LSU announced in February it would raise its minimum pay for all graduate assistants on the track to receive doctorates to $23,000 per academic year — the highest among schools in […]

The Memorial Tower on LSU's campus in Baton Rouge

Budget cuts like those at West Virginia have happened in Louisiana. Could they happen again? 

By: - August 20, 2023

Both sprawling, public land-grant flagship universities in two of the poorest states in the nation, Louisiana State University and West Virginia University are more similar than you’d think.  It’s why higher education observers in Louisiana are watching the slashing of WVU’s budget with trepidation.  Faced with a budget crisis caused by declining enrollment and a […]

LSU’s Memorial Tower

LSU awarded millions from federal government to study carbon capture

By: - August 17, 2023

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded nearly $5 million to an LSU-led consortium to study the feasibility of building a carbon capture hub in Louisiana.  The Pelican Consortium, which includes Shell and the University of Houston, will evaluate the potential for scaling up and deploying multiple carbon capture technologies. “Collaborative carbon removal research like […]

A one story building is shaded by an oak tree. In front of the building is a purple sign that notes it as the LSU Student Health Center

Most Louisiana universities stick with relaxed COVID precautions amid pre-semester surge 

By: - August 16, 2023

Amid another surge in cases of COVID-19, just one public Louisiana university will require students returning to campus for the fall semester to be vaccinated against the disease.  LSU Shreveport will require students to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, but the main LSU campus in Baton Rouge and LSU Alexandria will not require it. LSU Shreveport […]

A sign directs people to the Louisiana State Archives building for election qualifying Aug. 9, 2023, in Baton Rouge.

Louisiana insurance commissioner race decided after candidate withdraws

By: and - August 16, 2023

One of two candidates for Louisiana insurance commissioner has dropped out of the race, giving the lone remaining candidate an automatic victory. WDSU-TV first reported Rich Weaver, a Democrat from Ascension Parish, would drop out of the race, citing a potential challenge to his candidacy. That leaves Tim Temple, a Baton Rouge Republican, as the commissioner-elect.  […]

The sun shines brightly on Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022, above the University of New Orleans entrance sign on Lakeshore Drive.

Louisiana governor declares state of emergency for extreme heat

By: - August 14, 2023

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Monday due to record-breaking extreme heat. “This summer, the National Weather Service has issued a record number of excessive heat warnings for Louisiana,” Edwards said in a press release. “The Louisiana Department of Health reports that the state has already exceeded the average number of […]

Gubernatorial candidate Stephen Waguespack answers a question Wednesday, April 26, 2023, at the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana forum held at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.

Waguespack and Nelson officially join field for Louisiana governor 

By: - August 10, 2023

With the entrance of the last two expected candidates for governor Thursday, Louisiana’s Oct. 14 primary election shapes up to be a showdown with frontrunner Jeff Landry, a field of Republican challengers who hope to jump him in the polls and Democrat Shawn Wilson. Trailing closest behind Landry is Stephen Waguespack, a well-funded Republican who […]

Longtime New Orleans elected official makes surprise entry to Louisiana Secretary of State race 

By: - August 10, 2023

Less than one year after he announced his retirement from his near four decade-long career in politics, longtime New Orleans politician Arthur Morrell made a splash by deciding to run for Secretary of State in the final hours of qualifying.  “The most important thing is the bedrock for our democracy, and that’s the vote, the […]

Solicitor General Liz Murrill speaks to the press Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2023, after qualifying for the attorney general’s race at the Louisiana State Archives building in Baton Rouge.

Field for Louisiana attorney general includes 3 Republicans, surprise Democrat 

By: - August 9, 2023

The Louisiana Republican Party-endorsed candidate for attorney general qualified Wednesday for this fall’s election, as did a surprise Democratic candidate who appears to have state party support for her run.  Liz Murrill, solicitor general for current Attorney General Jeff Landry, officially placed her name on the ballot. She has consistently led the campaign in fundraising […]

Louisiana treasurer race 2023

Election 2023: 3 candidates sign up to run for Louisiana state treasurer

By: and - August 9, 2023

Two Republicans and one Democrat signed up Tuesday to run for state treasurer of Louisiana, a position with limited authority that has nevertheless catapulted people such as John Kennedy and Mary Landrieu to more prestigious elected offices. Former Congressman John Fleming of Minden and state Rep. Scott McKnight, of Baton Rouge are Republicans. Financial adviser […]

A man speaks at a podium while a woman stands next to him

On Day 1 of qualifying, Louisiana candidates slam business as usual — and one another 

By: - August 8, 2023

“M-O-N-E-Y.”  That’s what drives the “corruption and cronyism” at the capitol, state Treasurer John Schroder, a Republican, told the press as he qualified to run for governor, a position he says he will use to run the state in an honest and transparent manner.  But when asked for an example of the cronyism he’s campaigning […]