Wesley Muller

Wesley Muller

Wes Muller traces his journalism roots back to 1997 when, at age 13, he built and launched a hyper-local news website for his New Orleans neighborhood. In the years since then, he has freelanced for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and worked on staff at the Sun Herald in Biloxi, WAFB-9News CBS in Baton Rouge, and the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi.

A Chauvin house lies in ruins after Hurricane Ida in August 2021.

Donelon backs ‘tort reform’ for homeowner’s insurance

By: - March 24, 2023

After pushing so-called tort reform legislation in 2020 that failed to reduce auto insurance rates, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is backing a similar proposal this year to benefit homeowner insurance companies.  During a town hall meeting Monday, Donelon said he would “absolutely” support a proposal that would make it harder and more expensive for […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards and Shawn Wilson

Plans still shaky for BR-NOLA passenger rail

By: - March 22, 2023

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has about two weeks left to draft its initial plans for a proposed passenger rail line between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.  Act 764, which lawmakers passed last year, calls for DOTD to prepare the scope, schedule and budget to secure all necessary approvals and permits to begin […]

Row of solar panels

Solar microgrids planned for Shreveport neighborhoods

By: - March 20, 2023

Community leaders in Caddo Parish are proposing solar microgrids for neighborhoods around Shreveport to give residents places to shelter during disasters.  North Louisiana Interfaith, a coalition of congregations and community groups in the northern part of the state, joined with local and state officials Monday to announce plans for four Community Lighthouses in the Shreveport […]

Can of Folgers coffee on grocery store shelf

Judge rules against coffee giant in tax exemption lawsuit

By: - March 17, 2023

An Orleans Parish judge lifted an injunction in the Folgers Coffee Co. tax exemption lawsuit, allowing local taxing authorities to bill the company for an estimated $5.1 million. Prompted by a decision Gov. John Bel Edwards made Monday to reject the coffee giant’s final appeals for six Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) applications, Orleans Civil […]

Close-up of open laptop computer

Louisiana utility regulators increase cybersecurity spending with questionable contractor

By: - March 17, 2023

The Louisiana Public Service Commission has agreed to pay more money to a contractor with questionable ties to one of its members. The commission unanimously approved budget increases Wednesday of $73,450 and $68,750 on two cybersecurity contracts awarded to the McQ Group, a company owned by former attorney Scott McQuaig. McQuaig has personal and professional […]

Eye doctors’ group mooched off state optometry board for 7 years, audit finds

By: - March 16, 2023

A state audit released Wednesday details how the Louisiana State Board of Optometry Examiners (LSBOE) allowed a private optometrist organization to use public resources for years in a potential violation of state law. Records from the board blame its former secretary for mingling state money with the private group’s funds and approving his own license […]

Justice Scales and books and wooden gavel

Legislators unwilling to change law that ignores court judgments

By: - March 15, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers declined to recommend changes to a law that lets cities and parishes refuse to pay judgments against them in court. In a 7-3 decision Tuesday, the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure recommended no changes be made to a provision in the Louisiana Constitution that says state agencies and any political subdivisions […]

Governor rejects Folgers Coffee Co.’s tax exemptions in state’s final decision

By: - March 13, 2023

Gov. John Bel Edwards has rejected a state board’s decision to grant Folgers Coffee Co. millions in property tax exemptions, restoring the initial decisions local taxing authorities in New Orleans made. Edwards issued a statement Monday saying his denial of Folgers’ applications under the state’s Industrial Tax Exemption Program (ITEP) will be made official after […]

Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services Secretary Terri Ricks

DCFS secretary notes progress in hiring child welfare workers

By: - March 8, 2023

Louisiana’s child welfare agency has made significant gains in hiring new people to restaff its overburdened workforce after a difficult year of tragic missteps, according to its leader. Secretary Terri Ricks told state lawmakers Wednesday that the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has hired 326 full-time workers since July, increasing its total staff […]

A three-story Catholic school building with an adjoining parking lot

Private school tax credit is a ‘charitable facade’ for the rich, study says

By: - March 8, 2023

A new study found that Louisiana’s private school voucher tax credit is siphoning money from public education and serving as a tax shelter for the wealthy rather than encouraging charitable donations.  In a report published Tuesday, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy analyzed various school voucher tax credits in multiple states and found them […]

House speaker blames health department for illegal hemp products

By: - March 7, 2023

One of Louisiana’s top lawmakers is sparring with state health officials, blaming them for confusion that has led to the legalization of hemp products that can get people high. The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has offered a proposal to address the matter, but some question whether it is actually necessary. Republican House Speaker Clay […]

Louisiana’s Revenue Department acknowledges slight miscalculation

By: - March 6, 2023

The Louisiana Department of Revenue (LDR) has confirmed an audit that shows it incorrectly reported the state’s 2022 tax receipts in its annual fiscal report, according to a recent audit. The errors amounted to a small percentage of the state’s total budget. The Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office released a report Monday that stated LDR understated […]