Author

Wes Muller

Wes 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. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Much of his journalism has involved reporting on First Amendment issues and coverage of municipal and state government. He has received recognitions including McClatchy's National President's Award, the Associated Press Freedom of Information Award, and the Daniel M. Phillips Freedom of Information Award from the Mississippi Press Association, among others. Muller is a New Orleans native, a Jesuit High School alumnus, a University of New Orleans alumnus and a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Ponchatoula, Louisiana, with his two sons and his wife, who is also a journalist.

326,000 remain in dark two days after Hurricane Zeta

By: - October 30, 2020

Two days after Hurricane Zeta hit the state with 110 mph winds, an estimated 326,000 customers in Louisiana remained without electricity Friday morning, down from a peak outage of more than half a million. A large percentage of those outages are in Jefferson Parish, where about 72 percent remained without power, Gov. John Bel Edwards […]

Polling places may be relocated due to Zeta

By: - October 29, 2020

State and local officials are working to figure out how much damage Hurricane Zeta caused to polling locations across Southeast Louisiana and if any need to be relocated ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election.  The Category 2 storm made landfall in Cocodrie, an unincorporated fishing village in Terrebonne Parish about 85 miles southwest of New Orleans. […]

Louisiana State Police chief retires amid scandals

By: - October 27, 2020

The head of Louisiana State Police, Superintendent Col. Kevin Reeves, will retire at the end of this week. The 30-year veteran will leave an agency that has been embroiled in scandals for several years.  The governor said he plans to name Reeves’ successor in the coming days. The announcement comes on the heels of revelations […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

To preserve COVID-19 emergency powers, Gov. Edwards goes to court

By: - October 26, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards filed a motion in court Monday against the Louisiana House of Representatives in response to a petition signed by House Republicans who are determined to overturn the governor’s public health emergency declaration.The state’s COVID-19 Phase 3 restrictions remain “in full force and effect,” Edwards said, despite statements from Attorney General Jeff […]

Governor vetoes bill that sought to prohibit election grant money

By: - October 26, 2020

Gov. John Bel Edwards said Monday that he has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited local election officials from using nonprofit grant money to pay for election-related expenses.  House Bill 51, introduced by Rep. Blake Miguez, R-Erath, sought to prohibit registrars of voters and clerks of court from accepting grant money from private individuals […]

Governor vetoes election grants bill — again

Gov. Edwards is sent a bill that creates a new way of crafting emergency election plans and doesn’t diminish his power

By: - October 23, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature passed a bill Friday that changes the way the state adopts an emergency election plan and allows for some extra accommodations for early voting during such emergencies. Senate Bill 20, introduced by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, allows the secretary of state to present multiple versions of an emergency election plan to a […]

Emissions data from LSU serves reality check to Climate Task Force

Bill passes offering $48 million in tax breaks to oil and gas industry

By: - October 22, 2020

The Louisiana Legislature passed a bill Wednesday that would give an estimated $48 million in tax exemptions to the oil and gas industry. House Bill 29, introduced by Rep. Phillip DeVillier, R-Eunice, would suspend a 12.5 percent severance tax that companies pay on oil and gas extracted from abandoned orphan wells, newly-drilled wells, or old […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

House passes bill that would codify clergy’s right to visit nursing homes

By: and - October 21, 2020

The Louisiana House passed a bill Wednesday morning that would prevent the state health department from restricting members of the clergy from visiting patients in nursing homes and other healthcare facilities during public health emergencies such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the clergy have been able to visit nursing homes since the early days […]

Tax-swap package now left to Louisiana voters

Legislation approved to stop drops in unemployment benefits

By: - October 20, 2020

Thanks to new legislation that passed both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature, weekly unemployment benefits for laid-off workers will remain at current rates, and businesses will not be subjected to a tax hike to replenish the state’s depleted unemployment trust fund. Lawmakers approved Senate Concurrent Resolutions 5 and 9, which stop unemployment benefits from decreasing […]

Sharon Hewitt

Bill is overhauled to streamline emergency election plans and expand early voting

By: - October 20, 2020

A bill that initially would have removed the governor’s power to veto emergency election plans underwent wholesale changes Tuesday with an amendment that would retain the governor’s veto power and streamline the process Louisiana uses to provide special accommodations for voters during an emergency. The bill also seeks to expand early voting locations. With no […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

Bill to prohibit schools from giving names of contagious students to health department stalls on House floor

By: - October 19, 2020

Louisiana House lawmakers spent much of Monday afternoon debating a bill that would prohibit schools from reporting the names of  students who have infectious diseases to the Louisiana Department of Health. After that debate, a sizable majority of the House members decided to redirect the bill back to the House Health & Welfare Committee. House […]

House labor committee rejects bill that would punish misclassification of employees

By: - October 16, 2020

House lawmakers on Thursday rejected a bill designed to prevent businesses from skirting state taxes by fraudulently misclassifying employees as independent contractors. House Bill 34, sponsored by Rep. Mandie Landry, D-New Orleans, sought to bring Louisiana in line with the rest of the country by allowing the Labor Department to fine businesses that fraudulently pay workers […]