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.

Hurricane Delta moves toward Louisiana

By: - October 7, 2020

The National Weather Service in New Orleans has predicted Hurricane Delta to make landfall in South Louisiana Friday as a Category 3 storm. Although Delta reached Category 4 strength on Tuesday, it weakened as it struck the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico Wednesday morning and was later downgraded to a Category 2 in the afternoon. Nevertheless, […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Multiple tax-cut bills pass the Louisiana House Tuesday

By: - October 7, 2020

The Louisiana House of Representatives passed several tax bills Tuesday including one that gives $157 million in tax breaks to oil companies, another that establishes a state sales-tax holiday and a third that offers a modest income tax credit to residents who pay for tutoring for college students taking classes online. House Bill 29, filed […]

House passes qualified immunity bill

Lawmakers vote to give $157 million to oil companies and bypass school boards

By: - October 6, 2020

A Louisiana House of Representatives Committee narrowly passed a bill Monday that muddies the state’s corporate tax exemption laws by creating a potential loophole that could allow companies to bypass some local entities when seeking property tax credits. Furthermore, in a separate bill, the same lawmakers voted to give away $157 million in additional tax credits […]

Family of Black man killed by Lafayette police complain of information ‘kept under the rug’

By: - October 5, 2020

The family of Trayford Pellerin, the 31-year-old Black man who was fatally shot 10 times by Lafayette police on Aug. 21, spoke to the public in a virtual town hall Thursday hosted by the ACLU of Louisiana. They shared new details about Pellerin’s mental health and the status of the family’s lawsuit against the city. […]

Sharon Hewitt

Bill that would block governor’s ability to veto emergency election plan passes committee

By: - September 30, 2020

A state senate committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would eliminate the governor’s veto power on proposed emergency election plans. Senate Bill 20, introduced by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, would establish an “Emergency Election Commission” made up of eight legislators (at least two Republicans and two Democrats), the secretary of state, and the governor. Each […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana legislators postpone revenue estimating deadline to squeeze out another of unemployment benefits

By: - September 29, 2020

Louisiana’s lawmakers are faced with a nearly-depleted unemployment trust fund and laws that trigger automatic tax hikes to replenish the fund. They’re also staring at a looming statutory deadline to estimate next year’s revenue. Faced with that dilemma, state legislators on Tuesday chose to move that statutory deadline to buy themselves more time and to maintain […]

LA election plan

Senate bill seeks to reduce governor’s power on election plans

By: - September 29, 2020

A bill filed Monday by Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, seeks to remove the governor’s veto authority on any future emergency election plans approved by the Louisiana Legislature. Current state statute provides that the Secretary of State submits an emergency election plan to the Legislature. The Legislature then votes on it, and if it passes, the […]

White Police chief in videotaped beating of Black man was never investigated for his role in attack

By: - September 29, 2020

CORRECTION: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Edwin Bergeron’s brother is on the civil service board. Although they share the same last name, they are not related. HAMMOND — Police Department internal affairs documents show Chief Edwin Bergeron was never investigated for the 2017 beating of Kentdrick Ratliff, undermining statements made by […]

capacity restrictions

New Orleans allows go-cups amid Phase 2 restrictions

By: - September 25, 2020

In the latest easing of Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell announced Friday that restaurants may resume serving alcoholic drinks via drive-through, takeout and curbside pickup options between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. The new guideline took effect at 5 p.m. on Friday and applied to all restaurants within Orleans Parish, according […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana police reform task force looks to NOPD for training model

By: - September 23, 2020

Members of the legislative Police Training and De-escalation Task Force met with two New Orleans Police officers on Tuesday to discuss a training program that requires officers to intervene when witnessing a colleague’s misconduct. The program recently received backing from Georgetown University’s law school and is being considered for statewide adoption.  NOPD Deputy Chief Paul […]

Lafayette used cybersurveillance on activists and nonprofits amid strange warning of ‘terrorism’

By: - September 22, 2020

In the days leading up to Lafayette’s largest protests against the fatal shooting of Trayford Pellerin by police, authorities used a cybersurveillance agency to keep tabs on community activists and nonprofit groups that had public-awareness or political-related events scheduled that weekend, according to documents obtained by the Louisiana Illuminator.  On Aug. 28, email messages sent […]

LA election plan

Federal judge: Ongoing pandemic means Louisiana must use emergency election plan for November, December elections

By: - September 16, 2020

Voters who expressed concern that voting in person would put them or their loved ones at risk of getting sick with COVID-19 won a major court victory Wednesday when a federal judge in Baton Rouge ruled that a Republican-supported election plan denying such accommodations imposed an unconstitutional and “undue burden” on the right to vote. […]