Author

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. He also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Baton Rouge Community College. Among his recognitions are 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. Muller is an alumnus of Jesuit High School and the University of New Orleans and is a veteran U.S. Army paratrooper. He lives in Louisiana with his wife and two sons.

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. […]

Louisiana unemployment trust fund almost out of cash

By: - September 14, 2020

With Congress unable to come together on a bipartisan coronavirus relief package, Louisiana has almost no money left to pay unemployment claims to residents. The federal Lost Wage Assistance benefit, which provided residents an extra $300 per week, has also been depleted.  Near the end of his press conference Monday, Gov. John Bel Edwards said […]

Louisiana’s Phase 3 means some bars are open but last call is early

By: - September 11, 2020

BATON ROUGE — Restaurants, salons, gyms and other establishments, including some bars, will have fewer restrictions as Louisiana transitions to Phase 3 of its coronavirus reopening plan Friday night. Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the new guidelines at a press conference Friday afternoon, stressing that residents should make no significant changes to the cautious routines […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Louisiana to begin Phase 3 on Friday

By: - September 10, 2020

In a press conference Thursday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards announced that the state will move to Phase 3 of its coronavirus response on Friday, lifting some restrictions but leaving the face-mask mandate in place. Phase 3 is expected to loosen some restrictions on businesses, schools and public gatherings, but the governor did not elaborate […]