Inhalers and allergy sprays sit on a table in front of Ray Boutte and Susan Hoskins, who live The Rock neighborhood near Colfax.

‘The Rock’ residents once lived off the land. They blame a burn pit for turning it toxic.

BY: - January 28, 2023

GRANT PARISH – Their chickens had leukemia. The Hoskins family, residents of a community outside Colfax known as The Rock, wonder how long they had been eating the eggs of the cancerous birds they raised outside their home. It haunts them. It’s one of the nightmares they and others in The Rock say they have […]

Rural health panel links disparities to poverty, wants to work another year

BY: - January 27, 2023

A state panel that has been studying health disparities in rural Louisiana for the past six months has developed a number of legislative recommendations ahead of its March 1 deadline and will ask lawmakers to let it continue its work for an additional year. The Health Disparities in Rural Areas Task Force, created last year […]

a young child cowers, their face covered with their arms

Louisiana deserves modern mindset on child sexual abuse prevention

BY: - January 26, 2023

It’s always nice to see a piece of bad legislation salvaged and turned into a good law, and that might be what happens with a proposal meant to protect child sexual abuse victims in Louisiana. But there’s a chance it could run into the same anachronistic thinking around criminal justice in our state that’s blunted […]

a syringe, pills and a vial of fentanyl

U.S. House GOP takes aim at fake pills containing deadly fentanyl sold on social media

BY: - January 26, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a June 2020 morning, Amy Neville entered her son’s bedroom to wake him for an orthodontist appointment.  Fourteen-year-old Alex didn’t wake up.  He died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a counterfeit pill he bought from someone he met on Snapchat, Neville told GOP lawmakers Wednesday during a roundtable discussion of the role […]

Water is held in an aerating pond at the Sewerage & Water Board plant in New Orleans.

High levels of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in southeast Louisiana drinking water spur concern

BY: - January 25, 2023

NEW ORLEANS – The Water Collaborative of Greater New Orleans conducted a study last summer on the level of chemicals flowing in the Mississippi River, the central source of drinking water for many communities in southeast Louisiana. The results were not comforting. The researchers found high levels of PFAS, a group of synthetic, potentially harmful […]

Sewerage and Water Board plant

Louisiana legislators approve final $54 million in sewer and water projects

BY: - January 25, 2023

Louisiana lawmakers selected a final round of 19 projects Friday to receive the remaining $54.3 million allocated to local water and sewer system upgrades this year. The largest grants came out to $5 million each, and went to Lafayette, Iberia, Lafourche and Ascension parishes.  In total, Edwards and legislators have devoted $750 million in federal […]

a woman holding a pill in one hand and a glass of water in the other

Federal judge could decide as soon as February to yank abortion pill nationwide

BY: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — A Texas judge could decide as soon as next month whether to force the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pull its two-decade-old approval of the abortion pill, which accounts for more than half of pregnancy terminations in the United States.  A nationwide injunction in the case, as requested by anti-abortion groups, would […]

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on abortion access in Tallahassee, Florida

VP Harris: ‘Can we truly be free if a woman cannot make decisions about her life?’

BY: , , and - January 22, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Florida – In a direct challenge to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to his back yard Sunday to announce that President Joe Biden was signing an executive order designed to guarantee access to abortion rights, including abortion-inducing medications. During a roughly 20-minute address in Tallahassee marking what would have been […]

LSU Clock Tower

Louisiana Higher Ed: Southern-Shreveport picks chancellor finalists, LSU doctor creates sepsis test

BY: - January 20, 2023

The Louisiana Illuminator takes a weekly look at news from universities and colleges around the state. Have a tip or want to submit a Louisiana Higher Ed news item? Contact [email protected] The search committee for the next chancellor of Southern University Shreveport has announced five finalists.  The candidates include Peggy Bradford, previously president of Shawnee […]

Maximus call center workers picket with signs in Hattiesburg

Mass layoffs spark protests at federal call centers in La. and Miss.

BY: - January 20, 2023

Mass layoffs this week at the Maximus federal call centers in Louisiana and Mississippi prompted workers to protest at both locations Friday.  The call center workers are calling for the immediate rehire of their laid-off colleagues or at least eight weeks of severance pay.  Maximus is the nation’s largest federal call center contractor with primary sites […]

Our Lady of the Lake takeover of LSU Student Health Center pushed back

BY: - January 18, 2023

It will take a month longer than planned for the new operator of LSU’s student clinic to take over its services. A campus spokesman attributed the delay to the final approval needed from the LSU Board of Supervisors. Cody Worsham with LSU confirmed Wednesday that Our Lady of the Lake will take over management of the […]

Sharon Weston Broome

U.S. House agriculture leaders discuss anti-hunger measures in upcoming farm bill

BY: - January 18, 2023

WASHINGTON — The new Republican chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee and a top Democrat on the panel on Wednesday laid out anti-hunger initiatives Congress could tackle in the upcoming farm bill. During a panel discussion, Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson of Pennsylvania, the new head of the Agriculture Committee, said he believes members of […]