Terry Brown stands outside his home on the property where his family first settled in Grant Parish in 1817.

Tight-knit Colfax community combats open-burn pit: ‘We are the flush toilet…’

BY: - January 15, 2023

COLFAX, Louisiana – The drive to Terry Brown’s farm is peaceful and scenic no matter which route one takes. The Central Louisiana roadside is lined with woodlands, pecan groves, vast open fields and, nearer to the Browns, a well-kept horse farm. The 71-year-old Colfax native planted 50,000 daffodil bulbs in fields where watermelons and cotton […]

Person rolling a marijuana joint

Motley marijuana laws drive consumers – and revenue – across state lines

BY: - January 10, 2023

SOUTH BELOIT, Illinois — Less than half a mile south of the Wisconsin border in Illinois, the Sunnyside Cannabis Dispensary bustles with activity. Cars with license plates from Wisconsin, Minnesota and other pot-banning states slide in and out of the shop’s expansive parking lot. The bright and airy retail store is an easy hop off […]

An orthopedic specialist examines a patient's knee

More orthopedic physicians sell out to private equity firms, raising cost and quality alarms

BY: - January 8, 2023

Dr. Paul Jeffords and his colleagues at Atlanta-based Resurgens Orthopaedics were worried about their ability to survive financially, even though their independent orthopedic practice was the largest in Georgia, with nearly 100 physicians. They nervously watched other physician practices sell out entirely to large hospital systems and health insurers. They refused to consider doing that. […]

Valerie Jeanmarie poses in front of her home on Benefit Street in New Orleans

For one Section 8 tenant, a struggle to be heard

BY: - January 7, 2023

NEW ORLEANS – Cans of Glade air freshener were clustered on a table by Valerie Jeanmarie’s front door in early January, her usually neat living room crowded with cardboard boxes as she prepared for a move. Jeanmarie has been living in this blue duplex in Gentilly for less than a year, but after a dispute […]

The Louisiana Department of Health is referring doctors and hospitals who have questions about Louisiana's abortion law to the Office of the Attorney General. (

Here’s what you need to know about new workplace protections for pregnant, nursing workers

BY: - January 5, 2023

The $1.7 trillion federal spending bill President Joe Biden signed last week ushers in expanded protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing. Proponents of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and the PUMP for Nursing Mothers Act — both included as amendments to the spending bill — say the measures clarify rights for these workers, […]

past due medical bill

New Orleans plans to erase $130 million in residents’ medical debt

BY: - January 2, 2023

The New Orleans City Council, following the footsteps of other local governments in Cook County, Illinois, and Toledo, Ohio, passed a last-minute line item in early December to the city’s 2023 budget: a $1.3 million expenditure that is earmarked to be used to erase more than $100 million in medical debt for city residents. The […]

child flying a multicolored kite

In child welfare cases, most of your constitutional rights don’t apply

BY: - January 1, 2023

Every year, child protective services agencies across the nation investigate the family lives of roughly 3.5 million children, or about 1 out of every 20 American kids. In these cases, government officials frequently accuse parents of wrongdoing. They enter homes to conduct searches and interrogations, and what they find can be used against the parent […]

Hawley Montgomery-Downs of Morgantown, West Virginia, and daughter Bryn.

After tuition, books, and room and board, colleges’ rising health fees hit a nerve

BY: - December 27, 2022

You’ve compared tuition. Reviewed on-campus housing costs. Even digested student meal plan prices. But have you thought about how much your son’s or daughter’s dream school will charge for health coverage? You might be in for a shock. Hawley Montgomery-Downs was thrilled when daughter Bryn Tronco earned a scholarship that pays half the $63,000 annual […]

Nurses and other staff care for a COVID patient at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland

ER doctors call private equity staffing practices illegal, seek to ban them

BY: - December 26, 2022

A group of emergency physicians and consumer advocates in multiple states are pushing for stiffer enforcement of decades-old statutes that prohibit the ownership of medical practices by corporations not owned by licensed doctors. Thirty-three states plus the District of Columbia have rules on their books against the so-called corporate practice of medicine. But over the […]

Larita Rice-Barnes, Terra Jenkins and April Roby-Bell

Survivors of gangs and gun violence, these women now help others navigate grief

BY: - December 24, 2022

When April Roby-Bell joined the Gangster Disciples in middle school, the street gang treated her like family when she felt abandoned by her own. She was looking for love, acceptance, and stability. “They trained us as little kids. How to own your ’hood, own your street: ‘This is my territory,’” Roby-Bell said. The experience also […]

People gather together in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to ask the McDonald’s corporation to raise workers wages to a $15 minimum wage

Child poverty rates highest in states that haven’t raised minimum wage

BY: - December 23, 2022

Of the 20 states that have failed to raise the minimum wage above the federal $7.25 an hour standard, 16 have more than 12% of their children living in poverty, according to a States Newsroom analysis of wage and poverty data. Anti-poverty advocates say that’s a sign that there’s an urgent need for lawmakers to […]

Terri Ricks

Terri Ricks named permanent secretary for Children and Family Services

BY: - December 21, 2022

Gov. John Bel Edwards has elevated acting Department of Children and Family Service Secretary Terri Ricks to a permanent role, his office announced Wednesday. Ricks has been holding the position since Marketa Walters stepped down last month. Ricks becomes the figurehead for an agency that is under close watch following a series of deaths this […]