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Find the latest breaking news and in-depth features from around Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, right here on 89.9 WWNO.

Episode Date
Short-Term Rental Ordinance Heads To New Orleans City Council
The New Orleans City Council is preparing for a long and emotional debate October 20 on how to deal with short-term rentals. An ordinance is on the table that’s designed to regulate the industry that many credit for letting them make enough money to stay in their homes. Others argue that an abundance of visitors staying in neighborhoods throughout the city is ruining their quality of life.
Oct 06, 2016
New Orleans Struggling To Regulate Short-Term Rentals
Love them or hate them, short-term rentals are booming in New Orleans. On October, the City Council is expected to make its first vote on regulating short-term rentals. It’s considering rules proposed by the City Planning Commission. One of the biggest points of contention is whole-house rentals. Many locals say that when short-term visitors rent whole homes, it changes neighborhoods.
Sep 28, 2016
Recent Floods Lend New Weight To Hurricane Katrina Anniversary
On this eleventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, officials gathered to remember the dead. As WWNO’s Tegan Wendland reports, they held a prayer service and wreath-laying ceremony. This year’s memorial feels especially poignant, as parishes across southern Louisiana reel from devastating floods. Mayor Mitch Landrieu and several city council members were flanked by brass musicians and drummers in a somber procession placed colorful floral wreaths at the base of the mausoleums at the Hurricane Katrina Memorial. It’s in the Historic Charity Hospital Cemetery in Mid City, and opened in 2008, when 98 unidentified bodies were finally laid to rest. Officials honored them, and the nearly 2,000 others, who died because of that storm. City coroner, Jeffrey Rouse, described the shared memories of that day, “Do you remember the ungodly howl of that wind? The pit in your stomach when you saw that water rising on your street? The chill when you heard the levees were breached?” Families across
Aug 29, 2016
Louisiana Ignored Dire Forecasts And Flash Flood Warnings
Tens of thousands in Louisiana were surprised by floods last week. In a changing climate, what more can be done to warn communities that the weather can do things they aren't used to? RACHEL MARTIN, HOST: The devastating floods in Louisiana stretch over 20 parishes. And the Red Cross has said it's the biggest natural disaster in the U.S. since Superstorm Sandy. At least 13 people have died. Tens of thousands of residents of south Louisiana were caught off guard by the water, in spite of dire forecasts and flash flood warnings. Reporter Ryan Kailath of member station WWNO tried to figure out if anything more could have been done to get people to safety. RYAN KAILATH, BYLINE: The night before heavy floods inundated Baton Rouge, Linda Smith saw forecasts calling for up to 15 inches of rain, and she got a flash flood warning. But Smith's neighbors had told her that in 40 years here, their homes had never flooded. So the next day, Smith sat on her porch to watch the rain come down. LINDA
Aug 22, 2016
With Flooded Homes, Louisianans Wonder Where They'll End Up
The cleanup continues after record floods devastated Louisiana. Relief organizations are on the ground in, trying to help thousands of victims of the floods that devastated Baton Rouge. But some in a downtown shelter say it is not enough. Mallory Falk of WWNO found out that many are renters, and some would like to leave the area altogether.
Aug 22, 2016
Mourners Gather In Baton Rouge To Remember Alton Sterling
WWNO is covering the funeral of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. Events open to the public begin 8 a.m. Friday, July 15, with the funeral expected to begin at 11 a.m. Expected guests include Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-New Orleans). The proceedings are being held at the F.G. Clark Center on the campus of Southern University.
Jul 15, 2016
WWNO Reporter Describes Arrest While Covering Baton Rouge Protests
WWNO's Ryan Kailath was arrested Saturday while covering a protest near Baton Rouge police headquarters. The event drew members of the New Black Panther Party. Police in riot gear engaged in a standoff with the group, during which Kailath was one of many arrested and charged with simple obstruction of a highway. WWNO's Eve Troeh spoke with him about what happened.
Jul 11, 2016
Baton Rouge Convulsed By Another Night Of Protests, Scores Arrested
This story is being continuously updated. Protests continued in Baton Rouge Sunday evening, six days after the shooting death of Alton Sterling by a Baton Rouge police officer. Large crowds of protestors collected in several different areas of the city, met by police in riot gear. At least 50 people were arrested. With reporting from Baton Rouge by Jesse Hardman, Tegan Wendland and Bryan Tarnowski.
Jul 11, 2016
Baton Rouge Gathering For Alton Sterling Remains Peaceful
Protests continued in Baton Rouge last night over the police killing of 37-year-old Alton Sterling. WWNO’s Ryan Kailath was there.
Jul 07, 2016
Brexit Effect May Hit New Orleans Region
The international markets are reopening today after Friday’s announcement that the United Kingdom is leaving the European Union. One economic development expert considers how New Orleans will handle what’s ahead.
Jun 27, 2016
Sharon Litwin, Longtime New Orleans Arts Advocate, Dies After Cancer Battle
A driving force behind the arts and cultural communities in New Orleans has passed away.
Jun 27, 2016
New Orleans Seeks Permanent Supportive Housing For Homeless Throughout The City
As New Orleans makes way for more downtown parking, police and health workers conducted another sweep under the Pontchartrain Expressway in March of homeless people living in makeshift encampments of tents and bedding. Eileen Fleming has this report on where they went, how they’re adapting and what the city is planning.
Jun 06, 2016
Google Adds Some Of New Orleans Museum Of Art Collection To High-Resolution Portal
The New Orleans Museum of Art has announced that about 100 pieces from its permanent collection will be available to millions of people through a Google portal.
May 27, 2016
Louisiana State Senate Working To Rectify Budget Before Session Ends
The regular session ends in just two weeks, and the Senate Finance Committee is now grappling with the budget sent over from the House. Governor John Bel Edwards expects a difficult two weeks.
May 25, 2016
New Orleans Amps Up Mosquito Research To Combat Zika
The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has New Orleans on edge. The Gulf Coast is considered the most vulnerable part of the U.S. Mayor Mitch Landrieu has asked Congress for money to fight Zika , as the city continues local efforts to understand the mosquito-borne disease.
May 23, 2016
Orleans Parish School Board Considers Controversial Funding Formula
The Orleans Parish School Board considered a controversial new funding formula last night. The school board meeting was unusually packed with students, parents, teachers and charter CEOs. Many wore lime green T-shirts that said: families and schools for fair funding. To them "fair" means new system that gives schools more money for students with disabilities, English Language Learners, and students who are overage or several years behind. But it gives less for gifted and talented students. Nine-year-old Matthew Guyton and his father Morgan spoke in support of the plan. "I have some challenges with writing," Matthew said. "And I have teachers that help me get better with my writing. And there are some people other than me out there that still are smart but have problems with things." "We have some great teachers at Encore Academy that are helping my son," Morgan said. "But I will say that what we've experienced is that they are overextended and they need more staffing to be able to
Mar 16, 2016
GNO, Inc. Focusing On Government, Public Safety Reforms
The annual meeting of the Greater New Orleans, Incorporated business development group is normally a chance to reflect on success stories and progress. This year’s gathering had a twist, coming by chance on the day after a disappointing budget special session by the state legislature.
Mar 11, 2016
Xavier University Gets New President
Xavier University in New Orleans has a new president. C. Reynold Verret took the position last summer, but the formal inauguration is this week.
Feb 26, 2016
Coast Guard Overseeing 'Pink Sludge' Cleanup In 17th Street Canal
Local, state and national agencies are responding to an oil-related incident in Jefferson Parish over the weekend. Pink sludge was found in the 17th Street Canal and it’s not yet public knowledge how it got there. The Coast Guard is overseeing the cleanup, which is ongoing. It says 900 gallons of waste lubricant came from Delta Petroleum. The company’s website says it blends and packs lubricants and oils. A company spokesman says it notified state police, the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality and the East Jefferson Levee District on Sunday. It has hired OMI Environmental Solutions, an oil spill response organization, to clean it up. John Lopez, with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, says the spill appeared contained. He’s not worried about oily stuff getting into the lake, but says it seems unusual that a spill like this would happen in this area. “You don’t usually expect even these accidental -- or maybe illegal -- discharges to occur along these canals, which
Feb 25, 2016
Louisiana Students Protest Cuts To Higher Education
College students from across Louisiana gathered at the state capitol on Wednesday to protest budget cuts, as the legislature met to discuss the state's budget shortfall. Classes at public universities have been canceled or over-enrolled. Favorite professors have been laid off. And now, predictions of severe cuts to the state's scholarship program, TOPS. Keiyanu Mattocks is supposed to start classes at LSU Alexandria this summer. "Not everybody can pay out of pocket," he says. "I've been working my entire life to get into college. And seeing it like this now, I'm not gonna be able to live out my dreams." Mattocks joined what appeared to be thousands of other students at the rally, which was organized by the Council of Student Body Presidents and state Board of Regents. Governor John Bel Edwards made a brief appearance and reaffirmed his commitment to higher education. "I know that we cannot continue with annual double digit tuition increases," Edwards said. "I do not want to end TOPS. I
Feb 25, 2016