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The Illuminator podcast is a weekly show focused on Louisiana state politics and government. We talk to elected officials, experts, community leaders and regular people about the biggest issues facing our state.
Feb 23, 2021
Illuminator Podcast: Louisiana Congressional Candidate Julia Letlow
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Julia Letlow, who is running for Congress in Louisiana's 5th District. Letlow is the widow of Congressman-elect Luke Letlow, who died of COVID-19 in December.
Feb 11, 2021
Illuminator Podcast: Louisiana Congressional Candidate Karen Carter Peterson
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews candidate Karen Carter Peterson about running for Congress in Louisiana and Baton Rouge.
Jan 26, 2021
A Baton Rouge doctor talks about treating COVID-19 patients in the ICU
Ryan Richard, a critical care specialist in Baton Rouge, talks about treating COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit.
Jan 15, 2021
Illuminator Podcast: What one expert on sexual assault thinks of the LSU scandal
Racheal Hebert, head of the Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response organization, discusses the recent LSU sexual assault scandal and Louisiana's approach to sexual assault services in general.
Jan 8, 2021
Illuminator podcast: How a Louisiana church is recovering from hurricanes
Julie O’Donoghue interviews Rev. James Gaddy of St. Mary of the Lake Catholic church in Cameron Parish about the church's hurricane recovery.
Dec 22, 2020
Illuminator Podcast: Louisiana's "last" constitution
Julie O'Donoghue explores what it took to put together Louisiana's current constitution in 1973 and 1974 with journalist Jeremy Alford.
Dec 9, 2020
Illuminator podcast: How phones helped Louisiana access health care during COVID-19
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews journalists Christiaan Mader and Marie Elizabeth Oliver about their reporting project focused on how Medicaid telehealth appointments soared during the first few months of the pandemic in Louisiana.
Nov 27, 2020
Republican Luke Letlow is running for Congress in Louisiana
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Luke Letlow, a Republican candidate for Congress in Louisiana 5th Congressional District. Letlow is facing state Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, in a runoff Dec. 5.
Nov 24, 2020
Interview with Republican Congressional candidate Lance Harris
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Louisiana state Rep. Lance Harris, R-Alexandria, about his run for Congress in Louisiana's 5th district. Harris is facing Republican Luke Letlow. The election is Dec. 5th.
Nov 9, 2020
Illuminator Podcast: Where is Louisiana with COVID-19?
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Dr. Joe Kanter, the interim head of Louisiana's public health office, about COVID-19.
Nov 2, 2020
Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin: What to expect on election day
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin about what to expect on election day (Nov. 3).
Oct 29, 2020
How Lake Charles will handle an election during COVID-19 and after two hurricanes
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Lynn Jones, the Clerk of Court in Calcasieu Parish, about he will manage the upcoming presidential election. His parish -- which is home to Lake Charles -- was devastated by two hurricanes earlier this year and every polling location was damaged.
Oct 21, 2020
Interview with Democratic Congressional Candidate Martin Lemelle
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Martin Lemelle, a Democratic candidate for Congress in Louisiana's 5th District.
Oct 11, 2020
Louisiana Democratic Congressional Candidate Rob Anderson
Julie O'Donoghue interviews Democratic Congressional candidate Rob Anderson, who is running in Louisiana's 3rd District. Anderson faces Republican incumbent Clay Higgins and other candidates in this race.
Oct 4, 2020
An interview with U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy
Julie O'Donoghue interviews U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana.
Sep 27, 2020
Louisiana U.S. Senate Candidate Adrian Perkins
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Shreveport Mayor Adrian Perkins, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.
Sep 18, 2020
Rebuild After Hurricane Laura?
Host Julie O'Donoghue talks to Cameron Parish resident Duc-Hien Vu about whether he will build his house up again after Hurricane Laura destroyed it last month.
Sep 7, 2020
What's going with unemployment in Louisiana
Stephen Barnes, an economist, explains how COVID-19 has affected unemployment in Louisiana. Barnes is the director of the Blanco Public Policy Center at the University of Louisiana - Lafayette.
Aug 19, 2020
Louisiana's Coronavirus Election Fight
Louisiana's is having a fight over what type of exceptions -- if any -- should be made to allow more people to vote by mail during the November and December elections.
Aug 11, 2020
LSU students Return to Baton Rouge in Two Weeks
Host Julie O’Donoghue talks to Stone Cox, LSU’s student government president, about how students are feeling about returning to school in the middle of a pandemic.
Aug 4, 2020
Louisiana's top public health official on testing limits, schools reopening
Host Julie O’Donoghue talked to Dr. Alex Billioux, who runs Louisiana’s Office of Public Health about the limits of testing and reopening of schools - among other things.
Jul 28, 2020
How one Louisiana university will deal with coronavirus
Host Julie O'Donoghue interviews Grambling State University President Rick Gallot about the school's plans for the fall semester -- as the coronavirus continues to spread.
Jul 21, 2020
Why Louisiana's economy make take longer to recover from the coronavirus
In this episode, host Julie O'Donoghue talks to Jim Richardson, a LSU economics professor, about Louisiana's economy is so vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Jul 14, 2020
Peyton Rose Michelle campaigned as an openly transgender person in Louisiana
Peyton Rose Michelle was elected to the Louisiana Democratic State Central Committee this past weekend. Michelle believes she is the first person to campaign openly as a transgender person. She talks about growing up in and representing a conservative, rural district.
Jul 6, 2020
Why Louisiana is vulnerable to coronavirus
Host Julie O’Donoghue talks with Dr. Thomas LaVeist, dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, about why Louisiana might be particularly vulnerable to coronavirus. The following is also discussed in this episode: *The recent uptick in coronavirus cases in Louisiana *Underlying health conditions that exacerbate COVID-19 *The LSU Survey of Louisiana residents about the coronavirus pandemic
Jun 29, 2020
Louisiana wrestles with police brutality and racism
In this episode of the Louisiana Illuminator podcast, host Julie O’Donoghue talks with Kenneth Polite, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, about why it’s so hard to prosecute or sue law enforcement officers accused of misconduct. The episode also features: *Louisiana Congressman Cedric Richmond urging Republicans to get behind this overhaul of law enforcement laws that the U.S. House passed this past weekend * A rundown of the discussion around police and “qualified immunity” in Louisiana * The Louisiana Legislature’s debate over a law enforcement study, George Floyd and police violence against Black men * Rep. Ted James’ frustration with his Republican colleagues this month
Jun 18, 2020
Episode 1: Jarvis DeBerry, editor of the Louisiana Illuminator
Welcome to the Louisiana Illuminator. In this episode, reporter Julie O'Donoghue interviews Editor Jarvis DeBerry about what to expect from this new outlet.