Report from Louisiana: Is Violence the New Norm?

By:  Pat Austin  SHREVEPORT --   Is it just the 24/7 news cycle or has the world gone crazy?    It seems like every news source I look at lately is filled with reports of violence and people getting shot.  Here in Shreveport, every single day (and NO! I’m not exaggerating!), someone gets shot.  My husband now … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Is Violence the New Norm?

Report from the Midwest: Flooding, Farming, and Famine

By:  Pat Austin  SHREVEPORT --  The floodwaters along the Arkansas River, the Missouri, and the Mississippi, are receding but the damage is done. We have just returned from a two-week trek through the Midwest that took us through Fort Smith, Arkansas, Missouri, and Iowa, and what we saw along the rivers and in the heartland … Continue reading Report from the Midwest: Flooding, Farming, and Famine

Report from Louisiana: Opening the Morganza Spillway

By:  Pat Austin  ARNAUDVILLE LA --  As preparations are made to open the Morganza Spillway this week to relieve flooding on the Mississippi River, residents on Henderson Lake in the Atchafalaya Basin were cautiously optimistic that inundation would not be as catastrophic as first feared. “The water level here on the lake has actually gone … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Opening the Morganza Spillway

Report from Louisiana: Memorial Day 2019

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – Today is Memorial Day: the day we honor and remember those who gave their lives in service for our freedom.  Certainly there are many local activities, ceremonies, and remembrances around the country, and while many see the day is the official kickoff to summer, it is important to take time … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Memorial Day 2019

Report from Louisiana: I Believe in Miracles

By:  Pat Austin Kaalas Roots after graduating with honors, May 18, 2019. (Photo used with permission from Rashad Johnson/KSLA News). BOSSIER CITY – This is what a miracle looks like.  I’m a pretty private person with regard to religion – it’s just how I was raised, but I know what a miracle looks like when … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: I Believe in Miracles

Report from Louisiana: Teacher Blues

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – It’s been a rough couple of weeks here in Louisiana – at least for me.  Nothing insurmountable, but it seems that it doesn’t take much these days, at this time of year, to throw me off my game. Two weeks ago, after a book signing event, I pulled some papers … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Teacher Blues

Report from Louisiana: Free Speech or Sexual Harassment?

By:  Pat Austin BATON ROUGE – There’s a case out of Baton Rouge that might be interesting to watch: a former LSU professor has asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to review her case.  Teresa Buchanan taught elementary education students with a specialization in early childhood education. She was terminated in 2015 for “using … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Free Speech or Sexual Harassment?

Report from Louisiana: The Edwards Teacher Pay Raise

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT  -- With the Louisiana gubernatorial election just six months away, Governor John Bel Edwards is probably not too worried about re-election, but he is covering his bases just in case.  Early in the election cycle he proposed a teacher pay raise, and scant as it is ($1,000 a year), I suppose … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: The Edwards Teacher Pay Raise

Report from Louisiana: Rebecca Wells is an Inspiration

By:  Pat Austin NEW IBERIA, LA – One of the things about life that is always good to remember is that we never stop learning. Life has that amazing capacity to surprise us at any given moment and while those surprises are not always good, most of the time they are if we take the … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Rebecca Wells is an Inspiration

Report from Louisiana: More Lawsuits Against Big Oil

By:  Pat Austin BATON ROUGE – It is not news that the Louisiana coastline has been extensively damaged through the years by energy companies who have left miles of canals and channels dredged through our wetlands as part of the process of harvesting the vast oil resources in our state.  It is also not news … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: More Lawsuits Against Big Oil

Report from Louisiana: Politics as Usual in the Bayou State

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – I have spent the last twelve days on Spring Break and that comes to an end this week as I return to the classroom to finish out the last seven or so weeks of the school year.  It’s been a glorious break and going back to reality is not really … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Politics as Usual in the Bayou State

Report from Louisiana: On the road in Cajun country

By:  Pat Austin BREAUX BRIDGE, LA:  Spring is one of the best times to be in Louisiana. We are in Breaux Bridge this week in the heart of Cajun country eating our fill of hot, spicy crawfish and other local specialties, and admiring the azaleas which are bursting into bloom about two weeks ahead of … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: On the road in Cajun country

Report from Louisiana: Spring Reading

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – It is spring (finally) and even though we all complain about Daylight Saving Time I don’t mind this one too badly because it now it won’t get dark at six o’clock every night. I like the longer days. For me, this time of year means working in the yard: that … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Spring Reading

Report from Louisiana: Loose Thoughts

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT --  Loose thoughts and links for you this week. On CPAC:  There is some great reporting coming out of CPAC: check out  Stacy McCain’s work at The Other McCain, for one. And at the Daily Beast, Will Sommer reports on the banning of Laura Loomer from CPAC: The CPAC ban is … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Loose Thoughts

Report from Louisiana: Mardi Gras, Zulu, and Blackface

By:  Pat Austin SHREVEPORT – We are in full Mardi Gras season here in Louisiana with nearly every city and community in the state hosting parades every weekend until the close of the season in a couple of weeks.  In New Orleans, of course, the parades are daily. We attended the Krewe of Centaur parade … Continue reading Report from Louisiana: Mardi Gras, Zulu, and Blackface