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Backstory on new U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson; community rallies to save Baton Rouge theater

A production of “Grease” at Theatre Baton Rouge
Brian Craig
Brian Craig
A production of “Grease” at Theatre Baton Rouge

If you didn’t know the name Mike Johnson a few weeks ago, chances are you do now. The Louisiana representative from Shreveport was recently elected speaker of the House after a 22-day deadlock that saw multiple candidates try and fail to attract enough support.

While we wait to see what Johnson might do as speaker, we wanted to take a moment to look back at his history, including his politics and beliefs, both professionally and personally.

Times-Picayune/The Advocate’s Mark Ballard has been reporting on Johnson for roughly 20 years and joins us from D.C. for more.

Last month, Theatre Baton Rouge announced that it was in danger of closing in its 78th season due to rising production costs and budget mismanagement. All but one member of the theater staff was laid off.

But the board recently launched a fundraiser aiming to raise $100,000 in 60 days to keep the lights on, and community members are lining up to help in whatever way they can. Theatre Baton Rouge advisory board member Jennifer Fedduccia joins us to discuss all of the efforts to keep the theater afloat.

A changing climate is making some places too dangerous to live in, especially along the Gulf Coast. In the final part of our series, “Place, Erased,” we go to an area of coastal Mississippi that no longer exists on the map. But as the Gulf States Newsroom’s Danny McArthur reports, some community members are still fighting for its survival.

Today’s episode of Louisiana Considered was hosted by Alana Schreiber. Our assistant producer is Aubry Procell and our engineer is Garrett Pittman. 

You can listen to Louisiana Considered Monday through Friday at 12 and 7 p.m. It’s available on Spotify, Google Play, and wherever you get your podcasts. 

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Alana Schreiber is the managing producer for the live daily news program, Louisiana Considered. She comes to WRKF from KUNC in Northern Colorado, where she worked as a radio producer for the daily news magazine, Colorado Edition. She has previously interned for Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul and The Documentary Group in New York City.