Kate Archer Kent

Kate launched Red River Radio's news division in Jan. 2006. In her one-person shop, she gathers news and perspectives from around the Ark-La-Tex for weekday Morning Edition newscasts that air at 6:04, 6:49, 7:04, 7:49 and 8:04 a.m.

Previously, she served as director of marketing and public relations for Louisiana Tech University. She also held a similar post at Northeast Iowa Community College. Before entering education marketing, she was communications coordinator for global hair salon firm Regis Corp. in Minneapolis.

Kate has worked for several media outlets. In 2003, she became a contributing reporter for KEDM Public Radio in Monroe, La., and Red River Radio. She was named Reporter of the Year by the Louisiana Associated Press Broadcasters Association in 2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012. She was a Daniel Schorr Journalism Prize finalist for a series on drug addiction.

Kate has also been an assignment desk editor for the Fox affiliate in Minneapolis. Through a fellowship with the International Radio and Television Society, she worked as a feed producer for CBS "Newspath" in New York.

Kate holds a master of journalism degree from Temple University and a B.A. in English and political science from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Shreveport with her husband, Alex, and their children, Bronwyn, Oliver, Hugo and Alistair. In her spare time, Kate enjoys leading twice-weekly, free community yoga practices at Sadhu Vaswani Hindu Cultural Center in Shreveport.

 

STATEWIDE TREND: Graduation rates at Bossier and Caddo Parish high schools dipped from 2015 to 2016 as part of a trend that saw the statewide graduation rate fall, according to data released by the Louisiana Department of Education. Bossier Parish saw a decrease from 84.5 percent to 82.8 percent.   Caddo saw a drop from 75.2 percent to 73.6 percent.  This year marks the first time since 2010 that Caddo Parish has seen graduation rates drop, BUT its graduation rate has actually risen more than 13 percentage points the past 10 years.

LOUISIANA JOBSThe latest state employment figures are out and while Louisiana's jobless rate could be worse, compared with the national average--- the news isn't great.    Louisiana’s  unemployment rate  is  5.7%, compared to  the national average  of  4.3%.   But Louisiana has attracted businesses through various tax incentives.  One of the current projects is the $14-billion Sasol expansion in Westlake, with construction presently 55% complete.  State officials say this project has generated 10,000 direct and indirect jobs but according to news reports...

Dominating the national news this week is the potential vote on the Senate Republican Healthcare bill as Senate Majority leadership hopes to have a vote before the July 4th holiday break.  Although the Senate has a Republican majority,  there are some Republican Senators who have spoken out that they have reservations about the bill in its current form.  Some Senators feel the bill doesn’t go far enough in repealing the core of Obama-Care,  whereas others have expressed concern that the bill  could negatively impact  healthcare in  their state.

FLASH FLOOD CONCERNS -Although Tropical Storm Cindy has been downgraded to a Tropical Depression and is weakening,  hazardous weather conditions still remain along with possible flooding in low-lying areas.  The National Weather Service did issue a Tornado Warning earlier this morning as radar indicated tornadic conditions approaching   Campti, Louisiana in Natchitoches parish,  moving east-northeast at 15 mph.  So far no storm damage has been reported and the tornado warning has expired at 7:30am.  The National Weather Service has issued a Flash-Flood Warning

Tropical Storm Cindy - Weather forecasters are expecting a third day of rough weather for Gulf Coast states thanks to Tropical Storm Cindy.  So far, the storm was blamed for one death Wednesday:  A 10-year-old boy from the St. Louis area was killed on an Alabama beach when he was struck by a log that washed ashore.  In addition to bands of drenching rain, the storm brought high winds and numerous, short-lived tornadoes and waterspouts. As far as the Red River Radio Listening area is concerned,  Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to move into the area later today.

LA. REPORT ON HEALTH INSURANCE:  Republicans in  Washington,  DC  continue efforts  to repeal  and replace the federal  Affordable Care Act commonly known as “Obama-Care”.  The  U.S. House of Representatives passed  their version in a party-line vote last May.  The  Senate has  yet to  release details  of their version or hold  any public hearings to discuss it.

LA. FISCAL CLIFF:  Louisiana Lawmakers adjourned from their special session last week after passing a state budget, But will they have to return to Baton Rouge for yet another special session to deal with next year’s fiscal cliff?   Governor John Bel Edwards isn’t so sure as he explained during his recent press conference at the conclusion of the Special Session Friday.

COMPROMISE REACHED?  Louisiana’s   second special legislative session of 2017 officially came to an end  Friday delivering a  budget marginally different than the one proposed by the  Senate during the regular session.

BUDGET FAILS,  SPECIAL SESSION BEGINS: Yesterday  Louisiana lawmakers had a dramatic show-down in state budget negotiations as the House and Senate ended the regular legislative session in a deadlock.  At the heart of the matter: The Senate plan would’ve  spent all money available, saving Higher Education and TOPS Tuition from further cuts…and addressing prisons, social services, and health care;  WHEREAS  the  House wanted to keep about  $50 million in reserve to offset any unforeseen circumstances.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE & RENAMING A SCHOOL: An overhaul of Louisiana's criminal justice system have passed both chambers of the Legislature, and are within reach of the governor's desk for final approval. It's a victory for advocates pursuing the ambitious revamp that will, in large part, lead to some lighter jail sentences.

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