On Behind the Lens this week, kids are getting their backpacks ready for school while there is concern from officials about whether Labor Day crowds might result in a spike in COVID cases. Cases are rising in university student populations and emails reveal a number of cases amongst public school employees, a worrying sign.

The library is facing a possible 30 to 40 percent cut in its annual budget which is part of a ballot proposal the mayor is pushing. But the public will have their say on it in an upcoming election. 

Also this week, government officials and civil rights groups are at odds over whether or not the City can be legally compelled to build the jail facility known as Phase III.

And two local HBCU presidents discuss their decision to participate in a vaccine trial. They wrote an open letter to their communities to do the same. (Listen to a special bonus episode with their full interviews.)

This week’s guests are education reporter Marta Jewson, government and cultural economy reporter Michael Isaac Stein, criminal justice reporter Nick Chrastil, Lens Editor Charles Maldonado, health reporter Philip Kiefer and special guests Dean C. Reynold Verret of Xavier University and Dr. Walter Kimbrough, Dean of Dillard University.

Behind The Lens is available on Apple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Play and Stitcher. And we broadcast the show on community radio stations 102.3 FM WHIV LP in Mid-City and 90.3 FM WAMF-LP in the Marigny.

Carolyne Heldman

Carolyne Heldman has been in media for 35 years, most recently as Executive Director at an NPR member station in Colorado where she was responsible for new multi-platform content initiatives, strategic...