September 1, 2010

Pt 1: New Orleans - It was five years ago this week that New Orleans' levees gave way and flooded the city. Today, less than a quarter of the people who used to live in the city's lower ninth ward have gone back to their homes. Parts of the city are plagued by rampant crime. And the re-building is still a long way from finished. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Somewhere Between Piety and Desire - A documentary about one of the families left struggling in Hurricane Katrina's wake ... a family whose troubles didn't begin or end with the storm.  (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

Today's guest host was Nancy Wilson.

It's Wednesday, September 1st.

The federal government is cutting hundreds of jobs of workers who handle Employment Insurance claims.

Currently, they've been re-assigned to the Ministry of Unintentional Irony.

This is the Current.

New Orleans - Panel

The days and weeks that followed Katrina's arrival were a living nightmare for the city's residents ... the ones who stayed and the ones who fled. And five years later, the city is still very much a work in progress.

Many people have returned to their homes in New Orleans. Others are still waiting to go back. And some say they never will. For their thoughts about the state of New Orleans five years on, we were joined by three people. Ken Foster is a contributor to Salon magazine and the author of several books, including the memoir The Dogs Who Found Me. He lives in the lower 9th ward. Carmen Bazile is an Ordained Minister. She left New Orleans two days before Katrina hit and chose not to return. She now lives in Huntsville, Alabama. And Tom Piazza is the author of Why New Orleans Matters. He's also a writer for the TV series Treme. And he lives in uptown New Orleans.


Somewhere Between Piety and Desire

It was five years ago this week that Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast and the levees that were supposed to protect New Orleans failed. The storm and the collapse of the levees left a lot of families scattered to the winds and facing some terrible challenges.

The Wileys were one of those families. But their challenges didn't begin with Katrina. When Katrina struck, siblings Sam and Arlotte Wiley were working on a book called Between Piety and Desire. It was a compilation of stories about growing up in New Orleans' ninth ward. The stories about their own family were punctuated with violence and abuse. And when they relocated to Shreveport, Louisiana in the wake of the storm, their family's future was uncertain.

The Current's Aaron Brindle met up with Sam and Arlotte two months after Katrina hit. And he produced a documentary called Somewhere Between Piety and Desire. It first aired on The Current in 2005.

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