Southeastern Channel to air special on state emblems
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
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LOUISIANA BACKYARD EMBLEMS – Rob Moreau, Southeastern biology instructor and manager of the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, ventures around the state to investigate the various state emblems in the latest edition of “Backyard Wonders.” The episode entitled “Louisiana’s Backyard Emblems,” debuts Saturday night at 8 p.m. on the Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s educational cable access channel.
HAMMOND – In the 1990s it was reported that a black bear was seen walking through the middle of downtown Hammond in the middle of the night. According to the makers of “Backyard Wonders,” the award-winning nature series, this should come as no surprise since the black bear is Louisiana’s state mammal.
Such entertaining stories and insights about the state’s emblems and symbols comprise “Louisiana’s Backyard Emblems,” the latest episode of the series that will debut at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 21 on the Southeastern Channel, Southeastern Louisiana University’s educational cable access channel.
In the episode, the viewer learns that Louisiana has its own breed of dog, its own variety of tomato, and that the state insect has been around for 30 million years as the only insect producing food eaten by humans.
“Many viewers will be surprised at some of our state emblems, especially the lesser-known ones,” said the show’s executive producer, Rick Settoon, general manager of the Southeastern Channel. “This delightful episode both explains and celebrates all of them. It’s an entertaining, educational experience for the entire family.”
The show features host Robert Moreau, Southeastern biology instructor and manager of the Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station, venturing around the state to investigate the various state emblems. He interviews Dan Purrington about the brown pelican, the state bird, and travels to Abita Springs to interview Don Abney at his Catahoula Leopard Dog compound about the state dog.
While in Abita Springs, Moreau interviews Julian Lane, Jr. at his honeybee farm about the state insect before traveling to the Creole Tomato Festival in New Orleans to discuss the state vegetable. Finally, Moreau talks about the state’s musical instrument with Bobby Micheaux, who plays a diatonic accordion.
The program also includes lighthearted factoids about many other emblems, from the state fruit and cuisine to the state flower, reptile and fish.
According to Josh Kapusinski, the Emmy-winning producer, videographer and editor of the series, the episode explores natural wonders found beyond those in residential backyards of the North Shore.
“We go into our ‘greater backyard’ from the Lake Pontchartrain wetlands and southeast Louisiana to the entire state,” Kapusinski said. “The swamps are our backyard as are the rivers, lakes and state parks. A look at our state emblems furthers appreciation for state traditions, history, culture and unique qualities.”
Southeastern Channel staff members Jamie Bass and Ken Newton and students Nick Elliott and Daron Short assisted in videotaping the production.
“With ‘Backyard Wonders’ we always try to not only provide a fun and entertaining show about our state’s natural wonders, but also provide one that is informative to the viewer,” Moreau said. “I can’t think of a better way to get people of all ages and from all areas of the state interested in our state’s natural and cultural resources than to talk about the symbols and emblems we have that were chosen by the leaders of our state to represent those ideas.”
The Southeastern Channel can be seen on Charter Cable 18 in Tangipahoa, Livingston and St. Tammany parishes and on Channel 17 in Washington Parish. It can also be seen on its 24-7 live webcast at www.selu.edu/tv and also on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.