Bill Voelker, a reporter who tackled topics ranging from milk pricing to levees during a 34-year career at The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, died April 15 of complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 89.
John Pope of The Times-Picayune writes, “‘He was a really intense, really intelligent kind of guy who could take these really complicated issues and figure them out,’ said Brian Schwaner, a Money section editor. ‘He was very detail-oriented, very specific. He was thorough with very complicated issues. He could understand how the moving parts were affecting each other.’
“His discoveries fascinated him, and he liked to share his findings with colleagues, said Millie Ball, a longtime Times-Picayune reporter.
“‘He liked to stop by other reporters’ desks to read his latest story aloud, like a proud father,’ she said.
“His stories had an impact. After his coverage of milk price-fixing, stores were allowed to set their own prices, and Voelker’s extensive coverage of the awarding of the state’s computer-service contract resulted in state and federal investigations. For the computer stories, Voelker won a 1979 Davenport Fellowship in business and economics reporting at the University of Missouri.”
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