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Get to know Aprile Rickert in her new role, WFPL Southern Indiana reporter

WFPL’s Aprile Rickert is transitioning to a new role as Southern Indiana reporter.

Aprile spent the last year as health reporter. She has written extensively about the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing legal battles over abortion access in Indiana and Kentucky, among other important issues. She previously worked at the News and Tribune in Jeffersonville for more than six years, where she covered crime and courts and several other community topics.

Aprile will work with news editor John Boyle, who previously served as Southern Indiana reporter. They have more than a decade of combined experience in the region and will use that knowledge to craft coverage that matters to Hoosiers.

Learn more about Aprile below. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

What about shifting to the Southern Indiana beat excites you most?

I covered Southern Indiana for six years at my previous job at the News and Tribune, and there are just so many stories to tell in this community. I’m excited to be able to dig in and cover things in a new way and with audio, which I wasn't able to do before.

What will you miss about covering health?

I didn’t realize when I took the health reporter role how deeply involved I would be in covering abortion access for millions in Kentucky and Indiana. For months ahead of the United States Supreme Court ruling in June to overturn Roe v. Wade, I produced stories about the shifting landscape and what it would mean if the court overturned the 49-year-precedent. Since then, my colleagues and I have continued to tell stories of the fallout as access shifts with court challenges and rulings. I think it’s really important coverage, and I’m proud of having been able to be such a big part of it.

What makes Southern Indiana unique compared to the rest of the region?

It’s not Louisville, and it’s not Indianapolis. Southern Indiana has its own vibe. It’s a smaller, close-knit area with plenty to do. And being a smaller community, people really have an opportunity to get involved and step up to try to make it a better place.

Where would you take someone to show them what the Hoosier state has to offer?

The Falls of the Ohio! It’s a super cool spot to watch the river or hike down to the Devonian fossil beds.

What are you currently watching?

I just finished watching Inventing Anna on Netflix. I love Julia Garner! Although I first loved her as Ruth in Ozark.

Is the recent arrival of cold weather ahead of winter or a good or bad thing in your opinion?

I’m a spring and summer baby! I love it when it’s sunny and warm, when flowers and trees bloom. I really hate it when it gets cold and dark for months, and I usually count down the days until March.

What advice would you give folks who are also trying to defend their homes and yards from vicious baby raccoons?

It’s true that raccoons love my yard. They use the fence as a highway to various garage roofs and have approached me more than once. My advice: if a baby raccoon starts running toward you screeching, run like your life depends on it.

Editor's note: Aprile has asked that photos her surveillance camera captured of her being chased by the raccoon gang not be included in this story.