Laura Rice

Producer, Texas Standard

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. Laura came to KUT from the world of television news. She has worn many different hats as an anchor, reporter and producer at TV stations in Austin, Amarillo and Toledo, OH. Laura is a proud graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia, a triathlete and enjoys travel, film and a good beer. She enjoys spending time with her husband and pets.

Ways to Connect

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard : Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is using the violent attack on the Ohio State University campus yesterday as an example of why he removed Texas from the Refugee Relocation Process . He says in a tweet he will not "be an accomplice to importing terrorists."

Pixabay (CC0 Public Domain)

From Texas Standard : Police shootings have been dominating headlines for months . Different perspectives of what happened in each case have led to court cases, protests, and internal investigations of police departments. Equipping police with body cameras is just one of many efforts designed to increase transparency in interactions with the public. Houston officers have had body cameras since 2014, starting with a pilot program. But the program began in earnest seven months ago....

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From Texas Standard : Dallas and bankruptcy are two words you normally wouldn’t find in the same sentence. After all, Texas is practically recession-proof and Dallas has one of the fastest-growing economies among large cities in the U.S. But Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says his city may be “ walking into the fan blades ” of bankruptcy. It all comes down to pensions for public safety workers. Big promises to pensioners and risky investments have left the fund almost $7 billion in debt...

Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard : The day after Donald Trump was elected president, Nov. 9, a Twitter user posted a picture of a few charter buses in downtown Austin, along with a now-deleted message: "Anti-Trump protestors in Austin today are not as organic as they seem. Here are the buses they came in. #fakeprotests #trump2016 #austin." Despite the Twitter user only having about 40 followers, it was only a matter of hours before the story went viral. A popular Reddit feed picked it up, so did...

Courtesy Moonlight Film

From Texas Standard : The film “Moonlight” tells the story of a young black man struggling with his identity and sexuality. The film is set in Miami – but its breakout star is Texan. Trevante Rhodes is a busy guy these days. He’s juggling television and film roles along with press appearances. In-between, there’s maintenance. “I just finished up abs, I’ve got to do some shoulders right now,” Rhodes says, speaking from the gym during his workout routine. “I’m almost done, though,...

Courtesy Focus Films

From Texas Standard : Richard and Mildred Loving were at the center of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case in the 1960s – Loving v. Virginia. But you probably haven’t heard their story. Jeff Nichols hadn’t either. “I thought I was pretty well up to speed on our Civil Rights history,” Nichols says. “This should be kind of a foundational story in our American history. I’m not quite sure why it’s not taught in schools, why we don’t understand it.” Nichols, based in Austin, is the...

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUTX Music

From Texas Standard : The current political temperature is that the ongoing election is unprecedented and never before seen. But this talk is a bit strained for anyone who’s followed Texas politics in the past decade. What about the Kinky Friedman’s campaign? He’s the cigar smoking, mustachioed Texas cowboy who ran for Texas governor in 2006. David Harsteen ’s documentary chronicled Friedman’s antics. “ Along Came Kinky … Texas Jewboy for Governor .” The film has a panel discussion...

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From Texas Standard : When Justice Louis Brandeis described the states as laboratories of democracy , he couldn't have foreseen election day 2016. As the New York Times noted Monday, the most popular illicit drug in the nation – marijuana – could be legalized for recreational use in five more states this November. That would bring the total number to 10, including Washington, D.C.

Courtesy Kino Lorber

From Texas Standard : For more than 50 years, journalists, authors and everyday people have been struggling with how to tell the story of the 1966 University of Texas at Austin tower shooting. It was the first public mass shooting on a college campus, resulting in the deaths of 16 people. Texas Standard told the story earlier this year with a radio documentary and oral history featuring the voices of close to 100 people who experienced – in some way – the shooting. And an Austin...

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From Texas Standard: Today's the last day to register to vote in Texas in time for the November election. Some county registrar offices are staying open until midnight to give people as long as possible to complete the process, but most will close at the end of the business day. In Texas you can check online to see if you're registered, but you can't actually register online and some 3 million Texans are eligible to vote but not registered. Complicating matters, according to a new report in the magazine " The Nation ," is a labyrinth of laws putting up barriers so difficult to surmount that nobody wants to invest in helping more voters register.

Kenneth C. Zirkel/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard: He was a businessman who liked to brag about his financial success, cracked rape jokes around reporters and kissed "just about every woman within arms' reach." She was a Democrat who shattered many ceilings, with real-world political experience and demanded that her opponent disclose his taxes. These two also wouldn't shake hands.

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From Texas Standard: In a time before reality TV competitions like American Ninja Warrior, more than 30,000 Texans would show up on Sundays in October to watch prisoners put on a death-defying rodeo show that would make professional cowboys think twice. Underlying the spectacle of the Texas Prison Rodeo , which during its 50 years evolved into an entertainment event complete with superstar guests like John Wayne and Johnny Cash, were many of the civil, political and criminal justice issues that propel our conversations today – explored in depth in the new book, "Convict Cowboys: The Untold Story of the Texas Prison Rodeo."

Screenshot from Voyage of Time

From Texas Standard : Anyone familiar with the work of Austin-based director Terrence Malick knows he’s unafraid to tackle big questions. The example you’re probably most familiar with is “Tree of Life.” The 2011 film is not your typical family drama. It looks at the existence of a higher power and the origins of the world. Malick’s latest film, or films, don’t just scratch the surface of those universal ponderings – they dive right in. Malick created two versions of “Voyage of Time...

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From Texas Standard: Sheriff Arvin West is the law in Texas’ Hudspeth County. It certainly seems that way to unsuspecting travelers along his county’s stretch of I-10. He’s known for accusing the Mexican army of invading the border, ragging on the federal government on border security policies and busting more than a few entertainers for carrying pot ( Willie Nelson , Nelly, Fiona Apple and Snoop Dogg are on the list). West, now tied to a three-year-long federal investigation, isn’t talking. But a Washington Post report reveals he may be involved in setting up a rogue Navy training based in West Texas.

Left: Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)/Right: Third Way Think (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard: It used to be that people concerned about the state of political coverage in America worried about the constant obsession with who's ahead. This year, both sides are fixated with landing the nastiest punch, one blow that will decisively take out the other. It almost happened in 1988, during the Vice Presidential debate when Texas Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, a Democrat, quipped to his Republican rival, Sen. Dan Quayle of Virginia: "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy."

Courtesy Simon & Schuster

From Texas Standard: “ Wolf Boys ” explores how a couple of Texas teenagers went from playing under the Friday night lights to working as assassins for Los Zetas, one of Mexico's most dangerous drug cartels. The book reads like fiction, but it's a true story written by former Wall Street Journal reporter Dan Slater.

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From Texas Standard: Texas began a strategic plan to reform the foster care system in 2014, but the overhaul is still in the early stages of rollout. The plan has been moving forward without much fanfare, at a time when Child Protective Services is taking a lot of heat for some high-profile tragedies. The biggest change is a shift away from investigation efforts – the CPS worker who comes knocking on the door asking questions – to a public heath approach aimed at strengthening families and reducing the number of serious injuries and fatalities. The plan puts a heavy emphasis on the staggering cost of child abuse and the need to be smarter about resources – to use big data as never before.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard : This story is part of the NPR project " A Nation Engaged ," which takes a deeper look at economic opportunity in 21st century America. I was on my way to work about a week ago and – like a good Texas...

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From Texas Standard: The ACLU and ACLU of Texas are getting involved in a lawsuit over a regulation in the Affordable Care Act. In August, Texas filed a lawsuit against federal regulations that prohibit healthcare discrimination against people who are transgender . The lawsuit was announced by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, representing the Franciscan Alliance. The lawsuit will be heard in Wichita Falls. The rules state that healthcare entities are not allowed to deny or limit services – including gender transition services – based on race, national origin, sex, age or disability.

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From Texas Standard: The United States Census Bureau dropped new data this week, as part of the American Community Survey, a yearly estimate of a plethora of different topics concerning American households, including numbers on healthcare, income, and poverty.

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