Laura Rice

Producer, Morning Edition

Laura joined the KUT team in April 2012. She works with Jennifer Stayton each weekday morning to bring you the latest local news during Morning Edition, hosts the noon newscast and reports for on-air and online. You'll also hear Laura with the morning news headlines on KUTX and filling in for Jennifer during the morning drive-time. 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

Flickr/S Lowe (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

There's something about toll roads that just isn't very fun. It's probably that part where you have to pay to drive on them. Of course, we help pay for the roads we drive on through taxes and other fees – but it's more in your face when you roll through the toll plaza.

At least one Texas lawmaker is urging the state to pump the breaks.


Flickr/AgriLife Today (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

As Texas moves forward with legalizing access to cannabis oil for some epilepsy patients, the state still needs to set up a system for distributing the medicine. Some folks in McKinney are offering up an idea: they want to repurpose a hundred-year-old cotton gin to grow, process and distribute cannabis oil.

Flickr/Visit El Paso (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Fifty years ago, the NCAA men's basketball tournament started with just 22 teams in the first round. When it came down to the championship game: on one side was the all-white Kentucky basketball team, as most college basketball teams were at the time; the challenger was Texas Western, an all-black team from El Paso – the university has since become the University of Texas at El Paso, or UTEP.

Flickr/Carol Martinez (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas takes its food seriously – consider the breakfast taco war between San Antonio and Austin just a few weeks ago.

It's no wonder advertisers are keen to target Texans. Even the behemoth fast food chain McDonald's is trying to get an edge in the Lone Star State. McDonald's is currently baiting Texans to create the first official McDonald's "Texas burger." What is a Texas burger exactly? Dallas Morning News restaurant critic Leslie Brenner gave the burger builder a try, but she said some crucial ingredients were missing.

 


Courtesy "Transpecos"

From Texas Standard:

Every year, South by Southwest features films by and about Texans. Some of that is by design – there's a whole section of the fest designated to short films related to Texas. But other times, it's just that festival curators loved a film that happened to be about Texas.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

With oral arguments before the nation's highest court today, the Supreme Court justices are tackling what could be one of the most important abortion cases in decades. Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt is a challenge to HB 2, the Texas law that requires abortion facilities meet the standards of surgical centers and abortion doctors have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Now, the Court is down one justice and at an ideological 4-4 split, so what will a ruling mean from the eight-justice Court?

 


Image credit Sam Mohney

From Texas Standard:

So far this year, the State of Texas has executed three death row inmates. Ten more are scheduled to die before the end of July. At each execution are the prison warden, representatives from the press and families of prisoners and their victims. There's also a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Flickr/lcars (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The Executive Office for Immigration Review, an office of the U.S. Department of Justice, is responsible for deciding immigration cases. But these days, the decisions are taking longer and longer.

Pexels (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

There’s a lot we don’t understand about the human brain. We’re still learning more about what happens when people start to experience dementia or other memory loss. There’s no cure for something like Alzheimer’s right now, so when there’s a chance to improve the lives of people with dementia, caregivers like Debra Maddox are eager to give it a shot.


Photo credit Joey Palacios/Texas Public Radio

From Texas Standard:

Texas Public Radio news director Shelley Kofler  has spent the past week on the impacts of population growth. TPR staff visited Fredericksburg and Bexar County, as well as middle-income and historic neighborhoods in San Antonio. She shared with the Standard some of the newsroom conversations she and her staff had that led to the "Growing Pains" series.

"A lot of this started just with us sharing our personal experiences in the newsroom," Kofler says. "And then we checked it out, and we looked at the data, and we said 'We have some real serious challenges here.'"

 


Image via Pixabay (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Regular gym goers know January is the worst. All those people who usually don’t show up crowd into classes and hog the equipment in an effort to meet their New Year resolutions.

But whether you’re a gym rat or an occasional exerciser, you may not realize that personal trainers – the ones with abs you’d pay big money for – don't usually have equally enviable salaries.

 


Image via Flickr/Kim Davies (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Barack Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address this week – and yet still there are those in this country who would argue he was never eligible to be president. These so-called "birther" arguments are now haunting GOP Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz, who was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father. Cruz says it's a non-issue, but one particularly outspoken opponent disagrees.

 


Filipa Rodrigues/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

The new trend in quilting is called modern quilting, inspired by modern art.

“Traditional quilts usually follow this column and row format and modern quilters tend to change that traditional grid pattern up,” says Heather Grant, director of marketing and programming for the Modern Quilt Guild.

 


Image via Flickr/Paul Weaver (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Tonight, President Barack Obama will speak and take questions at a televised town hall hosted by CNN.

The topic? Guns – specifically, the administration's new executive orders on gun control.

 


Image via imwithlizzie.com

From Texas Standard:

As the new year gets off to a start, many folks are looking for that "new year new you" combination of resolutions.

Image via Flickr/Adam Barhan (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

If you attended the Texas Craft Brewers festival earlier this year, you saw the work of more than 60 of those craft brewers. It was an opportunity for these breweries to get their brands and their beers in front of the drinking public because many haven’t been around for very long.

Image via Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

About one million Texans get health insurance through exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Texans account for one-tenth of all Americans insured through the exchanges, a total of 10 million new customers and $84 billion in additional revenue for insurers.

 


Image via Flickr/Gobierno de Chile (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The biggest trade agreement in history has been out of the headlines the past week as the international community has been focused on terrorist events. But the Trans-Pacific Partnership shouldn't be ignored. The deal establishes trade relations between the United States and eight other countries. Several Asian countries are part of the deal, but China isn't.


Image via Flickr/ARTS_fox1fire (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A group made up of professors, and a few others, rallied behind their common goal of a gun-free UT on Monday at the University of Texas at Austin. This pushback against a state campus carry law passed last session has been building for months. The new law is set to take effect next year.

The protesters' message was loud and clear: ban guns or we could sue. Law professor Ken Williams from South Texas College of Law in Houston says their main claim will center around how universities will ensure a safe environment for both students and faculty.

 


Image via Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

A story about a protest on a campus a few states away could have implications for one of the biggest industries in Texas – college football. At the University of Missouri, there were protests going back to September against racism on campus, a social media campaign called Concerned Student 1950, and a hunger strike by a graduate student. But most folks outside of Missouri did not know about any of this until last weekend.

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