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.

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From Texas StandardThe 85th Texas legislative session started up Tuesday, and lobbyists pushing all types of agendas are flocking to the Capitol. Among them is Charles Vallhonrat, head of the Texas Craft Brewers Guild. Vallhonrat is hoping to sell lawmakers on the need to update rules on beer marketing to better compete with big-name brands like Bud Light and Miller Brewing Co.

NASA/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

In 2016, the world lost iconic celebrities and change-makers like Prince, David Bowie, Sharon Jones and now Carrie Fisher. Tragedies like the Orlando shooting, the death of black men at the hands of police, the shooting of five Dallas police officers, the attack in Nice and the war in Syria and destruction of Aleppo and its people have made headlines.

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."

JayJayP/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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.

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."

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.

 

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.

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.

Rafael Castillo/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas StandardWhen 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.

Erik Hersman/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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.

 


Texas.713/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

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.

phickmanfresh/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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.


Nate Lampa/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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. 

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