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

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.

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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.


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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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From Texas Standard:

While it's no longer news that some law enforcement officers abuse the power that comes with the badge, the numbers revealed in a new Associated Press report are shocking: a thousand officers lost their badges in a six-year period for rape, sexual assault, possession of child pornography and propositioning citizens. In his investigation, reporter Matt Sedensky found that the reported rate is much lower than what's actually happening.

Courtesy of the Austin Film Festival

The 22nd Annual Austin Film Festival is getting underway. This year’s lineup includes more than 180 films – 20 of which are world or North American premieres.

The film festival and conference is unique because it was founded to recognize some of the less talked about people behind films – screenwriters. And that’s still true after 22 years. But the festival has also evolved a lot in recent years.

Image via Anthem & Paul Schiff Productions

From Texas Standard:

If you're naming off great sports films, "Rudy" and "Hoosiers" are probably high on that list.

A new film called "My All American" is coming out this fall. Written by the same screenwriter of those films, Angelo Pizzo, this time his focus is Texas football – more specifically Freddie Steinmark.

Image via Flickr/Marc E. (CC BY-2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Lady Gaga is just as well known for her fashion as she is for her music.

Texas Book Festival

From Texas Standard:

This weekend tens of thousands of Texans will descend on the grounds of the state capitol for a little shindig called the Texas Book Festival. The annual celebration of all things literary will host 300 authors this year – the biggest yet.

Laura Rice/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Fridays mean high school football across most of Texas. And this time of year also means fall homecoming celebrations.

Fantastic Fest/facebook

From Texas Standard: There are a lot of film festivals these days. Some focus on the work of one big director or actor – like the John Wayne Film Festival now in its fourth year in Dallas. Other festivals have a theme – perhaps it’s films by or about the LGBT community, or only documentaries.

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

From Texas Standard

Only 32 percent of federal district court judges and 35 percent of federal appeals judges are female, according to the National Women's Law Center.

Image via Flickr/Mark Robinson (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard: 

Everywhere you go these days, you see services for pets and pet owners. From pet sweaters to pet spas, the American pet industry is a $60 billion business – that’s almost double what it was just over a decade ago.

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

From Texas Standard:

Despite a war, changes to the Constitution and to state and federal laws, slavery continues to be very much a part of the American story. We've seen it echoed in the controversies around the use of police power and the consistent iconography of the confederacy.

But much of what we know about the first-hand experiences of slaves themselves comes from written accounts – transcribed interviews done in the 1930s using stereotyped misspellings.

Screenshot via CNN

From the Texas Standard: The second GOP debate is one for the history books. Last night's primetime event had some standout moments – a few fireworks, perhaps. It also seemed to be somewhat of a contest in stamina, since the main event lasted three hours. Just in case you didn't make it all the way through Jennifer Mercieca, communications professor at Texas A&M, has got us covered.

Image via facebook/7chinesebrothers

In the U.S. entertainment industry, there’s LA, there’s New York, and then there’s Texas — at least that’s what a lot of us have gotten used to hearing. But how far away is Texas from actually being that “third coast” in the biz? And what do new reductions in film incentives to do that image?

From Texas Standard:

Comedian Paula Poundstone’s star began to rise in the 1980s – when she first started to appear on HBO standup specials. Since then, she’s gained a reputation for her quick, frank-speaking style and her preference for menswear. She’s probably best known by NPR listeners for her regular appearances on “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.”

Pixabay user Unsplash/CC0 Public Domain

From Texas Standard:

Weather experts have a way with words – like 'polar vortex' and 'superstorm' – and now, 'Godzilla' El Niño. Of course, forecasting is an imperfect science, but if predictions hold, Texas could soon see some serious rainfall.

For now, most of the state has been pretty dry so it may be the perfect time to make a few repairs and plans in preparation for potential downpours.

Kimberly Lankford is a contributing editor with Kiplinger. She joined the Texas Standard to advise us on how to prioritize.

Flickr/ Dave Hensley (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Texas has inspired a lot of great music.

To pay tribute, the Texas Standard talked to KUTX’s Laurie Gallardo last week and had her pick her top five Texas songs. But of course, that left out many favorites and classics.

The Standard heard back from listeners, compiled the comments, and brought Gallardo back into the studio to react to some of them.

Drafthouse Films, Participant Media

From Texas Standard:

The 2013 film “The Act of Killing” broke the mold for documentary storytelling. It told the events of Indonesia's 1965 genocide — some estimate more than half a million people were purged following a coup —  from the perspective of the killers. The film even had the killers reenacting what they’d done.

Now, “The Look of Silence” tells the same story from another angle: that of those still living under the rule of the men who murdered their loved ones.

From the Texas Standard.

As recently as 1989 there were almost 1,300 metal truss bridges in the state. Now, we’re down to around 130 — just 10 percent of what we had 25 years ago.