Rhonda Fanning

Producer, The Texas Standard

Rhonda  joined KUT in late 2013 as producer for the station's new daily news program, Texas Standard. Rhonda will forever be known as the answer to the trivia question, “Who was the first full-time hire for The Texas Standard?”  She’s an Iowa native who got her start in public radio at WFSU in Tallahassee, while getting her Master's Degree in Library Science at Florida State University. Prior to joining KUT and The Texas Standard, Rhonda was a producer for Wisconsin Public Radio. 

Texas State Library and Archives Commission/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A federal judge in California on Tuesday froze President Donald Trump’s executive order that would withhold funds from “sanctuary cities” across the nation. So far, the base definition of such an area includes jurisdictions that refuse to cooperate with immigration detention orders.

Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Even as President Donald Trump and the news media mark the 100th day of his administration, the thoughts of those keeping up with politics are already turning to the 2018 midterm elections.

Hourick/Wikimedia Commons (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

Many have expressed concern and outrage over the way police treat citizens, especially African-Americans and other minorities. The Black Lives Matter movement began in response to the deaths of African-Americans in police custody, including Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and the arrest of Sandra Bland, who was later found dead in a Waller County jail, an apparent suicide.

Jon Ossoff/Twitter

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday was a late night for political junkies, and residents of Georgia's 6th Congressional District, who were voting to decide on a new member of Congress. CNN called the race just after midnight. There will be a June runoff between Democrat Jon Ossoff – who won just under 50 percent of the vote – and Republican Karen Handel. The special election had pitted Ossoff against 11 Republicans.

dcJohn/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

When it comes to what kids can be taught in Texas public school classrooms, one evergreen issue has persisted: the theory of evolution.

It has been 158 years since Charles Darwin wrote his treatise on the origin of species. He was far from the first to suggest an evolutionary basis for biology, and he was far from the last to assert that evolution is not necessarily incompatible with longstanding religious beliefs.

Gary Goodenough/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Immigration is at the forefront of political discourse in Texas according to the Texas Lyceum Poll, an independent opinion poll that is conducted each year to gather the opinions of Texans on major policy issues facing the state.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

As the legislative session heads into its final six weeks, lawmakers have a lot left to do. They face the task of reconciling budgets passed by the House and Senate into a single document. They must act on the governor’s emergency agenda items. And they’ll need to decide the fate of the more than 6,000 bills filed during the session.

Texas Comptroller/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Since the 1980s, Texas has set aside a portion of state funds specifically to be used when things aren’t so rosy. It seems like an economically prudent move, but now some say the operations of the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) – also known as the Rainy Day Fund – make no fiscal sense. Texas State Comptroller Glenn Hegar says it’s time for a change.

Courtesy of Matthew Dowd

From Texas Standard:

As the U.S. becomes increasingly divided along party lines, many are losing faith in the American political system. ABC News analyst and Texas resident Matthew Dowd says that despite current partisan struggles, trust in the system can be restored. He explores the topic in his new book, “A New Way: Embracing the Paradox as we Lead and Serve.”

Courtesy of Carnegie Library in Bryan, Texas

From Texas Standard:

The wonderful thing about the age of the internet is having a library at your fingertips. Anything is available online. My question: what is the oldest library in Texas? With a click of a search button, there's your answer. Well, answers. According to this map, there are three oldest libraries in Texas. Which is, of course, not logically possible.

Ted Cruz
Mengwen Cao/KUT

From Texas Standard:

It’s one day after United States Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) assured residents of Denton that the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is not dead.

Cruz joined Host David Brown to talk about foreign affairs, repealing Obamacare and this year’s race for the Senate.

Mrs. Gemstone/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A federal judge has ruled for the second time that a Texas law has intentionally discriminated against minority voters.

Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick entered the current legislative session with a long list of priorities, and a conservative wind at his back. But despite these advantages, Patrick is unlikely to get what he wants. And that’s largely because of fellow Republican and House Speaker Joe Straus.

A U.S. Navy cruiser releases a tomahawk cruise missile
U.S. Naval Surface Warriors/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

The U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base, Thursday raises a number of questions about President Donald Trump’s true intentions in the region. Trump announced that the strike was in retaliation for Syria’s chemical weapons attack on a town in the northern part of the country, earlier in the week. But after six years of war, 300,000 dead, 5 million refugees and now 59 cruise missiles, fired 100 years to the day after the U.S. entered the war in which chemical weapons were first used, many are asking what will happen next?

Congressman Ted Poe
U.S. House of Representatives/Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

Congressman Ted Poe (R-Humble) surprised observers last week when he announced he would leave the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers whose opposition to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) put them at odds with President Donald Trump and House leadership.

U.N. Security Council chamber
Jessica Spengler/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday, Syria launched a chemical gas attack on a northern area held by rebels. Pope Francis has called the attack an “unacceptable massacre,” according to the New York Times. And an unnamed state department official has called it a war crime.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News.

From Texas Standard:

Groups supporting President Donald Trump’s policies like ‘Great America Alliance’, ‘America First Policies’, and ‘Making America Great’ provide cover for ongoing political fights – from healthcare to the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court. But there are signs that these groups are willing to go so far in promoting the Trump agenda that they could end up turning their fire on fellow members of the GOP who don't cooperate with their goals.

Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The filibuster – in which a senator or group of senators can control the Senate floor as long as they continue speaking – is a tool of the underdog. And if Senate Republicans don’t get the votes they need to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the filibuster may be history.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Debates over the budget, the bathroom bils and sanctuary cities are getting national attention, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Joe Straus get a lot of the headlines. But what about Governor Greg Abbott? Why has he been so quiet?

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz has drawn his first election challenger. Democratic Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso announced his intention to run for the Democratic Senate nomination in 2018, after which he would likely face Cruz in the general election. O’Rourke spent the weekend holding rallies around the state to announce his candidacy.

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