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. 

Image via 4chan.org

From Texas Standard:

Papers across Texas and across the nation led the news with information on the carnage in Oregon Thursday at Umpqua Community College. Ten people were reported dead, including the 26-year-old shooter.

Investigators are now looking into an online conversation before the shooting took place. Someone wrote: "Don't go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest."

But it's yet to be determined if the web post was made by the shooter, or if it was just an eerie coincidence. Either way, it didn't seem to set off alarms, raise flags or lead to a call to the authorities. Instead, it garnered plenty of responses like this:

"Do it."

"Become legendary."

"I suggest you enter a classroom and tell people that you will take them as hostages. Make everyone get in one corner and then open fire."

These comments and the original post appeared on 4chan.

JosephTye/wikimedia commons

From Texas Standard: It's been four months since the deadly biker shootout in Waco, Texas. The violence left nine people dead, 20 more wounded, and 177 bikers in jail. Now Nathan Penn, a correspondent with GQ, has the untold side of the story

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

From Texas Standard: There are lots of reasons people choose not to live in the cities where they work: cheaper housing, better schools, personal safety, or just wanting some distance between you and the 9-to-5.

Images Money/flickr

From Texas Standard: In Olney, Texas, a family earns $227,709 — but they also receive taxpayer subsidies for rent. A new federal Department of Housing and Urban Development audit finds that 41 percent of families in public housing are making $10,000 more than the income cap.


From Texas Standard

The migrant crisis of 2014 dominated the news last summer. But this week, papers in Houston and San Antonio are reporting that last month nearly 10,000 immigrant families and unaccompanied children were detained at the Texas-Mexico border.

Image via Pixabay/WerbeFabrik (CC0 1.0)

From Texas Standard:

There is an execution scheduled for Wednesday in Oklahoma – but Texas is tied to the case.

According to a court filing, the lawyer for an Oklahoma death row inmate is claiming that his client shouldn't have to use an alternative to pentobarbital, one of the chemicals in the lethal injection cocktail. The filing argues that Texas is compounding its own pentobarbital and has sold the lethal injection drug to at least one other death penalty state: Virginia.

Image via NASA (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard: NASA astronaut Tim Kopra will soon break a record for the number of days a Texan has been in space – five months, to be exact. He'll be visiting the International Space Station, conducting experiments in coordination with ground teams, and bringing materials up for scientists already on ISS. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons

At today’s address before the United States Congress, Pope Francis touched on some of the most divisive issues in American politics. One of those issues has special resonance in along the Texas-Mexico border.

Image Courtesy of Tice Family. Facebook/FREEAustinTice

From Texas Standard:

At a major intersection in Humble, Texas – just north of Houston – a striking new billboard officially unveiled today. It faces south on the Eastex Freeway – you can't miss it.

It will give many people pause, but that's the idea. 

Image courtesy Jeff Gillis, savesandy.org

From Texas Standard: 

Tuesday, China's president arrives in the U.S. for a high-level state visit. President Xi Jinping's first stop is Seattle, and he'll be in Washington to meet President Obama at the end of the week.

Catholic Church of England and Wales/flickr

From Texas Standard:

One of the first things we do each morning – in the wee small hours – is check in on the top stories our colleagues are talking about here in Texas, across the country, and around the world. 

Image via Flickr/Paul Townsend (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

It's been 121 days since the so-called biker gang shootout in Waco. Despite nine deaths and a mass arrest of 177 people – each held for days or weeks on $1 million bonds – there have been exactly zero formal charges brought against anyone. Nor has any evidence been offered to support the arrests. And there's been no word whatsoever on whether (or when) cases might be presented to a grand jury, which is currently led by a Waco police detective.

Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard

An estimated 20,000 people packed into the American Airlines Center Monday night to see Donald Trump live in Dallas, Texas.

Image via Flickr/Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

George P. Bush has been taking an active role in his father's GOP campaign. But has it been negatively affecting his role as the General Land Commissioner?

Just over six months into his term as Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush has been hard at work ... campaigning for his dad.

Bush ran for his current position on a commitment to "reboot" the General Land Office. But he's drawn new headlines recently over how much time he hasn't been at work, despite active initiatives to institute a new management structure and return the agency to zero-based budgeting.

Brian M. Rosenthal, state bureau reporter for the Houston Chronicle, tells the Standard that based on the land commissioner's calendar, George P. Bush was off of work 23 out of the 50 days since his father Jeb Bush announced his run for president.

From Texas Standard:

Picture this: A prominent Republican speaks at one of the country's most liberal enclaves, The University of California at Berkeley. Not only is it a full house, he gets a standing ovation.

Image via Flickr/Mark Taylor (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Tuesday it was the iconic song from Rocky – “Eye of the Tiger” – used at the Kim Davis and Mike Huckabee rally.

Image via Texas Observer, courtesy Progreso ISD

From Texas Standard:

A "systematic breakdown" is how a recent report from the Texas Education Agency described the Progreso School District.

Courtesy of Abdulrahman Zetoun

From Texas Standard:  

Of the millions displaced by the Syrian civil war and the atrocities committed by ISIS terrorists, hundreds of those trying to escape the violence have ended up here, in Texas.

One of those individuals, Abdulrahman Zetoun, arrived in America back in January. In Syria, life was riddled with violence.

"We used to wake up and sleep with the sounds of bombs and explosions and machine guns," Zetoun says. "To see every day dead bodies and injured peoples on the sides of the roads."

Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:   

After a guest editorial was published in the Houston Chronicle warned of a potential meltdown in the state's healthcare safety net, Governor Greg Abbott sent an email from his personal account to a top adviser asking to "see the financials" of author Kenneth Janda's company, Community Health Choice, a non-profit health insurer.

Image via flickr/Cayusa (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Since the televised murder of two reporters last week in Virginia, a 17-year-old was killed in a shooting near an elementary school in southwest Houston, a police officer was shot and killed in Sunset, Louisiana, when he tried to intervene in a violent domestic dispute, and an on-campus shooting at Texas Southern University injured one person.