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. 

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From Texas Standard:

State lawmakers filed resolutions on Tuesday calling for a convention of states to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

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From Texas Standard:

After a series of bad gambles on real-estate investments and a history of mismanagement, the Dallas Police and Fire Pension system has amassed $2 billion in liabilities. In a panic, employees have been pulling out their money – a move that could potentially bankrupt the city.

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From Texas Standard:

Over the weekend, President-elect Donald Trump took a controversial call from Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen.

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From Texas Standard:

Willie Nelson may have sung it best :

I saw miles and miles of Texas, all the stars up in the sky

I saw miles and miles of Texas, gonna live here till I die

Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

In this era of hyper-partisan politics, the denouement of the Democrat's house leadership fight on capitol hill today is an important reminder of something: not all the major battles are initiated by the other side.

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From Texas Standard:

President-elect Donald Trump has called for “extreme vetting” – his preferred wording for a policy that would essentially close U.S. borders to refugees from predominantly Muslim countries. Texas has rebranded its “bathroom bill” as the “Women’s Privacy Act” – a proposal to deny people who are transgender from using public bathrooms that fit with their gender identity. The white nationalist movement calls itself the “alt-right.” Abortion advocates say they are part of the “pro-choice” movement and anti-abortion advocates call themselves “pro-lifers.”

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From Texas Standard:

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants become naturalized citizens each year. But for many the path to citizenship can disappear in a cloud of official obfuscation. It’s a little-known program designed to weed out security threats by flagging citizenship applications on the basis of mysterious, undefined criteria – forcing applicants to spend thousands of dollars in unnecessary legal fees, locking down their travel and sometimes separating families.

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From Texas Standard:

The Dallas Mavericks are boycotting stays at hotels owned by President-elect Donald Trump. And #grabyourwallet is trending on social media sites – a shoutout for Trump opponents to boycott companies that do business with Trump enterprises, or with companies whose CEOs gave money to Trump’s election campaign. Some of the companies include Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Neiman Marcus and T.J. Maxx.


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From Texas Standard:

It's the first day for Texas lawmakers to file bills for the upcoming session at the Statehouse. Competing for the attention and votes of state lawmakers are issues of education funding and safety for the most vulnerable Texans – foster kids.

Lauren McGaughy, who'll be covering the 85th Legislature for the Dallas Morning News, says bill filers often "front-load" so a lot of bills are filed on the first day.


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From Texas Standard:

In late October, before President-elect Donald Trump won the electoral college, he released his plan for his first 100 days in office.

Screenshot via fivethirtyeight.com

From Texas Standard:

One fateful night in 2000 left the nation without a president-elect for over a month: the election between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush was too close to call.

But that didn't stop network news from calling the race wrong – twice. First, many reported that Gore won Florida, then media sites called the electoral college for Bush, as the official campaign results played out in the courtroom.
 


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From Texas Standard:

It’s the final full day of the 2016 presidential campaign, but in Tyler, Texas, it's not politics on the minds of most folks today. It is, rather, the story of ten-year-old Kayla Gomez-Orozco, the subject of a statewide Amber Alert since she went missing after a church service last Tuesday night.

Her body was found Sunday morning behind a home in Bullard, Texas. About 300 people turned out last night at Kayla's elementary school for a vigil. A family member has been arrested and is being held in the Smith County Jail on a federal Immigration Customs detainer. The suspect had been deported in 2014 but returned to Texas a short time later.

The daily newspaper there devotes its entire front page to Kayla's story and how parents are struggling to talk with their own kids about the incident. This is happening at a time when Tyler and the rest of the nation are settling in for an historic election.

Here's our last statewide editors' roundtable before the 2016 election, with editors from Tyler, El Paso and Odessa.


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From Texas Standard:

We're just one day away from putting the 2016 election in the record books – so we thought we'd take a few minutes to highlight the top five Texas moments that shaped the election.

Kevin Diaz, Washington correspondent for the Houston Chronicle, says many of these top five Texas-related moments involve the state's junior senator and one-time presidential candidate, Ted Cruz.

 


Screenshot via Die Zeit

From Texas Standard:

If the world could decide the next U.S. president, who would they pick?

A German newspaper Die Zeit asked its readers that very question. Other foreign newspapers sent their correspondents to the States – to Texas, in particular – to cover the U.S. election.

Johannes Kuhn, a reporter from the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, says he's been covering the election in and around the Lone Star state. He says the biggest surprise is the way it's been both "entertaining and very over-the-top."


Bob Daemmrich/Texas Tribune

From Texas Standard:

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller called Hillary Clinton a sexually explicit and obscene epithet – publicly, on Twitter.

He says a staffer posted it, but does that mean he shouldn’t be held responsible?

 


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From Texas Standard:

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled bans on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. But as much of a landmark case as that was, some say it left an open interpretation of that right and its associated rights.

Top Texas officials filed an amicus brief last Thursday with the Texas Supreme Court, asking judges to reconsider a Houston lawsuit from early September. At the heart of the case is whether the affirmation of same-sex marriage across the country also compels public employers to extend benefits to married same-sex couples.

 


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From Texas Standard

After reports that Child Protective Services caseworkers have let thousands of children at risk for abuse and neglect slip through the system’s cracks, a select team of police will begin to search the state for them.

The more than 2,800 children aren’t missing – they've instead been put on waiting lists for state intervention after tips about their safety were called in on the Texas child abuse hotline.

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