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. 

Konni Burton/Facebook

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump said in a meeting Tuesday that he would “destroy” the career of a Texas state senator who was pushing for legislation to change current civil asset forfeiture laws in the state.

Trump was meeting with sheriffs from around the country when Rockwall County Sheriff Harold Eavenson commented that an unnamed senator was seeking to require a person to be convicted of a crime before the state could seize any of their assets.

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From Texas Standard:

A special report by the Austin-American Statesman found that teachers who engage in improper relationships or who may solicit sex with students are not always punished for doing so.

The Statesman’s Julie Chang looked at 686 cases between 2010 and 2017 where public school teachers allegedly participated in flirtatious text messages, kissing, sexual relationships and other banned relations with a student within their school district.

Ken Lund/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning travel for 90 days from seven Muslim-majority countries on Jan. 27. The word came late that Friday, sparking confusion among travelers, visa holders, airlines and government officials. Questions arose over who exactly was affected and how the ban would be implemented.

But before those issues can be fully worked out, a legal battle over the executive order is adding to all the confusion. Trump’s executive order is temporarily blocked nationwide as of this past Friday, Feb. 3.

Screenshot via c-span.org

This week, Iran's defense minister confirmed the country had tested a new ballistic missile. Iran has said the weapons test did not violate a deal with the United States aimed at keeping nuclear ambitions in check.

U.S Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump signed a multitude of executive orders last week. One directive blocked Syrian refugees from coming to the United States indefinitely; banned anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days; and put a 120-day suspension on all refugee admissions.

Trump also signed an order placing Steve Bannon on the National Security Council’s principals committee, while demoting the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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From Texas Standard:

The 10th Amendment, the Tea Party and sanctuary cities are three things that one wouldn’t imagine having much in common. But they do – perhaps now more than ever.

A few years ago conservatives pointed to the 10th Amendment, which safeguards states’ rights, as a bulwark against orders from the Obama administration.

Screenshot/nytimes.com video

From Texas Standard:

At Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, he laid out his foreign policy plan for his next four years in office:

“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first — America first."

U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Flickr (Government Work)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump called for a “complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the United States during his campaign. He falsely claimed the U.S. has no system to vet refugees seeking to enter the country. He’s also championed creating an “extreme vetting” process for any and all immigrants and visitors to the U.S. – mapping out a three-pronged approach to immigration.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Before President Barack Obama leaves office, for the final time, the Chicago Tribune reports Obama plans to issue more executive pardons and clemency orders.

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From Texas Standard:

The Texas House and Senate released their separate budget proposals for the next two years on Tuesday. There’s a nearly $5.3 billion difference between the two.

Sarah Montgomery/KUT

From Texas StandardTuesday Planned Parenthood heads to court for the first of three days of hearings to defend their right to stay in the Texas Medicaid program.

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From Texas StandardA federal judge is ordering Pasadena, Texas to submit its voting system for federal approval – marking the first such order since the Supreme Court decision in 2013 striking down the heart of the Voting Rights Act.

Norma Monette/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the past year, Texas has seen a surge of Cuban immigrants crossing the border, hoping to take part in what’s known as the U.S. “wet foot/dry foot” policy – worried the policy would soon disappear with the government’s normalization of ties with Cuba.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas StandardIn 2012, the mayor of San Antonio, Julián Castro, won a spot at the Democratic National Convention. He gave a keynote address that would propel him into the national spotlight – in a similar way that Sen. Barack Obama's speech had some eight years before. Castro's rising profile was reaffirmed when President Obama tapped him to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2014.

Screenshot U.S. Senate

From Texas StandardTexan Rex Tillerson, former Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO, sat in a grueling and contentious senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee grilled Tillerson on foreign policy to help determine whether or not he’s suitable to take up the mantle of secretary of state under President-elect Donald Trump.

Gage Skidmore/Flickr

From Texas Standard:

After Donald Trump is sworn in as president, the center of his operation is expected to move from Trump Tower in Manhattan to the White House. But not all of Trump’s team will be making the transition.

@whitehouse/Instagram

From Texas Standard:

As President Barack Obama leaves office, one of the legacies he’ll leave behind is his social media presence. He was one of the first presidents to use social media in such an extensive way, across multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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

From Texas Standard:

Today marks the start of the 85th Texas legislative session. Lawmakers will have 140 days to pass bills and set the budget for the next two years. But the projected amount they’ll have to work with is 2.7 percent less than what they've been expecting.

Javier Palomarez/Twitter

From Texas Standard:

Over the course of the 2016 campaign, Javier Palomarez, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president and CEO repeatedly criticized Donald Trump, calling him a "buffoon," and calling his mass deportation plan "the argument of a child and fear mongering at its worst."

Images Money/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Citizens and journalists requesting Texas public records won’t have a lot of luck getting government contract information right now. Requests for information on nonprofits getting state funding also will come up short.

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