Laura Rice

Producer, Texas Standard

Laura first joined the KUT team in April 2012. She now works for the statewide program Texas Standard as a reporter and producer. 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

skeeze/Pixabay (Creative Commons CC0)

From Texas Standard:

You’ve heard of minimally invasive surgery – it’s often called laparoscopic surgery. Instead of making a large cut in a patient, and moving tissues and organs that are in the way, doctors make smaller cuts and focus on just the area they need to with the help of a tiny camera.

Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Two people can be in the same situation, but their perceptions of that situation can be very different. And that can affect their experience. Such is the case in a new novel where a woman born into slavery on a tobacco farm is taught to see herself not as a slave who is there because she is less-than human, but as a captive who deserves better, because there is royal blood in her background.

The book is “Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen,” by Austinite Sarah Bird. The novel is based on the true story of Cathy Williams, a slave who was freed after the Civil War and served as a buffalo soldier.

Wikimedia Commons/U.S federal government (public domain)

From Texas Standard:

One question Amazon's Alexa won't be able to answer – at least not yet – is where Amazon will build its next headquarters.

It's been a year since the tech company announced it has outgrown its Seattle home base and needs to expand elsewhere. But the $1 trillion company has been tight-lipped about where that might be.

Since that announcement, 238 U.S. cities ingratiated themselves to the company, trying to win its favor. Amazon whittled that list of bids to 20 finalists, and among them are Austin and Dallas.

Ken Lund/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

In early January 2017, a fire allegedly started by Mark Vincent Perez burned a mosque in Victoria to the ground. Since then, the community has remained quiet about the motivations for this act of arson. As the case goes to trial, details are finally coming out, one witness at a time.

Jos @ FPS-Groningen/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Texas is becoming increasingly urban, but lots of folks still live in the vast rural swathes of the state, as do their animals. That’s why it’s a problem that there’s a big shortage of veterinarians, who want to practice away from the big cities. The solution seemed simple to Texas Tech University – just open a new veterinary school in the Panhandle to get more people trained.

Photo via Office of the Texas Attorney General

From Texas Standard.

Texas is facing lawsuits over some of its abortion laws, including House Bill 2, which restricts access to abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires abortion clinics to maintain the same medical facilities as hospitals. The state is also being sued over the Fetal Burial Law, which requires clinics to bury remains from abortions and miscarriages.

From Texas Standard:

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, New York City had a problem – tens of thousands of homeless children. Widespread poverty and disease led to a city overrun with orphans and unwanted children. That is until a minister had an idea: send them west.

From Texas Standard.

In the present moment, all eyes are on the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexican border. However, Vance Blackfox can’t help but look back and remember the separations of his people in years past.

Facebook

From Texas Standard.

Keeping a secret can be hard, especially within some corners of small-town Texas. Lou Anne Smoot of Tyler, Texas kept a secret for most of her life. But she’s now the author of a book sharing her story. The memoir, “Out: A Courageous Woman’s Journey,” is about Smoot’s experience coming out as gay as a 60-year-old Southern Baptist, and what that meant for her faith and family.

Pablo Andrés Rivero/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Many American media outlets – along with UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Pope Francis, and even far-right French leader Marine Le Pen – have all criticized the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. Josue Moreno is a bilingual journalist working at the Texas Standard this summer, and he’s looked into how Central American media are responding to the crisis.

Phillip Pessar/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

A year ago Saturday, Amazon announced it was buying Whole Foods, prompting a flurry of questions about what it meant for the country’s biggest online retailer to get involved in the grocery business. Since then, the industry has started exploring ecommerce, but Amazon has been moving cautiously.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

The Austin City Council will vote this Thursday on a package of proposals designed to make the capital city Texas’ first “freedom city.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

On Monday, the Department of Justice announced an important policy change – one that will affect the qualifications for claiming asylum in the U.S.

Wikimedia Commons

From Texas Standard.

The landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education set a historical precedent for education reform in the country. The ruling that found state laws requiring separate public schools for black and white students unconstitutional is widely discussed in classrooms, but a less familiar story is the legal debate that led to the trial’s conclusion in 1954.

USDA NRCS Texas/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Wild boars, feral swine – many call them feral hogs. But as lots of Texans know, they’re the source of much angst and misery. Feral hogs cause property loss of more than $1.5 billion nationwide, about a quarter of which is in Texas. And that may be a conservative estimate. Now, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is stepping in with what it hopes is a solution.

American Council on Education

From Texas Standard.

Dr. Diana Natalicio has been called “the voice, the face, the strength and the sheer rock” of the University of Texas at El Paso. Now, after 45 years at the university and 30 years as its president, she has announced plans to retire.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard.

If you didn’t vote in this week’s primary runoff elections, you’re hardly alone. In fact, you are in the vast majority. According to the Texas Election Source, fewer than 1 million ballots were cast in both parties’ primary runoffs. For the Democrats, it was the lowest primary runoff turnout with a governor’s race on the ballot in almost a century. The Texas Election Source reports the Republicans actually had one of the highest turnouts for a runoff election year, but the percentage of voter participation was still just around 3 percent.

Mo Amer/Instagram

From Texas Standard.

Comedian Mo Amer calls Houston home and he’s coming to Austin next month to record his first hour-long Netflix comedy special. He’s been called a pioneer of Arab-American standup and he’s toured for years with Dave Chappelle.

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

From Texas Standard.

On May 31, President Donald Trump will be back in Texas for lunch – $5,000 per plate – with well heeled Houstonians, then that evening he’ll preside at a dinner in Dallas.

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

From Texas Standard.

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor Map shows most of Texas is in some stage of drought. The worst of it is up in the Panhandle, but almost everything southwest of the Brazos is affected.

KBE/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

When we think about countries that pose a nuclear threat to the United States, North Korea probably tops the list. But in 1962, at the height of the Cold War, it was the Soviet Union whose missiles kept the U.S. on high alert. And some of those nuclear missiles were as close to the U.S. as 90 miles – in Cuba. A new book explores the Cuban Missile Crisis through the little-known story of U.S. pilots who flew U-2 spy planes in an attempt to find out what sort of threat the Soviets’ armaments posed.

"True Conviction" is coming to Independent Lens on PBS.

From Texas Standard.

Christopher Scott was sentenced to life in prison in 1997 for capital murder. He spent more than a dozen years behind bars before another man confessed to the crime and Scott was declared innocent. With his second chance at freedom, Scott teamed up with two other exonerated Texans to form a Dallas detective agency of sorts to help others who have been wrongfully convicted.

Austin Price/KUT

From Texas Standard.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a long-running Texas redistricting case. The dispute goes back to 2011, when Republicans in the state legislature drew Congressional and state legislative districts in a way designed to favor GOP candidates, and to move as many Democrats as possible into a few other districts.

The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

From Texas Standard.

When Heman Sweatt applied to the University of Texas at Austin Law School in 1946, he was automatically rejected because he was black. He sued, and the case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices ruled unanimously in his favor, and Sweatt became the first black student at the UT Law School.

But his enrollment was just the beginning of a long struggle to integrate the school.

Screenshot/Texas Archive of the Moving Image

From Texas Standard.

Many of us have a cabinet or a closet at home with a stack of homemade VHS tapes – or those little tapes that went into newer-model camcorders – or maybe even Super 8s on little plastic reels. What’s on them may be personally worth keeping. But in the age of Blu-ray and digital files, will you ever watch them again?

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

A lot of interesting people pass through the Texas Standard studios – high-profile politicians, authors, and musicians among them. But the guest who came through this week caused a bit of a stir. Native Texan, Academy Award winner, and proud Austinite Matthew McConaughey sat down with host David Brown – not to plug a movie, but to talk about why he calls Austin home.

LBJ Library photo by Yoichi Okamoto

From Texas Standard.

Because 1968 was such a historic year, 2018 is packed with momentous 50th anniversaries. It was a year of ideological divides, assassinations, Vietnam – and a Texan in the White House tasked with leading the country through it all.

Pixabay

From Texas Standard.

Every spring, wildflowers bring Texans and visitors alike out of their homes for all kinds of photo ops. It’s not uncommon to see dozens of cars parked along Texas highways as families pose in patches of bluebonnets.

Maciek Lulko/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Depending on your sense of community, and how intentional you want to be regarding whom you do business with, the ownership of your bank is not just a remote, esoteric question.

Pages