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

Craig Sunter/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

New U.S. Census Bureau numbers show some Texas counties and metropolitan areas are growing because of both domestic and international migration.

New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show Texas is still growing.

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Over the last three weeks, a bombing spree in the Texas capital city shared eerie similarities to a string of Austin killings from 1885 that continued for over a year.

“The idea that these were crimes aimed at minority residents, in a weird way pacified people in Austin in 1885,” Skip Hollandsworth says. “And you can see it in the same fashion in the last three weeks.”

Shutterstock

From Texas Standard.

President Donald Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency. The Texas Department of State Health Services says more than 1,100 Texans died from opioids in 2016. Cities and counties across the state have had to increase services to meet the demand.

Fox Searchlight Pictures

From Texas Standard.

Film has now been part of South by Southwest for 25 years. It’s grown from a local fest to a competitive international stage for filmmakers and has launched the careers of many big names. Academy Award winner Brie Larson credits SXSW with launching her career and so does Oscar nominee Greta Gerwig.

When SXSW Film began in the mid-90s, it was a very different event than it is today.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT

From Texas Standard.

Schools have been top of mind recently, especially when it comes to safety. Staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida are returning to their campus today to prepare to restart a school year that was interrupted by the shooting that left 17 people dead on February 14.

KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Global warming and climate change are two oft-used phrases in the conversation about energy production. Much of the time, scientists and reporters present the remedy as “green” energy, such as solar or wind. But there’s a lot we still don’t know about the climate effects of these energy sources.

Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, so it makes sense that researchers from New York would turn to the Lone Star State to study how wind power affects local climates.

Marvel

From Texas Standard.

Next month, the legend of the Black Panther is set to explode with a new movie. But this comic book character is more than just a costumed superhero.

King T’Challa, better known as Black Panther, was originally dreamed up by Marvel Comics legendary editor-in-chief Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby in 1966 and he’s been tearing up the pages of comic books ever since.

Rose Robin/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

It might sound a little different than you remember, but there’s a new version of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” going around online. With 2 million views online, it was finally taken down for copyright reasons.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

Based on a Houston Chronicle investigation that found the Texas Education Agency had capped access to special education services, the U.S. Department of Education has concluded that Texas violated federal law in a deliberate effort to lower the number of students receiving aid.

© Inge Morath/Magnum Photos. Arthur Miller Papers, Harry Ransom Center.

From Texas Standard.

Playwright Arthur Miller is probably best known for “Death of a Salesman” or “The Crucible.” The Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist spent most of his life on the east coast. But when it came to manuscripts and working notes for his plays, Miller gave the first boxes of his papers to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, back in the 60s. Now, the research library and museum has acquired more of his archive.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard.

As we make the turn from 2017 to 2018, one of the big areas we ought to keep an eye on is the economy. The jobs Texans do in the future will look a little different than they have in the past. That’s of course in part due to the impacts of technology, but it also has to do with the needs of the community.

Dr. Ray Perryman, who heads the economic and financial analysis firm the Perryman Group in Waco, says the biggest gains will be in health care.

Barbara Brannon/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

There’s a city of sorts in the Texas Panhandle that really isn’t a regular city at all. It has a post office, a museum, and a church – but other than that, it’s mostly just homes, dorms, and school buildings. Boys Ranch, Texas is home to Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch, a residential community for at-risk children. It’s been serving this purpose for close to 80 years. But now, some former residents say it’s Boys Ranch itself that really put them at risk.

NOAA Photo Library/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

A musician and a scientist fall in love and then move to the South Pole. It’s not the intro to a joke – it’s the story of Jennifer McCallum and John Bird, the authors and protagonists of a new book called “One Day, One Night: Portraits of the South Pole.”

Bob Muller/Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

It’s hard to fit Americana music into a traditional category. It’s a little bit rock 'n' roll, a little soul, a lot of blues and more than a dash of country. Long before Americana started to become a growing category of its own, there was a Texan from Fort Worth named Delbert McClinton who really had it to himself.

His life story is told in the new book Delbert McClinton: One of the Fortunate Few by biographer Diana Finlay Hendricks.

When the National Archives made public thousands of documents on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy earlier this year, there was a lot of anticipation about what was in those files.

What we may learn is far from clear, but it’s possible that nothing from those files will be quite as powerful as the real-life recollections of the man who recently sat in the Texas Standard’s studios.

Chris Blakeley/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Few modern creations match the convenience of online holiday shopping – that is, unless you’ve had a package stolen from your front porch. Across the country, mail and delivery burglaries are on the rise, but one central Texas Police chief knows just the place place to send packages this holiday season.

Last week, the Round Rock Police Department launched Operation Front Porch, a program aimed at reducing the number of front door burglaries during the holiday season. Residents can ship packages directly to the city’s police department address and pick them up during normal business hours once they arrive.

Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard.

The Dallas Morning News conducted an investigation this summer about what happens to kids after a mother’s arrest. In the process, they stumbled on an interesting fact – more women are being jailed in Texas, even though arrests of women have dropped.

Investigative reporter Cary Aspinwall found that the number of women in county jails across Texas awaiting trial has increased about 50 percent since 2011.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

This Election Day, school bond measures are on the ballot for many communities across Texas. More than 50 school districts are asking voters to approve around $8 billion in bonds. More than $1 billion is for just one school district, Austin ISD. Spring Branch ISD in Harris County is asking for about $900 million.

Joe Smith, a retired superintendent from East Texas who now runs the website Texas ISD, says Texas schools are growing quickly and more bonds would help to build new facilities.

KUT News

From Texas Standard:

Two Houston-area high school students protesting the Pledge of Allegiance say their constitutional rights have been violated by their school districts – and they’re taking their protest to court.

stephenvelasco/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard.

Travis County, home to Austin, has been working to build a better voting system – one that satisfies the need to maintain security and accessibility for voters. Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir, the chief election official, has been a part of developing the system, called STAR Vote, which would have replaced the current Hart InterCivic eSlate system that has been in use since 2001. That system cost roughly $7 million, and has seen several security augmentations over the years.

Eugenio Hernández/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 )

From Texas Standard:

Eugenio Hernandez Flores, the former governor of a Mexican border state, was arrested earlier this month in Tamaulipas on charges of misuse of public funds and use of illicit funds. Now, federal prosecutors in the U.S. are officially asking the Mexican government to hand over the former governor so Flores can face charges on this side of the border.

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

From Texas Standard:

The number of craft breweries in Texas is up 990 percent in the last 12 years, according to CBRE, a real estate services company. Its recent report found a big increase in the demand for commercial real estate for these breweries. Also aiding the trend are changes in Texas law that make it easier for brewers to sell their beer, whether on-site at the brewery, or via other channels.

http://www.texasstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/4825630331_c89b30c92d_o.jpg

From Texas Standard:

For those who need bubbles in their belly but who are trying to cut down on the soda, sparkling water is becoming the carbonated beverage of choice.

But in Texas, not just any sparkling water will do. Last year, Texas Standard reported on how the rest of the world had finally tapped into something Texans have been big on for years: a little something from south of the border called Topo Chico.

Mengwen Cao/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The week began with expectations that by now, the Senate would be preparing for a vote on the GOP health care plan – perhaps over the holiday weekend. But that's not going to happen because Republican leaders couldn't muster the votes.

Photo courtesy Celis Brewery

From Texas Standard:

With new breweries popping up all the time, buzz over Texas’ booming craft beer scene has been consistent over the last few years. But Austin’s newest taproom is cutting through the noise with a reboot of what the founders say was Austin’s oldest craft brewery.

Oregon Department of Transportation /Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 2.0]

From Texas Standard:

photo in the Houston Chronicle this week shows some of the hundreds of people waiting in line to get a driver's license at a Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. Lining up to apply for a driver's license is never a pleasant experience, but this month it got even worse when DPS abruptly announced cuts in business hours at 11 of the state's busiest driver's license offices, along with plans to lay off more than 100 employees.

 

Photo courtesy Jason Isaac

From Texas Standard:

Puerto Rico voted by a margin of 97 percent this weekend to become America’s 51st state. While the actual process of gaining statehood requires a number of steps, including congressional approval, the referendum showed overwhelming support for the move and is being interpreted by many as representing the will of the Puerto Rican people.

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

From Texas Standard:

Ever sat at the gas pump, and just wondered when enough is enough? Constantly fluctuating gas prices, the wasted time spent sitting at the pump – not to mention fumes, smog and other environmental factors – all lead to the search for a better alternative.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez/KUT News

From Texas Standard:

After months of back and forth over how to fix what ails funding for Texas schools, lawmakers argued late into the night, Wednesday over a bill that would pump more state money into school budgets statewide. In the end, members of the House and Senate couldn't see eye to eye on what to leave in the bill to make school financing more equitable statewide.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/San+Antonio

From Texas Standard:

Each legislative session, there are bills that grab the spotlight and then those that move through far more quietly, but still have the potential to affect a lot of lives. That may be the case this session for Senate Bill 715.

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