Laura Rice, KUT News | KERA News

Laura Rice, KUT News

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

Why It's Hard To Buy A Tesla In Texas

Jun 9, 2017

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.

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.

From Texas Standard:

Over the last several months, opponents of President Donald Trump's plan for the expansion of a border wall with Mexico have listed innumerable reasons why they believe it's a bad idea. And now there’s one new reason. Construction as planned may violate a 47-year-old boundary treaty between the two countries – an issue that could end up in an international court.

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump's latest executive order focuses on the way the federal government gives visas to highly trained foreign workers. It's part of the administration's "buy American, hire American" efforts, and it could have a pretty significant impact on Texas.

From Texas Standard:

The United States officially entered World War I 100 years ago, Thursday. While the fighting took place overseas, the war’s impact was far flung, much of it striking right here in Texas.

From Texas Standard:

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticized so-called "sanctuary cities" and threatened cuts in federal funding if local governments do not cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) requests to detain people in their jails who may be undocumented. In Austin, both the city and county government have resisted some federal hold requests, and Mayor Steve Adler says he’s looking for clarification as to the federal government’s intentions.

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