Laura Rice

Laura joined the KUT team in April 2012. She works with Jennifer Stayton each weekday morning to bring you the latest local news during Morning Edition, hosts the noon newscast and reports for on-air and online. You'll also hear Laura with the morning news headlines on KUTX and filling in for Jennifer during the morning drive-time. 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.

Photo via Flickr/plong (CC BY 2.0)

For the first time in a long time, the night of the Fourth of July in Texas will be red, white, blue – and green. That's thanks to abundant rain so far this year. The lower risk for wildfires means more types of fireworks are available for sale across Texas. And as the Texas Standard's Laura Rice reports, fireworks vendors are seeing more people interested in lighting up the night sky for this year's fourth.


 

flickr/hellamike81

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map shows no part of Texas in severe drought and just a few small portions in moderate drought. It's the first time in almost five years the map has looked like this. Still, a bunch of rain doesn't mean all of the state's water concerns are behind us. From the Texas Standard

 


Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

In Texas... that old adage of avoiding mosquitoes at dusk and dawn no longer applies. That's because the state has mosquitoes that are also out and about in the middle of the day. And those are the type that carry a painful disease that's spread from South and Central America into Mexico and now, perhaps Texas. The Texas Standard's Laura Rice has more.

 

 


Photo via Flickr/SkyTruth (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Five years ago today, an explosion on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico killed eleven people.  It also opened the chapter on what eventually would become the largest marine oil spill on record.

 


The Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office says the deaths of 12 people responding to last year’s explosion at the West Fertilizer plant could have been prevented.

The Fire Marshal’s report [PDF] released Thursday night says the first responders killed in the April 2013 fertilizer plant explosion in West,Texas  were not prepared or equipped to deal with such a dangerous situation.

The report says that is not because the first responders failed to perform their duties as they had been trained, but due to a “systemic deficiency in the training and preparation” of the firefighters.

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