Kate McGee, KUT News

Kate is the education reporter at KUT, covering the Austin Independent School District, public, and higher education in Texas. She got her public radio start at Fordham University's WFUV. Her voice has been heard on the East and West coasts as a reporter and producer for WNYC and KUNR in Reno, Nevada. She has also appeared on NPR's Morning Edition,  All Things Considered, The Takeaway  and more. In her spare time, Kate enjoys discovering new music, traveling and trying local beers. 

A little more than 10 years ago, Texas banned soda machines and deep fryers in public school cafeterias.

Now the state's current agriculture commissioner, Sid Miller, wants to do away with that ban. He believes these kinds of restrictions should be in the hands of local school boards — not state regulators. But some students are among those who aren't happy about this idea.

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Let's go back now to the town of West, Texas. It was the scene of dramatic news on Wednesday and Thursday, as a fertilizer plant there caught fire and then exploded, leveling dozens of nearby homes and buildings in this small city just north of Waco. Authorities are still not sure how many people died. An investigation is continuing into the cause of the blast which injured at least 160 people.

Kate McGee, of member station KUT, reports that for many, the tragedy has only reinforced a sense of community.