Something in the Air

In the Texas Panhandle, which produces a fifth of the U.S. beef supply, communities are being choked by fecal dust from nearby feedlots. The state’s regulatory agency isn’t doing anything about it — and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Feb 3, 2020
Length: 15 minutes (3,919 words)

The Prison Inside Prison

Decades with no personal contact, no way back into the general prison population, cut off from the possibility of parole — solitary confinement is an ongoing experiment in cruelty on human subjects.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Jan 21, 2020
Length: 25 minutes (6,335 words)

A Dying Town

Texas’ rural hospitals are closing in record numbers, and without access to medical help in an emergency, Texans’ lives are in danger.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Nov 4, 2019
Length: 18 minutes (4,652 words)

Life And Limb

Sophie Novack reports on why residents of the Rio Grande Valley lose limbs and appendages to diabetes-related amputation at a rate 50 percent higher than anywhere else in the United States.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Mar 1, 2019
Length: 15 minutes (3,797 words)

Checkpoint Nation

ICE is bad, but as that agency gets the bulk of critics’ ire, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency legally operates within 100 miles of the border, where it needs neither warrents nor explanations to search and detain American citizens. Civil liberties are in danger. How did this happen?

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Oct 8, 2018
Length: 20 minutes (5,074 words)

Big Trouble in Little Cambodia

Hurricane Harvey decimated a small Texas Cambodian community’s houses and farmland. When white far-right groups arrived to help them rebuild, tensions mounted between FEMA and the volunteers, whose vocal, Neo-Confederate politics raised many questions about what they wanted with a group of Buddhists.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Jan 22, 2018
Length: 11 minutes (2,901 words)

The First Time Texas Killed One of My Clients

An attorney remembers the life of a death row inmate killed by the state of Texas.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Mar 11, 2016
Length: 19 minutes (4,884 words)

Reckoning With Rosie

Thirty-eight years ago, a young woman in Texas died of an illegal abortion. Rosie Jimenez’s story is now more relevant than ever.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Nov 3, 2015
Length: 13 minutes (3,250 words)

The Thin Purple Line

After a controversial raid on a West Texas smoke shop, nothing is hazier than the truth. On synthetic drugs, federal muscle and the limits of freedom:

Source: Texas Observer
Published: Jul 28, 2014
Length: 22 minutes (5,632 words)

Childhood Lost

Sarah Brian says her two children were stolen by her own parents—with help from the state of Texas.

As a 25-year-old woman who’d grown convinced that her parents were trying to control her, Sarah saw her arrest and her daughter’s removal as stark displays of just how little power she had in her hometown. The court order mandated she was allowed to be with Zoe only if one of her parents supervised. But they fell gradually back into their old routines, Sarah making Zoe’s organic baby food in the kitchen and taking her daughter out for walks. Sarah and her parents often had heated fights over parenting questions—like whether the girl should eat peanut butter—letting Sarah’s father decide.

She placated her parents, they later claimed, by scheduling an evaluation with a doctor in Shreveport, Louisiana, later in 2007, but secretly she planned her escape. On the computer at home, while she watched her daughter and her mother watched her, Sarah discreetly researched other cities—weather, support networks, work prospects—and settled on Flagstaff, Arizona. Pictures of its forests and hills even reminded her a little of home.

Source: Texas Observer
Published: May 6, 2014
Length: 25 minutes (6,383 words)