A few months ago, my boss, Express-News Projects Editor David Sheppard, asked me to see what we could find out about wrong-way crashes on highways. It seemed like there were a lot of these deadly accidents in the news lately, and local officials had recently unveiled a $500,000 pilot project to install flashing wrong-way signs … Read more
If you’ve ever suspected your neighborhood gas station is stiffing you at the pump, you might already know you can file a complaint with the Weights and Measures Program at the Texas Department of Agriculture. The agency’s inspectors verify the accuracy of gas pumps. But which stations rack up the most complaints, flunk the most … Read more
How did a housekeeper at the Crockett Hotel fall six stories to her death down an elevator shaft? A scathing report by a state inspector offers a theory.
What happens when you’re hit by a city vehicle and file an insurance claim against San Antonio? Now you can find out by searching a database that tracks every claim filed against the city in the past decade. I stumbled across this story by using Google’s advanced search options. Google lets you search specific websites … Read more
The Texas attorney general’s office announced yesterday that it has sued the Texas Highway Patrol Museum, a nonprofit telemarketing organization based in San Antonio that raises millions of dollars in the name of helping state troopers. I had always been curious about the museum, which is housed in a brick building at St. Mary’s and … Read more
After a towering retaining wall collapsed and threatened scores of homes last year in the San Antonio neighborhood of Rivermist, an obvious question arose: How safe were the untold number of other residential retaining walls in the city? Under city code, walls in San Antonio over four feet tall were supposed to go through a … Read more
The reporters used reader-friendly multimedia presentations to make the data come alive.
Public databases empower journalists to do their own research and find surprising answers.
Hopefully it encourages more journalists to take the plunge into computer-assisted reporting.
“I’ve been watching doctors do lots of bizarre things for many years, but robbing a bank was new.”