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Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for June 18, 2017

Apartments owned by David Starr

Low-income landlord David Starr gets tax breaks despite allegations of poor living conditions | San Antonio Express-News

“Over the last 25 years, Starr has used property tax breaks, state tax credits and tax-exempt bonds to build a real estate empire throughout Texas and in Florida, Illinois, Kansas and other states. Most of his local complexes have been financed through two nonprofits he runs: American Opportunity for Housing and American Agape Foundation. Those nonprofits have a long history of allegations of poor and sometimes dangerous living conditions, according to court filings, complaints filed with the city of San Antonio and interviews with more than a dozen current and former residents. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for May 16, 2017

Border killing by U.S. marines

Investigative stories across Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable.

Border killing 20 years ago changed military tactics | San Antonio Express-News

“On an overcast Tuesday afternoon 20 years ago, Esequiel Hernandez, a quiet, gangly teenager who grew up in this dusty border hamlet, set out after school on his regular walk to the Rio Grande with his herd of goats and an old .22 rifle. Heading back, with storm clouds gathering, he was trailed through the brush by four armed and heavily camouflaged Marines.” Read more ….