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Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Nov. 19, 2017

Press conference at Sutherland Springs

The latest investigative stories in Texas that uncovered hidden facts and held officials accountable:

Apple served with search warrant in Sutherland Springs shooting | The San Antonio Express-News

Texas Rangers investigating the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs have served a search warrant on Silicon Valley giant Apple Inc. and are seeking digital photos, messages, documents and other types of data that might have been stored by gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, who was found with an iPhone after he killed himself. Story by John Tedesco and Kelsey Bradshaw

At the Texas Capitol, victims of sexual harassment must fend for themselves | The Texas Tribune

“Interviews with more than two dozen current and former lawmakers and legislative aides indicate sexual harassment regularly goes unchecked at the Texas Capitol. And sexual harassment policies rely on officials with little incentive or authority to enforce them, particularly in cases of harassment by lawmakers.” Story by Alexa Ura, Morgan Smith, Jolie McCullough and Edgar Walters

Reversing course, Austin council to reveal city manager finalists | The Austin American-Statesman

“Austin City Council members will reverse course on their secret search for a city manager and release up to five finalists’ names in the next few days, a week after the American-Statesman staked out candidate interviews and sued the city over refusing to release records on the search.” Story by Elizabeth Findell

Arkema documents: Planning, mechanical failures led to Harvey chemical fires | The Houston Chronicle

Poor planning and a series of cascading equipment failures led to dangerous chemicals erupting into flames in late August during the height of Hurricane Harvey at Arkema’s Crosby plant. “The miscalculations indicate the company’s lack of preparation for more than 3 feet of flooding, reflected by an emergency management plan that barely addressed how to handle such a storm.” Story by Matt Dempsey and Jacob Carpenter

Investigation finds corruption, intimidation at Temple VA campus | The Austin American-Statesman

Struggling veterans who work at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Temple campus have lodged nearly 50 grievances in the past decade, claiming they’ve endured verbal tirades, witnessed thefts and were forced to perform personal work at the homes of high-ranking VA officials. An internal VA inquiry has finally corroborated their complaints. Story by Jeremy Schwartz

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