Looking forward to the future of journalism

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for Oct. 29, 2017

The Texas Tribune investigates furniture rental companies

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

How renting furniture in Texas can land you in jail | The Texas Tribune

“Rental companies can avail themselves of a little-known law written decades ago by the rental industry lobby — in Texas and in many other states — that can turn a dispute over a love seat or big screen TV into a criminal offense report, a trip to jail and even felony theft charges.” Read more …

Texas watchdog journalism roundup: Arson, the Red Cross and Trump’s wall

Chief Charles Hood Press Conference

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

Investigators: Gym owner started deadly blaze that killed firefighter Scott Deem | The San Antonio Express-News

Local officials have released few details about a deadly blaze that killed San Antonio firefighter Scott Deem. But an arrest affidavit obtained by the Express-News reveals that arson suspect Emond Javor Johnson was plagued by financial problems and confessed to starting the fire to get out of a monthly $2,500 lease at the Spartan Gym. Authorities arrested Johnson Wednesday. Read more …

Texas watchdog journalism roundup: Floods, hazing and an unemployed mayor

Flooding in Texas

With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on Texas and forecasters warning the storm could dump 20 inches of rain in some counties, it’s a good time to revisit news stories about the monster floods that keep striking Texas. Read more …

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 …