Looking forward to the future of journalism

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 August 8, 2017

Coal mining in South Texas

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

In Trump era, coal plant south of San Antonio off chopping block | San Antonio Express-News

From the air, the San Miguel coal mining operation 50 miles south of San Antonio looks like a scene from the industrial revolution. One of the five worst polluters in Texas, it produces lignite, the lowest grade of coal. But the San Miguel plant might be saved from extinction under the Trump administration. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for August 2, 2017

The Abortion Divide

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

The aftermath of HB2 is not just seen in closed clinics. It’s seen most vividly in the lives of women like Peña and Soto, whose voices often go missing in the noisy battle over abortion, which remains one of the most contentious issues of modern times. Read more …

Meet Chris Lykins, the funny weather guy at the Express-News

Chris Lykins, Comedic Genius Behind Weather Updates

If you read weather updates on Facebook from the San Antonio Express-News, then you’re keenly aware that it’s summer and the forecaster is not happy about it. “There is no weather,” a typical forecast reads. “There is only this. Always this. Unchanging. Eternal. Forever. This.” Then there was this gem: “It’s mostly sunny and almost … Read more

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for July 23, 2017

Gilbert Flores shot by Bexar County deputies

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

Decision to ‘end this’ after 12-minute standoff left Gilbert Flores dead | San Antonio Express-News

After a 12-minute confrontation with a belligerent, knife-wielding man who said he wanted to die, two Bexar County sheriff’s deputies turned to each other and agreed on “ending this,” according to their sworn civil depositions obtained by the San Antonio Express-News. But the deputies decided to open fire moments after the man, Gilbert Flores, raised his arms in apparent surrender. Read more …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for July 9, 2017

Lost Immigrants

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

Lack of sharing, limited resources impede identification of migrant remains | San Antonio Express-News

“Funded by a grant from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, reporter Aaron Nelsen and photographer Julysa Sosa traveled more than 3,000 miles for three weeks chronicling a caravan of Central American mothers and other family members on a heart-wrenching journey: trying to find out what happened to their loved ones, who disappeared while making the dangerous trek to the United States. But many are denied even the bitter closure of burial because lack of shared DNA databases, international conflicts and shifting immigration policies are preventing the identification of an untold number of remains.” Story by Aaron Nelsen Read more

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for June 25, 2017

Ticket to the Top

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

Ticket to the Top | San Antonio Express-News

“How tiny St. Anthony Catholic High School got involved in a questionable recruiting pipeline that included the University of the Incarnate Word, a talent scout and a booster to land star Nigerian basketball player Charles Bassey, one of the top big men in the country.” 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 …

Must reads: Texas watchdog journalism roundup for May 27, 2017

Deadly fire in San Antonio kills firefighter Scott Deem

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

Radio traffic: Thick smoke, confusion hampered efforts to rescue missing firefighter Scott Deem | San Antonio Express-News

“Hours after a San Antonio firefighter was killed in a Northwest Side strip mall inferno — the first to die in the line of duty in 20 years — Fire Chief Charles Hood stood by his decision to suspend the search for one of their own, calling it ‘one of the most difficult decisions’ of his life.”‘ Read more …

Why is state Sen. Carlos Uresti facing charges? This news story had the answers months ago

Patrick Danner story about Carlos Uresti

In a move that probably surprised no one who’s been reading the stellar investigative reporting of San Antonio Express-News business writer Patrick Danner, a federal grand jury issued indictments today against state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, and others in a criminal case that accuses them of bribery and orchestrating a Ponzi scheme. It was … Read more