Invasive Species Have Reshaped Texas. Now What?

In March, I drove down to the Sabal Palm Sanctuary on the southernmost border of Texas, where Brazilian bougainvillea shimmers over the seasonal marshes. I was there to join local researchers in searching for native salamanders. But as we walked …

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Fri, 19 Apr 2019 07:01:34 AM CDT


GOP Continues to Stonewall Efforts to Improve Voter Access in Texas

In the latest move by Republicans to make voting harder for Texans, the Senate passed a high-priority omnibus “election integrity” bill this week. The measure, Senate Bill 9, would raise criminal penalties for certain election-related offenses and create tighter rules …

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Thu, 18 Apr 2019 01:53:48 PM CDT


Could Hemp be an Economic Lifeline for Rural Texas Towns?

Haskell, a town of 3,200 an hour north of Abilene, is in high cotton. It has not one, but two grocery stores. Most of the storefronts in the downtown square are occupied by local businesses. U.S. 277, a major highway, …

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Thu, 18 Apr 2019 07:30:42 AM CDT


‘Lies into Laws’: Texas House Passes ‘Born Alive’ Anti-Abortion Bill Despite Protest

As the Texas House voted on the first anti-abortion bill to make it to the floor this session, advocates rolled down a banner above the board displaying lawmakers’ votes: “STOP TURNING LIES INTO LAWS.” The House gave initial passage to …

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Wed, 17 Apr 2019 01:58:45 PM CDT


Texas Republicans’ Push for a Religious ‘License to Discriminate’ is Depressingly Familiar

One of the landmark constitutional questions of our day is being fought at the Texas Capitol:  Does the right to religious freedom give people license to discriminate against others? Some evangelicals believe it should. Christian conservatives this session have filed …

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Wed, 17 Apr 2019 06:30:57 AM CDT


Texas House Advances Bill that Could Actually Clear the Rape Kit Backlog

State lawmakers have been talking about fixing the rape kit backlog since 2011, when former state Senator Wendy Davis passed legislation requiring an audit that revealed at least 18,000 untested rape kits in Texas. But the Legislature hasn’t done enough …

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Tue, 16 Apr 2019 05:33:37 PM CDT


‘Hurdle’ Is a Gritty Tale of Hope and Survival

On May 2, 2017, crowds of Israelis flow through East Jerusalem’s Muslim Quarter, clad in blue and white to celebrate the country’s 69th independence day. The groups sing victory songs, wave flags and jump up and down in patriotic zeal. …

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Tue, 16 Apr 2019 07:03:51 AM CDT


Ghosts of the Baker Hotel

by Jason Heid April 15, 2019 “Those of you that don’t believe, I’m glad you’re on this tour,” Angela Morgan tells a crowd of about 150 ghost-seekers one Saturday night a couple of weekends before Halloween. “Because as long as …

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Mon, 15 Apr 2019 06:58:23 AM CDT


Texas Observer/Audm Audio Stories

Audio versions of Texas Observer stories, brought to you by Audm. – An Observer investigation finds that unregulated dams across Texas are increasingly failing — putting people and property in jeopardy.  Inside the Rio Grande Valley’s amputation crisis.  …

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Fri, 12 Apr 2019 11:42:35 AM CDT


With Accidental Gun Deaths on the Rise, Some Texas Lawmakers Won’t Even Support a Gun Safety Public Awareness Campaign

A 4-year-old boy in Texas City was at home with his grandmother last year when he found a handgun in a bedroom and fatally shot himself. The next day, a 6-year-old boy in Houston was at home with his teenage …

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Thu, 11 Apr 2019 01:57:31 PM CDT




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