Christopher Collins

Christopher Collins is an investigative journalist based in Abilene. The Wichita Falls native graduated from Midwestern State University in 2012 with a degree in Mass Communication. He previously has worked as a reporter at the Abilene Reporter-News and the Wichita Falls Times Record News, along with running a freelance reporting business. At the Observer, he writes about rural Texas. He can be reached on Twitter or at [email protected]

By Christopher Collins:

Environment

Costs for Rural Towns Surge after Hurricane Harvey Hits Water Systems

In Patton Village, some residents went weeks without access to clean drinking water, and now their sewer system is running on a “Band-aid.”

Patton Village had just started using its new $10 million wastewater treatment system when Hurricane Harvey wrecked it last month. Floodwaters fried the pumps’ circuitry and flooded a nearby municipal water well. Residents of one neighborhood went weeks without clean … Read More

Environment

Reports of Livestock Deaths, Other Ag Losses Trickle in After Harvey

The Texas Animal Health Commission and USDA, however, are mum on an estimated death toll.

At the peak of Harvey’s flooding in southeast Texas, Chambers County rancher Richie Devillier couldn’t distinguish between the westbound lane of Interstate 10 and the Gulf of Mexico. Torrential rainfall had filled in one side of the massive roadway, and … Read More

Economy

Fanning The Flames

The same conservation efforts that saved Texas from the Dust Bowl may have opened the door to a new man-made disaster.

Fanning the Flames The same conservation efforts that saved Texas from the Dust Bowl may have opened the door to a new man-made disaster. At just past 8 p.m. on April 19, a PowerPoint presentation on the basics of firefighting … Read More

News, Rural Reporting Project

With Trump’s Infrastructure Plan, Rural Texas Could be Left in Disrepair

The president’s proposed budget cuts billions in federal aid for residents of the state’s sparsely populated areas.

Arnie Amaro, the city administrator of La Villa, knows Hidalgo County’s sprawl will eventually reach his town. In the last decade, the border county’s population has exploded from 684,000 to 850,000, transforming scrub brush into South Texas suburbia. But for … Read More

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