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:

elections, democrat, primaries
Politics

Two Democratic Primary Hopefuls Run Afoul of State Labor Group

The AFL-CIO has accused two attorneys of “undermining the rights” of immigrant janitorial workers after their law firm beat a union group at trial.

Two Houston attorneys vying for state and federal office in the Democratic primary have run afoul of the labor movement. The Texas AFL-CIO has accused the two candidates of being on the wrong side of a 2016 trial pitting a … Read More

rural health, texas, health care, greg abbott
News, Rural Reporting Project

Report: If Rural Texans Want Decent Health Care, They Should Mosey to New Hampshire

With high rates of fatal heart disease and stroke, limited access to care and sky-high uninsured rates, Texas gets a “D-” in a new “report card” comparing rural health care between states.

Texas and other Southern states are home to small-town doctor shortages, skyrocketing rates of preventable disease among rural residents and some of the highest uninsured rates in the nation, according to a new report that places Texas’ rural health care … Read More

Health Care

Rural Hospitals Will Suffer From Fine Print in Medicaid Deal

The state and federal government have inked a new deal for supplemental Medicaid funds, but what does it mean for rural hospitals?

Since 2013, at least 18 rural hospitals have closed across Texas, leaving behind health-care deserts in places already struggling with diabetes, stroke and mental health disorders, among other problems. Now, cuts to two Medicaid funding streams that help Texas hospitals … Read More

2017 in Review

The 7 Most Pressing Issues Facing Rural Texas

In 2017, rural schools lost crucial funding, two hospitals closed and natural disasters wreaked havoc in what some regard as “flyover country.”

It’s been a tough year for rural Texas. In 2017, the 3.8 million Texans who live outside the state’s metro areas bore a bevy of hardships, including hospital closures, struggling economies and crumbling public infrastructure. On top of that, one … Read More

student homelessness, loraine
News, Rural Reporting Project

Rural Poverty, Youth Homelessness Abound in Loraine, Pop. 587

Loraine ISD helps homeless students cope, but few other public resources are available for youth in Texas’ remote Big Country.

Rural Poverty, Youth Homelessness Abound in Loraine, Pop. 587 Loraine ISD helps homeless students cope, but few other public resources are available for youth in Texas’ remote Big Country.On a blustery, 40-degree night in December, a Christmas tree lights up … Read More

fracking, water pits, big spring
News, Rural Reporting Project, The Issue

Big Spring Vs. Big Oil

In the heart of the West Texas oil patch, a new fracking frenzy is putting a strain on groundwater.

In the heart of the West Texas oil patch, a new fracking frenzy is putting a strain on groundwater. – by Christopher Collins @collins_reports December 11, 2017 Charles Phillips was in his pasture one day last year when he heard … Read More

Politics

Former Monsanto Lobbyist is Trying to Trump Sid Miller’s Extreme Views in GOP Primary

Austin attorney Trey Blocker is challenging Sid Miller for agriculture commissioner, and both candidates are pandering to ultraconservative GOP primary voters.

With the emergence of former agribusiness lobbyist Trey Blocker as the first Republican primary opponent of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, the election of the state’s farmer-and-rancher-in-chief is shaping up to be a race to the bottom. Blocker, an Austin … Read More

Education

Homelessness in Texas Public Schools is a Suburban and Rural Problem, Too

The state of Texas provides no specific funding for the estimated 113,000 homeless students who attend public schools here.

Gage Kemp was 16 when he and his father were evicted from their home in Allen, a suburb of Dallas, and had to move into a motel. Kemp’s father, who struggled with alcoholism, urged him to drop out of high … Read More

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