Rural Reporting Project

Texas has the largest rural population of any state — 3.8 million people — yet many journalists treat much of the state as flyover country. The Observer has made reporting on rural Texas a priority with this long-term project. Staff writer Christopher Collins, who has investigated how crop dusting is putting Texans’ health at risk and the connection between destructive Panhandle wildfires and a mismanaged federal land program, is spearheading the effort from West Texas.

 

Public Camping Bans Won’t Solve Homelessness. But Could They Get Us Talking About Real Solutions?

by | Fri, Sep 6, 2019 at 9:51 CST
In Victoria, an anti-camping ordinance stands to harm the homeless. But it could also lead to important conversations about a statewide problem.
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Goodbye to the Amarillo Art Mall

After 14 years, the artist colony inside a former Amarillo shopping mall is being laid to rest. Now the Panhandle creative-types who called the place home “are just gonna get scattered.”

It was a fine funeral for the fine arts. In early August, the denizens of Sunset Center, a 1960s-era shopping mall in northwest Amarillo that found a second lif...Read More

Painter Matthew Bourbon's exhibit Waiting for Now was part of the museum's Cell Series this year. by

Little Arthouse on the Prairie

In tiny Albany, Texas, you can’t shop at Walmart or buy a beer, but you can see one of the state’s best and quirkiest art collections.

Little Arthouse on the Prairie In tiny Albany, Texas, you can’t shop at Walmart or buy a beer, but you can see one of the state’s best and quirkiest art col...Read More

scales of justice by

A Poor Defense

A countywide public defender's office would've saved Victoria County $1.3 million in its first two years alone. So why did the new DA kill the proposal?

Earlier this year, it seemed as if poor people charged with crimes in a handful of Gulf Coast communities would finally have a fighting chance in court. In Apri...Read More

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Warning Signs

Rural East Texas has some of the highest suicide rates in the state. But the safety net for people who need help is being stretched thin, and some Texans are falling through.

Rural East Texas has some of the highest suicide rates in the state. But the safety net for people who need help is being stretched thin, and some Texans are fa...Read More

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