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.

 

Ted Cruz Won Because of Rural Texas, but Beto Made Small Gains for Democrats

by | Thu, Nov 8, 2018 at 17:46 CST
O’Rourke’s strategy of hitting all 254 counties didn’t win him the race, but it likely gained Democratic ground in small-town Texas, Republicans’ most reliable stronghold.
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Is the Texas Open Meetings Act the Next Target for Transparency-Killing Legislation?

A Fort Bend County commissioner wants state lawmakers to consider exemptions to the open government law during emergencies, part of a larger trend of officials slackening important regulations in the name of public safety.

As Hurricane Harvey’s torrential rains battered Fort Bend County in late August, flooding 4,000 homes in a largely unincorporated area near Katy, County Commi...Read More

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Investigation Finds Culprit in Panhandle ‘Chemical Drift’ Case, State Yet to Take Action

Texas Department of Agriculture investigators found that local crop duster pilot Jared Lambert sprayed pesticide that doused three dozen people in a tiny Panhandle town, but the agency has not issued any penalties.

It’s been nearly two years since an errant blast of a dangerous chemical doused the tiny Panhandle town of Quitaque, but the Texas Department of Agriculture (...Read More

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The Far-Right is Staging an Ouster of Moderate Republicans in the Panhandle. Will Incumbents Outlast the Attack?

King, Price and Seliger have all drawn challenges from right wing opponents who are running the Empower Texans playbook and taking money from ultraconservative advocacy groups.

The Far-Right is Staging an Ouster of Moderate Republicans in the Panhandle. Will Incumbents Outlast the Attack? King, Price and Seliger have all drawn challeng...Read More

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