Texas Observer/Audm Audio Stories


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Genetic genealogy is helping to crack cold cases and identify victims left nameless for decades. The process is surprisingly effective—and controversial.

Dallas’ paltry public transit system makes owning a car all but required. So as the metroplex booms, many low-income residents are shut out of jobs and services they need.

San Antonio is planning to demolish its oldest and largest public housing project, threatening the future of a deeply historic neighborhood—one that anchors the city’s identity as the nation’s Mexican American capital.

As Texans face the skyrocketing cost of housing, community land trusts offer the promise of permanent affordability. You just have to give up ownership of your land.

In the Texas Panhandle, which produces a fifth of the U.S. beef supply, communities are being choked by fecal dust from nearby feedlots. The state’s regulatory agency isn’t doing anything about it—and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.

Texas has banished hundreds of prisoners to more than a decade of solitary confinement, an extreme form of a controversial punishment likened to torture. Many of these prisoners aren’t sure how—or, in some cases, if—they will ever get out.

As physicians leave small towns, rural Texans must travel farther and farther for health care.

When a rural hospital dies, the community around it starts to follow suit.

After 20 years in Washington, Senator John Cornyn has mastered the art of political subservience—first to the Republican establishment and now to Trump. It’s made him very powerful. But does it also make him vulnerable in 2020?

Where the Texas Gulf Coast meets Mexico, a trio of fossil fuel companies is planning an industrial complex the likes of which Texas’ Rio Grande Valley has never seen.

An unprecedented number of first-time female candidates ran for office in Texas in 2018—and lost. Now, many of those women are running again.

In 1910, East Texas saw one of America’s deadliest post-Reconstruction racial purges. One survivor’s descendants have waged an uphill battle for generations to unearth that violent past.

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.

Donald Trump plans to build his border wall in the Rio Grande floodplain. What could go wrong? Well, everything.

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.

How Texas is failing foster kids and contributing to an alarming teen pregnancy rate.

The best Texas history museum you’ve never heard of is staring down a financial crisis. Will it survive?

Texans love their state parks. But as the population explodes, Texas Parks and Wildlife is struggling to keep up:

In 1918, a state-sanctioned vigilante force killed 15 unarmed Mexicans in Porvenir. When their descendants applied for a historical marker a century later, they learned that not everyone wants to remember one of Texas’ darkest days.

Long considered “trash fish,” alligator gar have patrolled Texas rivers for millions of years. Now this living fossil is catching the attention of anglers, naturalists and TV producers alike.

Immigration authorities are extending their reach deep into the interior, putting civil liberties in jeopardy for millions of people.

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