Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

State News

Protesters Rally Against Oil Company’s Gulf Coast Expansion on Karankawa Site

 Chanting “respect our existence or expect our resistance,” nearly 400 people protested outside an Austin bank Saturday to try to stop construction of an oil terminal on ancient Indigenous land near Corpus Christi.

“We are still here, and we are still fighting,” said protest organizer Chiara Sunshine Beaumont, a descendant of the Karankawa people who once lived on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Saturday’s protest followed months of efforts by Indigenous groups in support of the Karankawa’s objections to expansion of oil export terminals owned by Enbridge, a Canadian petrochemical pipeline company. Beaumont said her group chose to protest Saturday outside a Bank of America on South Congress Avenue because the bank is a large underwriter of Enbridge’s projects.

Texas’ Famed Bigtooth Maple Trees Are Being Loved to Death by Deer

Since the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department opened Lost Maples State Natural Area to the public in 1979, thousands of people have enjoyed its colorful beauty in the Texas Hill Country. It has been particularly well-visited during the pandemic, with attendance reaching record highs.scientists have collected data indicating that the future of these trees and the pleasure many take from their color palette could be at risk. An overabundance of white-tailed deer has been killing young trees by browsing on them.

Amid Texas Debate Over Teaching About Racism, ‘Refusing to Forget’ Soldiers On

Since 2014, Refusing to Forget, a Texas-based nonprofit, has worked to increase awareness of racial violence aimed at Latino Texans throughout the early 20th century. Their work comes as the state enacts new guidelines aimed at limiting classroom discussion of systemic racism.

Now, with fierce debate raging over how Texas schools teach about racism, Refusing to Forget’s leadership says its mission is more important than ever. In June, Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law that critics say bans honest discussions of racism.

“Even though we’re in the midst of a battle to tell the real history to our children, it’s important for me to keep fighting, not for this politically correct fiction, but for the truth. History is both pretty and ugly,” said the co-founder of Refusing to Forget.

Insulin Price Caps in Texas Provide Relief While Raising Questions About Costs

Dawn White, a nurse from Lumberton, Texas, told lawmakers this past summer she paid $500 for a one-month supply of insulin to treat her son’s type 1 diabetes. That was with insurance. If she lacked insurance, the cost would have been more than $1,000. “Texans are dying because they cannot afford their insulin,” White said. […]

Nov 18, 2021

Delta-8 Merchants Find Themselves in the Weeds as Legal Debate Blazes in Texas

Texas’ delta-8 industry is caught in the midst of a legal battle after the Department of State Health Services posted a notice stating the cannabinoid is illegal.

Nov 05, 2021

Texas’ Student Newspapers Feel the Pinch

College newspapers in Texas are struggling for a variety of reasons, including decreased school funding, declining advertising revenue and COVID-19- related stresses.

Experts say the decline of student newspapers may have serious consequences — the lack of a popular training ground for future journalists and the loss of potentially powerful voices in holding college administrators to account.

Aug 26, 2021

After Initially Settling in Texas, Buhtanese Refugees Increasingly Leaving the State

About 85% of the more than 100,000 displaced Bhutanese refugees came to the U.S. since 2006, with Pennsylvania and Texas receiving the largest shares, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  But Bhutanese refugees and their advocates say many of them are leaving Texas due to lack of access to affordable health care, affordable housing and limited job advancement opportunities.

May 19, 2021

Rural Texans Left in Dust Without Adequate Healthcare

On their way to suburbia, Texas, the moving vans of more than 500,000 people who relocated here from out-of-state in 2019 likely passed through small towns in the boggy thicket of rural East Texas or along the dust-blown western highways that stretch as far as the sky above is wide. These rural communities may not […]

Apr 22, 2021

South Texas Geothermal Energy Project Ready to Provide Power That Never Stops

A geothermal test project that could set the stage for “always on” green energy is set to take root in South Texas with a goal of competing with wind and solar energy production. The project is a joint venture between Sage Geosystems, a private green energy company, and the Bureau of Economic Geology at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, based on a U.S. Air Force-funded initial feasibility study.

Apr 07, 2021

Central Texas Food Bank A Godsend for Residents During Pandemic

Food banks around Texas are seeing skyrocketing demand.

Mar 12, 2021

One Year Later, a Small Texas Town Reflects on the Pandemic

In the spring of 2020, Reporting Texas set out to cover the plight of small towns in a changing Texas by reporting on the town of Eden in Concho County. Then COVID-19 struck. We pivoted to looking at how Eden was dealing with the pandemic. Eight months later, we checked back in with residents.

Feb 06, 2021

Austin’s Myanmar Community Rallies Against Coup

About 150 supporters of democracy in Myanmar took to the Texas Capitol grounds on Feb. 6 to protest the military coup that took place in the Southeast Asian country six days earlier.

Jan 01, 2021

Texas Funeral Homes Take a Financial Hit Despite COVID-19 

Texas funeral homes are making less money during the COVID-19 pandemic, despite at least 27,000 COVID-19-related deaths statewide, because the services that drive their profits are less attractive to families worried about spreading the disease.

Dec 18, 2020

Gender Gap Persists in UT System Senior Leadership 

In 2015, a group of female UT System employees sent a report to then-UT System Chancellor William McRaven detailing how women were underrepresented in leadership positions in the system. The 2015 report’s authors acknowledge the progress has been made in the intervening five years, but they say more needs to be done.

Dec 14, 2020

The Uphill Climb for Stricter Gun Laws in Texas

A Republican state representative from Odessa — which witnessed the third mass-shooting tragedy nationwide in a single month last year — filed the first gun-safety-related bill of the upcoming 87th Legislature. 

Dec 08, 2020

Black-Owned Plant-Based Restaurants Taking Root in Texas

Many African-Americans simply are not used to having plant-based ingredients replace meat in the cuisine they grew up with. However, an increasing number of black-owned plant-based restaurants around the state are showing that going meatless is becoming more popular among African-American Texans.

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