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

Texas

Youth Athletes Happy to Get Back in the Game

Central Texans are happy for the return of youth sports, which they see as important for kid’s physical and mental health.

From Pulpit to Pandemic: How Historically Black Texas Churches Spread the Word on Vaccinations

Black churches in Texas have been at the forefront of encouraging their congregations to get vaccinated and change the narrative for Black health.

‘It’s a Free for All’: Kratom Is Legal in Texas But Should it Be?

Supporters tout kratom as a safer alternative to opiates such as heroin and fentanyl, but medical professionals in Texas describe it as being addictive and dangerous and call for it to be categorized as a scheduled substance.

Central Texas Christian School Enrollment Surges Amid Curriculum, COVID-19 Concerns

Enrollment at conservative Christian schools in Central Texas is booming. School administrators attribute the increase to parental anxieties surrounding COVID-19 policies, discussion of systemic racism in the classroom and the inclusion of curriculum with sexual content.

Nov 24, 2021

Small Towns Around Austin Struggle with Big-City Housing Costs

Driving into Taylor, the vibe is rural but not the usual trope of a dying, small town. The city has seen a gradual increase in its population in the past 10 years, and with that has come a renaissance of sorts. Now comes news that Taylor will soon be home to a $17 billion Samsung microchip making plant, which is also expected to bring a lot of newcomers. Residents of Taylor and other once-rural towns around Austin are already feeling the effects of the city’s growth. With skyrocketing of housing prices during the pandemic, smaller communities are grappling with big-city issues like affordability and gentrification. 

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 17, 2021

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 05, 2021

I-35 Expansion Plan Sparks Discussion Over Historical Barrier

Clearing neighborhoods and bulldozing businesses to expand an existing concrete barrier that has divided communities or digging deep into a reimagined urban core; these are the choices up for debate in the struggle to find a plan for modernizing I-35 through the center of Austin. Following a public comment period that ended Sept. 24, the […]

Oct 21, 2021

Texas Remains Reluctant to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

Texas has had a puzzling past with marijuana. While the state refuses to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana, it has made small strides in recent years to legalize CBD, hemp and medical marijuana. As the laws become more confusing, some cities — like Austin — have chosen to decriminalize misdemeanor amounts of marijuana.

Of the 50 bills pertaining to marijuana introduced during Texas’ 87th legislation — only HB 1535 made it to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. This bill expands the number of people eligible for medical marijuana as well as the concentration amount they can have. Bills dealing with penalty reduction or recreational legalization died.

Oct 15, 2021

COVID-19 Infections in Pregnancy Rise as Vaccination Rate Stays Low

Pregnant people are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. In recent months, health officials have been raising alarms that the group needs to urgently get vaccinated.

The highest number of coronavirus-related deaths in pregnant people in a single month of the pandemic was reported in August 2021, according to a Sept. 29 health alert from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates only about 31% of pregnant people are fully vaccinated. This number is even lower for Black pregnant people, at 15.6%.

Apr 23, 2021

Preservation without Reservations: Land Grabs of Past Rob True Native Texans of Indigenous History

Take a couple steps off nearly any highway spanning its 270 million acres, and you’re bound to be trespassing on someone else’s property. Over 95% of the state’s land is privately owned, resulting largely from the removal of Native peoples in the 19th century. Despite its huge size and a history of hundreds of Indigenous tribes inhabiting its present-day borders, Texas has only three federally-recognized reservations – those of the Alabama-Coushatta, the Kickapoo and the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. Hundreds of non-federally recognized tribal communities exist here, left without allotted land to practice self-autonomy or the funding to preserve cultural traditions.

Apr 23, 2021

Foster Parents: Texas Child Welfare System Remains Broken

Kathleen Ender was just 21 when she began the process of becoming a foster parent after the idea of parenting foster children appeared in her dreams again and again. Enders, chief program officer at National Angels, well equipped emotionally and armed with experience, deeply believed in the beauty of being able to love a child […]

Apr 20, 2021

Houston Teachers Cope with COVID in the Classroom

In late October, the Texas Education Agency reopened public schools to in-person learning despite the state experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases earlier that month. While deaths have been comparably mild for school-aged children and adolescents, the health and safety of those teaching them is much less certain.  “Every other day, we have a case […]

Apr 09, 2021

More Texans Finding Home in Orthodox Church 

One religious tradition is outpacing other denominations in growth in the Lone Star State. The Orthodox Church grew by 23,000, or 73%, in the last 10 years.

Apr 09, 2021

COVID-19 Hamstrings UT Men’s Basketball for a Year; Then Came Turnovers

The University of Texas mens’ basketball program has had quite the year. Their 2019-2020 season was cut short by the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. A year later, after battling through the pandemic, their 2020-2021 season was ended by something much more in their control: turnovers. In March 2020, going into the Big 12 Conference tournament, they […]

Apr 07, 2021

A year into COVID-19, UT’s non-white, low income students feel left behind

Yliana Roland, an 18-year-old student University of Texas at Austin student, was raised in Houston in a low-income community of color in which mental health was a taboo topic often swept under the rug. It wasn’t until she first arrived on campus during the pandemic this year that she was formally exposed to mental health […]

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