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In Travis County, a Fight over Bail Hearings Has Big Stakes for Criminal Defendants

Tue, 16 Apr 2024 15:43:47 +0000

In Travis County, the magistration process—the initial bail hearing after someone is arrested—isn’t cinematic. Arrestees are either led to a small room within the jail’s central booking area, or a Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) employee might bring a computer to their holding cell. At the end of a short conversation, during which the arrestee […]

The post In Travis County, a Fight over Bail Hearings Has Big Stakes for Criminal Defendants appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/travis-county-magistration-aclu/

Saving Lone Star Literary Life

Mon, 15 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

Out in West Texas, a pair of aspiring novelists and enterprising small-town newspaper owners, Barbara Brannon and Kay Ellington, were dismayed by the number of publications that were dropping book sections, cutting critics, and otherwise decimating literary coverage, especially in the Lone Star State. By the 2010s, “93 percent of the state’s newspapers offer no […]

The post Saving Lone Star Literary Life appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/lone-star-literature-website/

Strangest State: Airplane Etiquette, Australian Octopi, and an Itinerant Police Chief

Fri, 12 Apr 2024 17:00:31 +0000

The post Strangest State: Airplane Etiquette, Australian Octopi, and an Itinerant Police Chief appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/strangest-state-march-april-2024/

Is Ted Cruz’s Podcast PAC Payoff Scheme Illegal?

Thu, 11 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is facing yet another complaint to the Federal Elections Commission that claims he has “brazenly” violated federal campaign finance laws through his podcast deal with one of the nation’s largest media conglomerates.  Cruz struck a deal in 2022 with San Antonio-based radio giant iHeartMedia to pay for the production, marketing, and […]

The post Is Ted Cruz’s Podcast PAC Payoff Scheme Illegal? appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/ted-cruz-podcast-payoff-fec-complaint/

Water Scarcity and Clean Energy Collide in South Texas

Thu, 11 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

A chemical company, Avina Clean Hydrogen Inc., has purchased the last available water supply from the Nueces River of South Texas, raising concerns as reservoirs dwindle and drought persists.  Avina’s Nueces Green Ammonia plant plans to separate the hydrogen from water, convert it to ammonia and export it as a high-tech fuel alternative to oil […]

The post Water Scarcity and Clean Energy Collide in South Texas appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/water-energy-environment-corpus/

Loon Star State: Cult of the All-Powerful Orange Czar

Wed, 10 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

To see more political cartoons from Ben Sargent, visit our Loon Star State section, or find Observer political reporting here.

The post Loon Star State: Cult of the All-Powerful Orange Czar appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/loon-star-state-cult-of-the-all-powerful-orange-czar/

TPPF’s Long Love Affair with Ken Paxton

Tue, 09 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

Ken Paxton has spent almost the entirety of his decade leading the Office of the Texas Attorney General while also under felony indictment for alleged securities fraud. Yet, like every other time Paxton has faced allegations of wrongdoing, including misuse of office, retaliatory firings, and criminal misdeeds, he has once again managed to evade real […]

The post TPPF’s Long Love Affair with Ken Paxton appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/ken-paxton-tppf-right-wing-donors/

Nine Years, Nine Lives: Paxton’s Latest Legal Escape

Fri, 05 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

Call him Kevlar Ken. Once again, Texas’ attorney general has proven to possess an impenetrable shield of impunity.  Last week, special prosecutors struck a deal to essentially let Ken Paxton off the hook for three felony securities fraud charges just before the nearly decade-old case was set to go to trial in Houston. The charges […]

The post Nine Years, Nine Lives: Paxton’s Latest Legal Escape appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/paxton-legal-escape-deal-trial/

‘TxDOT’s Still Bulldozing Over Our Communities’

Thu, 04 Apr 2024 13:00:00 +0000

Fifth Ward resident Kendra London, 43, helped form the neighborhood organization Our Afrikan Family to serve and educate her community about a major threat: an expansion of Interstate 45 that will wipe out hundreds of Houston homes and businesses and has already forced evictions. For the past five years, she and other advocates have been […]

The post ‘TxDOT’s Still Bulldozing Over Our Communities’ appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/houston-highway-expansion-discrimination/

Death Trap: ‘We’re Not Going to Open It for Them’

Wed, 03 Apr 2024 20:33:41 +0000

Editor’s Note: This cross-border investigation by La Verdad Juárez in collaboration with Lighthouse Reports and El Paso Matters, republished here by the Texas Observer, reveals new details of mass deaths at a detention center in Ciudad Juárez on March 27, 2023, when 40 migrants died after a fire was set in a locked cell—though the […]

The post Death Trap: ‘We’re Not Going to Open It for Them’ appeared first on The Texas Observer.

https://www.texasobserver.org/detention-border-immigration-migrants-fire-mexico/