Texas rattlesnake battle pits small-town economics against ecological activists 

Originally published March 16, 2017 in The Dallas Morning News. SWEETWATER — Eddie Gomez’s dad taught him how 30 years ago. He started bringing his own boys, Drake and Max Gomez, when they were each 5 years old. Now, the trio — Eddie, Drake and Max — work together to do what their hometown is […]

Five years after Dr Pepper left Dublin, Texas town bubbles with new sodas 

Originally published March 2, 2017 in The Dallas Morning News. After this story was published, the company pulled its Dublin Original brand, citing The News‘ coverage as a reason for the decision.  DUBLIN — Five years after Dr Pepper rolled out of town, everyone wants to know: Is this new stuff the real deal? The historic […]

Not in my locker room: Texas HS football coaches give players the Trump talk 

Originally published Oct. 11, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. I also shot video and edited video published with this piece. In the locker room chaos before school Tuesday morning, the young men of Grapevine High School’s football team scrambled to get ready for a last-minute team meeting. “Hurry up, hurry up,” head coach Randy […]

Burning Big Tex is red hot as a punk art icon 

Originally published Sept. 27, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. At first, Clay Stinnett thought it was a photoshopped joke. Big Tex on fire? Come on. Can’t be. The Dallas artist had a large stack of Big Tex canvases ready for fall-time flea markets. At least 10 to 15 paintings with the larger-than-life cowboy smiling […]

Why I own an AR-15: Four Texans say how they use the most popular rifle in America 

Originally published July 1, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. When senators want to ban it, gun enthusiasts jump to defend it. Some say it’s too powerful for civilian use. Others say it’s the most user-friendly rifle around. Politico recently dubbed it “the most political gun in America.” The NRA calls it “America’s rifle.” The […]

Creative types are finding a haven in Corsicana, but can its charm survive? 

Part one of a series that originally ran in The Dallas Morning News on June 12, 2016. An artist from southwestern England walks into an all-American diner in Corsicana. He sits at a table near the back with his guide, a 28-year-old Dallas artist named Kyle Hobratschk. Eva makes prints with a vintage ink plotter […]

Modern-day rustlers: Even in 2016, cattle thieves loom large on lawmen’s minds 

Originally published March 14, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. I coded the interactive presentation and worked with illustrator Michael Hogue to tell the story both graphically and through my copy.  Despite echoes of old Westerns, cattle rustling is a thoroughly modern problem in Texas, with high-tech methods to catch the crooks. And a special law […]

Why Austin’s breakfast taco feud is a form of microaggression 

Originally published Feb. 26, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. Q: What do you get when you mix bacon, egg, cheese, tortillas and cultural appropriation? A: A food fight that’s brewing over Austin’s breakfast taco scene. Eater Austin, a food website that’s a subsidiary of Vox Media, recently published a story about the history of breakfast tacos  that contained […]

Dim the lights: Number of Texas dance halls is dwindling, but some keep two-stepping 

Originally published Dec. 22, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News as part of “Disappearing Texas,” an occasional series exploring the places and traditions that are fading as Texas goes through tremendous change. Somewhere in Texas tonight, someone is dancing across a hardwood floor. The two-step is as much a part of our state identity as cattle […]

Far from home, Nepali immigrant faces breast cancer 

Originally published Sept. 30, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News. It started as a small lump, nothing too alarming. But this spring, when it started to grow, Nalina Shah began to worry. The 29-year old Nepali immigrant hadn’t been to the doctor since she was a little girl. She had an hourly job at a […]