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 […]

In morning light Dallas tries to process ambush: ‘I don’t know what safe is’ 

Originally published July 8, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. This story was part of a packet that was a finalist for breaking news reporting for both the American Society of News Editors and Texas Associated Press Managing Editors competitions. It was also part of coverage that was named a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer […]

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 […]

House-trained bison with ‘great personality’ finds a new home 

Originally published May 16, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. ARGYLE — Bullet the bison likes to spend her days rolling in the mud, lounging in the shade and walking around the house … and through the door, and down the hallway. Her owner, Karen Schoeve, doesn’t mind. It can be a nuisance sometimes, but […]

Nike giveaways and Drake songs help this youth pastor from Dallas bring kids to #Jesus 

Originally published May 1, 2016 in The Dallas Morning News. With lines out the door and bouncers handing out wristbands, the Wednesday night gathering seemed more like a trendy nightclub opening than a church service. Hundreds of students packed the youth center of River Pointe Church, about 30 miles southwest of Houston, for the weekly […]

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 […]

Hoping for the ‘real deal’ but harboring doubts, boy delivers Christmas wish list to Santa 

Originally published Dec. 22, 2015 in The Dallas Morning News as the debut of “The Moment,” a feature about everyday people at meaningful times in their lives. Shoppers meandered through NorthPark Center. Some carried big red Macy’s bags that proclaimed, in bold white script, “Believe.” But Casen Hagans, 11, wasn’t sure he should. In line […]