Wading in chest-high water, he wanted 100 gators to swim toward him 

Originally published Sept. 7, 2017 in The Dallas Morning News. BEAUMONT — Surrounded by hundreds of alligators, Gary Saurage waded through murky floodwaters trying to save his 15-acre reptile sanctuary just off Interstate 10. Hurricane Harvey had brought record rains, and the water was already above the fence of one enclosure, offering easy escape for smaller […]

Helicopters, pickups and airboats: How your donations are getting to Harvey’s victims 

Originally published Sept. 4, 2017 in The Dallas Morning News. ORANGE, Texas — A coordinated effort between the National Guard, American Red Cross volunteers and regular folks with boats and trucks is getting supplies from generous Texans into the hands of people who need it most. To see this goodwill in action, zoom in and study an […]

Texas families passing through Buc-ee’s stock up on supplies, brace for Harvey’s arrival 

Originally published Aug. 25, 2017 in The Dallas Morning News. NEW BRAUNFELS — As the wind picked up and more families scurried to pick up bags of ice and fill tanks of gas, Andi and Terence Munsch took a drag off their cigarettes and considered their options. They’d fled their home in Port O’Connor on the Gulf […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]