Hurricane Katrina: A Decade Later

Church is most recognizable reminder of Hurricane Katrina’s legacy in Central Texas
Jay Janner

Church is most recognizable reminder of storm’s legacy in Central Texas

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The pastor had finished preaching. A few people lingered in the sanctuary, preparing to shut off the lights. And outside, far from any big city lights, the countryside was swallowed up in a darkness that gave the stars a backdrop against which to shine.

“I would say it’s the darkness,” said Julie Tumblin, musing on the biggest difference between her former life in New Orleans and her life in this Hill Country community. “It’s still a little strange, even after all this time. Even though this is home.”

Tumblin is an assistant minister in a church that is preparing to mark the 10-year anniversary of its exodus from a rough part of New Orleans.

Statesman In-Depth

Texas has mixed record on environmental cases against EPA

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is accusing the Obama administration of an illegal, green-cloaked plot to “to take over America’s electrical grid” through its newest proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

If the White House doesn’t back off, he says, he’ll sue.

But an American-Statesman review of Texas’ challenges to 23 Environmental Protection Agency proposals since Obama took office shows a gulf between the self-confident rhetoric from Texas officials and the final word from judges who set the limits on the federal agency’s power.


Statesman In-Depth: Public Integrity Unit

Another high-profile loss for Public Integrity Unit
Deborah Cannon

Another high-profile loss for Public Integrity Unit

Fresh from being treated like a political piñata during this year’s legislative session, Travis County’s Public Integrity Unit lost a high-profile criminal case last week — a not guilty verdict for Jerry Cobbs, accused of using deception to help ensure an $11 million state cancer research grant for a Dallas biotech firm — adding to a string of politically charged legal defeats.


Central Health

Health officials want to redefine who can get low-cost health care

Health officials want to redefine who can get low-cost health care

For the first time since its creation in 2004, the taxing authority that oversees health care for needy Travis County residents is trying to fundamentally change who would be eligible for free or low-cost services.

In redesigning the health care system for uninsured and underinsured county residents, Central Health officials are discussing how to categorize patients based on medical need, while potentially raising the income threshold for services.

Statesman In-Depth

New crimes, new priorities as laws take effect
Jay Janner

New crimes, new priorities as laws take effect

Beginning Tuesday, when most of the laws passed this year by the Legislature take effect, students can no longer be jailed for skipping school, posting “revenge porn” online will be illegal, and flying drones in the wrong place could land you in jail.

The 678 new laws also will create a special legal process for corrupt politicians, hide the names of pharmacies that provide Texas with its execution drugs and require law officers to take a class on how to avoid shooting dogs.

Hays County Water

What’s next in battle over water rights in Hays County?
Linda Scott

What’s next in battle over water rights in Hays County?

In February, Hays County Commissioner Will Conley took the microphone at a town hall meeting in Wimberley, looked at the men sitting in the front row and gave voice to what many of the 600 residents packing the room were thinking about them: “We don’t want you here! We want you to leave Hays County!”

This month, Conley again found himself at the Wimberley Community Center talking about Houston-based company Electro Purification’s controversial water project in central Hays County.

Texas Attorney General

Ken Paxton’s defense of faith as a guiding principle

Until overshadowed by charges of felony securities fraud, Ken Paxton’s tenure as state attorney general was defined by his passionate defense of religion, particularly on issues important to his fellow conservative Christians.

If there has been a defining principle, a Paxton Doctrine, established in his first 7½ months in office, it was forged on same-sex marriage, contraceptives under “Obamacare,” Houston’s anti-discrimination ordinance and other legal controversies where Paxton rallied the power of his office to protect religious beliefs he says are under assault in America.

Statesman Investigates

Blacks stopped by DPS in Waller more likely to be cited than whites
Department Of Public Safety

Blacks stopped by DPS in Waller County more likely to be cited than whites

White drivers in Waller County, home to an unfolding national discussion on the charged relationship between police and African-Americans, are slightly more likely than minority motorists to receive a warning — rather than a citation or arrest — after being stopped by Department of Public Safety troopers, according to an American-Statesman analysis of five years of traffic stop data.

Austin City Council

Council Member Don Zimmerman courts controversy with blunt approach
Jay Janner

Zimmerman courts controversy with blunt approach

In the span of three months, Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman ignited a social media firestorm over his comments on gay marriage, sued the city over its campaign finance rules and attempted to nominate an activist to a police oversight committee who is so at odds with Austin police that he has repeatedly been arrested for filming them.

» Interactive timeline: Zimmerman's political career | The Don Zimmerman of the 1990s


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