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Andrea Ball

Investigative reporter

Andrea Ball has worked for the Statesman since 1999, focusing on issues including mental health, poverty and nonprofits. Before that, she worked at newspapers in New York and North Carolina.

Latest from Andrea Ball

State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwestern Texas
 A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwestern Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by a purchasing director who is the wife of a high-ranking state official forced to resign in 2014. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals...

Posted: 5 days ago

A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwestern Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by a purchasing director who is the wife of a high-ranking state official forced to resign in 2014. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals...
State freezes bid to privatize foster care in northwest Texas
 A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwest Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by the wife of the former inspector general. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals for “foster care redesign” on pause, saying in...

Posted: 5 days ago

A much-heralded effort to privatize foster care in 30 northwest Texas counties is on hold while the state investigates whether the bidding process was compromised by the wife of the former inspector general. The Health and Human Services Commission has put its request for proposals for “foster care redesign” on pause, saying in...
State purchasing director on leave — again — amid contract questions
 A purchasing director of Child Protective Services has been placed on administrative leave as officials launch an investigation into a pending contract involving a nonprofit where the director’s husband works, the American-Statesman has learned. It’s the second time Frianita Wilson has been placed on leave amid contract questions...

Posted: 10 days ago

A purchasing director of Child Protective Services has been placed on administrative leave as officials launch an investigation into a pending contract involving a nonprofit where the director’s husband works, the American-Statesman has learned. It’s the second time Frianita Wilson has been placed on leave amid contract questions...
Austin360Cooks: What happens when you go cold turkey on Diet Coke?
 Readers, I come to you in a state of dietary chaos. When I first shared my journey with you last month, I was full of optimism. I had embarked on a new life of plant-based eating and had retooled my diet to mainly include fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains and legumes. I eschewed meat, dairy products and highly refined foods like bleached...

Posted: 14 days ago

Readers, I come to you in a state of dietary chaos. When I first shared my journey with you last month, I was full of optimism. I had embarked on a new life of plant-based eating and had retooled my diet to mainly include fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains and legumes. I eschewed meat, dairy products and highly refined foods like bleached...
Legislator seeks to keep guns out of state psychiatric hospitals
 One year after state psychiatric hospitals began letting people carry guns on their campuses, a Republican legislator is pushing a bill that reverses course. House Bill 14, filed by state Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, outlaws firearms at the state’s 10 mental health hospitals, which provide care for people with severe illnesses such...

9:25 PM Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017

One year after state psychiatric hospitals began letting people carry guns on their campuses, a Republican legislator is pushing a bill that reverses course. House Bill 14, filed by state Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, outlaws firearms at the state’s 10 mental health hospitals, which provide care for people with severe illnesses such...
Legislator seeks to keep guns out of state psychiatric hospitals
 One year after state psychiatric hospitals began letting people carry guns on campus, a Republican legislator is pushing a bill that reverses course. House Bill 14, filed by Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, outlaws firearms at Texas’ 10 state-run mental health hospitals, which care for people with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder...

11:54 PM Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

One year after state psychiatric hospitals began letting people carry guns on campus, a Republican legislator is pushing a bill that reverses course. House Bill 14, filed by Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, outlaws firearms at Texas’ 10 state-run mental health hospitals, which care for people with depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder...
Abbott’s hiring freeze ‘threatens’ safety of disabled patients, feds say
 The U.S. Department of Justice has raised red flags over how Gov. Greg Abbott’s hiring freeze will affect Texas institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, saying that potential staffing shortages could cause the state to violate its federal agreement to improve the facilities. In a Feb. 7 letter to the Texas Attorney General&rsquo...

4:49 PM Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice has raised red flags over how Gov. Greg Abbott’s hiring freeze will affect Texas institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, saying that potential staffing shortages could cause the state to violate its federal agreement to improve the facilities. In a Feb. 7 letter to the Texas Attorney General&rsquo...
Abbott’s hiring freeze threatens safety of disabled patients, feds say
 The U.S. Department of Justice has raised red flags over how Gov. Greg Abbott’s hiring freeze will affect Texas institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, saying that potential staffing shortages could cause the state to violate its federal agreement to improve the facilities. In a Feb. 7 letter to the Texas attorney general&rsquo...

4:41 PM Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017

The U.S. Department of Justice has raised red flags over how Gov. Greg Abbott’s hiring freeze will affect Texas institutions for people with intellectual disabilities, saying that potential staffing shortages could cause the state to violate its federal agreement to improve the facilities. In a Feb. 7 letter to the Texas attorney general&rsquo...
‘Sanctuary’ reprisals from Abbott take hardball politics a step further
 When Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez stopped detaining jail inmates for federal immigration checks, Gov. Greg Abbott quickly tried to change her mind with a tried and true incentive: Money. The choice was clear. Continue housing inmates while immigration agents investigate their status, and the county could keep getting $1.5 million...

9:45 PM Thursday, Feb. 09, 2017

When Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez stopped detaining jail inmates for federal immigration checks, Gov. Greg Abbott quickly tried to change her mind with a tried and true incentive: Money. The choice was clear. Continue housing inmates while immigration agents investigate their status, and the county could keep getting $1.5 million...
‘Sanctuary’ reprisals from Abbott take hardball politics a step further
 When Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez stopped detaining jail inmates for federal immigration checks, Gov. Greg Abbott quickly tried to change her mind with a tried and true incentive: money. The choice was clear: Continue housing inmates while immigration agents investigate their status, and the county could keep getting $1.5 million...

9:38 PM Thursday, Feb. 09, 2017

When Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez stopped detaining jail inmates for federal immigration checks, Gov. Greg Abbott quickly tried to change her mind with a tried and true incentive: money. The choice was clear: Continue housing inmates while immigration agents investigate their status, and the county could keep getting $1.5 million...
CPS legislation cheered, criticized
 A bill to reform Child Protective Services drew both kudos and complaints Thursday, with child welfare advocates divided over whether the legislation gives too much power to private contractors. Dozens of people weighed in at a public hearing on Senate Bill 11, a multipronged bill that attempts to fix the system through a series of mandates...

11:26 PM Thursday, Feb. 02, 2017

A bill to reform Child Protective Services drew both kudos and complaints Thursday, with child welfare advocates divided over whether the legislation gives too much power to private contractors. Dozens of people weighed in at a public hearing on Senate Bill 11, a multipronged bill that attempts to fix the system through a series of mandates...