My Work

Texas Tribune and Reveal

Bordering on Insecurity, July 2016: What’s the point of adding more law enforcement to protect our borders if they can’t be trusted themselves? This hour of Reveal includes profiles of two border patrol agents who allegedly went bad, including one who was implicated by investigators after a headless body was found in the bays of South Texas last year. We also created an online database of allegedly corrupt federal law enforcement officials charged with protecting the border.

The Price of Admission, April 2016: Adapted from our Texas Tribune series “The Price of Admission,” this hour of Reveal examined the influence of a student’s race on the public education they receive — and the choices they make about higher education. We followed the journey of two high-achieving Dallas-area public school students: One who attends a wealthy, nearly all-white school, and another who attends a poor, nearly all-Hispanic school.

Mighty Ike, a Monster Storm in the Making, March 2016: One day, a devastating hurricane will hit the Houston region, killing thousands and crippling the national economy. An entire hour of Reveal was devoted to this issue, also covered as a series in collaboration with ProPublica called “Hell and High Water.”

Not a Drop to Drink, October 2015: Two years after e. coli bacteria was found in the drinking water of thousands of residents on the Texas-Mexico border, little has changed. (A follow-up investigation to our Undrinkable series.)

“Cop Watchers” Police the Police, May 2015: Most of the high-profile cases of alleged police abuse today are caught on tape by people who happen to be walking by. But there’s also an organized movement of “cop watchers” who consider it their jobs to police the police. In places like Texas, tensions are growing and police are pushing back. (Also in the Texas Tribune here.)

Texas Tribune

Sold Out, February 2017: A Texas Tribune investigation into how hollow rhetoric and a broken child welfare system feed Texas’ sex-trafficking underworld.

Boomtown, Floodtown, December 2016: Why does the Houston area suffer from so many damaging and deadly floods? We took a comprehensive, definitive look at the research around this question, and we asked local public officials what they were doing about it. Their answers were shocking. A months-long, ongoing investigation with ProPublica, plus an accompanying audio piece that ran on public radio stations across Texas.

Undrinkable, March 8-12, 2015: Many on the Texas-Mexico border still live without clean, safe drinking water. We visit four communities who’ve suffered from this problem and explore why U.S. residents still live in third-world conditions. First place winner of the Online News Association’s explanatory reporting award for small markets.

Texas vs. the Feds, Ongoing project: Texas’ Republican officials like to brag about suing the Obama administration. So how much does that cost taxpayers, and what did they get for their money?

Texas Leading Challenge to Smog Standards, June 26, 2015: Documents show that Texas is paying consultants usually employed by industry to fight back on claims that lower ozone levels will improve public health. Air quality scientists say that’s bogus.

Eagle Ford Air, Oct. 29, 2014: A Texas rancher was fed up with reports of bad air and workers getting sick as the drilling boom took off on his property. So he started checking out the air quality himself.

Beneath the Surface: Texans are increasingly looking underground to quench the growing state’s thirst, but thorny, contradictory policies and fierce local politics may prevent them from using it for decades to come. A five-part series.

PRI’s “The World”

The Texas Miracle and Climate Change, Dec. 3, 2014: The ‘Texas Miracle’ is fueling huge economic growth — and the climate change that may end it. A three-part series.

National Public Radio

Despite Efforts, the Rio Grande is One Dirty Border, Oct. 22, 2013: Millions of gallons of raw sewage spill into the Rio Grande every year, which means dirtier tap water for one Texas community. The best way to see this in action is to take a kayak ride down the river and use your noise. (Also in the Texas Tribune here.)

Growing University Highlights Connecticut’s Water Woes, Feb. 8, 2013: Water problems aren’t confined to the South and Southwestern United States. (Also in the Connecticut Mirror here.)

Newtown, Conn. Businesses Suffer After Nearby School Shooting: April 18, 2013: The business community in Newtown suffered after the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. How they persevered.

Superstorm Sandy Victims Resettle, Thanks to Small Town’s Special Efforts, Jan. 11, 2013: With the help of some local Connecticut officials, a nearby mega-church, and a New York-based foundation, more than a dozen New York City families who lost everything now have a new place to call home. (Also in the Connecticut Mirror here).

Newtown Shooting Prompts ‘Bee’ Special Edition, Dec. 21, 2012: Journalists at Newtown’s weekly newspaper, the Newtown Bee, faced an extraordinary professional and personal challenge in the aftermath of the tragic school shooting. (Also in the Connecticut Mirror here.)

Connecticut Mirror/Connecticut Public Radio

Striving for innovation, spending millions, Stamford leaders ignored major problems, Feb. 4, 2013: Problems with Stamford’s sewer treatment plant have cost taxpayers and the environment dearly. (First in a two-part series. Also on Connecticut Public Radio here.)

As government funding dwindles, so may public disclosure, Sept. 27, 2012: Cash-strapped states are turning to the private sector to fund badly-needed infrastructure projects — but are they doing so at the expense of transparency?

Connecticut’s changing suburbs, July 5, 2012: A crisis in affordable housing, a struggling economy and rising gas prices are creating a slow-but-steady shift in some of Connecticut’s wealthiest areas: its small-town suburbs. (Also on Connecticut Public Radio here.)

Closing the achievement gap, online, May 17, 2012: With no money to hire more teachers, schools are resorting to computer programs to let failing students lost credits. But they’re not always getting the same level of education. (First in a two-part series. Also on Connecticut Public Radio here.

New Haven Independent

Slumlords Stiff Banks — And Rake In Section 8 Bucks, Nov. 2, 2011: Local landlords buy up cheap properties, drain them of equity, and bring in government funds — often at the expense of their tenants. Featured in ProPublica’s “MuckReads,” and in Watchdog New England’s “New England’s Best Investigative Reporting,” compiled by Northeastern University.

The Boston Globe

ABCDisease, Aug. 22, 2011, page 1G: A clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital treats cavities the way they should have always been treated — as a chronic disease.

Help beyond addiction, Sept. 10, 2011, page 1B: In a tiny building off the side of a highway in Boston, doctors are treating people with opiate addiction using more than just methadone.

Pregnant question, July 25, 2011, page 1G: As pregnant women continue to struggle with depression, the question of what medications are safe to take has no easy answer.

The Dallas Morning News

Red tape slows Dallas-area agencies in disseminating federal funds to fight homelessness, Aug. 15, 2010, page 1A: The challenges faced by Dallas-area homeless providers in implementing a new homeless prevention program offer a snapshot of the federal stimulus package’s slow progress.

Booker T. Washington High School’s acclaimed jazz director shares special kinship with students, Aug. 3, 2010, page 1A: International artists like Roy Hargrove and Norah Jones owe much of their success to the director of a high school jazz program in Dallas named Bart Marantz.

The Toledo Blade

Toledo area jails facing growing numbers of mentally ill, Aug. 30, 2009, page 1A: The first in a two-part series about mental illness in jails and prisons.

Special courts offer alternatives to jail sentences, Aug. 31, 2009, page 1A: The second installment of the series.

College Writings

Mumbai, Continued, February 2009 (The New Journal): A month after the devastating attacks on Mumbai in 2008, residents struggle to resume their normal lives.

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