Terri Langford Reporter

Terri Langford Born in Oceanside, California. Naturalized Texan. Comes by her tough love of government honestly. She majored in it at the University of Texas. First courtroom stories were in the Atticus Finch-like Lowndes County courthouse in Valdosta, Georgia, where two months into that first job for the Jacksonville-based Florida Times Union, she found herself covering a quadruple murder. Eventually moved to Jacksonville, covering social services and began unpacking the conflicted rules of government social work and public housing redevelopment for readers. Joined the Associated Press in Dallas and worked there and in Houston covering some of the state's biggest trials and complicated legal issues including the Branch Davidian standoff with ATF agents and the dragging death of James Byrd Jr. in Jasper, Texas as well as witnessing several state executions. Worked for the Dallas Morning News and the Houston Chronicle, where she covered everything from airport security, civil courts and the 9/11 attacks to the strains of the Texas Child Protective Services system, the state's removal of more than 400 children from their polygamist parents in West Texas, the Allen Stanford Ponzi scheme trial and the world of Medicare fraud in Houston's private ambulance networks. Langford was named Texas Reporter of the Year in 2011 for her work on the connection between private ambulances in Houston and the non-regulated mental health clinics there. Before joining the Tribune in March 2014, she tried her hand at public radio, working for WNYC in Trenton, covering New Jersey government.

Recent Contributions

Email Shows Dukes Directed State Staff to Work on Festival

An email from state Rep. Dawnna Dukes to members of her staff. The email provides instructions for work her staff must complete before the upcoming African American Community Heritage Festival.
An email from state Rep. Dawnna Dukes to members of her staff. The email provides instructions for work her staff must complete before the upcoming African American Community Heritage Festival.

When state Rep. Dawnna Dukes sent out an email to her staff last month, her urgent instructions about an upcoming project made clear what she wanted. But the email from the Austin Democrat had nothing to do with state business.

State Officials Investigating Rep. Dukes' Use of Staff

Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.
Texas State Representative Dawnna Dukes is honored at the unveiling of the African American Portrait Project at the African American Cultural and heritage Facility in Austin, Texas. June 9, 2014.

The State Auditor's Office is investigating whether state Rep. Dawnna Dukes improperly required her legislative staffers to participate in work for a nonprofit group that she founded, a Capitol source told The Texas Tribune on Friday. 

Investigation Targets Complaint Against Ken Paxton Over Land Deal

Texas Attorney Gen.  Ken Paxton, speaks at The Texas Response: Pastors, Marriage & Religious Freedom event at the First Baptist Church in Pflugerville, Texas on September 29, 2015
Texas Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton, speaks at The Texas Response: Pastors, Marriage & Religious Freedom event at the First Baptist Church in Pflugerville, Texas on September 29, 2015

Two Fort Worth attorneys have been appointed to investigate a complaint against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton over a land sale in Collin County, an attorney for Paxton said Friday. 

Abbott Jumped Gun on Terror Suspect Arrest

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) speak at a press conference in the Capitol about Sen. Cruz’s Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015 (S. 2302), in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) speak at a press conference in the Capitol about Sen. Cruz’s Terrorist Refugee Infiltration Prevention Act of 2015 (S. 2302), in Washington, D.C., Dec. 8, 2015.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott discussed details about a terror suspect arrested in Texas Thursday while the case was still sealed, but a federal prosecutor downplayed the impact. 

Houston Iraqi Refugee ID'd As Terror Suspect

Gov. Greg Abbott is shown in November 2015 proposing reforms against "sanctuary cities" that he wants Texas lawmakers to consider in the 2017 legislative session.
Gov. Greg Abbott is shown in November 2015 proposing reforms against "sanctuary cities" that he wants Texas lawmakers to consider in the 2017 legislative session.

Gov. Greg Abbott renewed his call for better vetting of refugees after an Iraqi man was arrested in Houston for alleged connections to the Islamic State.

 

Grand Jury Indicts Trooper in Sandra Bland Case

Screenshot from Department of Public Safety dash cam video shows Sandra Bland as she exits her car after DPS officer Brian Encinia has drawn his taser on July 10, 2015.
Screenshot from Department of Public Safety dash cam video shows Sandra Bland as she exits her car after DPS officer Brian Encinia has drawn his taser on July 10, 2015.

A grand jury did not believe Department of Public Safety trooper Brian Encinia was telling the truth about his actions during his arrest of Sandra Bland, who died three days later in a Waller County jail cell.

Deficient Police Psych Reviews Prompt Revamp

Harris County Sheriff's Office headquarters in Houston, Texas
Harris County Sheriff's Office headquarters in Houston, Texas

After a Houston psychologist was discovered vouching for the mental health of would-be police officers without even meeting them, the state is revamping its approach to screening the psychological and emotional health of law enforcement applicants.

Charting a Better Exit Strategy for Fragile Populations

Special-needs patients waited to be transported to a special military aircraft at the Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Port Arthur on Sept. 22, 2005.
Special-needs patients waited to be transported to a special military aircraft at the Southeast Texas Regional Airport in Port Arthur on Sept. 22, 2005.

Efforts to transport elderly and disabled residents were far from refined during the 2005 Hurricane Rita evacuation. Now, officials have better evacuation strategies — including a new state registry — at their disposal. This is part of our "Road From Rita" series, a collaboration with the Beaumont Enterprise.