was born on the South Plains, but grew up in Plano as it grew up. His passion for writing ignited in kindergarten, the instant he learned how to read. Stints on the high school yearbook and newspaper staffs eventually followed. Formby returned to Lubbock to study journalism at Texas Tech University. After graduation, he joined The Dallas Morning News, where he worked in several roles during a 13-year stint. His stories exposed a suburban mayor’s use of public funds on personal expenses before she killed her teenage daughter and then herself; shined a light on how the people of West, Texas used grit and grace to withstand the grief of a deadly fertilizer plant explosion; and unraveled the shaky logic and disingenuous reasoning underpinning Dallas’ now-abandoned plans to build a traffic-inducing toll road through a floodplain. He joined The Texas Tribune as its first Dallas-based urban affairs reporter in 2016. His stories highlighted the mounting housing affordability woes that the state’s economic growth belies; chronicled how tension between Texas’ rural roots and unbridled urban growth is coming to a head with plans for a Dallas-Houston bullet train; and detailed how state and federal officials’ attempts to reinvent disaster recovery delayed Texans’ abilities to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. He became the Trib’s night news editor in 2019.
Texans successfully fought back against tolled highway projects in 2017. Meanwhile, motorists are now forbidden to text while driving and ride-hailing companies emerged from the legislative session with a major victory.
A state lawmaker has asked the attorney general to weigh in on whether the state's transportation agency can use voter-approved funds to rebuild or expand highways that will also include toll lanes alongside them.
Officials from battered towns and counties — including one who said he's had suicidal thoughts — told lawmakers that too many residents are sleeping in tents and hotels more than two months after Hurricane Harvey.
State officials want as few parameters as possible on federal disaster relief funds, but housing advocates say that could lead to public works projects getting federal funds over Texans who lost everything.
Some — but not all — southeast Texans could see property tax breaks after the hurricane damaged their homes. The inequity has reignited intra-GOP tensions from earlier this year over disaster-related property tax re-assessments.
It could be months, if not years, before southeast Texans receive federal funds to pay for the long-term rebuilding and recovery of homes and communities battered by Hurricane Harvey’s epic rains, officials told legislators Monday.
While several Texas officials have thrown support behind some expensive flood control projects, a Houston City Council meeting Monday highlighted the political and financial hurdles that may await such efforts.
Sylvester Turner also told The Texas Tribune that fewer houses would have been damaged if federal officials had funded much-needed flood control projects. But he lauded how residents have risen to the challenge of recovering after Hurricane Harvey.
In addition to replacing clothes and finding new places to live, many in southeast Texas must repair vehicles or buy new cars. But not being able to get to work for more than three weeks makes that a challenge.
Nowhere was Hurricane Harvey's devastation felt more than Aransas County, which has had one storm-related death and has had many buildings severely damaged. The region's difficult physical — and emotional — recovery is underway.