is a native of Liberty. He never knew any reporters growing up, and he has never taken a journalism class in his life. But somehow he got hooked on the news business. It all started when Root walked into the offices of The Daily Texan, his college newspaper, during his last year at the University of Texas in 1987. He couldn't resist the draw: it was the biggest collection of misfits ever assembled. After graduating, he took a job at a Houston chemical company and soon realized it wasn't for him. Root applied for an unpaid internship at the Houston Post in 1990, and it turned into a full-time job that same year. He has been a reporter ever since. Root has covered natural disasters, live music and Texas politics — not necessarily in that order. He was Austin bureau chief of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for a dozen years, most of them good. He also covered politics and the Legislature for The Associated Press before joining the staff of the Tribune.Root is the author of “Oops! A Diary From The 2012 Campaign Trail,” an insider’s account of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s dramatic collapse in the 2012 presidential race. The book was released in September, 2012.
Victor Vandergriff advocated for auto dealers while billing the Texas Department of Transportation for Austin trips. The TxDot commissioner says he'll reimburse the state for certain expenses and update his financial disclosure statement.
In March, we reported on how Texas alcohol regulators spent tens of thousands of dollars to travel to resorts where liquor flowed and industry lobbyists abounded. Catch on up that story and the developments that ensued.
Reread this investigation by the Tribune and NerdWallet into the rent-to-own industry, which has a special tool in Texas law that lets it file criminal charges when customers don't pay their debts — while other businesses have to use civil remedies.
Documents and interviews with people who work at the Texas Facilities Commission portray an agency gripped by internal dysfunction, complaints of special treatment and fears that major building initiatives are falling prey to petty squabbles.
Texas lawmakers from both sides of the aisle said Friday they are mulling legislative reforms to criminal laws that allow rent-to-own companies to pursue felony theft charges against customers who default on payments for sofas, TVs and other merchandise.
While other businesses have to use civil remedies when customers don't pay their debts, the rent-to-own industry has a special tool in Texas law that lets them file criminal charges, an investigation by the Tribune and NerdWallet found.
As Hurricane Harvey approached Texas, state prison officials moved thousands of inmates to higher ground. But now that the storm has passed, about 600 of the evacuees gained protection from hot conditions in their cells thanks to an ongoing federal lawsuit.
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, an exploding chemical plant and spikes in cancer-causing emissions are highlighting how little the public knows about potential dangers from the oil and chemical industries. Critics say one reason for the darkness: tons of campaign money.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers called on Gov. Greg Abbott Wednesday to add ethics reform to the agenda of the special session. The governor’s office, in a rare rapid response, quickly attacked the effort as “showboating.”
State Rep. Sarah Davis will ask Gov. Greg Abbott to put ethics reform on the agenda of the ongoing special session and said focusing on ethics would restore trust in the Legislature at time when it's diminishing.