Jim Malewitz

Jim Malewitz is an investigative reporter Tribune. He previously covered energy and environmental issues. Before arriving in 2013, he covered those issues for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C. The Michigan native majored in political science at Grinnell College in Iowa and holds a master’s from the University of Iowa. There, he helped launch the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, where he currently serves on the board of directors. Jim also coaches the Texas Tribune Runoffs, which, sources say, is the scrappiest coed newsroom softball team west of the Mississippi.

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Supreme Court rejects Texas voter ID appeal — for now

A sign describing Texas' new voter ID law is displayed at Fiesta Mart in Austin on Election Day 2013.
A sign describing Texas' new voter ID law is displayed at Fiesta Mart in Austin on Election Day 2013.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up Texas’ effort salvage its strict voter identification law, handing at least a temporary victory to civil rights advocates who have successfully argued that the law discriminates against minorities.

In West Texas, abandoned well sinks land, sucks tax dollars

The land is sinking three-fourths of an inch every month around this abandoned well outside of Imperial in Pecos County, and huge cracks have opened in the area. The Texas Department of Transportation paid most of the $315,000 bill to plug the well in 2009 and has spent at least $1 million fixing a nearby farm-to-market road.
The land is sinking three-fourths of an inch every month around this abandoned well outside of Imperial in Pecos County, and huge cracks have opened in the area. The Texas Department of Transportation paid most of the $315,000 bill to plug the well in 2009 and has spent at least $1 million fixing a nearby farm-to-market road.

Land around a West Texas roadway used to be flat. Now, it’s fissured, sinking and has cost taxpayers more than a million dollars — all because of a water well that was left unplugged. 

 

For Rep. Dawnna Dukes, delayed resignation yields bigger pension check

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, speaks with media following the presentation of a $15,000 scholarship donation to Huston-Tillotson University at the African American Heritage Festival on the University campus in Austin, TX on Feb. 27, 2016.
State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, speaks with media following the presentation of a $15,000 scholarship donation to Huston-Tillotson University at the African American Heritage Festival on the University campus in Austin, TX on Feb. 27, 2016.

State Rep. Dawnna Dukes announced her retirement in September, but doesn't plan to make it official until Tuesday. That would make her annual pension payout $3,220 bigger.

Abandoned Texas oil wells seen as "ticking time bombs" of contamination

Ty Edwards, assistant general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, points to brackish water flowing from one of several flowing abandoned wells— originally drilled for oil, but later used for irrigation — that no state agency plans to plug.
Ty Edwards, assistant general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, points to brackish water flowing from one of several flowing abandoned wells— originally drilled for oil, but later used for irrigation — that no state agency plans to plug.

Texas is among several states grappling with a surge of abandoned drilling sites and dwindling funds to clean them up.

 

Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil, and climate change probes — and how Texas is involved

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the IHS CERAWeek 2015 energy conference in Houston on April 21, 2015.
ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the IHS CERAWeek 2015 energy conference in Houston on April 21, 2015.

Amid news that President-elect Donald Trump will make Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson the country's next secretary of state, a refresher on the oil giant's efforts to thwart Democratic-led probes into what it knew about climate change and when.