joined the Tribune in 2022 as its first-ever East Texas reporter. Based in Lufkin, she covers a vast region that borders three states and stretches north to Texarkana and south to Beaumont. Pooja was born and raised in the Houston area and graduated from Yale University. She also holds a master’s in fine arts from NYU’s journalism school.
State policymakers have mapped out familiar territory early in the legislative session, with Democrats seeking to expand voting access and Republicans pledging to make elections more secure. Full Story
Millie Thompson Williams was elected the tribe’s first female second chief, a lifetime appointment, last year. For the first time, her accession comes as women make up the majority of the tribe’s council. Full Story
Democratic County Judge Lina Hidalgo beat Republican Alexandra del Moral Mealer by more than 18,000 votes. An assessment of Election Day problems at polling sites “has not yet revealed” whether any voters were turned away. Full Story
In conservative Sabine County, it’s hard for teens to access contraception or sex education beyond lessons on abstinence. The Deep East Texas region has one of the highest teen birth rates in the state. Full Story
Fatal crashes in rural areas accounted for 51% of Texas’ 4,489 traffic fatalities in 2021, even though only about 10% of the state’s population lives in a rural area, according to data from the state’s department of transportation. Full Story