Senior editor Nate Blakeslee joined the staff in 2006. He is the author of Tulia: Race, Cocaine, and Corruption in a Small Texas Town, a book based on a story he broke in 2000 about a police corruption scandal in the Texas Panhandle. His original story, for the Texas Observer, was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, the magazine industry’s highest honor, and led to follow-up coverage in the national and international media. In 2001 Blakeslee was named a finalist for the Livingston Young Journalist Award, and in 2004 he won the Hugh M. Hefner First Amendment Award for his drug war reporting in the Observer. Blakeslee’s reporting on Tulia eventually resulted in a major reorganization of the state’s drug enforcement bureaucracy and the exoneration of some three dozen wrongfully convicted individuals. The book, which was supported by a Soros Justice Fellowship from the Open Society Institute, was featured on a number of year-end lists of best books and was named a Notable Book of 2005 by the New York Times. It won the J. Anthony Lukas book prize and the Texas Institute of Letters best book of nonfiction prize and was a finalist for the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction. In 2007, while Blakeslee was a contributing writer for the Observer, he broke the story of sexual misconduct at a Texas Youth Commission prison for juveniles in the West Texas town of Pyote. The events described in the award-winning story became a major scandal and led to the firing or resignation of virtually all of the agency’s top officials in Austin and the indictment of two former officials at the prison. Blakeslee was recognized by the Texas Legislature for his reporting on the story. He was born and raised in Arlington and has a master’s degree in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, where his field of study was the civil rights movement. He lives in Austin with his wife, Karen Poff, and their two children.
With public education facing an estimated $7 billion in cuts, the question on everyone’s mind is, Are Texas schools doomed? So we assembled a group of dinner guests (a superintendent, advocates on both sides, an education union rep, and the commissioner of the Texas Education Agency) to find out. Check, please?
As we head into the most critical legislative session in decades—maybe ever—the question is not just, Who are the people with the most clout at the Capitol? It’s also, What do they want?
It has more supporters here than anywhere else. It fueled the Republican landslide. It has its own caucus. But what is the tea party? And how will it use its power?
Who’s the toughest opponent for Republicans who want to crack down on illegal immigration? Other Republicans.
The faces—and voices—of eighteen Texans who are living the debate over illegal immigration.
Despite rampant fears to the contrary, the bloody drug violence in Mexico hasn’t spilled over into Texas—but that doesn’t mean it’s not transforming life all along the border.
Tomball state representative Allen Fletcher is on his way to a second term. His former business associate may be on his way to the federal penitentiary.
Does the country’s most popular conspiracy talk radio host really believe that 9/11 was an inside job? That global warming is a plot cooked up by the World Bank? That an elite cabal wants to kill most of the people on the planet (including you)? Two million listeners think so—and they’re hanging on his every word.
After a sudden pang of conscience, former Bryan Planned Parenthood director Abby Johnson became a pro-life activist and a star on the conservative talk show circuit. But is she telling the truth?
The future of Texas depends on how well we are able to educate kids who can’t speak English. Has an elementary school in El Paso figured out the best way to do it?
Daniel Miller, the president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, is a proud secessionist. And the tea parties were just the beginning for this true believer.
State representative Allen Fletcher is the chairman of a House subcommittee on white-collar crime. So how did his very own company get tangled up in a white-collar-crime investigation?
The Dallas Police Department’s posting of photos in its “indecency” section on its Web site is probably constitutional—the fact that prostitution cases are also listed means that gay men as a class are not being singled out—but is it responsible?
After his son died of a drug overdose in his fraternity house at SMU, Tom Stiles began asking questions that campus authorities preferred not to answer. Two years later, he is still learning the truth about what happened—and why.