Sonia Smith

Sonia Smith, a native of Houston, is a graduate of Georgetown University. She has reported on convict cowboys at the Angola Prison Rodeo, celebrity magazines in Moscow, and aerial hog hunting in Knox City, Texas. She has also written for Slate, the Associated Press, the Baton Rouge Advocate, the Kyiv Post, and the Dallas Morning News and was a finalist for the 2008 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. Her great-great-grandfather was a Texas Ranger in Kerr County in the 1870’s.


Energy-Loving Texas Could Be Ground Zero Against Keystone XL

Landowners who vehemently oppose TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline took to the streets and the courts to protest the project.

Bum Steer: Salon Owner Injects Clients with “Unknown Substance”

Authorities arrested Carmel Foster, the owner of Tyler’s Queen Divas Hair Salon, for allegedly performing a procedure to enhance the butts and breasts of some clients.  

More East Texas Towns are Going Wet

Two stories explore what is happening in East Texas as more and more towns vote to sell alcohol.

Feathery Friday: Baby Bald Eagles in Llano, Turkeys and Penguins in San Antonio

A selection of our favorite bird-related stories from around the state.

Book by Dallas Navy SEAL Sniper Tops NYT Best-Seller List

American Sniper, the autobiography of Chris Kyle, the most successful sniper in American history, topped the New York Times best-seller list this week.

Hico Rodeo Star Arrested in Rhino Horn Smuggling Ring

Wade Steffen, a champion steer wrestler, was arrested after TSA officials found $337,000 and photos of rhino horns in his carry-on luggage at the Los Angeles airport.

Stolen Emails from Austin-Based Stratfor Get WikiLeaked

WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange claims the released emails depict a company bent on obtaining intelligence information by any means necessary, but is it as sinister as he makes it out to be?  

Shocker: “Active” Video Games Not a Substitute for Actual Exercise

A new study from the Baylor College of Medicine finds “active” video games like Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution don’t lead to an increase in physical activity.

How Many Medical Schools Should the Valley Get?

Senator Eddie Lucio Jr., said that building two medical schools in the Valley is “totally unrealistic” and the focus should be kept on the plan to build a University of Texas system medical school in Harlingen.

Warren Buffett’s Texas-sized Mistake

In his annual letter to shareholders, Warren Buffett writes that Berkshire Hathaway’s $2 billion investment in TXU Corp.’s bonds could be wiped out if natural gas prices do not rise.

Leader of “Texas Seven” Set to be Executed

Texas is set to execute George Rivas, who killed an Irving police officer on Christmas Eve 2000 after a legendary jail bust. 

Samantha Ketcham Headed to Runoff in Yell Leader Election

UPDATED: After recalculating the vote, it has been determined that Ketcham is out of the race and the school will not have its first female yell leader. 

Parents of Slain Soldier Sue Dating Sites for Using Son’s Photo in Ads

The family of Lt. Peter Burks was horrified to discover that two dating websites used a photo of their son, who died in combat in Iraq in 2007, alongside the text “Military Men Looking for Love.”

Last Madam at the La Grange Chicken Ranch Dead at 84

Edna Milton Chadwell was the madam running the famous brothel when authorities shut it down in 1973.

Meanwhile, in Lufkin...

Our favorite recent items from the Lufkin Daily News’ police blotter.