You may be familiar with ANDREA VALDEZ because of the Manual, her monthly how-to guide on skills that every Texan should master. Who can forget her tips (or videos) on firing a .22, riding a bull, or acquiring big hair? And you may recognize JASON COHEN thanks to his sportswriting in these pages over the past decade, in which he’s covered the likes of Ricky Williams, the Dallas Stars, and the advantages of ticket scalping. As for SONIA SMITH? Two words: pork chopping. If you didn’t follow her adventures in aerial hog hunting this past summer, do yourself a favor and look her up on our website right now.
As of this month, however, you’ll come to know this power trio (whose titles are, respectively, associate editor, senior staff writer, and staff writer for texasmonthly.com) as the brains behind the TM Daily Post, a new website devoted to organizing and analyzing the news in Texas every day. Around the clock, they will be sifting through major metropolitan newspapers, small-town weeklies, research journals, police blotters, TV and radio broadcasts, blogs, tweets, and more (oh, so much more) to bring you a constantly updated digest on the things that matter within our borders. And why should you trust these three as your daily information curators? “Well, for one thing, we’re addicted to this state,” says Valdez. “We’ve also had Twitter installed in our corneas.”
Photograph by Eric Mertens
Texas Monthly readers may remember Todd Hido’s work from October 2009, when he photographed the spookiest places in the state for Halloween. For the current issue, the San Francisco–based artist visited the Acres Homes neighborhood in Houston, which has been haunted by something far more sinister: over the years it had been home to a string of mysterious assaults and murders of prostitutes (“ ‘If the Serial Killer Gets Us, He Gets Us’ ”). “There’s often a dark side and a cinematic element to my photographs that lend themselves to this project,” he says. “The story allowed me to make my kind of art.”