joined the Tribune in 2022 as its first-ever East Texas reporter based in Lufkin, where she covered a vast region that borders three states and stretches north to Texarkana and south to Beaumont. In late 2023, she relocated to Austin as a general assignment reporter to cover issues ranging from breaking news to developments in state agencies. 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.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will stop pursuing eminent domain to take over the former park property south of Dallas. A private developer plans to turn it into a luxury subdivision. Full Story
Livingston and Jasper residents hope a lawsuit will force their municipality-operated utility company to offer lower rates and create more transparency in setting rates. They’re among the 5 million Texans living outside the state’s deregulated market and cannot choose their energy provider. Full Story
The Martinsville Independent School District used a federal grant to replace four buses, which started transporting students last month. The principal believes he will save enough money on gas to hire a new teacher. Full Story
Texans soundly defeated a constitutional amendment that would have let judges stay on the bench longer. Proposition 13 would have increased the minimum retirement age from 70 to 75 and the mandatory retirement age from 75 to 79. Full Story
The East Texas school leader was following school district policy — and state law — which allows for corporal punishment. Texas is one of 17 states that allows it, despite one Democrats efforts to ban the practice. Full Story