Reporting Texas
News and features from UT-Austin's School of Journalism

Child-free Texans Raise Voices Despite Stigmatized Life Choice

Sending a message to his more than 40,000 followers on social media platform X in March, Houstonian Adrian C. Jackson told the world he had made a major life decision. “Might as well make this a public journey to inform & encourage other men,” he tweeted March 10. “The appointment is booked. I’m going through with it. I’m getting a vasectomy.”
Now 40, earning six figures as a software engineer and child-free, Jackson wanted the rewards of years of practicing safe sex and his relentless socioeconomic climb. The prize was financial freedom minus the cost of raising children.
Jackson is one of an increasing number of child-free Texans who intend to remain so. About 44% of U.S. adults without children say they are either “not too likely” or “not at all likely” to have children, according to a 2021 study from the Pew Research Center. In 2018, only 37% said they were not likely to have children, suggesting a trend on the rise. 

Arts Education Groups Are Struggling. Austin Is Looking for Ways to Help.

In late 2023, 19 Austin arts education organizations received a total of $475,000 thanks to the Arts Education Relief Grant, Austin’s first arts education grant program. But gaps in funding for the arts remain, and groups focused on education are looking for new sources for money.

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Giant Troll Highlights Recycled Art in Austin

The piles of Douglas Fir and cedar sat in Pease Park, waiting to be repurposed into Austin’s newest public artwork. The Douglas Fir had once been a research test tank at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus of the University of Texas. Now it was destined to be an 18-foot troll — and a testament to recycling.
While the trend of making art from recycled materials is not new, Dambo’s troll artwork proved to be a good match for environmentally conscious Austin benefactors. 

As Younger Drinkers Forgo Alcohol, Bartenders Are Mixing Up More Booze-free Cocktails

The bartenders at the Roosevelt Room in downtown Austin are as likely to grate fresh nutmeg on your beverage as they are to spray black walnut oil inside your glass. It’s an experience, for sure, and it’s not just for those who love liquor, wine and beer.
“A cocktail is interesting whether it has alcohol or not,” said Armando Garza, a bartender at the Roosevelt Room.
The Roosevelt Room and other Austin bars are tapping into the trend of consumers forgoing alcohol when they go out for happy hours, gatherings and celebrations. A 2023 Gallup report found that only 62% of 18- to 34-year-olds said they had occasion to drink in 2021-23, down from 72% two decades ago.
“There’s almost as many reasons to abstain as there are people,” said a Missouri professor of psychological sciences.

Mexican Actor Says Latinos Can Change Texas Politics If They Vote

Texas politicians point to mental health as the cause of mass shootings — experts say more funding won’t help

Omitting ‘Rare’ When Ordering A Medium Rare Burger

UT Engineering Students on Track to Maintain Legacy of Longhorn Racing