Sandra Wood has spend the past four months recuperating from broken bones after a fall. Photo by Jeff Prince.

Coming Home?

A Fort Worth woman fights to have her “son” returned.
Jeff Prince
When Sandra Wood saw Billy Mittell earlier this month, the mute man with Down syndrome was making a sign created by putting his fingers together to fashion what looks like a roof. It’s the sign for “home.” Mittell was tel...


Paving the Way

A devoted cadre of mentors is helping local teens with mental health issues.
By Jackie Hoermann-Elliott
There’s a 17-year-old boy in foster care whom Jackie Davis visits almost every week. Davis is the boy’s mentor and, unquestionably, his friend. Recently, as the 31-year-old Dallas native and I sat in a plain office space ne...


Final Encore

Dying in a prison hospital, a Fort Worthian and convicted felon makes one last effort to prove his innocence.
In the eyes of the law, Gregory Charles McCain put a gun to the head of the 14-year-old daughter of his girlfriend a half-hour after playing a blues gig in North Richland Hills. Or it could have been two days after that. The ex...

Libal, shown at a protest over conditions at a federal immigrant detainee center, say private prisons must go. Courtesy Bob Libal.

Private Hells

The U.S. Department of Justice has ordered the Bureau of Prisons to allow contracts with private prisons to expire.
Peter Gorman
A scathing early-August report by the Office of the Inspector General on the quality-of-inmate-life in private prisons led to a very quick decision by the Department of Justice: Unless a new contract is “substantially reduce[...


This Jail Has Gone to Pot

We got sleepy-eyed smiles on our faces upon hearing that the California city of Coalinga — an oil town in the conservative San Joaquin Valley — had sold its prison to a cannabis extraction company. What next? Snoop Dogg buy...

Photo by Christopher Blay

An Art Pilgrimage

All roads led west and to a bittersweet farewell.
It’s been two weeks since I drove from Fort Worth to San Francisco. The trip, which also took two weeks, gave me a taste of the great American road trip, and it was an art pilgrimage of sorts. For all the times I’ve travele...

Judge Pat Ferchill retires. Tarrant County

Controversial Judge Retires

Pat Ferchill leaves the bench after 35 years.
Tarrant County Judge Pat Ferchill announced his retirement effective Aug. 31 after sitting on the bench for 35 years in Probate Court No. 2. Ferchill was two years into a four-year term that expires in 2018. He will continue to...

Cover illustration by David Owens.

Flood Help Coming for Eastsiders?

The Texas Water Development Board, the state agency tasked with providing funds and know-how to maintain Texas’ water resources, awarded Fort Worth $247,378 recently for flood protection. The financial assistance, part of a l...


Old-School Museum

In Duncanville, this repository of early 20th-century technology is an artifact in itself.
Barbara Kevles
Rick Wilkins stood staring at the dozens of pieces of the Scopitone, a massively tall coin-operated musical video machine from the 1950s that he had dismantled to repair. To get to the circuit board and other failing components...

Hooters girls attended a hearing in Fort Worth this week. Photo by Jeff Prince.

Restraining Order

Urban dwellers worry Hooters will bring an unwanted element to downtown.
Jeff Prince
A group of protesters trying to prevent a Hooters restaurant from opening in downtown Fort Worth pulled out its own big torpedoes at an administrative hearing this week. Mayor Betsy Price, Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley, and...