TV news teams are finally figuring out how to do interesting segments about Tarrant County’s controversial and complicated guardianship program. It ain’t easy breaking that myriad mess into a two-minute TV segment.


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Probate courts, with their powerful network of attorneys, professional guardians, banks, and nursing homes, are being accused of over zealousness in stripping people of their rights and taking over their lives.

It’s a complex issue and a tough story to tell. I’ve written three cover stories — here and here and here — on the subject since 2008 and still don’t feel like I’ve fleshed out the situation.


Channel 33 News did a story this week on Frank and Chila Covington of Arlington, a couple interviewed numerous times for my earlier stories.

The 33 News report comes on the heels of this Sept. 23  look at the Covington case by Lori Barager of Fox4 News.

And that report followed this in-depth look by the Texas Tribune on Sept. 15.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram ignored the growing controversy completely in its July 10 story.

Families battling the probate courts have long tried without much success to get local media to spotlight their stories. But the families became better organized in the past two years, documenting and comparing their cases, and calling their elected officials.

Estate of Denial and GRADE are just a couple of web sites doing the same thing on a national level.