Five stories that have North Texas talking: Poor Californians are migrating to Texas; 48 people were exonerated in Harris County in 2016: play a video game about crossing the border; and more.
More low-income Californians, many without college degrees, move to Texas than any other state, according to a story published this week by The Sacramento Bee. Between 2005 and 2015, about 156,000 economically disadvantaged people moved from California to Texas. That number represents a net migration. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the newspaper figured about 293,000 residents left California for Texas and about 137,000 Texans moved to California over those 10 years.
Behind Texas, the states surrounding California took in the most low-income people; in order, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. “All told, California lost about 260,000 economically disadvantaged residents to the 10 states with the lowest cost of living during that time period, compared to a net gain of about 40,000 from the 10 states (other than California) with the highest cost of living.” Wealthier people are moving in, and poor people are moving out.
So why are they leaving? Primarily, the high cost of living. Impoverished people can’t afford rent along with their other expenses. But moving to a more affordable area in the state forces some to have commutes of several hours, The Sacramento Bee reports. Other than a lack of affordable housing, job competition in the state is pushing out people without much money or education. Read more. [Sacramento Bee]
- Texas still leads the nation in the number of exonerations. Of the 58 people exonerated last year in the state, all but 10 were in Harris County, according to a study published Tuesday. The 48 drug cases in Harris were dismissed after lab tests determined the individuals never had illegal substances. The Texas Tribune reports that “62 percent of those exonerated for drug crimes in Harris County in 2016 were African-American — in a county where they make up 20 percent of the population.” The 166 people exonerated last year is six more than in 2015, the year with the previous highest total since recording started in 1989. [The Texas Tribune]
- Dallas home prices were up another 8.7 percent in January, according to the latest data from CoreLogic. For comparison, the nationwide home price gain was 6.9 percent from 2016. The analytics and data company predicts the nationwide home prices will increase 4.8 percent in the next year. Steve Brown, the real estate reporter for The Dallas Morning News, says North Texas home prices are at record-high levels and have increased more than 40 percent in the last four years. He recently sat down with KERA to explain the reasons behind the rise. [The Dallas Morning News, KERA News]
- Thirty pianists have been selected for the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition this May in Fort Worth. Hundreds of hopeful pianists submitted applications, and more than 140 auditioned live for screening judges in cities around the world, including Moscow — “where the American pianist for whom the contest is named stunned the world 59 years ago, winning the International Tchaikovsky Competition at the height of the Cold War,” KERA reports. In all, 15 countries will be represented in the competition, which takes place every four years. Top players can establish international careers that can last a lifetime. Here are the 2017 competitors. [Art&Seek, KERA News]
- Gonzalo Alvarez, a Mexican-American illustrator, turned the experience of crossing the border into a video game. Alvarez had the idea for the “Borders” during the last presidential election and wanted to show people the perilous journey many immigrants, including his own parents, have made. According to Texas Standard: “In the game, players must evade border patrol agents and collect jugs of water to avoid dehydration. When a player dies, a skeleton is left at their exact point of death. Alvarez remembers his father telling him that he came across a skeleton during his own journey north.” [Texas Standard]