The COVID Testing Company That Missed 96% of Cases

State and local officials across Nevada signed agreements with Northshore Clinical Labs, a COVID testing laboratory run by men with local political connections. There was only one problem: Its tests didn’t work.

Reporting From the Southwest

ProPublica’s seven-person reporting unit based in Phoenix covers the Southwest, including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah. Many of these states are among the fastest-growing in the country, and the region is experiencing rapid changes to the climate, economy, demographics and other trends that will shape the nation’s future.

The Southwest’s Drought and Fires Are a Window to Our Climate Change Future

In a Q&A with ProPublica, experts describe how a new climate reality threatens the Southwest, the fastest-growing region in the U.S.

Welfare States

Help Us Investigate Racial Disparities in Arizona’s Child Welfare System

ProPublica is reporting on the Arizona Department of Child Safety. We want to hear directly from the community.

The Invisible Hand of Steve Twist

How an Arizona man who’s never held elected office has shaped one of America’s most punitive criminal justice systems.

Southwest News Staff

Southwest Editor
Michael Squires
Reporters
Anjeanette Damon, Eli Hager, Mary Hudetz, Mark Olalde and Nicole Santa Cruz
Abrams Reporting Fellow
Hannah Dreyfus
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Local Reporting Network Partners

ProPublica is supporting local and regional newsrooms as they work on important investigative projects affecting their communities. Some of our past and present partners in the region:

Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona
Arizona Republic
Phoenix, Arizona
New Mexico In Depth
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Searchlight New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Santa Fe New Mexican
Sante Fe, New Mexico
Rocky Mountain PBS
Denver, Colorado

Colorado Legislature Passes HOA Foreclosure Reform Bill

The measure limits homeowners associations’ ability to foreclose on residents who accumulate fines for violating community rules known as covenants.

Colorado HOA Foreclosure Reform Legislation Moves Forward

The bipartisan measure would limit homeowners associations’ powers to file foreclosure cases based on fines for community-rule violations, capping such penalties and increasing due process for homeowners.

They Faced Foreclosure Not From Their Mortgage Lender, but From Their HOA

While most homeowners associations refrain from the “last resort” of foreclosing on residents, some Colorado communities have moved time and again to take members’ homes.

Southwestern States Make Changes to Welfare After ProPublica Investigations

The moves follow months of reporting on punitive and outdated welfare policies in this part of the country and come amid a yearslong surge in the region’s cost of living.

Welfare Is No Substitute for a Child Tax Credit

Some in Congress say the child tax credit isn’t needed because Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is a success. Our reporting found it’s marked by repeated failures.

He Was Billed $13,064 for Donating His Kidney

Living organ donors are never supposed to be billed for transplant-related care. NorthStar Anesthesia charged one donor over $13,000 and nearly sent his bill to collections.

Reno Seeks to Purchase Motels as Affordable Housing Instead of Letting Developers Demolish Them

The mayor of Reno did little to stop the razing of motels that housed low-income residents or to replace lost units. Following a ProPublica investigation, that may change.

Reps for Casino Developer Defend the Destruction of Nearly 600 Housing Units in Reno

At a town hall, Reno residents expressed doubt about developer Jeff Jacobs’ “vision” to contribute land for public housing after he had already razed affordable units. “A vision is something you have before you tear things down,” said an attendee.

The Cruel Failure of Welfare Reform in the Southwest

A ProPublica series has found that in Nevada and neighboring states, boom times hastened the demise of cash assistance for the poor — but not poverty.

A Mother Needed Welfare. Instead, the State Used Welfare Funds to Take Her Son.

Arizona spends a majority of its welfare budget on the Department of Child Safety. The agency then investigates many poor parents, sometimes removing their children for reasons stemming from their poverty.

Why the Second-Driest State Rejects Water Conservation

Utah has some of the highest per-capita water use and is the fastest-growing state. Yet a powerful group that steers Utah’s water policy keeps pushing for costly infrastructure over meaningful conservation efforts.

Reno May Use Federal Funds to Address Housing Crisis

At a recent ProPublica event, Reno council member Devon Reese said the city will announce its plans to alleviate the city’s housing crisis next month. The event followed a ProPublica investigation on redevelopment’s impact on lower-income residents.

Storm Drains Keep Swallowing People During Floods

An alarming number of people (especially children) have drowned after disappearing into storm drains during floods. The deadly problem should be easy for federal, state and local government agencies to fix, but tragedy strikes again and again.

Head of New Mexico Child Support Agency Asks State to Stop Intercepting Payments to Poor Families

Following a ProPublica investigation, the New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division is calling on the state Legislature to stop funding the agency with millions in child support confiscated from single mothers who previously received welfare.

Utah Makes Welfare So Hard to Get, Some Feel They Must Join the LDS Church to Get Aid

Utah’s safety net for the poor is so intertwined with the LDS Church that individual bishops often decide who receives assistance. Some deny help unless a person goes to services or gets baptized.

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