AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Saturday, KXAN was honored with four Lone Star EMMY awards during a ceremony held at Gilley’s Dallas.

“Lone Star EMMY® represents the most experienced and talented television professionals from all disciplines of the industry and from all of Texas’ 19 television markets,” organizers said.

KXAN was nominated for 16 awards — the most of any station in the Austin area.

The station was honored in the categories of Journalistic Enterprise, Continuing Coverage, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion – News, and Health/Medical – News.

Explore the award-winning projects below:

Journalistic Enterprise

  • Justice For Some: For decades, public corruption cases against state officials were investigated and prosecuted in Texas’ capital city. But in 2015, after a dustup at the highest levels of state government, lawmakers instead moved those responsibilities to the Texas Rangers and local prosecutors. A new analysis of the cases from the past five years reveals few have been prosecuted and most Ranger investigations focused on lower-level officials. In an investigative collaboration with the Texas Observer and other media outlets, KXAN takes a closer look at the Central Texas cases falling short and the legislative history that led to a system critics claim does little to hold your elected leaders accountable.
    • Josh Hinkle, Investigative Reporter/Executive Producer
    • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer
    • Eric Henrikson, Creative Producer
    • Robert Sims, Digital Special Projects Developer
    • Kate Winkle, Digital Executive Producer
    • Rachel Gale, Graphic Artist

Continuing Coverage

  • Risky Rides: In late 2021, KXAN re-launched an investigation into a problem our team knows well, a topic we already tackled for two years with ongoing reports, a criminal operation Texas promised to shut down… with no success. We discovered crooks still have the ability to access the Department of Motor Vehicles’ dealership database with relative ease. The result is a $200 million enterprise where real temporary tags, with fake information, are printed and sold to all 50 states, giving violent criminals the ability to hide from law enforcement in plain sight. Our new investigation explores how effective the TxDMV’s oversight measures are and what it can do in the future.
    • Matt Grant, Investigative Reporter
    • Richie Bowes, Investigative Photojournalist
    • Josh Hinkle, Executive Producer

Diversity/Equity/Inclusion – News

  • Housing History: Racial Displacement in Austin: The City of Austin will implement a change meant to address decades-long policies that caused gentrification and displacement of Black and Brown communities. The Preference Policy will be put in place fall 2021 in an effort to make it up to long-term residents who have been priced out of their communities and provide those with historic ties to communities the opportunity to return to where they (or relatives) previously lived.
    • Jennifer Sanders, Reporter
    • Andrew Choat, Photojournalist

Health/Medical – News

  • Still Practicing: Tracking Problem Doctors: February 2022 marked five years since Texas neurosurgeon Christopher Duntsch – dubbed “Dr. Death” – was sentenced to life in prison, revealing how easy it can be for dangerous doctors to transfer between hospitals. Now, KXAN finds Texas patients aren’t getting all of the information they need about some doctors’ histories. Our team searched thousands of disciplinary records from more than a dozen states, showing some physicians coming to Texas to leave their pasts behind – a discovery prompting the Texas Medical Board and lawmakers to promise change.
    • Matt Grant, Investigative Reporter
    • Dalton Huey, Investigative Producer
    • Chris Nelson, Investigative Photojournalist
    • Josh Hinkle, Executive Producer
    • Rachel Gale, Graphic Artist

Explore the nominated projects below:

News Excellence

Breaking or Spot News

  • Austin-Round Rock tornado outbreak: In March 2022, six tornadoes touched down in Central Texas as a line of powerful storms moved through. The KXAN First Warning Weather team kept you updated on air and online in real time, providing critical information during and after the storm.
    • David Yeomans, Meteorologist
    • Kristen Currie, Meteorologist
    • Nick Bannin, Meteorologist

Investigative Report

  • Locked In Limbo: Moving Forward: It took Adan Castaneda four years, pinballing back and forth from a solitary jail cell to state mental hospitals — bouncing between mental stability and severe mental illness – before finally getting a shot at justice. Every year, thousands of mentally ill men and women like him languish in Texas’ county jails. Incapable of standing trial, they wait in line behind hundreds of other people for a bed in a state hospital to get the help they need.
    • Josh Hinkle, Investigative Reporter/Executive Producer
    • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer
    • Eric Henrikson, Creative Producer
  • Mental Competency Consequences: The Hidden and Unreliable Data Texas Tracks… or Doesn’t: In October 2021, the number of people found mentally incompetent to stand trial and waiting in Texas jails for restoration treatment at a state hospital hit a new record: 1,838. A state advisory committee admits specific data on individuals waiting could help reduce that backlog, but KXAN discovered many critical details are not tracked. Without that data, the state acknowledges the consequences of the growing waitlist are largely unknown – including when people die waiting.
    • Josh Hinkle, Investigative Reporter/Executive Producer
    • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer
    • Eric Henrikson, Creative Producer
    • Rachel Gale, Graphic Artist

Environment/Science – News

  • Blackout: Preventing Another Power Disaster: A year after a winter storm led to a cascading power failure that left millions of Texans in the dark and cold, most of the pressure has been on the state’s natural gas wells and power plants that froze up during the storm. When the cold gripped those power generators, ERCOT forced power providers — such as Oncor and Austin Energy — to shut off power to as many customers as they could to keep the whole system from collapsing. KXAN Investigators dug into what your power provider could do in those crucial moments to better manage whose lights go off — and for how long.
    • Avery Travis, Investigative Reporter
    • Richie Bowes, Investigative Photojournalist
  • First Warning Weather University: KXAN’s First Warning Weather team breaks down weather phenomena and answers questions in a series of videos that help you become a Central Texas weather scientist. We believe the more you know about the weather, the more you can stay safe.
    • Eric Henrikson, Producer
    • David Yeomans, Meteorologist

Politics/Government – News

  • Plan C Pills: The Debate Over Safety & Access: After Texas lawmakers passed the country’s most restrictive abortion law, more people began turning to online pharmacies for access to medication abortion. State leaders then passed more legislation attempting to stop pills from being sent through the mail, but the law may do little to halt organizations operating outside the state and the country.
    • Kelly Wiley, Investigative Reporter
    • Richie Bowes, Investigative Photojournalist
  • Vetting Your Pet’s Vet: Investigating the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners: Years ago, Texas lawmakers called on the state agency tasked with licensing and regulating animal doctors to address some ‘concerning’ data reliability issues. Specifically, the agency was supposed to fix its licensee look-up website — a tool that enables pet owners to search for their veterinarian’s disciplinary history. Just months before this agency’s next legislative review, KXAN investigators discovered dozens of disciplinary records still missing from the look-up tool, reporting that resulted in top agency officials resigning and a renewed push for timelier transparency.
    • Avery Travis, Investigative Reporter
    • Chris Nelson, Investigative Photojournalist
    • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer
    • Josh Hinkle, Executive Producer

Societal Concerns – News

  • Overdosing in the Suburbs: Fentanyl’s Deadly Expansion: Deaths caused by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid up to 100-times stronger than morphine, were higher than ever in Central Texas last year. The escalation in deaths has been driven, at least in part, by the spread of counterfeit pills laced with the potent drug. And while more and more unsuspecting users die of overdoses, authorities are cracking down on dealers.
    • Arezow Doost, Investigative Reporter
    • David Barer, Senior Investigative Producer

Politics/Government – Short-form or long-form content

  • State Of Texas: Extreme Weather Response & Recovery: Following a tornado outbreak in Central Texas, this edition of State of Texas explored how insurance claims surged afterward, how the highway overpass hit by the tornado quickly cleared a safety inspection, why the ‘Rainy Day Fund’ was unlikely to be tapped to help tornado victims and why climate change could affect the type of severe weather seen in Texas.
    • Josh Hinkle, Host/Executive Producer
    • John Thomas, Political Producer
    • Alison Kelly, Producer
    • Monica Madden, Political Reporter
    • Maggie Glynn, Political Reporter
    • Jala Washington, Political Reporter
    • Daniel Marin, Political Reporter
    • Avery Travis, Investigative Reporter
    • Eric Henrikson, Reporter/Producer
    • Chris Nelson, Photojournalist
    • Eric Lefenfeld, Editor

Weather – short-form or long-form content

  • The Last F5: Twenty-five years after an F5 tornado tore through Central Texas, KXAN’s First Warning Weather team spoke with survivors and witnesses of what happened May 27, 1997. Many are still haunted by that day and the powerful storms that ripped through their lives and killed 27 of their family and friends.
    • Eric Henrikson, Producer
    • David Yeomans, Meteorologist
    • Kristen Currie, Meteorologist
    • Sean Kelly, Meteorologist
    • Nick Bannin, Meteorologist

Promotion – topical

  • Fixing Foundations
    • Joany D’Agostino, Writer/Producer