Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, a candidate for Governor, at the KRTS Studios, Marfa TX, August 2014.

Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, a candidate for Governor, at the KRTS Studios, Marfa TX, August 2014.

Tuesday Interview: Wendy Davis, Candidate for Governor, Discusses Border Issues and KRTS Youth Media

Over the Labor Day weekend, Texas Senator Wendy Davis, visited the KRTS Studios during her campaign for Governor. She is the Democratic candidate, facing Republican nominee Gregg Abbott in the general election this Fall.

KRTS News asked Senator Davis about her position on borderland issues, including her opinion of Governor Rick Perry’s decision to place National Guard troops in South Texas to handle the immigration surge this summer. We asked what was her definition of a “secure border,” what the U.S. President should do about immigration issues, and how she would handle the borderlands if she were governor.

Senator Davis commented on Friday’s ruling by a U.S. District Judge against new requirements for Texas facilities providing abortions. Davis famously filibustered against House Bill 2 in the summer of 2013, but the bill later passed. Some of the bill’s provisions already have been enacted, while these latest requirements – which were to go into effect in September - were struck down as unconstitutional. Her opponent, Abbott, the current Attorney General, indicated he would appeal that judge’s ruling.

Host Tom Michael concluded with several questions about education, the key plank in her campaign for governor, which was the focus of their previous KRTS interview. The discussion wrapped up with a question from 11th-grader Eva Guevara, from KRTS Youth Media. Guevara represents Marfa Public Radio in the Student Reporting Labs of PBS NewsHour.


Continue reading

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
KRTS News logo

In West Texas, Senator Wendy Davis Responds to the Ruling Against House Bill 2

On Monday, September 1,  several Texas facilities providing abortions were expecting to face new regulations from House Bill 2 that may have affected their ability to stay open. But on Friday, a U.S. District judge ruled against those provisions, saying that the law’s ambulatory surgical center requirements “burdens Texas women.”

On the campaign trail in Marfa, State Senator Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for governor, pointed to her 13-hour filibuster of the bill last summer. She said she was “pleased” at the judge’s ruling, but that House Bill 2 had already made its mark.

“The first provision has already gone into effect and half of the clinics in the state of Texas closed. With the ambulatory surgical center provision, which was set to go into place on Monday – had the judge not ruled that way – Texas would have had only six or seven clinics left open. And many women – I think a huge percentage of women – would have lived 200 miles or more away from their ability to access safe legal and reproductive healthcare in our state.”


Continue reading

Texas National Guard troops in Afghanistan (Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann via Wikimedia Commons)

Texas National Guard troops in Afghanistan (Staff Sgt. Shane Hamann via Wikimedia Commons)

National Guard Confirms Two Troops Requested Food Bank Assistance

Reports surfaced Friday that as many as 50 National Guard troops deployed to the Texas Border as part of Governor Perry’s “Operation Strong Safety” had run out of money and were needing assistance with food and gas from the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley.

The Public Affairs Office of the Texas National Guard now tells KRTS there were soldiers who needed assistance, but not necessarily the number originally reported.

The National Guard’s Camp Mabry in Austin now confirms two service members have “requested support,” both of whom were previously unemployed before deployment.

“Both of those soldiers were provided assistance,” the release states.

Lt. Col. Travis Walters of the Texas National Guard explained that the high number of calls were probably not from soldiers but from National Guard assistance staff.

“Here’s where the confusion is coming from: we have family assistance coordinators all over the state…who proactively help soldiers and airmen with all kinds of issues,” he says.

“Since we knew we had significant numbers going down to border, those coordinators go out and proactively scout any resources that may be needed.”


Continue reading

Texas state troopers gather at the scene of a drug bust in La Joya (Mónica Ortiz Uribe)

Texas state troopers gather at the scene of a drug bust in La Joya (Mónica Ortiz Uribe)

National Guard Deploys To Bust Drug Crime In South Texas

LA JOYA, Texas — The National Guard is now descending on the South Texas border. It’s part of a law enforcement surge called Operation Strong Safety. Governor Rick Perry ordered the mission to confront the never-ending flow of illegal drug traffic headed north from Mexico.

Working in law enforcement along the South Texas border is anything but boring.

On a sizzling August afternoon, a Chevy sedan crashed into a sign post across the street from La Joya Junior High. Cop cars surrounded the scene. A handcuffed teenager ducked into the back of squad car as plain clothes officers heaved bundles of marijuana into the back of a pickup truck.

Sgt. Bryan Witt of the Texas Department of Public Safety explained it was a routine traffic stop turned drug bust.

“The vehicle evaded, and the driver started throwing bundles out the window,” he said.

Witt had only been in South Texas a few days.  He’s part of Operation Strong Safety. Along U.S. Highway 83 in Starr County state troopers like him are posted at about every three miles.
Continue reading

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Free-Market Think Tank Hosts Border Security Panel at State Capital

On Wednesday at the state capital, the Texas Public Policy Foundation held a panel discussion on border security, billing the event with the title “What is Actually Happening on the Border.”

Among the speakers at the event were Texas Ag Commissioner Todd Staples, the head spokesperson for the National Border Patrol Council, and also one of the founders of Texas Border Volunteers, a group of private citizens that conducts “watches” along the border, reporting illegal immigrants to law enforcement agencies and often posting pictures of detained immigrants to its website.

Texas Observer reporter Forrest Wilder was on the scene in Austin. He spoke to us about the group hosting the event and what the speakers had to say.

A model of XCOR's Lynx space craft on display in Amsterdam in 2012 (Branko Collin via Flickr)

A model of XCOR's Lynx space craft on display in Amsterdam in 2012 (Branko Collin via Flickr)

Can the Private Space Industry Stabilize a Boom-and-Bust Economy?

By early next year, alongside the sound of jets landing at the Midland International Airport, you might also hear sonic booms from space flights re-entering the earth’s atmosphere.

This month, the private space company XCOR broke ground at the airport, where it plans to launch commercial space flights next year. Some hope this new industry will stabilize the region’s traditionally oil and gas-based boom and bust economy.

The airport is still waiting to get the go-ahead from the FAA to launch those flights, but XCOR says despite some delays, it’s likely that will happen before a September 15th deadline.


Continue reading

Become a Community Correspondent, learn new skills and make new friends.

Become a Community Correspondent, learn new skills and make new friends.

Become a Marfa Public Radio Community Correspondent

Never miss a city council meeting? Always finding interesting stories in the Big Bend? Go to a lot of community events or concerts? If you’re interested in sharing your knowledge and experience with Marfa Public Radio listeners, become one of our volunteer Community Correspondents.

We’re looking for engaged citizens from across the Big Bend. A Community Correspondent assists Marfa Public Radio with news gathering and producing stories from the community you live in.
Continue reading

A Border Patrol veihicle drives past vehicle barriers near Deming, NM. (Jim Greenhill via Flickr)

Fri. Aug 29 Interview: Reporter Details Former Border Protection Watchdog’s Account of Corruption

In June, the head of the internal watchdog office at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) was removed from his post and re-assigned, after an independent report revealed the agency didn’t do enough to investigate the Border Patrol’s use of deadly force.

The move was seen as a step toward better transparency, something the CBP’s newly-appointed commissioner Gil Kerlikowske has pledged to focus on.

But in an unauthorized interview this month with the Center for Investigative Reporting, former Chief of Internal Affairs James Tomsheck tells reporter Andrew Becker his removal was instead meant to deflect controversy over the agency’s use of force policies.

We spoke with Becker about those comments, including Tomsheck’s opinion that the deaths of at least 7 of the 28 people killed by Border Patrol agents since 2010 were “highly suspect.”

Continue reading

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off
Elizabeth McNutt, the Director of "Sounds Modern" is seen here in the Kay Burnett Studio on August 28, 2014. (Jefferson Yen/Marfa Public Radio)

Thu. Aug 28 Interview: Sounds Modern Brings Music Of Mexican Composers To Marfa

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Davis and The Chinati Foundation will be bringing  “Sounds Modern,” a series showcasing modern music as it relates to the ideas being explored in galleries, to the Crowley Theater in Marfa.  Flutist Elizabeth McNutt joins our host K. Yoland to discuss the latest iteration of the series, “Neighbor Notes” which will highlight modern chamber music by Mexican composers. The event takes place tonight at 8 p.m. is free to the public and can be streamed online here.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
Comments Off
The Fort National Historic Site is seen here on February 6, 2013. (Mike Fisher/Flickr)

Tourism

On today’s Parenthesis, we’ll hear about tourism, a “clean” industry, as it relates to Fort Davis.

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment
KRTS News logo

Native American Student at Seminole School Sent Home for Long Hair

Schools across the nation began classes this week. The school district in Seminole faced a test on its first day, as it balanced its Code of Conduct with its Policy of Non-Discrimination.

The town of Seminole (just north of Andrews) is named after the Native American people – a man in traditional headdress is the mascot for the schools’ sports teams, the “Indians.”

On Monday morning, kindergartener Malachi Wilson was sent home, because his hair was too long.

The five-year-old is part of the Navajo Nation and wears his hair long for cultural reasons.

According to the Code of Conduct: “boy’s hair…may not extend…below the top of a T-shirt.” Malachi’s hair drapes halfway down his back.

“Hair is sacred to us,” the boy’s mother April Wilson told CBS 7. “It makes us part of who we are.”

Wilson returned to the school with certification from the Navajo Nation., and the Seminole School District eventually admitted the boy, citing a policy that allows exceptions to the dress code for religious beliefs.

Wilson says she will be looking into the possibility of hiring a lawyer to pursue a discrimination case against the district, but the district maintains it followed all the necessary and proper procedures for exempting a student from the school’s dress code.

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment
BYPRODUCT-3

Wed. Aug 27 Interview: Rebroadcast: Texas Nuclear Waste Disposal Sees Big Expansion

On today’s Talk at Ten, we’re rebroadcasting an episode of Texas Public Radio’s The Source about a nuclear waste disposal site in Andrews, Texas. You can hear an archived version of the broadcast here.

 

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
Comments Off