Our "New Home on the Range" - your support helps us continue to renovate this historic building!

Our "New Home on the Range" - your support helps us continue to renovate this historic building!

Spring Membership Drive Underway – Support Non-Profit News Today!

We’re up and running with our Spring Membership Drive here at Marfa Public Radio, one of the very few times of year we ask for your direct financial support to continue bringing news, arts and cultural programming to all of Far West Texas.

The drive runs Thursday, April 9th – Thursday, April 16th. $75,000 is our goal – a modest amount to produce “radio for a wide range.”

Wherever you listen from – Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, Fort Stockton, Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Africa (yep, we do have listeners there) – your support makes up our biggest source of funding.

This is non-profit, listener-supported radio. By listeners, for listeners.

Click here to contribute now – and make sure and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at the station during the drive.

Huge thanks to our generous fans and members who donated special matching donations or premiums for the drive:

Frama
Americana Salon
Squeeze Marfa
Marfa Book Co.
Theater of the Big Bend
Chinati Foundation
– Capri Kitchen
Do Your Thing
Ringtail Records
Boyz2Men
Big Bend Coffee Roasters
Front Street Books
The Well
Blue Mountain Bistro
Freda
Hotel Paisano & Jett’s Grill
- Marfa Gliders
- Big Bend Now
– and Marfa Country Clinic

A water storage bucket near Presidio, Texas; the Texas Secretary of State says 38,000 Texans living in border settlements known as colonias have no running water. The Obama Administration proposes that the four border states receiving federal funding for low income housing increase the amount those states spend for colonia improvement. (Lorne Matalon)

A water storage bucket near Presidio, Texas; the Texas Secretary of State says 38,000 Texans living in border settlements known as colonias have no running water. The Obama Administration proposes that the four border states receiving federal funding for low income housing increase the amount those states spend for colonia improvement. (Lorne Matalon)

Federal Budget Proposal: Funding Increase For Border Colonias

PRESIDIO, Texas–Thousands of mostly poor Hispanic people live in border communities called colonias with no access to running water or electricity.

Now, the Obama administration wants the four border states that receive federal funds for colonia improvement to increase spending there by 50 per cent.

The announcement comes as scientists say potential health consequences of living in colonias are too severe to ignore.


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Life & Death Converge on the Border

Photo essay and personal account by Jessica Lutz

We had barely settled into base camp—a ranch owned by Octaviano Parada on the border with Mexico—when we received a call that a man had gone missing.

Parada, then tending his bar in Van Horn, explained that relatives of the missing man were coming to borrow horses for the search. Minutes later, three men and a woman from Artesia, New Mexico, pulled in with a shredded tire and despair on their faces.

The story was muddled. It sounded like two men had been brought over by “coyotes” and left for dead. One of the men, their relative, was very sick—hung-over and dehydrated. The other had continued on and was picked up by the border patrol.
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(Luc Novovitch)

(Luc Novovitch)

Alpine Resident Luc Novovitch appointed to fill Brewster County Commissioners Seat

Alpine resident and former Reuters photojournalist Luc Novovitch has been appointed to the vacant Brewster County Commissioners Pct. 1 seat by County Judge Eleazar Cano.

The appointment comes after the recent resignation of George Johnson, who was tapped to fill the open seat, but resigned amid personal frustrations and a desire to return to private life. Johnson was appointed to the seat after longtime Commissioner Asa “Cookie” Stone resigned last fall.

From the Alpine Avalanche: 

“I didn’t feel good about what was happening and I had a lot of business to attend to for Johnson Feed,” [Johnson] said. “There were things going on and I didn’t feel I could give 100 percent to Brewster County.”

Johnson said he was appointed to the seat, not elected. If he had been elected, he said, he might feel differently and compelled to finish his term.

“You have to pick your fights and try to do what’s right but I didn’t feel right fighting every single thing,” he said.

According to the Avalanche, Johnson in his resignation letter recommended Brewster County Republican Chair Monica McBride as his replacement.

Novovitch and his wife Barbara have been residents of the Big Bend region since 1998, but had visited the region several times before.

Luc Novovitch lived in New York and later moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked as a photojournalist for the Reuters news agency. He was originally born a French citizen in Casablanca, Morocco, and also spent time in Paris.

In France, he studied Law and Political Science at the University of Lyon.


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Mugshot of Tony Flint released by the Brewster County Sheriff's Office on February 25, 2015 (Brewster County Sheriff's Office)

Mugshot of Tony Flint released by the Brewster County Sheriff's Office on February 25, 2015 (Brewster County Sheriff's Office)

Terlingua Murder Trial Begins This Month

The trial over the alleged murder of Terlingua bar owner Glenn Felts by Tony Flint begins later this month in Sierra Blanca, after having been moved from Brewster County at the request of Flint’s Odessa-based attorney Justin Low.

The trial begins with jury selection on Monday April 27th in Sierra Blanca, in Hudspeth County.

Flint is facing a first-degree felony murder charge for allegedly killing Felts outside the La Kiva Bar in Terlingua sometime after midnight on February 3, 2014. Felts’ body was discovered by an employee outside the bar the next morning.

Authorities said early on they suspected foul play was involved. Flint was arrested the same day Felts’ body was found. He was released from jail on a $200,000 bond later that month, with one stipulation being that he not come within 30 miles of the Texas-Mexico border – effectively barring him from Terlingua – and that he remain in Brewster County.

Flint faces anywhere from 5 to 99 years or life in prison in convicted.


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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell signs an update to the 1999 U.S.-Mexico Wildfire Protection Agreement with her Mexican counterpart, Juan José Guerra Abud, Mexico's Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) on her left. (Lorne Matalon)

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell signs an update to the 1999 U.S.-Mexico Wildfire Protection Agreement with her Mexican counterpart, Juan José Guerra Abud, Mexico's Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) on her left. (Lorne Matalon)

Boquillas Two Years On: Rebuilding A Border Economy

BOQUILLAS, Coahuila — A border crossing that’s seen as part of a template to rescue damaged, rural economies along the Rio Grande has marked its second anniversary.

The symbolic importance of the crossing that links Big Bend National Park in Texas to Boquillas del Carmen, Coahuila was heralded by a visit from cabinet secretaries from the U.S. and Mexico. The U.S. Ambassador to Mexico was also on hand.

After 9/11, security concerns translated into enforcement of laws that had rarely been largely overlooked before. That meant the age old practice of walking across this sinewy slice of the Rio Grande was banned.

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Big Bend area residents hold an opposition-led community meeting on the Trans Pecos Pipeline in Alpine, TX. (Travis Bubenik / KRTS)

Big Bend area residents hold an opposition-led community meeting on the Trans Pecos Pipeline in Alpine, TX. (Travis Bubenik / KRTS)

Opposition to Trans Pecos Pipeline Gets Underway in the Big Bend

The demand for natural gas in Mexico is growing, and companies in Texas are looking to cash in.

Dallas-based Energy Transfer’s one of them. It’s looking to build two pipelines in West Texas that would carry natural gas from the Permian Basin to the Mexican border.

One of the lines would run through the pretty much industry-free Big Bend region, and that’s got some West Texans worried their remote corner of state could be changed forever.

It’s a full house at a community meeting in Alpine about the Trans Pecos Pipeline.

Some are listening through the windows, braving the West Texas wind to hear what’s happening inside.

“We’re all here tonight because of a 42-inch gas pipeline that threatens our way of life, our land, and also, our sensibilities on how business ought to be done,” says Mark Glover with the Big Bend Conservation Alliance.

It’s a small group that’s trying to bring people from across political and cultural aisles together against the pipeline.

They’re trying to build coalition of landowners, ranchers and progressive environmentalists who see any kind of industry activity here as an existential threat.


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The proposed Trans Pecos pipeline would run from the energy-rich Permian Basin of Texas through this ranch near the U.S.- Mexico border. There the line would connect with a series of planned Mexican pipelines. (Lorne Matalon)

The proposed Trans Pecos pipeline would run from the energy-rich Permian Basin of Texas through this ranch near the U.S.- Mexico border. There the line would connect with a series of planned Mexican pipelines. (Lorne Matalon)

Eminent Domain vs Landowner Rights: Border Pipelines Face Opposition On Both Sides Of Rio Grande

MARFA, Texas — Mexico’s Comisión Federal de Electricidad, its federal electricity commission, has awarded a contract to a group of Texas companies to build a 143-mile natural gas pipeline from the energy-rich Permian Basin of west Texas to the border with Mexico.

The line, known as the Trans Pecos Pipeline, would run through ranch land where some landowners vehemently oppose the project.

In Texas, pipeline builders can seize private land because many pipelines are classified as being in public good because they carry natural gas, crude oil or other commodities to customers who might otherwise not be served.

The pipeline operators are then designated as “common carriers,” meaning they carry commodities from at keast two producers to customers who might otherwise not be serve.

A Texas company called Energy Transfer is leading the consortium selected to build the pipeline.

That a pipeline is even contemplated here is terrible news to ranchers such as Val Beard. She’s not only a rancher but also the former County Judge of Brewster County, Texas, a vast border county.

“It is not only illegal but profoundly discourteous. It’s just not done out here,” she said.


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Wounded Bull Riders Find Comfort in West Texas Doc

If you climb onto a 2,000 pound animal, that’s bred to buck you off, then injury is inevitable. But for many bull riders, sufficient medical insurance and health care is hard to come by. One man is working to close that gap. Truman Spoon, better known as Doc Spoon, is a retired high school sports trainer. And for eight years, he’s led a team, providing free medical care to the cowboys of Championship Bull Riding. Anna Rose MacArthur went backstage with Doc at the 2015 El Paso 10th anniversary Casa Ford Tuff Hederman Championship Bull Riding tournament.

The latest company rendering of the Trans Pecos Pipeline route (Energy Transfer)

The latest company rendering of the Trans Pecos Pipeline route (Energy Transfer)

Public Meetings on Trans Pecos Pipeline Scheduled as New West Texas to Mexico Pipeline is Announced

Dallas-based Energy Transfer has announced a series of public meetings in West Texas on the proposed Trans Pecos Pipeline, as some Big Bend area residents begin to formulate their strategy to fight the project.

Meanwhile, another West Texas to Mexico gas pipeline project from a seprate company has been announced.

Energy Transfer’s 143-mile, 42-inch pipeline would carry natural gas south from the Permian Basin near the towns of Monahans and Pecos to the Mexican border at Presidio, TX.

The company has already approached a number of landowners in the area about the possibility of constructing the pipeline through their property. Some have expressed reservations about the process, saying they’d like more information before signing on.

Company representatives will be on hand at three public meetings in April to talk about the project’s details:

– Tuesday, April 21st in Presidio – Presidio Activity Center – 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
– Tuesday, April 21st in Alpine – Alpine Civic Center – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
– Wednesday, April 22nd in Fort Stockton – Community Hall – 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

23rd District Congressman Will Hurd said Tuesday he had expressed to the company his “deep concerns over a lack of transparency” surrounding the project.

Hurd said some residents of Brewster, Presidio and Pecos Counties had voiced their own “significant” concerns about letters they’d received from Energy Transfer informing them the pipeline may run through their land.

At the meetings, company representatives are likely to argue their case that the pipeline would benefit local economies by creating construction jobs, and that it could reduce haze over Big Bend National Park by giving northern Mexico access to cleaner-burning natural gas.

Those reassurances haven’t eased other concerns from some Big Bend area residents who worry the sizable infrastructure project could hurt the quality of life in this remote part of West Texas.


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Two drivers, both dual U.S.-Guatemalan citizens leave Texas for a week long trip through the Mexican states of Tamauplias, Veracruz and Chiapas. Both say their desire to provide for their families in Guatemala trumps security concerns about traveling through Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

Two drivers, both dual U.S.-Guatemalan citizens leave Texas for a week long trip through the Mexican states of Tamauplias, Veracruz and Chiapas. Both say their desire to provide for their families in Guatemala trumps security concerns about traveling through Mexico. (Lorne Matalon)

From Texas Junkyards to Guatemala: Caravans Sustain One Local Microeconomy in Central America

MARFA, Texas–Old cars that have little resale value in the United States are being towed in caravans that begin in California, Arizona and Texas and end up in Guatemala.

The cars are also loaded up with old bicycles, recycled car batteries and clothing that have been jettisoned in the United States.

The vehicles are fixed up in Guatemala and sold across Central America.

The process represents a small but sustainable economy in one particularly impoverished section of Guatemala on that country’s northern border with Mexico.


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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.
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Our "New Home on the Range" - your support helps us continue to renovate this historic building!

Spring Membership Drive Underway – Support Non-Profit News Today!

We’re up and running with our Spring Membership Drive here at Marfa Public Radio, one of the very few times of year we ask for your direct financial support to continue bringing news, arts and cultural programming to all of Far West Texas.

The drive runs Thursday, April 9th – Thursday, April 16th. $75,000 is our goal – a modest amount to produce “radio for a wide range.”

Wherever you listen from – Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, Big Bend National Park, Terlingua, Fort Stockton, Austin, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Africa (yep, we do have listeners there) – your support makes up our biggest source of funding.

This is non-profit, listener-supported radio. By listeners, for listeners.

Click here to contribute now – and make sure and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for behind-the-scenes looks at the station during the drive.

Huge thanks to our generous fans and members who donated special matching donations or premiums for the drive:

Frama
Americana Salon
Squeeze Marfa
Marfa Book Co.
Theater of the Big Bend
Chinati Foundation
– Capri Kitchen
Do Your Thing
Ringtail Records
Boyz2Men
Big Bend Coffee Roasters
Front Street Books
The Well
Blue Mountain Bistro
Freda
Hotel Paisano & Jett’s Grill
- Marfa Gliders
- Big Bend Now
– and Marfa Country Clinic

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Lonn Taylor

Dolores ‘Lolo’ Baeza and the Baeza’s Thriftway

Lonn tells the compelling, and peculiarly American success story, of Dolores ‘Lolo’ Baeza and the Baeza family. Baeza, with the help of his son Leroy, began the chain Baeza’s Thriftway Grocery Stores in Fort Davis, Alpine and Presidio.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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James Dean on the set of 'Giant' with Robert Marquez, left, and Joe Vasquez of Marfa, Texas. Photo by Richard C. Miller, 1955.

Thu. Apr 16 Interview: Director Hector Galán on “Children of Giant”

Hector Galán is our guest during this first week of West Texas Talk. Galán is a prolific documentary filmmaker and a native of San Angelo, Texas whose films focus on Latino experience in America.

Galán’s newest documentary is titled, “Children of Giant.” It chronicles the filming of the classic western, “Giant,” here in Marfa, and also charts the continued legacy of the film’s story of race in the American West. The film is set to air tomorrow, April 17th on PBS as the season premiere of VOCES.

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Chinati Education Interns, Emma Rogers and Rae Anna Hample; Marfa ISD students Paul Pena and Hannah Skelton; Chinati Education Coordinator, Michael Roach (Anna Rose MacArthur/KRTS)

Wed. Apr 15 Interview: Chinati Student Poetry Readings

Since February the Chinati Foundation has been holding poetry workshops with the freshmen and sophomores of Marfa ISD and students at Fort Davis high school.

The students studied the history of poetry, elements of poetry, how text interacts with the page to form a poem. They analyzed how different people reading the same poem changes a poem. From there, they did writing exercises. Finally, they created their own poems, writing them and printing them via silk screen and reading them to the class. Many of these students will share their poems with the community this Sunday at the Chinati Community Day event.

On West Texas Talk Today, we will be speaking with Marfa ISD students, Paul Pena and Hannah Skelton; Chinati Education Coordinator, Michael Roach; and Chinati Education Interns, Rae Anna Hample and Emma Rogers.

Sunday, April 19th marks the annual Community Day celebration at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa. In addition to self-guided tours and a talk on Larry Bell’s special exhibition, the program also features screen printed poems by area high school students and a public reading of their work.

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Gonalo Lebrija. (Credit: Ocio En Linea)

Tue. Apr 14 Interview: Artist Gonzalo Lebrija

On West Texas Talk today, we speak to Gonzalo Lebrija, an artist who lives and works out of Guadalajara, Mexico.

Lebrija’s past exhibitions include The Distance Between You and Me at the Vancouver Art Gallery (2011) and Resisting the Present, Mexico City 2000-2012 at the Museo Amparo, Puebla (2011) and Musée d’Art Moderne de La Ville de Paris (2012).

The artist works in photography, video, sound and sculpture. He has shown work in the United States, Europe, and Latin America.

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Michael Parker. (Credit: www.workman.com)

Mon. Apr 13 Interview: Michael Parker, Author of All I Have In This World

Host Mia Warren speaks to Michael Parker, the author of eight works of fiction. Parker’s work has also been published in the New York Times Magazine, the Washington PostBlack Warrior Review, Oxford American and more.

All I Have In This World, Parker’s latest novel, takes place in a fictional west Texas town. The story follows Maria and Marcus, two strangers who meet in a used car lot and decide to buy a sky-blue Buick together.

Parker wrote the first draft of the novel in Marfa while on sabbatical from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he teaches in the MFA program.

Parker has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, two O. Henry Awards and a Pushcart Prize.

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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