Murrow Award Marfa Public Radio

Marfa Public Radio wins six regional Murrow Awards

Marfa Public Radio (KRTS 93.5 FM) won six regional Edward R. Murrow Awards today from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).

The 2014 awards recognize the best electronic journalism produced by radio, television and online news organizations around the world. Marfa Public Radio competes in Region 6 and captured top honors in six categories:

“The Murrow Awards honor journalism at its finest,” said Mike Cavender, Executive Director of RTDNA. “Local newsrooms serve their communities 365 days a year, and we’re proud to recognize the great work they do.”

Fronteras Desk Reporter Lorne Matalon won for Breaking News, News Series, and Hard News Reporting. News Director Tom Michael won for Use of Sound. Matalon and Michael appeared on the winning Newscast, along with K Yoland.

Marfa Public Radio was one of only five small-market stations across the country to win in six categories. In the large market radio, WBHM, in Birmingham, Ala. paved the way with eight regional Murrows. Their news department is led by former KRTS staffer Rachel Osier Lindley.

Regional winners automatically advance to the national Edward R. Murrow Awards competition, which will be judged in May. A complete list of the 2014 Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards winners can be found here.

State regulators blame big spikes in emissions to "upsets" at a few facilities like this one in Houston in 2012. (Dave Fehling/StateImpact Texas)

State regulators blame big spikes in emissions to "upsets" at a few facilities like this one in Houston in 2012. (Dave Fehling/StateImpact Texas)

Texas Pollution Worsens as Budget Shrinks for Regulators

With budgets already reduced and with more cuts on the way, federal environmental regulators are expected to be doing fewer inspections of industries that pollute. And if state environmental regulators were expected to take up the slack, many of them — including those in Texas —- are dealing with budget cuts of their own.

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(Steve Johnson via Flickr)

(Steve Johnson via Flickr)

City Water in Marfa Off for Repairs Today, Tomorrow

The city-wide water system in Marfa will be shut off today and tomorrow (April 22 and 23) from 8:30 am to 12 pm for repairs and maintenance. No city water will be available during these times.

The city says the water’s being shut off to begin a water line replacement project that will last for several months, and that if the necessary work can’t be finished before Wednesday, the water could be shut off Thursday morning as well.

Marfa School Board Approves Tax Abatements for Solar Projects

(Living Off Grid via Flickr CC BY-SA)

(Living Off Grid via Flickr CC BY-SA)

Two new solar plants are one step closer to construction in Presidio County.

Last night, the Marfa ISD School Board voted 4-1 to approve partial property tax abatements for two electricity generators. The Alpine 1 Solar project would be located near Paisano Pass, and Solar Star Texas II would build a plant just east of Marfa.

Both firms agreed to pay the school the maximum allowed supplemental payment of $100 per student per year, which means each firm would pay the school about $32,000 each year for the next ten years.

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Mule Ears and Chisos as seen from Big Bend State Park

Tuesday Interview: Exploring the Big Bend Backcountry: How Safe Is It?

This morning we talk with Kevin Urbanczyk, a professor at Sul Ross State University, about the Big Bend backcountry. Urbanczyk will be holding a lecture about the risks associated with going to the Big Bend. The lecture will be this Thursday at 3:30 in Lawrence Hall at Sul Ross.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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The 2nd Annual Presidio County Fair

The Presidio County 4-H Club held its 2nd Annual County Fair at the big red barn in Marfa last weekend. Although it drew many spectators, the focus of the event was on showcasing the accomplishments of young 4-H members in the community.

The day’s activities included youth roping, horse riding, and archery, with contests in baking, quilting, veterinary science, wildlife identification and Ag-Mechanics. At the Outdoor Challenge table, participants were invited to test their ability to identify the skulls and pelts of local wildlife, including many species of deer and large predatory birds.  

I spoke to Zorayma Lackey, whose son won first place in the Junior Level Photography contest. 

“I mean we like the leadership skills that he has gained, and then also the responsibility. I think 4H has helped him a lot in his growth and development, too,” she said.

The 4-H spirit permeated the event. Banners hanging around the barn were printed with the motto, “Yes, 4-H is more than cows, pigs and chickens!” Texas 4-H Leader Kimberlie Kirkpatrick echoes this sentiment.

“It’s just teaching you what you can do outside of school and sports. You can make stuff with your hands, and it’s just learning about different things that might help you in the real live world,” she said.

Bailey Walker, a senior at Marfa ISD, won first place in the Ag-Mechanics contest. Her entry was a hand-forged, hand-bent metal table designed to look like a tree. And not just any tree – it’s modeled after the Whomping Willow, a tree in the Harry Potter series. It took Bailey four months to make her table.

“It kind of fits into the contemporary art that we have going on in Marfa now, which is something new, and I’m not against or fully for. I’m just kind of in the middle, and this is my creation to go into it,” she said.

Bailey sees her place in the larger community of makers here in Marfa.

“At this point I’ve been inspired and I want to become an Ag teacher, to continue, and to let people know that agriculture is definitely the way to go, and you really still need it.”


(Yolanda via Flickr CC BY-SA)

(Yolanda via Flickr CC BY-SA)

Thanks for Your Support!

Thanks again to all of our listeners and members for your support during our Spring Membership Drive!

Listener support is essential to this non-profit station, and we’re eternally grateful for your pledges and feedback. We like to keep these drives short and sweet, and we’re excited now to get back to bringing you in-depth reporting and quality news and entertainment around the clock.

Remember if you haven’t yet chipped in, you still can! Just click here to make your pledge.

Special thanks to all of our local business sponsors for offering up special premium gifts for the drive. Our thanks to:

Hotel Paisano
Kiowa Gallery
Celebration Liquor
Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Marfa Gliders
Food Shark & Future Shark
Maiya’s Restaurant
Marfa Maid Goat Dairy
Pretty Bird Salon
Twin Peaks Liquors
Artisan Randy Glover
Big Bend Brewing Company
Big Bend Coffee Roasters

A huge thanks as well to all of our dedicated members who offered up match challenges during the drive!


La Llorona

Known as “La Llorona” in Mexican folklore, the ghost of the wailing woman haunts rivers, creaks and streets, depending on who you ask. This popular myth has been told by countless generations of Mexican families and continues to endure to … Continue reading

There's Something Out There airs the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 8:00 pm.
A Mennonite man drives a horse and buggy near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc. (Lorne Matalon/KRTS)

A Mennonite man drives a horse and buggy near Ciudad Cuauhtémoc. (Lorne Matalon/KRTS)

Drug Smuggling Twist: Innocent Mexicans Allegedly Duped By Mennonite Suspect

Federal prosecutors in Texas and New Mexico are dealing with a series of unusual cases.

Ten drug smuggling crimes have been traced to a man from a Mennonite community in Mexico who is alleged to have duped the victims.

The seduction starts with a classified ad in the paper, one that 23-year-old named Juan was drawn to. He asks that his last name not be revealed; he’s frightened there may be retribution if the man who placed the ad — identified by U.S. attorneys and the victims as David Giesprecht Fehr — finds him.

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Hoop Dancing comes to Alpine

On a Tuesday afternoon, the sun set over Kokernut Park in Alpine while a group of hula hoopers enjoyed the scenery to exercise, dance and converse about their daily lives. Marlys Hersey of The Big Bend Gazette started this hula hoop meet-up — or what’s also known as a “hoop jam” in the hooping community — back in March of 2013. The group has grown to over 50 people, where they meet each week — with meetings at the Granada Theatre every 1st and 3rd Monday and every 2nd and 4th Sunday at Kokernut Park.

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The Catch-22 of the F1 Visa

It’s not as though Gabby Carballo is trying desperately to escape her hometown of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. She is wary of what the “escape the violence” media narrative has done to the city’s image in recent years.

Gabby does, however, live on this side of the border in El Paso, Texas. She has the same visa as hundreds of other Mexican nationals living in far West Texas. It’s the F1, issued to full-time international students studying in the US. Currently there are 51 F1 students enrolled at the University of Texas Permian Basin, 14 at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, and 1800 at the University of Texas El Paso. Out of those 1800 at UTEP, around 1200 are Mexican citizens. UTEP is a “commuter school” – and more than 500 students cross the border from Ciudad Juárez to the El Paso Campus every day.

Gabby is a recent graduate of UTEP. She commuted from Juárez to El Paso for her first several years of school, a trip that could take anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. She moved to El Paso in 2011, when she decided that the commute was no longer worth it. She has graduated and is nearing the end of her 60 day grace period in the US.

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The Man in Black

Billy finally saved enough money to move his family from a trailer to a house in West Texas. He thought he left his problems behind… until some of them followed him into his new home.

There's Something Out There airs the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 8:00 pm.
Last year's student producers.

Last year's student producers.

It’s Official: Season 2 of the KRTS Youth Media Project

We made it! Thanks to your generous support, we’ll be bringing youth media back to West Texas for a second year of the KRTS Youth Media Project.

Over 80 donors contributed a total of $7,876 to our Kickstarter campaign, exceeding our goal by more than $700. Some of those funds will go to this year’s student producers, who will pitch, write and produce their own radio stories at the KRTS studios over the next 8 weeks. The students will present their work to the community at a Listening Party at the Marfa Book Company in early May.

The project begins next week. We can’t wait to find out what kinds of stories the next generation of public radio producers and reporters are interested in telling. Stay tuned!


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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Murrow Award Marfa Public Radio
Grizzly Bear
Mule Ears and Chisos as seen from Big Bend State Park
State regulators blame big spikes in emissions to "upsets" at a few facilities like this one in Houston in 2012. (Dave Fehling/StateImpact Texas)
(Steve Johnson via Flickr)
Marisa Anderson live at the KRTS Studios in Marfa, TX (Travis Bubenik/KRTS)

Mon. Apr 21 Interview: American Roots Musician Marisa Anderson To Talk 21st Century Folk

Marisa Anderson’s music combines elements of American folk, blues and country with avant-garde and improvisational electric stylings. She’s played across the U.S. and Europe and has come to West Texas to play at Ballroom Marfa tonight.

Marisa dropped by the KRTS studios to talk about her music, her songwriting process, and how we should (or shouldn’t) think about “folk” music in the 21st century.

Doors open for the show at Ballroom Marfa tonight at 8.

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

The Bare Facts of a Grizzly Hunt

On this weeks Rambling Boy, Lonn Taylor talks about the only Grizzly Bear ever found in Texas, which was found and hunted in the Davis Mountains

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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Fri. Apr 18 Interview: Swiss artists Karin Lehmann and Nino Baumgartner

Talk at Ten invites the two Swiss artists Karin Lehmann and Nino Baumgartner into the studio to discuss their work with materials and the land. Lehmann will present her work at DB14: Dallas Biennial with 19 other international artists.

Installation artist and sculptor Karin Lehmann usually starts with everyday materials one can find at DIY markets, such as plaster, glass, Styrofoam or metal. In experimenting with them, she discovers unusual qualities of these raw materials that she develops into autonomous works. Her focus is on the work process, which plays a major role in defining the shape that the objects, sculptures and installations take.

Nino Baumgartner is a multi media artist incorporating various mediums including performance, video and printmaking. Previously a sponsored skate boarder, Baumgartner incorporates his knowledge of extreme sports into his performances on the land, which involve challenging 3 days excursions where he hunts the land or the space.

Talk At Ten is generally broadcast live at 10 am and repeated at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Brewster County Courthouse in Alpine (Greenmars via Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA)

Terlingua CSD Superintendent Endorses Killingsworth for Brewster County Judge

The Terlingua Common School District’s Board of Directors met last night, which wouldn’t usually attract much attention were it not for next month’s Democratic runoff for Brewster County Judge.

County politics wasn’t on the agenda and wasn’t discussed at the board’s meeting, but Lorne Matalon reports it’s still a development that’s drawn attention.

Matalon joined us during Morning Edition to talk about how it’s still not clear whether the district’s apparent foray into politics was intentional or not.

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San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro speaks to the press after the immigration debate at the Univision41 studios. (David Martin Davies/TPR News)

Castro And Patrick Spar Over Immigration, Build Political Capital For The Future

While Congress is showing no signs of moving forward on passing comprehensive immigration reform, the complicated issue was spotlighted Tuesday night in a heated debate between state Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, and San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro.

Patrick and Castro aren’t running against each other for political office; Castro isn’t running for anything right now.

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