The overall excellence submissions for Marfa Public Radio feature a range of voices and topics. From the Trans-Pecos Pipeline to the tragic Porvenir Massacre, Marfa Public Radio reported on a wide range of stories in 2018.
Overall Excellence 2019 Entries – Marfa Public Radio
March 1, 2018 – A Year later, The Trans-Pecos Pipeline Still Isn’t Reaching Mexico, By Sally Beauvais
The hotly-contested Trans-Pecos Pipeline went into service amid protest from local opponents over private property disputes and environmental impacts. The aim of the Mexican-backed project was to export natural gas from the Permian Basin across the border. But one year in, Mexico is still not using any of the gas. And residents of the Big Bend have been feeling some of the pipeline’s impacts.
March 6, 2018 – At Sierra Blanca ISD, Administrators Prepare For An Uncertain Future, By Carlos Morales
In early 2018, the Texas Education Agency announced Sierra Blanca’s Independent School District was one of 4 districts in the state to have its accreditation revoked. The district, in rural West Texas, failed to meet the state’s academic standards for four years, and also struggled financially.
Now, Sierra Blanca ISD has a one-year extension to improve its academic standings. With the first round of standardized testing only months away, the district is in a race against the clock.
September 4, 2018 – Can You Be Arrested for Shooting A Burro In The Davis Mountains Resort? It Depends. By Diana Nguyen
In the Davis Mountains Resort, burros (often colloquially referred to as donkeys) are both loved and hated by residents. But recently, a series of mysterious deaths have caused a controversy within the community. People are pooling together their money to encourage those with information about whoever might responsible to come forward.
Texas Parks and Wildlife is investigating the incidents. But what are the potential legal repercussions for killing the animal?
October 5, 2018 – How Did West Texas Ranches Get So Big? By Diana Nguyen
In Texas, 95 percent of the land is privately owned, much of it by ranchers. And if you drive out West, the swaths of private land holdings get even bigger.
But how did these parcels of land get to be so huge? That’s what Alpine-listener Ned Allen asked for our “West Texas Wonders” series.
Ranches originally weren’t supposed to get this big. Homestead acts encouraged people to settle western lands – but there were different acts that applied to the country, and to the state of Texas. In both cases, the amount of land a person could claim was limited.
Despite the laws, land holdings in Texas grew over generations. But how?
October 1, 2018 – Presidio Residents Say Driver’s License Office Closure Sends A Message From The State, By Sally Beauvais
The Texas Department of Public Safety-operated driver’s license office in Presidio closed at the end of August.
This story explores the impacts of the closure on residents, who potentially would have to travel hundreds of miles to travel to get a photo ID or take driving tests.
November 30, 2018 – Remembering The Porvenir Massacre More Than 100 Years Later, By Diana Nguyen
In the early 1900s, a tragic event took place on the West Texas borderlands. Today at the Presidio County Courthouse in Marfa, the “Porvenir Massacre” will be memorialized by the Texas Historical Commission at 2 pm — a long process that’s been wrought with controversy.
For the descendants of Porvenir victims, understanding this tragic and painful history is a process that’s taken more than 100 years.
December 27, 2018 – How Accurate Is The Saying, “For Every Bar In Odessa There’s A Church In Midland”?, By Mitch Borden
We’re diving into a question from our “West Texas Wonders” series, and this one is taking us to the Permian Basin. Sarah Ross Kelliher, a librarian at the Midland Centennial Library, asked us to get to the bottom of the saying, “For every bar in Odessa there’s a church in Midland.”
This phrase is pretty significant for Ross Kelliher because it’s the reason her family originally moved to Midland instead of Odessa in the ‘90s. So we dispatched Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden to find out if there’s any truth to the local saying or is it just talk.
December 19, 2018 – Need To Talk To Santa Claus? Try Using A Ham Radio, By Carlos Morales
This year, you might find Santa’s village — or something like it — in a retrofitted R.V. outside the True Value hardware store in Alpine.
You won’t find any reindeer inside. No tinsel or Christmas lights. Just a ham radio on a countertop. But that’s all you need to talk to Santa.
June 15, 2018 – Newscast – Tornillo Shelter Opens By Carlos Morales