Texas Sees Sharp Decline In Refugee Arrivals

The number of refugees resettled in Texas has dramatically decreased since Donald Trump became president, according to new findings from the Pew Research Center.

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Image Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife

Balmorhea State Park BeginsDaily Visitation Cap

Beginning this weekend, Balmorhea State Park plans to cap the amount of daily visitors the park sees.  The move is in part an effort to help preserve the area.

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KUT/Mose Buchele

Research: Fracking Boom Gives Way to Baby Boost

A new study released this month looks at whether an increase in earnings for non-college educated men leads to a boost in marriage rates, among other things. And to find the answer researchers looked at a notorious example of good money made quickly: the fracking boom.

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Texas Families Find Financial Stability in Nature-Related Tourism

Around 76% of land in Texas is ranch and farm land and nearly all of it is family-owned. Over time, ranching has changed; nowadays, in most cases, it is no longer possible for ranchers and farmers to meet the costs of maintaining their land and business solely through agricultural income. To make ends meet, most farmers and ranchers are broadening their income streams, incorporating hunting and ecotourism into their operations, using their resources to host guests and out of towners looking to experience the Texas landscape.

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State Senator Carlos Uresti Indicted By Federal Grand Jury On Multiple Charges

State Senator Carlos Uresti, a Democrat representing parts of San Antonio, is facing two indictments that were handed up by a federal grand jury on Tuesday.  The federal government believes Uresti was participating in a Ponzi scheme.


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Sempra Energy's Energía Sierra Juárez is the first cross-border wind generation project between the U.S. and Mexico. (Nicholas McVickers KPBS)

Mexico Energy Reform Spurs Larger Scale Cross-Border Electricity Transmission

The dream of a unified North American electricity grid could not have been contemplated until Mexico’s electricity market was opened to foreign companies in 2014. Today larger scale volumes of electricity are flowing in both directions across the Mexico-United States border. The United States and Canada have long established interconnections and proponents of a unified grid are heralding Mexico’s nascent energy reform as a potential pathway to seamless transmission between the three North American nations. There are currently 11 sets of transmission lines straddling the Mexico-U.S. border. Mexico’s senior energy decision makers and industry executives are working with American counterparts to expand that footprint.

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City Council Votes To End Contract with County Sheriff’s Office, Re-establish City PD

The Marfa City Council voted to re-establish a city police department Tuesday evening. The decision comes after nearly 8 years since the City last had its own department, and marks the end of Marfa’s agreement with the Presidio County Sheriff’s Office for dedicated deputies in the area.  

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Report Finds Permian Pipeline Infrastructure Will Meet Production Boom

A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds the increased oil infrastructure in the Permian Basin will be able to meet the area’s expected boom  in oil production.

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(Erik Hersman via Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Election Results Across West Texas

Results are in for May elections across West Texas.

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At Pecos ISD, of the 40 million dollars they raise a year in tax revenue, they keep only $19 million, less than half. The rest is absorbed by the state and redistributed to property-poor districts, through a process called recapture.

Why is the State’s Share of Public School Funding Shrinking?

Every year, the state of Texas and local school districts pay more and more for public education. Together, they’ll spend a projected $46 billion on Texas schools in 2017. That money comes from two main places: the state government, and local property taxes. But that burden isn’t shared equally and Texas’s decades-old school funding formula isn’t keeping up with the state’s growing population.

Last year, the Texas Supreme Court called the funding system “Byzantine” and urged legislators to work on, quote “transformational, top-to-bottom reforms that amount to more than Band-Aid on top of Band-Aid.” That seems to be the push lawmakers needed to take school funding seriously in 2017.

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Shutterstock (Public Domain)

Who Writes The Bills Your Legislators Sponsor?

Lawmakers in Austin have just over a month to figure out the state’s budget for the next two years, plus a parade of other legislation, from reforming Child Protective Services to figuring out how to fund public schools. In all, they’ve filed more than 9,000 bills this session. Today we’re continuing our Texas Decides series, where you decide what questions we answer about the legislature. As our Statewide Editor Rachel Osier Lindley reports, that blizzard of bills got one listener curious — about where they all come from.

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Electricity for 90 per cent of the Texas grid is controlled from a high security room in Taylor, Texas. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, acts as a traffic director to avoid congestion on transmission lines. ERCOT also effectively sets the market price for the wholesale cost of electricity by accepting or rejecting offers from electricity providers. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

Energy Survey Says Americans Still Like Coal

AUSTIN, Texas–A closely watched energy survey at the University of Texas at Austin says Americans still like coal, a contributor to global climate change. At the same time, however, a majority says that climate change is real.

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This month the Hobby-Eberly telescope finished receiving $40 million upgrades that astronomers hope will help solve mysteries of the universe.

Upgraded Hobby-Eberly Telescope Turns Its Lens to Universe’s Biggest Mysteries

When McDonald Observatory first opened its doors in 1933 it was done with a nearly million dollar donation from a Paris, Texas banker. In his will, W.J.McDonald gave money to the University of Texas at Austin to establish the observatory. A move that confused McDonald’s family and others, since at the time UT didn’t have an astronomy department.

Since then, it’s evolved into one of the nation’s foremost research observatories. Now one of its telescopes finished a $40-million upgrade. The new and improved telescope is now turning its lens towards one of biggest unsolved mysteries in the universe: What is dark energy?

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Corn has been cultivated in Mexico for 9000 years. Mexico is also the number one market for American corn exports. Legislation has been proposed in Mexico to boycott U.S. corn in reaction to the Trump administration's stance on trade with Mexico including the threat to withdraw the U.S. from NAFTA. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

Shot Across The Bow: Mexico Considers Boycott Of U.S. Corn

MEXICO CITY—Every weekday, Antonio Godinez Vera turns imported American corn into feed for Mexican livestock. Some of that U.S. corn is also used to make tortillas, a staple of the Mexican diet. Corn is also a symbol of Mexico itself. Corn was born in Mexico 9000 years ago. There’s even an expression here, “Sin maíz no hay pais,” (‘without corn there’s no country.’) Legislation has been proposed in Mexico City to boycott U.S. corn in response to a suite of economic threats against Mexico voiced by President Donald Trump.

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(Joe Edd Waggoner)

Marfa Public Radio is Looking for a Development Director!

Marfa Public Radio believes in the capacity of public media to shape and animate who we are, where we live, and how we relate.

Marfa Public Radio has been the most awarded small-market station in the nation during the regional Murrow Awards for excellence in journalism for two years. Public Media serves a critical role in West Texas.

In these exciting times, we are looking for a dynamic Development Director who is passionate about facilitating the financial health of our stations.

The Development Director is an integral member of our team. S/he will develop our annual fundraising strategy with know-how, humor, and creativity. Our Development Director is a passionate spokesperson for the power of public radio.

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Jean Beaufort

As U.S. Oil Production Increases, OPEC Extends Oil Cuts

OPEC – the global oil cartel – has agreed to keep cutting production, a move meant to further stabilize oil prices around the world. But what’s that mean for Texas?

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Agave Festival Marfa: A Bond Between Plant and People Inspires a Cultural Celebration

Agaves are signature plants of the Southwest and Mexico. Today, a taste for distilled agave spirits – tequila, mezcal – is global. But that’s a recent footnote to the profound human bond with agave. For 10,000 years, from present-day Mexico … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:35 am and 4:45 pm.
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Thu. May 25 Interview: Dancers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener

On this episode of West Texas Talk, Elise Pepple and curator Jennifer Burris Staton talk with modern dancers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener. The dancers met while in the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and now perform together in non-traditional spaces, such as barns, abandoned buildings and, now, ranch land. The dancers discuss their ideas around ritual, improvisation, and blurring the barriers between performers and audience members.

Mitchell and Riener will be performing, with accompaniment by saxophonist Phillip Greenlief, this Sunday May, 28th on Fieldwork Marfa’s Antelope Hills Land from 7pm to sunset. This performance is part of Marfa Sounding: Anna Halprin, a weekend of events produced by Marfa Live Arts. For a full schedule of events as well as maps, go to

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Wed. May 24 Interview: Youth Media Podcast

From I Love Dick to tourism-oriented media, Marfa has been in the news a lot lately. Today on West Texas Talk, we feature a podcast produced by our Youth Media student reporters about their lives in Marfa. The podcast was produced by 10 high school students at Marfa ISD with help from Sally Beauvais and Zoe Kurland. It includes segments on tourism, housing, cruising around town (a favorite student pastime), Marfa’s various forms of trailer park, and The xx’s music video shoot in Marfa.

This concludes our 5th season of KRTS Youth Media. Congratulations to this year’s student reporters: Coy Dominguez, Kaci Flores, Ricky Guevara, Damian Hernandez, Kat Hinojos, Christian Muench, Alyssa Olvera, Lalli Sanchez, Kendra Serrano, and Erik Vasquez.

For more, check our Youth Media Soundcloud and Facebook pages.


West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
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Tue. May 23 Interview: Marfa Sounding 2017

On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with Marfa Live Arts Board President Nina Martin and Curator Jennifer Burris Staton about the details behind his year’s Marfa Sounding, happening Memorial Day weekend.

This concert series emerges from a 2015 residency hosted by Fieldwork: Marfa – An international research program for emerging artists, curators, and researchers sponsored by two major European art schools.

Marfa Sounding is also produced by JD DiFabbio with support from Cate Cole Schrim.

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