On Friday, August 18, Texas Standard will broadcast live from the Marfa Public Radio station. Join us from 10 – 11am for a coffee tailgate listening party outside the station while David Brown hosts news from across Texas!
Grammy Award-winning Western swing fiddle player and acclaimed Texas musician Bobby Flores, with his six-piece Yellow Rose band, will be coming to Marfa’s USO Building August 26th. Doors are at 8pm, show and dance runs from 9pm till midnight.
Bobby and the Yellow Rose band are some of the best contemporary players of traditional country and western swing. Bobby started playing on stage since he was 9, and has played and recorded with Willie Nelson, Doug Sahm, Johnny Bush and more. For 5 years, he was the legendary Ray Price’s fiddle player.
$10 Suggested donation. All Proceeds to benefit Marfa Public Radio. Refreshments will be available. The USO Building is located at 302 S Highland Ave, Marfa, TX 79843.
For more information and updates on the western swing dance and show, see our Facebook invite.
Visit bobbyflores.com for more information on the band and music.
In 2007, Abraham Ornelas was indicted for aiding and abetting in a drug-related crime. He spent 30 months and prison and says his time being incarcerated gave perspective to the things that matter in life. This is his story.
In the remote areas of West Texas, the passing trains are among the few sounds that dare break the silence. Though the future of Amtrak in rural areas hangs in the balance, one old Texas rail line is getting a shot at a second life.
By Caroline Halter
The Trans-Pecos pipeline is complete, but Mexico is struggling to get companies to bid on capacity for it and others carrying natural gas across the border.
The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo sees working cowboys from across the region head to Alpine to compete in various events. But the rodeo is not only about showcasing the skills of working ranchers. It’s also about passing ranch culture and traditions on to the next generation.
The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo this weekend saw cowboys from across Texas head to Alpine, where they gathered to compete in events like bronc busting and branding. The rodeo is different from most because it features working ranchers, men and women who ranch for a living. Dane Driver is one of them. Before the weekend’s events got started, he talked with us about the challenges cowboying culture faces and how that tradition might continue through a next generation.
There’s a natural resource sitting above ground in oil-rich West Texas that’s in high demand this summer. Millions of tons of it, in fact. A field of sand dunes extends 200 miles in a crescent from New Mexico through the booming Permian Basin. Now the oil industry has taken a special interest in this sea of windblown formations.
Twenty rural Texas hospitals have closed in the past four years.
The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo brings together working cowboys from across the area to Alpine, where they compete in events like a rodeo performance and mutton busting. Cowboying and events like these are age-old, but they both have faced changes in recent years. Hear about those with an audio portrait of one West Texas rancher whose saddle-making business has had to adapt to a changing world.
This summer we’ve been hitting the road and heading to the state and national parks in our area, taking a look at the stories behind these places right in our backyard.
For our final stop, we head to Big Bend National Park, where peak temperatures mean slow season for tourism. But water shortages and campground closures aren’t stopping all visitors from coming to the park. Officials from both sides of the border are still dealing with a decades-old problem: trespassing livestock.
U.S. Congressman Beto O’Rourke visited the towns of the Big Bend this past week and weighed in on immigration reform.
Corpus Christi Port Ramps Up After Crude Oil Export Ban Lifted: New Pipelines Proposed Linking Permian Basin To Port
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas -A surge in production in the Permian Basin of west Texas, already the nation’s highest producing oilfield, is extracting more crude oil than refiners in Texas can handle. But now, producers in the Permian have new outlets for that oil with economic implications hundreds of miles away from the flatlands of west Texas.
With Carlos Nieto Facing Federal Charges, The Presidio County Appraisal District Moves On With Its Summer Meeting
At the appraisal board office in Marfa, Presidio County Judge Cinderella Guevara concludes the district’s first meeting without its longtime chairman, Carlos Nieto.
Gina Ortiz Jones, a former Air Force intelligence officer, is launching a bid against U.S. Rep. Will Hurd, R-Helotes, who is widely viewed as the most vulnerable Republican member of Congress from Texas.
By Caroline Halter
To predict production levels in the Permian Basin, energy analysts often look at the number of rigs in the area. It’s a simple formula: when rig count goes up, they expect output to follow. But, a number of analysts are starting to factor output with total rigs and something called the DUC count.
A West Texas company received approval Wednesday to pump water from the Capitan aquifer and pipe it to the Permian Basin where it will be used in oil and gas operations.
Federal officials plan to start construction this fall on 3 miles of border barrier through a South Texas wildlife refuge.
Balmorhea State Park is home to the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the world. Each day, the San Solomon Springs pumps 15 million gallons of fresh water through the pool. But what used to be a hidden gem in the arid desert, has been discovered. Over the last several years, more and more people are making the trek to this West Texas park.
A legislative measure that will fund part of a border wall passed the U.S. House on Thursday, but its prospects in the U.S. Senate look grim.
Congressman Will Hurd, who represents much of far West Texas, has introduced a bill aimed at using tech in order to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.
Last week President Trump released a 17-page outline of proposed changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement. And just this week Texas Representative Mike Conaway discussed the matter at a House Committee on Agriculture, where industry leaders sounded off.
Almost a decade after filing its first application, the family of oilman Clayton Williams has been granted a permit to pump millions of gallons of water out of Pecos County. The permit was granted by the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District.
Jeff Williams, Clayton Williams’ grandson, who manages his family’s ranch, is glad to see the court battles end. “Quite frankly, it’s a big relief. Time to quit fighting in court,” he says.
Williams’ Farms sit atop a portion of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer. The permit grants his family’s company, Fort Stockton Holdings, the right to export about 25 million gallons of water a day. Engineering plans for the water’s transport are still being finalized, but will require roughly $250 million worth of new infrastructure including a 95-mile pipeline.
The plan is to export water to the City of Odessa, which has been in search of a more stable and high-quality water source, though no contract has been signed. Besides Odessa, Williams believes there could be opportunities to export water to municipalities including Coyanosa, Imperial, and Gardendale. “It will be a truly regional water supply,” he says.
Williams estimates that it will be up to three years before the pipeline is constructed.
Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego is heavily weighing his options. The one-time representative says he’s considering another run for congress, which would pit him up against current District 23 representative Will Hurd for a fourth time. We caught up with Gallego this week as he’s touring the district talking with constituents.
Fortunes in the oil fields are rising, along with methamphetamine use among workers.
Before The Tea Party And The Alt-Right, There Was The John Birch Society. Now They’re Back In Texas.
At the height of the Cold War during the late 1950s, a conservative fringe group, created by some of America’s richest businessmen gathered with a lofty mission in mind: to eliminate the so-called “Communist conspiracy” they believed gripped the country, and to preserve the foundation of the Constitution and the nation’s Christian roots.
This summer your public radio station in West Texas is hitting the state parks in our area and taking a look at the stories behind the places in our backyard. First up, we head to Monahans Sandhills State Park, where the geology behind the dunes started roughly 40,000 years ago, and is part of a larger dune field that stretches across the great plains.
State lawmakers are back in Austin to kick off some legislative overtime.
And, as it’s been reported over and over and over again, the special session is needed because lawmakers couldn’t pass a bill to keep a handful of state agencies open and operating. That got some of our listeners wondering if lawmakers could’ve spend their time at the Capitol a little more efficiently.
Eleven West Texas residents became U.S. citizens Monday during a naturalization ceremony at the Fort Davis Historic Site.
REYNOSA, Mexico–Even by the normal insecurity that journalists face in Mexico, what is happening right now to reporters in the border state of Tamaulipas is unusually difficult. In late April, Mexican marines killed the leader of a major cartel in that state—setting off a wave of crime that reporters are struggling to chronicle without being targeted themselves. And the story matters to the U.S. because fight is in Reynosa, a city laden with assembly-line factories that provide the U.S. with items like furniture, electronics and computers.
2016 was one of the most deadly for Mexican reporters in recent history. Most press groups count at least nine killed, some as many 16. Reporters Without Borders annual report documents that Mexico was the third most dangerous country in the world for journalists after Syria and Afghanistan.
During the regular legislative session, Texas lawmakers meet every two years for 140 days. The special session is best described in two words: legislative overtime.
Lawmakers head back to Austin Tuesday for a 30-day special session of the 85th Legislature. They’re tasked with passing sunset legislation to keep state agencies open. After that, there are 19 other items on the agenda — review those here.
As part of our Texas Decides series, a listener wanted to know more about special sessions and who pays for them.
REYNOSA, Mexico—American-owned assembly-line factories known as maquilas that line the Mexican side of the border with the U.S. have been bracing for change since the election of Donald Trump. But not in the way you might expect. They clearly don’t want a border tax placed on their shipments to the United States, as he Trump administration has threatened. But they are embracing the possibility of an updated Nafta saying the current version makes it a harder to operate in Mexico compared to the U.S. It all has to do with time consuming paperwork.
So maquila managers and trade groups interviewed in both countries see regulatory uncertainty as an opportunity. “Nafta is 30 years old. It hasn’t kept up with today’s economy,” said Mike Myers, a Texan who manages a maquila owned by Metal Industries, a Florida company that makes vents for air conditioners and heating systems.
The 2017 regular session of the Texas Legislature was one of the most contentious in recent memory. It had plenty of protests, some infighting, a few filibusters and even a death threat. Now, after all that drama, lawmakers are headed back for more.
Since the terrorist attacks of 9-11. the U.S. has spent over 100 billion dollars on border security technology—cameras, drones, aerostats (blimps) airborne patrols, fencing and walls. But in the U.S. Border Patrol’s most active sector in terms of arrests—-the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas—horses and the agents who bond with them are patrolling terrain that technology alone can’t control. And as politicians debate the pros-and-cons of an expensive border wall, this kind of “old school” border security will continue to be funded at a minuscule cost to taxpayers. Lorne Matalon reports from the Rio Grande at La Grulla, Texas.
The Presidio County Commissioner’s Court Tuesday took action on several items related to embattled Precinct 3 Commissioner Lorenzo Hernandez. Nearly two weeks ago, Hernandez was arrested on federal bribery related charges.
Monday evening, a UPS cargo plane crashed just north of Alpine, near highway 118. The plane was attempting to return to the airport after experiencing some mechanical problems.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and officials from nine other states on Thursday urged the Trump administration to end an Obama-era program that’s allowed hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country without fear of being deported, via Texas Tribune.
The Texas Supreme Court on Friday threw out a lower court ruling that favored of government-subsidized same-sex marriage benefits and sent the Houston case back to trial court for reconsideration.
The FBI on Thursday arrested two Presidio officials on federal bribery related charges. The two officials also face several counts of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
In the Davis Mountains of far West Texas you will come across vegetation and animals you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the state. Take for instance – the The Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine – a soaring tree that’s only found in two other areas in Texas. But in the Davis Mountains over the last decade up to 75 percent of the trees’ population has been lost. Now, scientists and foresters are attempting to save the Ponderosa Pine.
On a sunny Saturday, about two-dozen people protest across the street from Alpine’s Amtrak station as part of a national “Rally for Trains” day of action.
This week the town of Terlingua has had limited water supply. Officials believe a lightning strike damaged the motor of the town’s primary water well. Townsfolk have relied on bottled water, while officials are working to find a solution.
The Brewster County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s help in locating Stormie Clemmer, a 15 year old, female, with short brown hair, green eyes, approximately 5′ 7″ tall.
Stormie was last seen in the Alpine area wearing a black shirt and blue shorts as well as wearing a necklace with a heart and dragon claw.
Clemmer is possibly in the company of Andrew Brian Akers, a 20 year old male, in a black, early 2000’s model, Ford Ranger – The individuals are possibly heading East on I-20.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at (432) 837-3488.
West Texas ranchers are broadening their income streams to keep their cattle operations afloat.
The Presidio-Ojinaga port of entry is officially getting a makeover. The effort has been in the works since last year, and will now see the development of new bridges and pedestrian path to help ease traffic.
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.
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.
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?
It was a strong second quarter in Midland and Odessa, thanks to recovery in the oil and gas industry.
“We’ve got job growth, we’ve got spending growth, we’ve got record home building, record home sales. This is just an extraordinary set of events.” said Economist Karr Ingham, who authored the Midland-Odessa Regional Economic Index.
After a recession due to lower crude oil prices, said Ingham, the Midland and Odessa economies are on the uptick.
“It’s been a period of growth for six or eight months now in the general Midland-Odessa economy and that growth picked up momentum in the second quarter.”
Ingham said sharp double-digit expansion year-on-year is not something you see everyday.
“Well, you would wonder what in the world is going on out there to drive growth like that, that is really unlike numbers you would see anywhere in any other Texas metro area. Well, that is what’s going on… a sharp oil and gas recovery that’s taking, as I said, the general economy up with it.”
In the Permian Basin, the June rig count has grown nearly 150% compared to last year. Drilling permits are up 77%.
The basin accounts for two thirds of Texas oil and gas production.
On this edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with author, poet, and Lannan resident, Cathy Park Hong.
Hong’s most recent poetry collection is Engine Empire (W. W. Norton, 2013). Her debut, Translating Mo’um (Hanging Loose Press, 2002) received a Pushcart Prize. Her second collection, Dance Dance Revolution (W. W. Norton, 2007) was selected for the Barnard Women Poets Prize.
Hong’s awards and honors include a Fulbright Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, and a Village Voice Fellowship for Minority Reporters. She teaches at the Queens MFA program in Charlotte, North Carolina. She also serves as editor-at-large for jubilat magazine.
She is reading at the Crowley Theater in Marfa on Sunday, August 1, during the Marfa Poetry Festival
Agave is one of the great resources of arid North America. It was a staple food for Native Americans. It’s notable for its beauty – its luminous floret and towering stalk. Agave spirits – tequila, mezcal – are prized exports. … Continue reading
Dr. Doug Lisle is a clinical psychologist and author of The Pleasure Trap. His work suggests increasing consumption of whole starches and reducing high-fat animal food products are key to successful, healthy diets. Lisle explains that whole starches like potatoes, rice, oats, and beans are the bedrock of human civilization. However, the prevalence of high-calorie foods makes it difficult to consume items consistent with human natural history.
Lisle says, “Human beings, if they eat a diet consistent with their natural history, they will be fit, they will be thin, they will be as beautiful or handsome as they can be.”
Dr. Lisle will speak at this year’s “Food is Medicine” seminar that will take place at the Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center on August 12. Other speakers include Dr. Scott Stoll, Dr. Michael Greger, and dietitian Brenda Davis. The seminar is hosted by the organization Healthy City, whose mission is “to raise awareness about a whole, plant-based foods diet and increase education on how to improve overall health and prevent and reverse the most common disease processes.”
More information about the seminar can be found here.
The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo is a sanctioned rodeo of the Working Ranch Cowboy Association & Foundation. Mark Bukowski, vice president of the organization, explains all proceeds from the twenty-four rodeos that take place throughout the year help working ranchers. Bukowski says, “A lot of ranch cowboys have no insurance or very little insurance. So if they get injured on the job or they have a problem with a child or their wife or what have you, we step in and we help them out financially.” The organization also provides a scholarship program for children of ranch workers.
Unlike other rodeos, the sanctioned WRCA events feature ranch workers who compete in specific events like cutting and cow milking. The 17th Annual Big Bend Ranch Rodeo will take place from August 11-12.