Marfa Public Radio Is Hiring A Full-Time Reporter In The Permian Basin

Marfa Public Radio is hiring a full-time reporter for a 12 month fellowship in the Permian Basin. The Permian Basin is a dynamic, growing and complex area relevant to regional and national news. The reporter will be an essential member of our reporting staff, covering major news developments in the region while also looking for the untold stories that define the place.
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Concerned residents say the county's proposal to combine voting locations in Fort Davis would have impacted Hispanic voter turnout. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

County Clerk Withdraws Proposal to Combine Voting Locations in Fort Davis

Amid pushback from community members, a proposal to combine polling locations for voting precincts in Fort Davis was sidelined Monday morning at a special meeting of the Jeff Davis County Commissioners Court.

In an email, County Clerk Jennifer Wright — who was unable to attend — notified the Court that she was removing her proposal from the agenda “at this time.”

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Rosa Barriga Barriga is reunited with family members living in the U.S. during the "Palomas Mensajeras" event at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock on Friday. (Montinique Monroe/KUT)

After Decades Apart, Mexican Parents Reunited With Undocumented Children In Round Rock

The Palomas Mensajeras program was put together through the efforts of the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin and the government of the State of Michoacán

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School marshal trainees go through a simulation of an active shooting at an elementary school in Pflugerville last week. (Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT)

Students In Texas Are Heading Back To School. So Are More Armed School Marshals

The number of public school staff members that are armed as part of the school marshal program in Texas is set to more than double as the new school year begins. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, which oversees the school marshal program, says there could soon be as many as 165 appointed school marshals.

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New citizens stand during a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) naturalization ceremony at the New York Public Library in Manhattan, New York, U.S., July 3, 2018. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Under Trump, the backlog of U.S. citizenship applications in Texas is growing

After a jump in applications in Texas ahead of the 2016 elections, green card holders seeking to become U.S. citizens have been caught in a growing backlog that has escalated under the Trump administration.

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Under New Grading System West Texas Districts Mainly Get Bs, Cs

School districts throughout West Texas are now being evaluated under a new accountability system.  The Texas Education Agency has rolled out its A-F grade scale today, which measures the academic performance of school districts.

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Cattle are grazing on an irrigated pasture southwest of College Station on the Texas A&M AgriLife Research/Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service farm. (AgriLife Today/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

What’s the Safest Way to Protect Texas Cattle From Fever Ticks?

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller banned the use of spray boxes that ranchers use to deliver insecticide to cattle. Many ranchers, along with the agency that administers the program, say it’s safe.

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With less than a week before the start of school., Midland ISD has more than 100 vacancies. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

As Midland ISD Struggles to Keep Teachers, One Parent Searches For Answers

In Midland, one parent is working to figure out why teachers are leaving the city’s school district in large numbers. The answer is a complicated one that has left some wondering what the district is doing to mend this issue.

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Immigrants who turned themselves in to border patrol agents after illegally crossing the border from Mexico into the U.S. wait to be transported for processing in the Rio Grande Valley sector, near McAllen, Texas, on April 2, 2018. (Reuters/Loren Elliott)

Illegal border crossings drop for second month in a row

Homeland Security Press Secretary Tyler Houlton hailed the numbers as evidence that the Trump administration’s recent crackdown at the border has deterred immigrants from trying to cross into the country illegally.

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Big Bend Ranch Rodeo (Scott Van Osdol)

From Riding to Roping: The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo Returns to Alpine

The Big Bend Ranch Rodeo takes place from Friday, August 10 to Sunday, August 12 at various locations in Alpine.

The rodeo showcases the everyday work of cowboys that takes place on cattle ranches. Some of the events for this year’s program are bronc riding, wild cow milking, team doctoring, team branding, and team sorting.

Ashley Wood, a committee member with the ranch rodeo, says she feels passionate about supporting the heritage the rodeo helps preserve. “It’s a dying art. These guys, you know, go and work on a ranch everyday,” Wood says. “[P]eople don’t really know what that’s all about. They don’t know what it involves. And that’s important to me to keep that alive.”

The proceeds benefit Sul Ross State University in ranch related needs.

You can find out more about the rodeo here

Due to structural failure, the Balmorhea State Park pool in West Texas will be closed until further notice pending repairs. (Photo Courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife)

Apache Corporation Partners with Foundation to Cover Pool Repairs at Balmorhea

There’s new information this week on repairs for one of Texas’s most loved and missed swimming spots. Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation announced they’re partnering with energy company Apache Corporation to cover pool repairs at Balmorhea State Park.

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Gov. Greg Abbott Tweeted A Winston Churchill Quote About Fascism. Wait. No He Didn’t.

Winston Churchill once said, “It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations.”

Winston Churchill did not, in fact, once say, “The fascists of the future will call themselves anti-fascists.”

That former quote should not in any way imply Gov. Greg Abbott is an uneducated man. He is, in fact, very well educated. But he may need to brush up on his Churchill quotes – because the latter quote is not from the former British prime minister, and it is the reason Abbott is getting dragged on Twitter today.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the Texas Republican Convention in San Antonio in June. (Julia Reihs / KUT)

Paxton Goes After Obamacare’s Most Popular Protection In Texas, 19 Other States

In a little-noticed court filing last month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked a federal judge to get rid of a popular part of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. In particular, his request could affect a part of the law that protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied health insurance or being priced out of a health plan.

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Left to right: State Sens. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, Eddie Lucio Jr., D-Brownville, and John Whitmire, D-Houston, at the second day of hearings held by the Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Security on June 12, 2018. (Rachel Zein / Texas Tribune)

Texas Senate school safety committee recommends focusing on mental health, avoids gun control

The Senate Select Committee on Violence in Schools and School Safety also wants to explore new funding to help arm certain school employees.

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U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz meets with Austin-area home schoolers on August 4, 2018. (Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune)

With O’Rourke gaining momentum, Cruz’s November alarm hits new volume

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, hit the campaign trail Saturday with amped-up warnings that his re-election is anything but a sure thing in November. The incumbent’s comments came a day after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott brushed off assertions of a “blue wave.”

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West Odessa Volunteer Fire Department Chief Sean Dixon instructs firefighters how to drive a 30-year-old heavy brush truck. (Natalie Krebs)

Resource-Strapped Volunteers are on the Frontlines of Many Texas Wildfires

About three-fourths of all fire departments in Texas are run by volunteers. And as burn bans pile up—so do the challenges for many of these departments.

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U.S. Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-El Paso (left), is challenging Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz. (Marjorie Kamys Cotera: O'Rourke/Bob Daemmrich: Cruz)

Ted Cruz leads Beto O’Rourke 49-43 in Quinnipiac poll

A poll from Quinnipiac University released Wednesday gives U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz a 6-point lead over his Democratic challenger, Beto O’Rourke.

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Former U.S. Rep. Pete Gallegos (left), a Democrat, and Republican Peter Flores are running for state Senate District 19. Bob Daemmrich: (Gallego/Campaign website)

Republican Pete Flores, Democrat Pete Gallego set for runoff for Uresti seat

The race to replace ex-state Sen. Carlos Uresti, D-San Antonio, is headed to a runoff featuring Republican Pete Flores and Democrat Pete Gallego.

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(Ilana Panich-Linsman / KUT)

Austin-Based 3D-Printable Guns Meet Opposition From 21 States – And Trump

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Wed. Aug 8 Interview: 2018 Marfa Transom Traveling Workshop Pt. 1

The Transom Traveling Workshop returned to Marfa this year. Students from around the country came to learn the craft of radio storytelling from instructors Rob Rosenthal and Matt Largey.

In this episode, we highlight radio profiles crafted throughout the week at the workshop. You’ll hear from a diverse range of West Texans: patrons who frequent Mando’s Restaurant in Marfa, local holocaust museum owners Kim and Peggy Thornsburg, Ballroom Marfa’s Executive Director and Curator Laura Copelin, and writer Sterry Butcher.

These pieces were produced by Rafi Bilder, Aaron Naparstek, Libby Gormely, and Trish Deitch.

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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As Midland ISD Struggles to Keep Teachers, One Parent Searches For Answers

This Summer, we asked you to start sending us your questions about our region — big or small, silly or serious. It’s all part of a new journalism project we’re calling West Texas Wonders.

High school teacher Ella Lujan posed us a serious question — just ahead of the new school year, she heard Midland Independent School District still had a large number of teaching vacancies to fill. She asked why employees are leaving in large numbers, and what the district is doing to try and solve the problem. 

Turns out, one parent in Midland was already working to figure this out by the time Ella asked her question.

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Andy Grant In-Studio Performance

Andy Grant (along with Jimmy Magliozzi and Paul Ritacco) joined us in Marfa Public Radio’s Studio A to play a few songs.

Andy is a musician, singer/songwriter, who began his career playing guitar with notable acts like Deer Tick and The Shivers.

Currently residing in Marfa, Andy has been playing shows around town for the last couple months, and we’re happy to get him in to the Marfa Public Radio studios to play.


(From L-R) Jimmy Magliozzi (bass), Paul Ritacco (percussion), and Andy Grant (Guitar/Vocals)20

Andy describes his music as “Romantic Rock n’ Roll,” and we think you’ll see why in this intimate, in-studio performance.

You can listen to some more of Andy’s tunes here.

Songs Performed:

1.) I Choose You, I Do

2.) Foolish Heart

3.) You and Me

4.) I See it All

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Voter Summons enclosed – Open Immediately

The word liar has always been inflammatory in Texas. Travelers to Texas in the 19th century were warned with the saying, “Call a man a liar in Vermont and he’ll say, “You’re another.” Call a man a liar in Texas and he’s likely to kill you.”

According to Lonn, there’s  a difference between lies and damn lies – and as it stands now, there are a lot of damn lies floating around, including from our elected state and federal officials.

On this edition of the Rambling Boy, Lonn explains how he thinks there’s a connection between all these damn lies and the rise of public relations firms in U.S. fabric.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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Thu. Aug 2 Interview: Lannan Resident Donika Kelly Discusses the Role of Mythic Creatures and Exploring Trauma in “Bestiary”

On this episode, Ryan Paradiso speaks to poet Donika Kelly about her debut poetry collection, Bestiary.

Kelly will read at the St. George Pavilion on Sunday, August 5th at 7:30 pm.

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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