We Want Your Questions About The 2018 Texas Primary Elections

This March, Texas voters will decide who will appear on November’s general election ballot.

Primary elections work a little differently from general elections, and the barriers to participation in Texas appear to be higher. Texas consistently has among the lowest voter turnouts in primary elections. In 2016 — even with a battle over presidential nominations playing out — only 21 percent of Texas voters turned out.

So, we want to help make participation in primaries easier for voters – by making the primaries themselves easier to understand.

For the latest in our Texas Decides project, we want your questions about primary elections — how they work, how to vote in them, what they mean and why they are the way they are.

Submit your question and we’ll answer as many of them as possible before Election Day on March 6!

Continue reading

Maria Vera feeds her newborn son, Jair Alexander, with the help of Melissa Benson, a registered nurse and director of women's services at The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, in December. (PHOTO: LYNDA GONZALEZ FOR KUT)

Like Texas, California Once Had A Maternal Mortality Crisis. Here’s How The State Solved It.

Last year, Texas lawmakers directed a task force investigating maternal deaths to come up with best practices to curb those deaths. Experts and advocates say that task force should be looking at one state in particular: California.

Continue reading

Texas State Capital at night ; via Creative Commons

Tuesday Interview: Get To Know Your Statewide Offices

The first day of early voting for the lone-star state started today (February 20th), and this radio station wants to make sure you’re in the loop before you go out and vote.

On this edition of West Texas Talk, we’re bringing you some explanations of what the largest statewide political offices actually do, with a little help from Ben Philpott and Mose Buchele of member-station KUT in the state capital.

For some extra information – The Secretary of State’s website has a handy list of important dates pertaining to the election – That can be found HERE

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

Early voting begins Tuesday, February 20. The primary election is on March 6th. (PHOTO CREDIT RYAN POPPE)

2018 Elections: What You Need Know Before Early Voting

The midterm elections are often the overlooked middle child of any election cycle. But while they don’t get as much press as races during Presidential election years, the stakes are high. Thirty six states, including Texas, are voting for governor in 2018. Midterms are especially significant for the U.S. and Texas House of Representatives, since their terms are just two years long. The winners won’t be decided until November, but the road to the election begins with the primaries on Tuesday .
Continue reading

Illustration by Anthony Truong-Nguyen

UT/TT Poll: Clear sailing for Abbott, Patrick, uncertain waters for Bush, Miller

Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are far ahead of their Republican primary opponents in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll, but the Democrats running for those two high offices face more difficult paths to their party’s nomination.

Continue reading

Border Patrol agent Rogelio Martinez suffered injuries to his head and body while on patrol in Van Horn. Officials have yet to comment on the events that led to the officer's death. Photo courtesy of Border Patrol.

FBI Says Investigation in Border Patrol Death Shows No Signs of Attack

The FBI released new information Wednesday evening in their investigation into the death of border patrol agent Rogelio Martinez. The 36-year-old agent died while on patrol near Van Horn nearly 3 months ago.

Following Martinez’s death, politicians and the border patrol national council said he was attacked. But new information may challenge that theory.  

Continue reading

The Newly-Elected Mayor of Valentine Captures The Town’s Welcoming Spirit

Summer Webb boasts of Valentine’s tight-knit community, as well as her goals as the town’s new mayor.

Continue reading

Tagged , | Leave a comment

Wed. Feb 14 Interview: Kiss and Tell: Lives Stories from Marfa

Here is the full version of live stories from our Kiss and Tell event that took place on Monday, February 12 at the Crowley Theater. Thank you to our storytellers, Big Bend Brewing Co. for sponsoring the event, and to the Crowley Theater for hosting us. Adult content warning: stories 3 & 4 contain adult content. Please consider this before listening. Due to the nature of these stories they will not be broadcast on air. 

If you’re interested in telling a story at our forthcoming events, please shoot us an email as storytelling@marfapublicradio.org.

Here are the storytellers from the evening:

  • 7:05 – Elizabeth Redding moved to Marfa in 2006 to explore small town life in the desert. She loves nature, art, food and some humans. Elizabeth works as a tour guide at the Chinati Foundation, and facilitates workshops and classes in Marfa.
  • 20:25 – Susan Kirr was raised in the small-town architectural mecca of Columbus, Indiana. She worked as a journalist for 10 years, before transitioning to film. She’s a producer who has worked on over 40 films and tv shows. Susan and her husband, Rusty Martin, moved to Marfa last August.
  • 34:15 Disclaimer: This story contains adult content. Bud Frankenberger was raised in Kentucky and spent his working life as an English professor and university administrator at UT-Pan American. Since retiring, he’s spent his winters doing field work for Science & Resource Management at Big Bend National Park. He spends summers in northwest Michigan kayaking, hiking, and hosting his two adult children, 7 grand kids, and 1 great grand child.
  • 50:00 Disclaimer: This story contains adult content. Britney Bass is the operations manager at Ballroom Marfa. She says she has a big heart and a dirty mouth.
  • 1:05:00 – Michael Wallens is the vicar at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marfa. He is married and has two grown boys living in Austin. He also has two dogs to fill the empty nest.
  • 1:17:00 – Matt Grant is a world renowned art handler, adventure cyclist, karaoke performer, and self-taught tattoo artist currently living with his beloved wife in Marfa.
  • 1:40:00 – Joel Hernandez grew up in Marfa. He enjoys sharing his emotions through the music he makes.
West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
Tagged , , | Comments Off on Kiss and Tell: Lives Stories from Marfa

Tue. Feb 13 Interview: Kiss and Tell: Live Stories from Midland

Here is the full version of our first live storytelling event in Midland, Texas. We hear of love stories gone right and wrong from Sue Roseberry, Laura Drake, Jane Boles, Libby Campbell and Randy Ham.

Big thanks to Odessa Arts for supporting our live storytelling series in the Permian Basin, and to Brew St. Bakery for hosting this event. There will be more events all over West Texas. If you’re interested in sharing a story, shoot us an email at storytelling@marfapublicradio.org.


West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
Tagged , , | Comments Off on Kiss and Tell: Live Stories from Midland

Case targeting Texas’ statewide elections of judges goes to trial today

A trial starting Monday in federal court will test Texas’ nearly 150-year-old system of statewide elections to the state’s two highest courts.

Continue reading

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fri. Feb 9 Interview: Lannan Resident Joshua Beckman

Joshua Beckman is a poet and editor at Wave Books in Seattle, Washington. His works include Things Are Happening (1998), Something I Expected to Be Different (2001), Your Time Has Come (2001), Shake (2006), and Take It (2009).

In this interview, Jana La Brasca and Joshua Beckman discuss how the physical world influences his writing, and the poet’s interest in diverging from the traditional format of a reading.

“I think the thing that I’m always looking for in the experience of the reading is something that’s as transformative as it can be. So that it’s not just a pure presentation of something that’s complete and something that’s been finished, but a part of the living experience of the poems…” Beckman explains. The writer has experimented with injecting more playfulness into readings by conducting them in different environments. For example, he’s read on boats off-shore and to audiences looking out of windows.

Joshua Beckman will read at the Crowley Theater on Sunday, February 11 at 6 pm. A reception will follow at 717 W Washington St.

West Texas Talk is broadcast live at 6:30 pm each weekday.
Tagged , | Comments Off on Lannan Resident Joshua Beckman