Tourists take photos at the Stardust Marfa sign just west of city limits. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Marfa Reacts To County’s Decision Granting Late Night Serving Hours To Local Businessman

By Sally Beauvais

This story is the first in Marfa Public Radio’s series Tipping Point. It’s about tourism-driven development in Marfa and the greater Big Bend region, and how our communities are thinking about the future.

Amid public conversation about developments on the horizon — a new major music festival proposed by Austin-based C3 Presents, new businesses, events and places to stay, and new decisions and initiatives by elected officials that will have lasting implications into the future — Marfans are asking: what do we need?

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Jean Beaufort

(Photosource: Jean Beaufort.)

Ector County Residents Gather To Talk About Raising Local Sales Tax

The Ector County Commissioners held public forums this week to go over a sale tax increase that’s about to go into effect across the county at the beginning of April. People gathered at these meetings to share where they’d like to see their tax dollars to go.

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Steve Dabbs in his workshop in Marathon, TX. (Diana Nguyen / Marfa Public Radio)

Thursday Interview: A Glimpse Of The Big Bend Through Sonic IDs

On this episode, Elise Pepple interviews producer Diana Nguyen about Sonic IDs — a project that explores the experiences and perspectives of people in West Texas in thirty seconds.

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

Texas Parks and Wildlife photograph, by Earl Nottingham. Scenic Mountain marks the western edge of the Edwards Plateau, and its summit, in Big Spring State Park, offers a dramatic view of the vast plains of the Llano Estacado.

Big Spring State Park: A Scenic Vantage on a West Texas Crossroads

Travelers on Interstate 20 east of Midland see it from dozens of miles away – a bluff rising 200 feet above the otherwise unbroken West Texas plains. The promontory has always been a landmark. Abundant springs once flowed at its … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:35 am and 4:45 pm.

The Building of the Southwest was imploded just as the sun was rising over Midland. ( Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Explosions Echo Across Midland As The Building Of The Southwest Is Demolished

By Mitch Borden

After sitting vacant for decades in downtown Midland, the Building of the Southwest was demolished early Saturday morning. Crowds gathered on street corners to watch the seven-story building come down and at 8 a.m loud explosions rang across the city as the tower crumbled to the ground. 

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A flare burns on May 24, 2018, atop a drill pad on land near Carlsbad. The oil-rich Permian Basin straddles West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. (Robin Zielinski for the Center for Public Integrity)

The Sierra Club Takes Aim At Permian Basin Facility It Says Is Big Polluter

By Mitch Borden

An environmental group plans to take legal action against a Permian Basin facility it says is one of the area’s biggest polluters. 

Before formally filing a lawsuit, the Sierra Club sent a letter to the owners and operators of the James Lake Gas Plant. The environmental group claims the facility has repeatedly violated the federal Clean Air Act.

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Julián Castro at his campaign announcement in January and Beto O'Rourke at a campaign event in September 2018. (Julia Reihs (left) and Montinique Monroe / KUT)

In A First, Two Democrats From Texas Are Running For President At The Same Time

By Ashley Lopez, KUT 

With former El Paso Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s announcement today, two Texas Democrats are now seeking the presidential nomination in 2020.

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Water from the Rio Grande and underground are shared across the border. Both sides try to just take what they need, and they share information, so no one accidentally overdraws.

Presidio County’s Water Regulatory Group Looks To Start Again

By Carlos Morales

This month, Presidio County’s local water regulatory group elected a new member — the first time in months the district has had a complete committee.

The district, like groundwater conservation entities throughout Texas, is charged with overseeing water use. For this corner of the state that means local officials are keeping tabs on water pumped from multiple aquifers,  Presidio-Redford Bolson, the West Texas Bolsons, and the Igneous aquifer.

It’s a big undertaking, but getting the board together at first was a “rough start,” said Trey Gerfers, the board chairman for the Presidio County Underground Water Conservation District.

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The town of Honey Grove is about a 30-minute drive from the Texas-Oklahoma border. It's not uncommon to see tractors travel down two-lane roads, cattle grazing farmland and grain silos. (Stella Chavez / KERA)

How An Immigration Raid Near A Small Texas Town Touched A Whole School District

The day of the raid still haunts principal Tammy Mariani.

On August 28, agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, raided a Northeast Texas factory that makes vehicle trailers. In the nearby Honey Grove Independent School District, nearly two dozen children have parents who were arrested and detained by ICE agents.
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Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, testifies during Senate Education Committee on March 19th, 2013 (Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune)

DPS Director Takes “Full Responsibility” For Data Errors In Texas Voter Citizenship Review

By Alex Ura, Texas Tribune

After being rebuked by Gov. Greg Abbott for the state’s botched review of the voter rolls, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety took “full responsibility” Tuesday for providing data to the secretary of state’s office that included thousands of individuals whose citizenship should never have been in question.

Testifying before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, Steve McCraw offered a mea culpa for the role his agency played in transmitting flawed data to the secretary of state. That data led state officials to mistakenly challenge the eligibility of almost 25,000 registered voters who had already proved their citizenship status to DPS.

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Officer Nathan "Hayden" Heidelberg, in a flag draped casket, is placed into a hearse. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

A Week After A Midland Officer Is Shot And Killed, Questions Remain

By Mitch Borden

It’s been a week since Midland Police Officer Nathan Heidelberg died in the line of duty while answering a call at a local residence.

Previous police accounts of the incident stated, Heidelberg identified himself before beginning to enter the house. The homeowner, according to their arrest affidavit, mistook him for an intruder. Since then, the homeowner, an oil executive, was arrested and posted bail shortly after. Meanwhile, the Midland community continues to mourn. There’s been little information released so far, but there are some big details that haven’t been released yet that could determine how this case unfolds.

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Events company C3 Presents will attend a community forum to discuss a proposed festival in far West Texas. The forum will be April 11 at 6 p.m. at the U.S.O Building in Marfa. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Company Behind Austin City Limits Will Attend Public Forum About Proposed Festival

By Carlos Morales

Next month, an Austin-based event company will be center stage at a community forum in Marfa. The company is planning to address concerns over a proposed festival in far West Texas.

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Marfa’s Mayor On What To Expect At Forum On C3 Presents Festival

By Carlos Morales

Next year, far West Texas may become home to a new festival.

Austin-based C3 Presents — which is known for producing major festivals like Lollapalooza and Austin City Limits — is reportedly planning to hold the festival on a ranch outside of Marfa’s city limits, heading north toward Fort Davis.

Marfa Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger has been in talks with C3 Presents over concerns she’s heard from the community. And now the festival company plans to attend a public meeting in Marfa on April 11

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New Details Emerge As Midland Mourns Fallen Police Officer

By Mitch Borden

Midland Police Officer Nathan “Hayden” Heidelberg, who was killed in the line of duty earlier this week, will be laid to rest Friday.

The service will be held  Friday afternoon followed by a procession through the cemetery where he’ll be buried. Heidelberg was 28 years old, and is survived by his parents. 

Events surrounding Heidelberg’s death are still coming to light, but here is what is known at the moment:  Continue reading

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With Affordable Housing Committee Members Selected, Group Meets For First Time

By Carlos Morales

In their first meeting, members on the recently formed Affordable Housing Committee discussed the ins and outs of their duties, the committee and what their goals are.

One of the first topics of discussion: defining what affordable housing means in Marfa.

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The Kansas President Was Actually Born in Texas

Dwight David Eisenhower was the first United States President to be born in Texas, but he didn’t know until he was a grown man.

On this edition of The Rambling Boy, Lonn explains how the president, who though he was born in Kansas, was actually from Denison.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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Storytellers Gather To Share Moments From Their Life And Celebrate Black History

By Mitch Borden

In a senior center at the heart of Midland’s black community, Nine women stood to tell stories from their lives and share some lessons they’ve learned over the years. This event was in celebration of Black History month, but it’s also a part of a larger effort by the Midland Storytelling Festival to help people develop storytelling skills.

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