Since April, testing for the coronavirus in the Tri-County area has largely been provided by the state. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

First Week Of February Brings New COVID-19 Testing To Big Bend Region

By Public Radio Staff

Upcoming public testing for the coronavirus will take place in Alpine, Marfa, and Fort Davis.

Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies run out. During recent rounds of testing, some locations have seen long lines form, so local officials advise arriving early.


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A section of the Keystone XL pipeline, since renamed the Gulf Coast pipeline, before it went into the ground on Julia Trigg Crawford's farm in Northeast Texas.

The Keystone XL Pipeline Is Dead (Again). What Does That Mean For Texas?

By Mose Buchele, KUT

Julia Trigg Crawford took the news that the Biden administration had canceled permits for the Keystone XL pipeline with a certain amount of skepticism. After all, she said, the pipeline is running oil every day under her North Texas farm.


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More than a million Texas households are in rural areas where network phone service is more expensive to provide, with fewer customers and longer distances between them. (Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune)

Internet And Phone Services In Rural Texas Threatened As State Slashes Subsidies For Providers

By Neelam Bohra, Texas Tribune

Some rural Texans are facing the threat of losing phone and internet service after the state recently slashed subsidies that help providers offer service in sparsely populated areas.


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Following Lawsuit, Agriculture Producer Agrees To Extra Coronavirus Precautions For West Texas Workers

By Carlos Morales

Following a federal lawsuit, Village Farms, a major agriculture company, has agreed to implement additional coronavirus protections for its workers at its facilities in Monahans, Texas. 

Issued by a federal judge in El Paso, the Jan. 15 court agreement outlines several safeguards the company will provide its Monahans workforce, including on-site quarantine housing for workers who are symptomatic but haven’t been tested for the coronavirus as well as transportation to get tested.


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The Lone Mountain trail will cover three-miles of scrubby Chihuahuan Desert landscape. (NPS / C. Hoyt)

Big Bend National Park Maps Out New Trail for 2022

By Carlos Morales

Beginning next year, a new trail at Big Bend National Park will take visitors on a brushy, three-mile trek around the base of Lone Mountain. 

Dubbed simply as the Lone Mountain Trail, park officials describe the new addition as a “moderately challenging” hike with striking views of the Chisos, Rosillos, and Dead Horse Mountains. 


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Vaccines and syringes laid out at Midland Memorial's mass vaccination clinic. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Permian Basin Hospitals Gear Up For Mass COVID-19 Vaccinations

By Mitch Borden

Both major hospitals in the Midland-Odessa area are beginning to receive thousands of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine each week. This positions the two cities to become the vaccination hubs not only for the Permian Basin but also for West Texas as a whole. 

Marfa Public Radio’s Ari Snider caught up with Permian Basin Reporter Mitch Borden to talk about mass vaccination efforts in the Midland-Odessa area. 


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Midland-Odessa Hospitals Prepare to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines By The Thousands

By Mitch Borden

In the coming days, the state is expected to send thousands of doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to Midland Memorial Hospital and Medical Center Hospital in Odessa as the two facilities prepare to administer vaccines on a massive scale.

Here’s what you need to know about the vaccine rollout in the two Permian Basin cities.


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(Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Quiet & Loud: ‘Death Highway’ Slows Down

By Mitch Borden

At the beginning of 2020, the oil industry in the Permian Basin was humming along without any idea that looming on the horizon was a historic oil bust. Months into last year, an eerie quiet—brought on in part by the coronavirus pandemic—settled over the West Texas oil fields as prices plummeted. One of the places where the industry’s muted activity became clear: the notorious U.S. 285, also known as ‘Death Highway.’

In this episode of Quiet & Loud, we take a look at how this active road that runs through some of the busiest parts of the Permian Basin has changed.


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Preventative Care Health Services, which has clinics in Marfa, Presidio and Alpine, has started vaccinating residents in the 1B vaccination group, but has run out of doses and is waiting for more from the state. (Courtesy of PCHS)

Here’s A Breakdown Of The Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout In The Big Bend Region

By Carlos Morales

For a little over a month now, the state has been distributing COVID-19 vaccines produced by biomedical companies Pfizer and Moderna, but the rollout has been confusing and frustrating, especially for residents in rural communities. 

Here are some answers to questions we’ve received.


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Jenny Cudd recounted the Jan. 6 riot over Facebook Live later that night. (Screenshot)

Midland Business Owner and Right-Wing Activist Arrested By FBI In Connection With Riot At U.S. Capitol

By Mitch Borden 

A week after she swarmed the U.S. Capitol along with an insurrectionist mob, the FBI has arrested one-time Midland mayoral candidate and business owner Jenny Cudd. 

Cudd, who posted a 25-minute video recounting the Jan. 6 riot that left five dead, was taken into custody Wednesday morning in connection with the riot at the capitol. She’s been charged with two misdemeanors. If convicted, Cudd could serve up to a year in prison and be fined over $100,000. 


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The 2021 Texas legislative session begins Tuesday. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature Convenes For Its 2021 Session Tuesday. Here Are 5 Things To Watch.

By Alex Samuels, Cassandra Pollock, and Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Much about the session — including how it will be conducted during a pandemic — remains uncertain.

The 2021 session of the Texas Legislature will commence Tuesday under pervasive uncertainty.


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After reopening for the summer months, a steady stream of visitors have set their eyes on Big Bend National Park for fall and winter getaways. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

From Empty Trails To Traffic Jams, 2020 Was A Year Of Extremes In Big Bend National Park

By Carlos Morales

Over the course of the pandemic, the number of people visiting Big Bend National Park has fluctuated wildly — first dropping to all-time lows in the Spring, then smashing records in the final months of last year.

The end-of-year visitor spike is part of a national trend, as thousands have flocked to outdoor destinations across Texas and the country, even as many public health officials advise against travelling. 


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David Beebe and Remijio “Primo” Carrasco look back on recording and releasing their first album. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

After Playing Together For Almost A Decade, Remijio “Primo” Carrasco and David Beebe Release Their First Album

By Ari Snider

Marfa musicians Primo Carrasco and David Beebe are familiar names in the Far West Texas music scene. The duo has played together for years now, but just released their first album earlier this month — just in time for the new year. 


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In Presidio, The Pandemic Lays Bare Widening Inequalities For Border Residents

In the Big Bend region, officials in Presidio are encouraging residents to shelter in place and limit traveling. The notice comes after local cases surged to record highs last month, making Presidio County one of the nation’s top coronavirus hot spots at the time.

Local health authorities say most cases, then and now, are from the city of Presidio, where the predominantly Hispanic community faces barriers to accessing quality healthcare and frequent testing. 


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Ruidosa church, November 2020 (Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio)

To Dust It Is Returning, But Historic Adobe Church May Soon Get A Second Life

By Ari Snider

These days, there’s not a whole lot going on in Ruidosa. By most estimates, the town is home to about 15 people. But it used to be one of the more substantial settlements in the Big Bend region, and now a local group is working to restore one of the last monuments to that past era before it crumbles back into the earth. 


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Your Guide To Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine In West Texas

By Public Radio Staff

While supplies of the coronavirus vaccine are still limited, the rollout is unfolding at locations throughout West Texas. Some hospitals across the region are beginning to receive thousands of vaccine doses weekly and smaller facilities, like clinics, have also received doses, although in smaller numbers. 

To keep you updated on where to get vaccinated and who is currently eligible for a vaccine Marfa Public Radio has put together this guide.

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Nature Notes

In Presidio County, Archeologists Document the Ancient Architecture of Warfare

Our region’s Native American legacy endures in communities and living cultural traditions – and in countless emblems and traces on the West Texas landscape: in images on cave walls and boulders; in pottery and shards of flint from stone-tool making; … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Watch Live: Biden’s Inauguration Day

By Public Radio Staff

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being sworn in as the president and vice president of the United States. Watch the ceremony, inaugural address and other celebratory events throughout the day. You can also listen live to coverage on the radio beginning at 10 a.m. Central.

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Tri-County Area Gets Another Round Of Free COVID-19 Testing

By Public Radio Staff

For the second time this month, a mobile testing unit will make a swing through the Big Bend Region, stopping in Presidio, Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis this week.

Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies run out. During recent rounds of testing, some locations have seen long lines form, so local officials advise arriving early and giving yourself plenty of time.

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House Votes To Impeach Trump, But Senate Trial Unlikely Before Biden’s Inauguration

By Deirdre Walsh, NPR

The House of Representatives has impeached President Trump for the second time in 13 months — making him the only president to have received the rebuke twice. Despite the historic nature of a twice-impeached, one-term president, it is extremely unlikely that Trump will be removed from office through impeachment, as the Senate will not reconvene until Jan. 19 — the day before President-elect Joe Biden is to be inaugurated.

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