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

In Midland-Odessa, Health Officials Urge Vaccinations As COVID-19 Cases Spike And The Delta Variant Spreads

Since the beginning of July, hospitals in Midland and Odessa have seen a fast uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Currently, Midland-Odessa’s vaccination rate has plateaued with only around 37% of eligible residents fully vaccinated for COVID-19, and leaders are pleading with locals to get vaccinated to prevent a new wave of coronavirus cases. 


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Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket blasted off around 8:15 Tuesday morning, the vehicle’s first flight with a crew on board. (Travis Bubenik / Marfa Public Radio)

Blue Origin Completes First Crewed Flight From West Texas

The private space company owned by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos blasted off from a launch site north of Van Horn, Texas Tuesday morning, with Bezos and his brother on board, as well as the oldest and youngest people to ever fly into space.


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(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Plan for Big Bend “Dark Sky Reserve” Takes Crucial Step Forward With Presidio County Vote

Astronomers and community organizers have been pushing officials in Far West Texas to adopt stricter rules on outdoor lighting, part of a broader effort to establish an international dark sky “reserve.”


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(Courtesy of Texas Governor's Office)

West Texas Officials Join Gov. Abbott’s Border Disaster Declaration, Some With Lingering Questions

Several Big Bend counties have agreed to be included in Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s border disaster declaration. The governor’s border plans have sparked a mix of support, hesitancy and confusion among West Texas county officials.


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In West Texas, Astronomers Worry About Growing Oilfield Light Pollution

A major Texas observatory is trying to convince oil and gas companies to minimize light pollution from things like drilling rigs and gas plants.


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Young swimmers crowd around the recently renovated high dive at Balmorhea State Park on opening day. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Photos: Amid Ongoing Renovations, Balmorhea State Park Reopens To Public

With the park’s long-awaited reopening, staff are capping the number of daily visitors at a lower number than normal — down from 900 to 650 — due to ongoing construction in the park.


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Texas Has Seen Nearly 9,000 COVID-19 Deaths Since February. All But 43 Were Unvaccinated People.

Preliminary data shows 99.5% of COVID-related deaths in Texas were among unvaccinated people, according to the Department of State Health Services.

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Gov. Greg Abbott Says He Won’t Impose New Mask Mandate Despite Increasing COVID-19 Cases

Abbott reiterated Tuesday that Texas schoolchildren will not face mask requirements as they return to school later this summer.

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Can Greg Abbott Actually Build Trump’s Border Wall?

The governor wants to finish the wall that Donald Trump began on the Texas-Mexico border, but he’ll have to overcome the same hurdles that impeded the ex-president’s efforts.

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Ocotillos: New Research Reveals the Importance, and Vulnerability, of an Iconic Desert Plant

They can live for 400 years, their spiny, twisting stems stretching 20 feet into the sky. Their red flowers bring luscious color to the desert, in even the driest of springs. Ocotillos are found from West Texas to California and … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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What It Means To Break Quorum And What You Need To Know About The Texas House Democrats’ Dramatic Departure

Democrats are preventing the Texas House from having enough members to pass legislation. We explain what that means, what options Republicans have and what’s in the voting bills Democrats oppose.

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