Outside a polling place in Alpine, TX on Election Day, 2016. (Travis Lux/KRTS)

Early Voting In Texas Begins Feb. 18. Here’s What You Need To Know

By Marfa Public Radio

Beginning Tuesday, Texas voters will head to polls to cast ballots in several statewide and legislative races, including the presidential primary. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know ahead of voting in Texas’ 2020 primaries.


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Following the unveiling of the Texas African American History Memorial on the grounds of the Texas State Capitol in November 2016, a demonstration by White Lives Matter supporters was met with large counterprotests by Smash Fascism Austin. (Gabriel C. Perez / KUT)

A Report Found Texas Led The Nation In White Supremacy Propaganda Incidents In 2019

By Andrew Weber, KUT

Displays and demonstrations in support of white supremacy doubled in the United States last year, according to a study out last week, and Texas led the country in incidents.

In 2019, there were just over 2,700 instances nationally in which white supremacists demonstrated or distributed material that was racist, anti-Semitic or anti-LGBTQ, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s report. That’s more than a six-fold increase since 2017.


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Clayton Williams during the 1990 gubernatorial campaign. (Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune)

Clayton Williams, Oilman And Colorful Candidate For Texas Governor, Has Died

By Ross Ramsey, Texas Tribune

Clayton Williams, a Midland oilman, banker and entrepreneur who spent millions of his own money on a wild 1990 race for governor, has died. He was 88.

The Midland Reporter-Telegram, quoting close associates, reported that Williams died Friday night from complications of a bout of pneumonia.


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Christian Wallace of Boomtown & The Rise of the Permian

For the months of February and March, we’re airing episodes of Boomtown — a series made by Texas Monthly and Imperative Entertainment. The podcast takes you inside the rugged Permian Basin of West Texas, where roughnecks and billionaire wildcatters are fueling a boom so big it’s reshaping our climate, our economy, and our geopolitics.


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A man walks past a notice for passengers about new coronavirus that has broken out in China, at Seoul railway station in Seoul, South Korea on Jan. 23, 2020. (Yonhap via REUTERS)

First Case Of Coronavirus Identified In Texas, Group Returning From China Quarantined In San Antonio

By Stacy Fernández, Texas Tribune

The first confirmed case of the coronavirus in Texas was announced Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The individual who tested positive for coronavirus is isolated and receiving medical care at a local hospital in San Antonio, said Ron Nirenberg, mayor of San Antonio, in a Thursday press conference.


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In late 2019, prominent Terlingua business owner Jeff Leach sued his former employee, Katy Milam, after she accused him of attempted sexual assault. A judge threw out Leach's lawsuit last week. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Judge Dismisses Terlingua Business Owner’s Defamation Case Amid Claims Of Sexual Assault

By Marfa Public Radio Staff

Last week, a Kerrville-based judge threw out a civil lawsuit that’s been stirring up tensions in south Brewster County for almost half a year.

In September, Jeff Leach, owner of the vacation rental business Basecamp Terlingua, sued local woman Katy Milam for making what his attorney has called false defamatory statements against him.

Milam alleges that Leach attempted to sexually assault her while she was his employee. She filed a police complaint at the time but did not press charges. Her claim is the basis of Leach’s defamation suit against her.


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Santiago Jiménez Jr. (Jonathan Pesina)

Santiago Jiménez Jr. Is A Proud Guardian Of Old-School Conjunto

By Michael Marks, Texas Standard

Santiago Jiménez Jr. has conjunto music in his blood.

The son of legendary accordion player Don Santiago Jiménez, he has carried the torch for traditional conjunto for six decades. He has recorded over 700 songs on over 100 albums, and he’s played his accordion for crowds in every corner of San Antonio – and even most parts of Texas. Beyond that, he won a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a National Medal of Arts.


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Including Valentine, there are five post offices in Texas where you can get a Valentine-themed cancellation stamp. Those are in Honey Grove, Lovelady, Loving and Venus, Texas. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

On Feb. 14, A Letter From Valentine, Texas with Love

By Carlos Morales

In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, the amount of mail coming through the small West Texas town of Valentine skyrockets.

Each February, the post office receives love letters from around the world, from starry-eyed sweethearts looking to get their messages marked with a special stamp before being sent off to their final destination. The roughly 30-year tradition showcases designs by local students. Each year, the handful of students attending Valentine Independent School District compete to have their design selected for that year’s cancellation stamp.


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Professor Michael Ortiz conducts a modern abstract algebra class for Sul Ross students in Uvalde while students in remote classrooms in Eagle Pass and Del Rio join in online. (Robin Jerstad for The Texas Tribune)

“Neglected” College Campuses On Texas Border Want A Little Love, And Better Wi-Fi

By Shannon Najmbadi, Texas Tribune

EAGLE PASS — Professor Michael Ortiz stood, hands clasped, in a Uvalde classroom, waiting for students in another room 75 miles away in Del Rio to fix a broken monitor so they could continue to watch a broadcast of his math lecture.


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A shrine near the Walmart where 20 people lost their lives to a mass murderer. (REUTERS)

El Paso Shooting Suspect Faces Nearly 100 Federal Charges, Including Hate Crimes

By Julián Aguilar, Texas Tribune

EL PASO — The man accused of killing 22 people during a mass shooting at a Walmart store in the border city last summer has been charged with nearly 100 federal crimes, John Bash, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, announced Thursday.


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Transmigrantes, Central American drivers hauling second hand wares back to their home countries, can often be seen on Texas highways. The words 'In Tow' are usually taped across their vehicle's tailgate. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

In Presidio, Locals Weigh Risks and Rewards Of Transmigrante Traffic

By Carlos Morales

It’s early morning in January at a gas station in Marfa and there’s a steady stream of traffic filing into the tiny West Texas town. There are weary-eyed travelers filling up on gas, others stopping by for a quick breakfast and, waiting outside, a handful of drivers standing next to a row of beat-up Toyotas.

One of the men, Bener López, quickly scans over the goods he’s towing in his crumbling truck. There’s a ladder, an old bathroom scale, even a motorbike — and everything’s second hand.


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In 2008, the city of Presidio passed an ordinance requiring residents to post their house numbers. But in rural areas, knowing your own address isn't always as simple as it seems. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

In West Texas, Knowing Your Address Can Be The Difference Between Life And Death

By Sally Beauvais

If you find yourself in need of a trip to the emergency room in the West Texas border town of Presidio, the odds may be stacked against you.

Low on resources and manpower, the local emergency medical services crew—responsible for roughly 1,500 square miles of the county—can operate only one of their two ambulances at a time. From city limits, it’s a 90-mile drive to the closest U.S. hospital. A trip from one of the outlying communities, like Candelaria or Ruidosa, can run you close to three hours —barring interference from loose cattle, or a rain-flooded creek running into the road.

But there’s another, less obvious hurdle that can delay first responders in getting to you in this remote part of the state: finding your front door.


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