U.S. Border Patrol checkpoints like this one on I-19 in Southern Arizona are set up all around the country within a 100 miles from the United States border. (Jude Joffe-Block)

Border Patrol Highway Checkpoints Shutdown in Far West Texas And New Mexico – At Least For Now

By Mitch Borden

Recently, U.S. Border Patrol inland highway checkpoints around El Paso have been shut down temporarily. These kinds of stops are set up all around the country within 100 miles of the United States borders and external boundaries. At these checkpoints, agents inspect vehicles and ask individuals questions to verify their citizenship.


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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

By Mitch Borden

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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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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A Book About Texas Books

There’s a lot of books about Texas, but not a lot of books about books that come from the Lone Star State.

On this edition of The Rambling Boy, Lonn takes some time to talk about his latest book, Turning the Pages of Texas, out on the Texas Christian University Press.

*Note* If you’re looking for books about barbecue or how to act like a Texan, this isn’t the book for you!

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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Thu. Mar 21 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 each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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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.
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Stories From Love On The Range

These stories are from Marfa Public Radio’s “Love On The Range” event at the Marfa USO Building on February 28, 2019.

The storytellers for the evening were David Williams, Eve Trook, Michael Stevens, Suzanne Dungan, and Allison Scott.

This program was made possible by Localore Live. Thanks to the Association of Independents in Radio for their support.

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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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