Drying migrants clothes in an encampment near the Gateway International Bridge in Matamoros, Tamaulipas. More than 1,500 asylum-seekers are living in the tent encampment. (Veronica G. Cardenas / Texas Public Radio)

Mexican Official Tries To Move Asylum-Seekers Stuck In Tent Camps

By Reynaldo Leaños Jr., Texas Public Radio

In Matamoros, Mexico, more than 1,500 asylum-seekers are living in squalid conditions in a tent encampment and Mexican officials want them to move.

Officials recently took a page from the Trump administration and threatened to separate asylum-seekers from their children.


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State Rep. Poncho Nevárez has represented House District 74 since 2013. (Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune)

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez Won’t Seek Reelection In 2020

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, is not running for reelection, he announced Friday.

“I will not stand for reelection for a fifth … term in the Texas House of Representatives,” Nevárez said in a statement. “I want to thank the folks in HD 74 who put me in a position to serve.


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Lawmakers hear testimony concerning the August 31st Odessa Shooting. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Texas Lawmakers Meet In Odessa For Committee Hearing On Preventing Future Mass Shootings

By Mitch Borden

In Odessa, state lawmakers heard from local and state officials along with residents affected by the Aug. 31 mass shooting. Many in attendance urged the panel of lawmakers to pass new laws and tighten existing policies to prevent future violence, while others called for deregulation.


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Guitarist Matthew Gillen. (Courtesy of Wendy Smith)

Texans in Tune: Matthew Gillen

Texans In Tune is a segment of Marfa Public Radio’s Monday classical music program In Tune, featuring live performances with students at the University of Texas Butler School of Music. 

In the latest segment — set to air on Monday, November 11th — host Nick Hurt speaks with guitarist Matthew Gillen.


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(Courtesy Walter Mercado Documentary)

With ‘Mucho Mucho Amor,’ Astrologer Walter Mercado Is Laid To Rest At 87

By Joy Diaz and Kristen Cabrera, Texas Standard

To close every show, astrologist and TV personality Walter Mercado used a special and genuine catch phrase: “Bendiciones para todos y que Dios me los bendiga a todos y que reciban de mi paz, mucha paz – pero sobre todo – mucho, mucho amor!” 

He wished his audience peace and lots and lots of love. 

It’s that love that remains in the hearts of so many in the Latinx community as they mourn his passing. Mercado died last week at the age of 87 and was laid to rest in his native Puerto Rico. 


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Patrick Payton, former pastor at stonegate church in Midland, pulled in almost $200,000 in campaign contributions in less than three months. (Photo courtesy of the Payton Campaign)

After A Hard Fought Campaign, Patrick Payton Sweeps Midland’s Mayoral Race — But There Are Still Some Elections That Need To Be Resolved

By Mitch Borden

Former Stonegate Minister Patrick Payton beat Midland’s current and long-time mayor Jerry Morales, along with local businesswoman Jenny Cudd, in the election to be the city’s leader for the next three years. Preliminary results released after polls closed in Midland on Tuesday night show Payton edging out Morales by thousands of votes.


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Children's artwork adds color to a tent encampment near the Paso del Norte International Bridge. (Mallory Falk / KERA News)

Mexican Migrants Wait In The Streets Of Juárez For Their Chance To Claim Asylum

By Mallory Falk, KERA

A growing number of Mexicans are fleeing their homes and heading to the U.S. border to seek asylum, driven by a surge in violence. But once they get to a port of entry, many of them are blocked.

A policy called metering limits the number of asylum seekers allowed into the U.S. each day. That leaves some Mexicans stuck in their own country, terrified the violence they’re fleeing may catch up with them.


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Meet West Texas Wonders 2.0

By Sally Beauvais In the first year of our public-powered journalism series, West Texas Wonders, our goal was to increase engagement from across our wide range and find out what our listeners are curious about. Some themes emerged. History. Environmental … Continue reading

A pumpjack with oil on the ground in Pecos County in West Texas in 2018. (Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune)

Earthquakes In West Texas Have Dramatically Increased, According To New University Of Texas Study

By Stacy Fernández, Texas Tribune

West Texas has seen a dramatic increase in earthquakes, jumping from 19 in 2009 to 1,600 in 2017 alone, according to a new study published Monday by the University of Texas at Austin.


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Big Boy 4014 will continue on to San Antonio, Houston, and then Arkansas and Oklahoma. Its final stop is in Wyoming, where the Big Boy locomotives first made their name. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Renovated ‘Big Boy’ Locomotive Chugs Its Way Through West Texas

By Carlos Morales

As you might guess, the ‘Big Boy’ locomotive is, well, pretty big. It weighs in at 1.2 million pounds. The matte-black engine looks like it belongs to a train set you’d see beneath a Christmas tree.

As the 78-year-old engine chugs its way through sprawling Texas landscapes, its steam billows into the air behind it and crowds of onlookers line up to catch a glimpse of the rustic steam engine.


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Sloth Dung: Hints of the Ice Age Past Dropped in a West Texas Cave

Limestone mesas dominate the foreground, the pale strata angling skyward above what, even by West Texas standards, is a rough dirt road. Above the mesas, higher still, is the Sierra Vieja, red mountains, molten in appearance, though the volcanic eruptions … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Thu. Nov 7 Interview: Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend; Caitlin Murray on “Donald Judd Interviews”

Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend office in Alpine, Texas (Diana Nguyen / Marfa Public Radio)

Annette Minjarez

Diana Nguyen talks to Annette Minjarez, the Community Education Coordinator forFamily Crisis Center of the Big Bend.

The organization offers shelter space, legal help, and counseling to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Presidio, and Terrell Counties. There are physical offices in Alpine, Terlingua, and Presidio.

Nguyen and Minjarez talk about domestic and sexual violence and the resources the organization offers.

If you’re in need of assistance, you can call the center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-834-0654.



Caitlin Murray, Director of Archives and Programs at Judd Foundation (Courtesy of)

Caitlin Murray, Co-editor of Donald Judd Interviews

Later in the show, Diana Nguyen talks to Caitlin Murray — the Director of Archives & Programs at Judd Foundation and co-editor of the new volumeDonald Judd Interviews.

Donald Judd Interviews includes conversations the artist had spanning thirty years on panel discussions, television, the radio, in films, for newspaper and magazine articles, and more. The book covers a diverse range of topics which include include art, politics, and philosophy.



West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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Find Your November Election Results Here.

By Marfa Public Radio

Voters in Texas are deciding on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution. Others in West Texas are also weighing in on a handful of elections, including a few bond elections in several districts.

From bond issues to city council seats and mayoral races, we’ll have all the results here as they become available. The results for the constitutional amendments are with 98% of Texas counties reporting.

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Beto O’Rourke Drops Out Of Presidential Race

By Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

DES MOINES — Beto O’Rourke is dropping out of the presidential race.

The former El Paso congressman announced the decision Friday evening, ahead of a major Democratic gathering here in Iowa.

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Why Some Shootings Are Called Mass Shootings And Others Are Ignored

By Hady Mawajdeh, KERA

Depending upon whom you ask, there have been somewhere between eight and 350 mass shootings in America so far in 2019. That’s a pretty big range. So why don’t we know the exact number?

While it feels like we’re hearing about them all the time, “mass shootings” are pretty rare. In fact, mass shootings only account for about 1% to 2% of all gun deaths in a given year, depending upon whose definition you go by. But who’s to say what is or isn’t a mass shooting?

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