(Photo source: Ector County Sheriff's Department Facebook)

Multiple Sheriff Deputies Wounded After Shooting In Odessa

By Mitch Borden 

Three Ector County Sheriff deputies in Odessa were shot while serving a warrant Monday night. All of the officers survived and have been released from the hospital.

Josh Pool, Cody Smith, and Ricki Rodriguez were a part of a seven-officer team searching for narcotics when a suspect opened fire on them. Two of the deputies were shot in the leg and the third was “grazed in the mouth.”


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A view from Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park. (Travis Bubenik / Marfa Public Radio)

Despite Government Shutdown, Some Operations At Big Bend Return

By Mitch Borden

As the partial government shutdown —now the longest in U.S. history– continues, employees at Big Bend National Park in far West Texas are in their fourth week of unemployment.

While many bathrooms, trails, and campgrounds closed when the shutdown began in late 2018, today, officials with the 800,000-acre park in Brewster County announced they’ll “resume routine basic custodial services and trash removal.”


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Mississippi Records' presentation attempts to tell the entire history of recorded music in 90 minutes. (Photo Courtesy of Mississippi Records)

EVENT: Portland’s Mississippi Records Comes To Marfa

On Tuesday, Jan. 15 join Marfa Public Radio and Mississippi Records for a “cosmic and earthly history of recorded music.”

The record label’s founder, Eric Isaacson, will present a mix of film, audio, and slides. The presentation attempts to tell the entire history of recorded music in 90 minutes, from the first star being born to the current age of bizarre technology.


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A natural gas pipeline under construction in Alpine, TX in 2016. (Travis Bubenik / Houston Public Media)

New Push For Eminent Domain Reform Expected At Texas Legislature

By Travis Bubenik, Houston Public Media

If you want to cook up a battle over private property rights in Texas, here’s the recipe:

Take a handful of sprawling cities and growing populations that are expanding into once-rural areas, add a booming oil and gas industry with a desperate need for new pipelines to move record-high volumes of hydrocarbons, and sprinkle in the new electric lines needed to power both of those trends.


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Julian Castro announces that he's running for president at an event in San Antonio on Saturday. (Julia Reihs / KUT)

Former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro Announces He’s Running For President

By Ben Philpott, KUT 

Julián Castro, former San Antonio mayor and U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, announced Saturday that he is running for president.

The 44-year-old told a crowd of about 2,000 people gathered at Plaza Guadalupe in San Antonio about his life there – from going to school to becoming mayor. He thanked everyone who had helped him get from then to now.


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An aerial view of the "tent city" in Tornillo, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018. The shelter opened in June. (Ivan Pierre Aguirre / The Texas Tribune)

Tornillo Tent City For Youth Migrants Is Now Empty, Texas Congressman Says

By Matthew Watkins, Texas Tribune

A Texas congressman said Friday that the federal government has officially removed all children from the Tornillo detention center for undocumented migrant youths, ending more than half a year of operation for a facility that was decried by critics as a “tent city” and served as a symbol of President Donald Trump’s hardline approach to immigration.


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The 37,000-acre KC7 ranch is closer to being sold. (Photo courtesy of Icon Global Group)

This West Texas Ranch Near The Davis Mountains Is Closer To Being Sold

By Carlos Morales

A West Texas ranch spreading across 37,000 acres in Reeves and Jeff Davis Counties is closer to being sold.

El Paso Businessman Paul Foster has placed a $32.5 million offer on the KC7 ranch, which sits along the foothills of the Davis Mountains near Interstate 10.


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Lisa Bownds founded Reflection Ministries in 2016. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Midland Nonprofit To Open Shelter For Victims of Sex-Trafficking

By Sally Beauvais

Reflection Ministries, a Midland-based nonprofit established in 2016, is preparing to open the region’s first long-term care facility for victims of sex-trafficking.

The group presented a lecture at Midland College Thursday night, as a part of Phi Theta Kappa Student Honor Society’s Honors in Action initiative. According to Reflection Ministries President Lisa Bownds, the nonprofit has spoken in front of more than 900 people around the Permian Basin since May, spreading awareness of an issue that tends to fly under the radar.


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Parents and residents brainstorm on the qualities ECISD's next superintendent should have. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Odessa Residents Chime In On Superintendent Search

By Mitch Borden

The search is on for the new Ector County Independent School District Superintendent. Recently, in Odessa, public meetings were held to gather the opinions of community members about what kind of person residents want to see lead their schools.


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Sharon Wilson using an FLIR camera to track oil and gas emissions. (Diana Nguyen / Marfa Public Radio)

Activists And Researchers Are Working To Keep Tabs On Oil And Gas Emissions Near Balmorhea

By Mitch Borden

Funky smelling fumes, dimmer skies, and increased health concerns have all been reported by residents in the Southwest corner of the Permian Basin as the oil and gas industry expands. Growth has been happening north of the Davis Mountains over the last two years.  

Concerns about greenhouse gasses and toxic emissions have spurred some citizens like Sharon Wilson— to try to keep oil companies accountable themselves, one rig at a time.


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Marfa City Hall (Diana Nguyen / Marfa Public Radio)

Marfa Commission Proposes City Zoning Changes

By Sally Beauvais

Marfa’s Planning and Zoning Commission and City Council addressed a packed house Tuesday night, during the first of two joint public hearings in which they’ll be taking comments from residents about proposed changes to the city’s zoning map.

The commission is tasked with keeping the map current, as well as identifying areas where the city can create new opportunities for use — whether commercial or residential. According to city officials, the map hasn’t been updated in 10 years.


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KRTS 93.5 is getting a new transmitter. (Ian Lewis / Marfa Public Radio)

Station Milestones: KRTS Gets A New Transmitter

Longtime listeners to Marfa Public Radio know that stormy weather and power outages periodically knock 93.5 off the airwaves. Some of these off-air moments are unavoidable — put a 300 foot radio tower on top of a 7,200 foot mountain in West Texas, and you get lightning strikes, high wind, and equipment failure.

But updated, more efficient technology helps. So in hopes of fewer off-air moments in 2019, the station is installing a new transmitter.


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Texas Officials Vote To Remove Confederate Plaque That Says Civil War Wasn’t Over Slavery

By Alex Samuels, Texas Tribune

Following more than a year of complaints from elected officials of all political stripes, a state board that oversees the Texas Capitol grounds voted unanimously Friday to remove a controversial Confederate plaque that falsely asserts that the Civil War was “not a rebellion, nor was its underlying cause to sustain slavery.”

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The Confederate Plaque In The Texas Capitol Could Be Removed With A State Board Decision.

By Andrew Weber, KUT

A plaque honoring the Confederate States of America in the Texas Capitol could come down Friday with a decision from the Texas State Preservation Board.

The board is meeting at 10:30 a.m. to discuss removing the plaque, which was installed near the Capitol rotunda in 1959.

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Holidays Galore in the Month of January

January is a month that’s chock-full of holidays, both national and regional.

On this Edition of The Rambling Boy, Lonn takes a look at them  – From the well-known, such as New Year’s Day and Martin Luther King day, to the lesser holidays like Mallard Day.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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Thu. Jan 10 Interview: Jenny George

On this Edition of West Texas Talk, a conversation with current Lannan Writer-in Residence, Jenny George.

George is the author of The Dream of Reason, published by Copper Canyon Press, and also a winner of the “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as a recipient of fellowships from The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo.

She currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she works in social justice philanthropy.

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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Tornillo Tent City For Migrant Teens Is On The Verge Of Shutting Down

By Julián Aguilar, Texas Tribune

EL PASO — After more than six months of serving as a symbol of President Donald Trump’s hardline immigration policies, the detention center for young migrants at Tornillo is on the brink of closing for good.

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