Like the region itself, the news of West Texas is sweeping in its scope. So to help us break it all down, we have news editors from across the region joining us. In this roundtable, we hear from Laura Dennis with the Odessa American and Robert Halpern at the Big Bend Sentinel-Marfa.
National Guard Troops To Be Sent to Texas-Mexico Border
In this roundtable, we hear more about the deployment of National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border. Earlier this week, President Trump said a military force will be sent to the country’s Southern border.
“Until we can have a wall and proper security, we’re going to be guarding our border with the military,” President Trump said.
Robert Halpern, editor of the Big Bend Sentinel, says a military presence along the border isn’t anything new. “There’s always been a military presence near or on the border, because it is an International border…”
The news reminded people in the town of Presidio and Redford of a time when a military presence on their stretch of the border led to an 18 year old’s death.
Esequiel was herding his family’s goats in Redford. He was carrying an antique rifle with him to protect the herd. Nearby, were marines who were in the area on a drug-survelliance mission. “Esequiel was shooting at rabies, or just pinking like we all do out here,” says Halpern. “They felt he was shooting at him, the Marines felt he was aiming at them and one of them fired back and killed the young man.”
Oil Boom and Education Constraints
With production ramping up in the Permian Basin, all corners of the town of Odessa are feeling the effects of population growth. That includes area public schools, where record enrollment is putting a strain on education.
“You’re starting to see more of these boom stories that we saw three and four years ago, about all these local constraints,” says Corey Paul with the Odessa American. “Just last week we had more than a dozen people camping out over night in a neighborhood for a chance to buy home lots and that’s a byproduct of our super-tight housing market.
In other areas, outside of education and the housing market, communities in the Permian Basin are seeing heavy constrains on the county roads. Corey Paul with the Odessa-American