Author Archives: Tom Michael

About Tom Michael

Former KRTS/KXWT News Director

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Dies Near Marfa, Texas

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died Saturday on an exclusive ranch near Marfa, Texas, popular among hunters. At a film screening that night in Marfa, Jeannette Duer, a local judge laments Scalia’s death, “A great conservative justice. We’re sorry to hear … Continue reading

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What’s It Really Like to Live in Valentine, Texas?

This radio story was first broadcast in 2015. Builder Scott Williams passed away later that year. Saturday is February 14th, Valentine’s Day. And for one place in Texas, it’s the most important day of the year. The sign on the edge … Continue reading

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West Texas Remembers “Banjo” Billy Faier

Legendary Folk Musician Billy Faier died early Saturday morning. He lived in Marathon in West Texas and played the five-string banjo. He played with some of the giants of the post-war folk music scene and made many recordings. The life … Continue reading

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Wildfire Burns Almost 2,000 Acres in Big Bend National Park

This post is being updated continually with information as we receive it. A grassland wildfire that began in Big Bend National Park Monday afternoon has grown to almost 2,000 acres, the park said Wednesday afternoon. The fire began from a downed power … Continue reading

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A New Look at the Porvenir Massacre of 1918

January 28 marks a dark period in regional history. In 1918 more than a dozen West Texas residents – of Mexican descent – were executed near the border. The Texas Rangers were implicated in the killings, but said they were defending … Continue reading

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As Oil Labor Force Shrinks, West Texas Food Bank Expands

Oil has been trading below $30 a barrel this week and that’s bad news for the labor force in the Permian Basin. Some workers aren’t just out of a job, they’re barely staying afloat. But there’s one safety net that’s gotten … Continue reading

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From West Texas, an Eagles Image-Maker Remembers Glenn Frey

Musician Glenn Frey died this week at age 67. With his band, the Eagles, he helped craft a country-rock sound that defined 1970s pop music in California. But there was a West Texas connection to this iconic West Coast band. Artist Boyd Elder … Continue reading

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The Energy Markets: Lorne Matalon Reports From UT Austin Energy Journalism Conference

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12: This is a transcript of our discussion on the drop in oil prices and outlooks for the future, with reporter Lorne Matalon and host Tom Michael. MICHAEL: Monday was a rough day for oil and gas markets. Prices fell more than … Continue reading

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Several David Bowie Tributes on KRTS

On Monday there will be several tributes to David Bowie, the chameleonic musician who died this weekend at age 69. For West Texas Talk, at 6:30 PM, Tom Michael and Jackson Wisdorf pull from the latest album, Blackstar, and share interview clips … Continue reading

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Country Music Pioneer Red Simpson, Known for Truck-Driving Songs

Musician Red Simpson died Friday night at age 81 in Bakersfield, California, where he helped pioneer the “Bakersfield Sound” in Country Music. Along with Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, Simpson created a California style of honky-tonk in the 1950s and ‘60s. According to music … Continue reading

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