ERCOT CEO Bill Magness. (Texas A&M Smart Grid Center)

CEO Of Texas Power Grid Operator Terminated In Aftermath Of Winter Storm

By Erin Douglas and Mitchell Ferman, Texas Tribune

The board overseeing the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, the independent nonprofit entity that operates and manages the electricity grid that covers much of Texas, fired ERCOT CEO Bill Magness Wednesday night.

Continue reading

photograph by Michelle Lynn Reynolds. Broad-tailed hummingbirds – their backs iridescent green, the males adorned with rose-red throat markings – winter in Mexico and Central America. They’re among the first migrants to arrive here in spring, and many summer in the West Texas mountains.

In West Texas, A Whirl of Birds Announces Spring’s Return

“Febrero loco y marzo otro poco” – “February is crazy and March a little more so” – a popular saying in Mexico and the borderlands has it. There are upheavals in the weather here – swings in temperature, days of … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.

Texas Is Lifting Its Mask Mandate And COVID Restrictions On Businesses. Here’s What That Means.

By Andrew Weber, KUT News

Texas is reopening 100% next week, ending the statewide mask mandate and lifting COVID-related restrictions on businesses.

Here’s a rundown of the order and what it means for local officials, schools and businesses.

Continue reading

Over the course of the pandemic, the number of people visiting Big Bend National Park has fluctuated wildly — first dropping to all-time lows in the Spring, then smashing records in the final months of 2020. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Going To Big Bend National Park? Despite Gov. Abbott Lifting COVID-19 Restrictions, You’ll Still Need A Mask

Officials at Big Bend National Park say Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s rollback on the state’s mask mandate has “no impact” on park rules, and visitors are still required to wear a mask in all park buildings, as well as in outdoor spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.

Continue reading

Since April, testing for the coronavirus in the Tri-County area has largely been provided by the state. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Public COVID-19 Testing Returns To Far West Texas Next Week

Testing for COVID-19 returns to the Big Bend region in the second week of March. Public screenings for the disease take place in Marfa, Presidio, Marathon and Terlingua.

The latter two Brewster County communities have seen little local testing in the last year.

Continue reading

Kindergarten teacher Ginger Bolen teaches a hybrid of in-person and virtual learning at Boone Elementary School in South Austin. (Michael Minasi / KUT)

All Texas Teachers Are Now Eligible To Receive A COVID-19 Vaccine

By Claire McInerny, KUT

Teachers and child care workers are now included in groups currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, the Texas Department of State Health Services announced Wednesday.

Continue reading

At a vaccination event in early February, hundreds of Big Bend residents were vaccinated in Fort Davis. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

State Sends Texas National Guard To Vaccinate Older Texans In The Big Bend

This week, the state is sending Texas National Guard teams to rural and isolated corners of the state to vaccinate seniors. The effort, dubbed “Save Our Seniors,” is part of the state’s attempt to get more elderly Texans vaccinated, especially those who live in hard-to-reach areas.

Continue reading

(Photo courtesy of Joshua Romatowski)

In Tune Interview: Joshua Romatowski

In Tune Interview is a segment of Marfa Public Radio’s Monday classical music program In Tune — in which host Nick Hurt interviews and records live performances by classical musicians and educators. 

Continue reading

As of Monday, state agencies reported spending $41 million on the storm, and local governments had spent $49 million, according to Nim Kidd, chief of the Texas Department of Emergency Management. Credit: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

Winter Storm Could Cost Texas More Money Than Any Disaster In State History

By Mitchell Ferman, The Texas Tribune

Lawmakers and analysts say it is too soon for an exact estimate, but the financial damage from the storm has left state lawmakers scrambling to account for the storm in the middle of the 2021 legislative session.

The winter storm that left dozens of Texans dead, millions without power and nearly 15 million with water issues could be the costliest disaster in state history, potentially exceeding the $125 billion in damage from Hurricane Harvey.

Continue reading

(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

In Surprise Move, Sul Ross State University Provost Steps Down

The university’s provost Dr. Robert Kinuncan is stepping down from the role he’s held nearly two years and is returning to the classroom, he told faculty and staff in an email this week.

Continue reading

At Ratliff Stadium in Odessa, where Medical Center Hospital is holding a large-scale vaccination clinic, hundreds of West Texans line up to receive their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Odessa’s Vaccination Hub Pulls Back On Expanding Vaccination Roll Out After State Officials Step In

Earlier this month, Odessa health officials announced they would extend vaccines to essential workers in industries like food service, energy, media and construction. But the move—which would have put the hospital ahead of Texas’ vaccination rollout—caught the attention of state officials.  

Continue reading

(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

West Texas Observatory Shoots For The Stars To Preserve Dark Skies

Officials with McDonald Observatory are working to make Far West Texas and parts of Northern Mexico an International Dark Sky Reserve. They hope the special designation will help preserve the region’s dark skies and support ongoing research at the observatory

Continue reading

Marfa Public Radio 2021 Overall Excellence Murrow Submission

Marfa Public Radio’s overall excellence submission covers a range of voices and topics, from transmigrate traffic and an historic adobe church to our coverage on the pandemic and stories of racial profiling in Midland, Texas.

The small reporting team at the station continually turns out stories of local significance, ones that take the pulse of our region’s disparate communities.

Here are several examples of work produced in 2020 that reflects our mission and commitment to our listeners.

Continue reading
Comments Off on Marfa Public Radio 2021 Overall Excellence Murrow Submission

Marfa Public Radio 2021 Murrow Awards – Digital

Marfa Public Radio’s use of digital media in 2020 complimented our reporting. From photography and use of social media, the station effectively told the stories of West Texas through these tools.

Continue reading
Comments Off on Marfa Public Radio 2021 Murrow Awards – Digital

Marfa Public Radio 2020 Excellence In Innovation Murrow Submission

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic forced our journalists and producers to think differently about how to serve our audiences. There were so many stories to tell and voices to hear from, but how could we encourage safe practices and responsibility in our communities, while still reporting in person ourselves?

Continue reading
Comments Off on Marfa Public Radio 2020 Excellence In Innovation Murrow Submission

Marfa Public Radio 2021 Continuing Coverage Murrow Submission

In early March 2020, concerns over the coronavirus in Texas were beginning to stir. Soon, major events were canceled and health officials were warning of COVID-19 and relating how to mitigate the spread of the disease.

In late March in West Texas, the region saw one of its first confirmed cases and death in the city of Midland. A month later, the city’s first coronavirus outbreak would happen at a nursing home facility, leading to dozens of cases and several deaths.

Continue reading
Comments Off on Marfa Public Radio 2021 Continuing Coverage Murrow Submission

Texas Was “Seconds And Minutes” Away From Catastrophic Monthslong Blackouts, Officials Say

By Erin Douglas, The Texas Tribune

Officials with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said that grid operators implemented blackouts to avoid a catastrophic failure that could have left Texans in the dark for months.

Continue reading
Comments Off on Texas Was “Seconds And Minutes” Away From Catastrophic Monthslong Blackouts, Officials Say