Washington STEM Academy, formerly known as Booker T. Washington Elementary, has served students on the east and south side of Midland for Decades. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Midland ISD officials weigh closing Washington STEM Academy to give campus to an all-girls school

Midland Independent School District’s Board of Trustees is facing a tough decision: Spend more than $3.7 million on portable classrooms for Young Women’s Leadership Academy or close down Washington STEM Academy, a decades-old elementary school, to provide a permanent home for the all-girls school. 

And time is running out for the school board to make a decision.


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Protesters stand at the front steps of the state Capitol in opposition to Texas' abortion restrictions law on Oct. 2, 2021. (Michael Gonzalez / The Texas Tribune)

Texas abortion law challenge heads to state’s supreme court, likely adding more delays to case

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision means it could take months before abortion providers’ challenge to the restrictive law returns to a federal court.


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The Marfa High School campus in Marfa, Texas. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Rural West Texas schools confront rise in COVID-19 cases

One school district in the Big Bend region said it would shut down for multiple days because of a spike in positive cases and staffing shortages, while others remain open with a renewed focus on testing.


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Oil rigs and a pump jack are shown in a rural area, Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in Midland, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Texas oil and gas pulled in nearly $16 billion in taxes and royalties last year as the industry recovers from pandemic downturn

The Texas Oil and Gas Association’s annual energy and economic impact report says both taxes and royalties paid to the state went up by more than 20% over the previous fiscal year.


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The Marfa Country Clinic in Marfa, Texas. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Big Bend-area doctor says omicron is leading to a local uptick in COVID-19 cases

Dr. Christie Alexander, Medical Director at the Marfa Country Clinic, says the local uptick has not led to a flood of hospitalizations, but “people are feeling very ill.”


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The Brewster County Courthouse in Alpine, Texas. (Travis Bubenik / Marfa Public Radio)

Judge rules against Gage Hotel owner in lawsuit over early-pandemic local hotel closures

The owner of Marathon’s Gage Hotel sued Brewster County’s top elected official for temporarily closing hotels at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020.


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The mountainous desert landscape at Big Bend National Park. (Mark Stevens via Flickr/Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Big Bend National Park Number of Visitors Reaches All-Time Record

Big Bend National Park reached a significant milestone this year. The Far West Texas destination surpassed 500,000 visitors in a calendar year — a first in the park’s 76-year history.

Park Superintendent Bob Krumenaker spoke with Marfa Public Radio about the numbers and what they tell us about who’s making the trek out to Big Bend and why. 


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Autoridades y ciudadanos retoman búsqueda de migrantes desaparecidos en el desierto de Chihuahua

Ejército y voluntarios tratan de hallar pistas de grupo de inmigrantes que se teme hayan sido víctimas de enfrentamiento entre cárteles. | Read this story in English

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New search takes place for migrants feared dead in cartel feud along Texas-Mexico border

The aerial search, via a Blackhawk helicopter, was conducted by Mexico’s military and state investigators in an isolated area. | Lea esta nota en español

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Temen que 13 migrantes hayan sido asesinados por carteles en la frontera entre Texas y Chihuahua

Secuestro de estos migrantes es muestra de los peligros que enfrentan en su intento por llegar a Estados Unidos; muchos se pierden y mueren en zonas desérticas en la frontera norte de México. | Read this story in English

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Disappeared in the desert: Missing migrants feared dead in cartel feud

In late September, thirteen Mexican migrants went missing in the desert west of Ojinaga, where a witness said they were kidnapped by armed men. Now, officials fear the group may have been killed in a rising turf war between cartels vying for control of the human smuggling business. | Lea esta nota en español

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Marfa High journalism students drop by the station to show off their audio work

Students in Ms. Powers’ journalism class at Marfa High School recently joined Marfa Public Radio’s Annie Rosenthal and Carlos Morales in the studio to host an hour-long radio special. The show is a celebration of a semester of audio work, featuring short reported pieces by the students and music picked by our guest DJs.

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