Watch Live: Biden’s Inauguration Day

By Public Radio Staff

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being sworn in as the president and vice president of the United States. Watch the ceremony, inaugural address and other celebratory events throughout the day. You can also listen live to coverage on the radio beginning at 10 a.m. Central.


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Midland-Odessa Hospitals Prepare to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines By The Thousands

By Mitch Borden

In the coming days, the state is expected to send thousands of doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to Midland Memorial Hospital and Medical Center Hospital in Odessa as the two facilities prepare to administer vaccines on a massive scale.

Here’s what you need to know about the vaccine rollout in the two Permian Basin cities.


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During the last public coronavirus testing in Presidio, over 550 residents were tested and the testing site soon reached its capacity for the day. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Tri-County Area Gets Another Round Of Free COVID-19 Testing

By Public Radio Staff

For the second time this month, a mobile testing unit will make a swing through the Big Bend Region, stopping in Presidio, Alpine, Marfa and Fort Davis this week.

Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies run out. During recent rounds of testing, some locations have seen long lines form, so local officials advise arriving early and giving yourself plenty of time.


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(Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Quiet & Loud: ‘Death Highway’ Slows Down

By Mitch Borden

At the beginning of 2020, the oil industry in the Permian Basin was humming along without any idea that looming on the horizon was a historic oil bust. Months into last year, an eerie quiet—brought on in part by the coronavirus pandemic—settled over the West Texas oil fields as prices plummeted. One of the places where the industry’s muted activity became clear: the notorious U.S. 285, also known as ‘Death Highway.’

In this episode of Quiet & Loud, we take a look at how this active road that runs through some of the busiest parts of the Permian Basin has changed.


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Preventative Care Health Services, which has clinics in Marfa, Presidio and Alpine, has started vaccinating residents in the 1B vaccination group, but has run out of doses and is waiting for more from the state. (Courtesy of PCHS)

Here’s A Breakdown Of The Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout In The Big Bend Region

By Carlos Morales

For a little over a month now, the state has been distributing COVID-19 vaccines produced by biomedical companies Pfizer and Moderna, but the rollout has been confusing and frustrating, especially for residents in rural communities. 

Here are some answers to questions we’ve received.


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Jenny Cudd recounted the Jan. 6 riot over Facebook Live later that night. (Screenshot)

Midland Business Owner and Right-Wing Activist Arrested By FBI In Connection With Riot At U.S. Capitol

By Mitch Borden 

A week after she swarmed the U.S. Capitol along with an insurrectionist mob, the FBI has arrested one-time Midland mayoral candidate and business owner Jenny Cudd. 

Cudd, who posted a 25-minute video recounting the Jan. 6 riot that left five dead, was taken into custody Wednesday morning in connection with the riot at the capitol. She’s been charged with two misdemeanors. If convicted, Cudd could serve up to a year in prison and be fined over $100,000. 


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The 2021 Texas legislative session begins Tuesday. Credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

The Texas Legislature Convenes For Its 2021 Session Tuesday. Here Are 5 Things To Watch.

By Alex Samuels, Cassandra Pollock, and Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune

Much about the session — including how it will be conducted during a pandemic — remains uncertain.

The 2021 session of the Texas Legislature will commence Tuesday under pervasive uncertainty.


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After reopening for the summer months, a steady stream of visitors have set their eyes on Big Bend National Park for fall and winter getaways. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

From Empty Trails To Traffic Jams, 2020 Was A Year Of Extremes In Big Bend National Park

By Carlos Morales

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 last year.

The end-of-year visitor spike is part of a national trend, as thousands have flocked to outdoor destinations across Texas and the country, even as many public health officials advise against travelling. 


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David Beebe and Remijio “Primo” Carrasco look back on recording and releasing their first album. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

After Playing Together For Almost A Decade, Remijio “Primo” Carrasco and David Beebe Release Their First Album

By Ari Snider

Marfa musicians Primo Carrasco and David Beebe are familiar names in the Far West Texas music scene. The duo has played together for years now, but just released their first album earlier this month — just in time for the new year. 


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In Presidio, The Pandemic Lays Bare Widening Inequalities For Border Residents

In the Big Bend region, officials in Presidio are encouraging residents to shelter in place and limit traveling. The notice comes after local cases surged to record highs last month, making Presidio County one of the nation’s top coronavirus hot spots at the time.

Local health authorities say most cases, then and now, are from the city of Presidio, where the predominantly Hispanic community faces barriers to accessing quality healthcare and frequent testing. 


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Ruidosa church, November 2020 (Carlos Morales/Marfa Public Radio)

To Dust It Is Returning, But Historic Adobe Church May Soon Get A Second Life

By Ari Snider

These days, there’s not a whole lot going on in Ruidosa. By most estimates, the town is home to about 15 people. But it used to be one of the more substantial settlements in the Big Bend region, and now a local group is working to restore one of the last monuments to that past era before it crumbles back into the earth. 


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Some Texas Republicans Decried Capitol Insurrection — But Didn’t Connect The Violence To Their Own Rhetoric

By Kate McGee, The Texas Tribune

Texas lawmakers and other officials have taken the lead on baseless lawsuits that sought to dismiss the results of the presidential election and have tried to rally Trump supporters to protest his loss.

When a federal court tossed U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmerts far-fetched lawsuit asking Vice President Mike Pence to challenge Joe Biden’s legitimacy as president-elect, the Texas Republican appeared to propose violence in response.

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

By Public Radio Staff

Upcoming public testing for the coronavirus will be in Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, Presidio and Van Horn. All testing is free and open to residents throughout the region.

Testing will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or until supplies run out. During recent rounds of testing, some locations have seen hours-long lines form, so local officials advise arriving early.

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Ted Cruz Says He’ll Object To Certification Of Electoral College Votes That Will Make Joe Biden’s Victory Official

By Alexa Ura, The Texas Tribune

Joining several other U.S. senators, Cruz is calling for an emergency audit of election results in “disputed states,” despite no evidence of widespread election fraud.

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West Texas Winter Storm Updates

By Public Radio Staff

West Texas communities are hunkering dow n today as a snowstorm is expected to continue dropping several inches of snow in some areas. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for the region and expects the storm to last until Thursday evening.

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Severe Winter Storm Hits West Texas, Causing Road Closures and Accidents

By Public Radio Staff

A rare West Texas winter storm has led to dangerous and icy road conditions, leading to dozens of accidents and highway closures in the Big Bend region and the Permian Basin.

With the storm’s heaviest snowfalls yet to come, there are already reports of stranded drivers and highways backed up for miles with stand-still traffic.

Officials throughout the region are urging drivers to avoid traveling.

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