Marfa Public Radio has received three National Edward R. Murrow Awards. (Photo Courtesy: RTDNA)

Marfa Public Radio Wins Three National Edward R. Murrow Awards

By Marfa Public Radio

Marfa Public Radio has won three National Edward R. Murrow awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) for its reporting in 2018. This is the first time the station has received this number of National Murrow awards.

The station’s only other National Murrow was awarded in 2016 for Lorne Matalon’s investigative reporting in the Juarez Valley in Mexico.

The awards are considered among the most prestigious and recognize “news stories that uphold the RTDNA Code of Ethics, demonstrate technical expertise and exemplify the importance and impact of journalism as a service to the community.”

Marfa Public Radio was awarded in the small market radio category for its use of social media, its website and use of multimedia and for feature reporting.


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The audio processor at our KXWT tower was recently struck by lightning, which caused signal interruptions in Midland and Odessa. (Ian Lewis / Marfa Public Radio)

KXWT Signal Interruptions

We are experiencing three problems with our KXWT broadcast.

First, during severe storms in Midland and Odessa, the KXWT transmitter’s audio processor was struck by lightning. As a result, the broadcast was down for several days in the Permian Basin. Our engineer has brought the broadcast back on air this afternoon. KXWT will operate on a lower volume power until the processor is replaced.


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The Chisos Visitor Center will be closed for up to 4 months while it undergoes "much needed" repairs. (Courtesy of Big Bend National Park)

Chisos Basin Visitor Center Closes For Repairs

By Carlos Morales

The Chisos Basin Visitor Center at Big Bend National Park will be closed for up to four months beginning June 24, while the facility undergoes renovations staff say are “much needed.”

The closure means the sweeping West Texas National Park, which recently celebrated its 75th anniversary, will have just one of its five full-service visitor centers open for the entire 801,163-acre park. Two of the visitor centers — Persimmon Gap and Rio Grande Village — are seasonal and only open from Nov. to April. And the Castolon facility was destroyed during a recent wildfire.

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Troops will “provide assistance at temporary holding facilities” in the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso and help at ports of entry, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (left) said at a press conference with House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (not pictured). (Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune)

Texas Will Deploy 1,000 National Guard Troops To The Border Amid Migrant Surge

By Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott announced Friday that the state will deploy 1,000 troops from the Texas National Guard to the U.S.-Mexico border to aid the federal government with border security efforts.

“There is an escalating crisis at the border — a crisis Congress is refusing to fix,” said Abbott, who was flanked by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, along with Brig. Gen. Tracy Norris, the adjutant general of the Texas National Guard, during a news conference at the Texas Capitol.


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The former Big Bend Wool and Mohair warehouse is now owned by True Value, a local hardware store. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Why Is There A Telephone Pole Sprouting Through The Roof Of A Building In Alpine?

By Sally Beauvais If you’ve spent any time waiting for the train to arrive at the Amtrak station in Alpine, you may have noticed it, too: a telephone pole, sticking clear through the pitched roof of a warehouse on the … Continue reading

Alton Chan (left) waited six months to pick up his new guitar from luthier Aaron Ringo (right). (Nick Hurt / Marfa Public Radio)

What Does It Take To Build A Classical Guitar? Nick Hurt Of ‘In Tune’ Goes To Weatherford To Find Out

Nick Hurt, host of Marfa Public Radio’s In Tune, brought his listeners along on a journey across the state to Weatherford, Texas recently. The occasion? To find out how his friend makes classical guitars. And to play them.


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Hispanics are expected to become the largest population group in Texas as soon as 2022. (Eddie Seal for The Texas Tribune)

Texas Gained Almost Nine Hispanic Residents For Every Additional White Resident Last Year

By Alexa Ura and Connie Hanzhang Jin, Texas Tribune

Texas gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident last year” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

The gap between Texas’ Hispanic and white populations continued to narrow last year when the state gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident.


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Monica Madrid signs a letter of intent to teach at Nimitz Middle School in Odessa for the next two years. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

As Odessa Schools Struggle To Hire Teachers, A New Program Hopes To Put A Dent In The Region’s Educator Shortage

By Mitch Borden

Summer vacation is in full swing across Texas. Families going on long trips. On hot days, kids heading to the pool with friends or are running down ice cream trucks to get a cool treat. But for school officials in Odessa’s Ector County Independent School District, or ECISD, it’s crunch time.


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Allison Scott and Gloria Applegate have been friends for about 40 years. The two women have lived in Marfa, crossing paths in the grocery store or community meetings, but they’ve avoided talking politics because they know they don’t agree on much (Nicolas Cadena / StoryCorps)

A One Small Step Conversation: ‘We’re on opposite sides politically, but I think at heart we’re very much similar’

By Mia Warren and Nicolas Cadena, Story Corps

Today, we’re going to eavesdrop on a conversation between two people in Marfa.

It’s part of a new StoryCorps initiative called One Small Step (OSS). Through facilitated conversations, the OSS Initiative seeks to remind people across political and cultural divides of our shared humanity.


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A pumpjack at sunset in West Texas. ( Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Remote West Texas Gets A New 80 Acre Landfill To Serve Its Expanding Oil Industry

By Mitch Borden

The oil field waste disposal industry in the Permian Basin is growing fast, as the oil and gas industry continues to see an upswing in production. As more and more oil wells are drilled more toxic by-products are being created.


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Whataburger Says Sale Won’t Change Burger Chain’s ‘Recipe For Success’

By Jerry Quijano, KUT

Whataburger announced today that it is selling a majority interest in the company to BDT Capital Partners, LLC, a Chicago-based bank.

In a statement, Whataburger President Preston Atkinson said the sale was made to introduce the formerly family-owned company to new customers.

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Analyst Warns The Permian Basin Could See Oil Prices Fall To $20 A Barrel In A Few Years

By Mitch Borden

West Texas oil producers have been doing pretty well this year. After weathering a severe drop in prices at the end of 2018, the price of oil recovered in a matter of months, but according to a new report, in four years the price could take another dramatic fall.

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Midlanders Share Stories With Marfa Public Radio At PBS Basin’s Main Street Live

By Mitch Borden

Marfa Public Radio recently joined Basin PBS at their celebration — Main Street Live. There Midlanders enjoyed live music, good food, and helped raise money for the region’s PBS station. Residents also gathered to share stories with Marfa Public Radio about living in the Permian Basin for MPR’s Sonic ID project.

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That’s A Wrap On Summer Shake Up Radio Camp 2019

A crew of 12 elementary school students from Marfa and Alpine joined the staff at Marfa Public Radio this week for all kinds of fun with microphones (and slime).

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The Whole Hog on Imma Hogg

A few rambles Back, Lonn mentioned how in the early 1970, while director of the Winedale Historical Center at Round Top, Texas, he worked with the well known Houston Philanthropist Ima Hogg, who had donated the Winedale to the University of Texas.

That Segment generated dozens of e-mail requests that he write more about Miss Hogg, which he was happy to do because she was one memorable Texan.

On this edition of The Rambling Boy, Lonn looks back at good times spent with her.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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