Early voting for the Nov. 5 elections in Texas is underway. In Midland, voters are weighing in on several local races, including a bond election, city council races and the Midland mayoral race.
When it comes to who will lead the Tall City for the next two years, Midlanders will have their choice between incumbent Jerry Morales, small business owner Jenny Cudd and former megachurch pastor Patrick Payton.
Texas has seen four major mass shootings in the last two years. Despite conversations in communities and at the statehouse, little has changed in the state. But after gunmen killed 29 people in two West Texas shootings in August, state leaders called for “meaningful action” and formed special committees in the Texas house and senate. Their charge: come up with policies that will reduce mass violence.
First-term Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen on Tuesday announced he will not seek reelection to the lower chamber in 2020 — completing a stunning fall for the Angleton Republican who enjoyed near unanimous support in the House just months earlier.
The Texas Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence And Community Safety held a public hearing in Odessa where they spoke to local officials and residents about how to prevent future mass shootings. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)
On Thursday, the Texas Senate Select Committee on Mass Violence And Community Safety held a public hearing at Odessa College. The state lawmakers listened to Permian Basin residents and local officials suggestions on how to prevent mass shootings — like the one that happened in Odessa late August.
Texas’ refugee resettlement programs are bracing for what could be a huge blow – one that stakeholders say could weaken the state’s support system for years to come.
White House officials recently announced plans to resettle the fewest number of refugees in recent history. The administration set the country’s cap at about 18,000 refugees – the lowest since the program was established in 1980.
Officials at Ector County Independent School District are still looking into what exactly caused hundreds of students to evacuate Permian High School in Odessa on October 10h.
That morning, Ector County ISD received a phone call warning officials there was a student at the school with a gun. Police were soon dispatched and then, at around 10:20 a.m., students were in between classes when a fire alarm was pulled. That’s when students fled the building.
The school district confirmed there was no active shooter, but police are still investigating and have not been able to confirm if a firearm started the panic.
A source close to the investigation told Marfa Public Radio that does not mean there wasn’t a gun involved.
Facilities and foster groups that house migrant teens are at about half capacity in Texas. There are currently some 3,000 migrant kids being held in federal care statewide, according to Texas Health and Human Services.
That’s 30% fewer children than they had in custody in August, and half the amount from June.
Some of the shelters are at a quarter of their normal capacity.
This morning, according to Odessa’s Ector County School District, a fire alarm was pulled at Permian High School, causing students to flee the building and some classrooms to go on lockdown. Exactly what happened at the Odessa school is still unclear.
Superintendent Bob Krumenaker & Chief of Interpretation Tom VandenBerg
On West Texas Talk, we’re celebrating the 75th birthday of Big Bend National Park. Diana Nguyen speaks to Superintendent Bob Krumenaker and Chief of Interpretation Tom VandenBerg about the history of the beloved parks founding and about what’s on the horizon.
Chinati Artist In Residence Leeza Meksin
The Chinati Foundation has hosted artist residents from a variety of disciplines since 1989. Each year, the organization chooses six people to work in Marfa for two months.
Chinati’s current guest is Leeza Meksin — a New York-based interdisciplinary artist who works in painting, installation, and public art. Meksin was born in the former Soviet Union but emigrated to the United States with her family in 1989.
Meksin received an MFA from The Yale School of Art and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently teaches at Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
Meksin will have an Open Studio at The Locker Plant in Marfa on Friday, October 11 from 5 to 8 pm as part of Chinati Weekend.
West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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EL PASO — The number of people who were apprehended by or surrendered to federal immigration officials on the U.S.-Mexico border dipped by nearly 20% last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday. After totaling about 64,000 apprehensions in August, the agency reported a September total of about 52,500 apprehensions — a decrease of about 18%.
The September total is about 40% of July’s estimated 82,000 and the lowest monthly total of the 2019 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics.