A cumulonimbus cloud towers over Marfa. (Ross Cashiola / West Texas Cloud Appreciation Society)

West Texas Cloud Appreciation: How Do Clouds Form, And What Are Some Identification Tips?

By Sally Beauvais As we approach the end of monsoon season in West Texas, now’s a good time to step outside and take a moment to appreciate the dramatic summer storm clouds that bring the majority of our region’s annual … Continue reading

Hundreds mourn for the victims and their family outside the El Paso Walmart where a mass murderer killed 22 people. (Nick Oza/USA Today Network via REUTERS)

State Leaders Are Looking For Solutions After El Paso. Texas Latinos Say They Can Start By Changing The Words They Use.

By Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune

Barbara Canales’ family history is in some ways shaped by a deeply rooted understanding of bigotry and racism.

Her mother attended high school in Corpus Christi where the Mexican American students were segregated from their white peers; they were assigned separate gym lockers and even required to attend separate senior proms.


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Presidio City Council members learned last week that border authorities may soon be changing their processing policies at the local port of entry. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Asylum-Seeking Detainees Could Soon Be Released In Presidio, Rather Than Transported To El Paso

By Sally Beauvais

Officials in the small border city of Presidio are preparing for the possibility of having to care for asylum-seekers in the near future.

That’s because authorities are considering releasing some detained migrants locally, instead of sending them 250 miles west to El Paso — which remains the official procedure at this time.

Presidio officials are still gathering information from the local Customs and Border Protection office about how many asylum-seekers could be released into the city under such a plan. At a recent city council meeting, City Administrator Joe Portillo theorized that the numbers could “quickly become overwhelming.”


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Both Midland and Odessa saw a boom to their population numbers in 2018, according to new data released from the U.S. Census. ( flickr.com/photos/pkmonaghan / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The Candidate Pool For Midland City Election Is Set After Filing Deadline Passes

By Mitch Borden

What issues and which candidates will appear on ballots this November in Midland is officially set. Two city council seats are up for grabs and three candidates will duke it out to see who will be Midland’s mayor in the coming years.


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Big Bend National Park To Consider Increasing Fees And Changing Camping Reservations

By Carlos Morales

Big Bend National Park officials have put forward a proposal that would significantly change the park’s camping reservation system and increase camping fees.

When it comes to reservations, the changes would make a larger number of campings sites available and would extend how far out in advance visitors are able to make those reservations.


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(Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Jeff Davis County Officials Table Decision on Second Amendment Resolution

By Carlos Morales

Jeff Davis County Commissioners have sidelined a decision on becoming a “Second Amendment Sanctuary” — a designation two other West Texas counties have taken up this year.

The resolution was brought before county officials during a special meeting Monday, but it was soon tabled to give commissioners more time to learn about what the resolution would mean for local governance. It’s unclear right now if the resolution will appear on the agenda for the next commissioners court, which is scheduled for Sept. 9.


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Ruth Ruggero Hughs Image via the Texas Workforce Commission

Gov. Greg Abbott Names New Secretary Of State Months After Botched Voter Roll Review

By Alexa Ura, Texas Tribune

After losing his last chief election officer over a botched review of the state’s voter rolls, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday appointed a new secretary of state: Ruth Ruggero Hughs.

Ruggero Hughs is moving from the Texas Workforce Commission, which she has chaired since August 2018. She joins the secretary of state’s office nearly three months after Democratic senators blocked the confirmation of her predecessor, David Whitley, who questioned the voter registration of thousands of naturalized citizens.


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The Lady in Blue: A Mystical Encounter in West Texas Echoes Across Centuries, Continents

From places as distant as present-day San Angelo and Albuquerque, the first Spanish expeditions encountered one particular Native tribe throughout the plains and deserts of West Texas and New Mexico – a people known as the Jumano. The Jumano traded … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Thu. Aug 15 Interview: Bill Wren, The Godfather of Dark Skies; Writer Rachel Monroe Discusses “Savage Appetites”

Bill Wren is considered the godfather of the Texas dark skies movement. (Courtesy of McDonald Observatory)

Bill Wren

Diana Nguyen speaks to Bill Wren of McDonald Observatory, whose job is to keep the skies of Far West Texas dark. They discuss Wren’s collaboration with oil and gas companies and municipalities across the region, and what residents can do to help. 



Rachel Monroe (Emma Rogers)

Rachel Monroe

Later in the show, Nguyen talks to writer and Marfa Public Radio contributor Rachel Monroe.

They discuss her new book, Savage Appetites, which investigates our cultural fascination with crime and looks at true stories of four women driven by obsession.

There will be a book launch and reading of Savage Appetites at the Crowley Theater on Tuesday, August 20th, at 6 pm.

Monroe’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Texas Monthly, among others.

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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Texas Tech Researcher To Study If Wind Turbines Impact Burrowing Owl Habitat

By Carlos Morales

In the coming years, more wind turbines are expected to be built in Texas, as wind-produced power becomes more prominent. Just this year, wind surpassed coal as an energy source in Texas.

But more wind turbines might come at a cost to another fixture of the West Texas sky—burrowing owls.

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Plastic Bags Are Killing Horses And Cows Across the State. What’s Texas To Do?

By Lara Korte, Texas Tribune

Kristie West was driving down the highway in rural South Texas when she saw it.

The drive from her ranch to the nearby town of Poth was usually uneventful. But on that day in 2017, West saw something that made her slam on the brakes of her pickup.

A white plastic bag had flitted into a horse pen behind a house where a young palomino was grazing. Someone who doesn’t work with livestock probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it. But West trained horses, and she knew the colt would treat the bag like a toy.

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Texas Rangers Asked To Investigate Allegations Against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen

By Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune

The Texas House General Investigating Committee voted Monday to request that the Texas Rangers look into allegations against House Speaker Dennis Bonnen and one of his top lieutenants in the lower chamber.

The committee vote, which was unanimous, followed roughly an hour of closed-door deliberations among the five House members who serve on the panel. At issue is whether Bonnen, an Angleton Republican, and state Rep. Dustin Burrows, R-Lubbock, offered hardline conservative activist Michael Quinn Sullivan media credentials for his organization in exchange for politically targeting a list of fellow GOP members in the 2020 primaries.

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