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

Marfa Clinic Sees Uptick in COVID-19 Cases Ahead of Busy Festival Week

A recent spike of 15-20 cases in the community of about 1,600 has one local doctor advising Marfans to mask up to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.


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A Republic Services worker in Houston assists with garbage collection on a summer afternoon. The company has been fined in the wake of heat-related deaths of workers but says it has implemented prevention policies. This worker was not interviewed for the story. (Lucio Vasquez / Houston Public Media)

Texas Workers Are Dying In The Summer Heat, And Companies Aren’t Being Held Accountable

Without a legal standard setting out what must be done to prevent heat deaths, workplace regulators have a hard time making violations stick.


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Beautification Project Prompts Debate Over Who Makes Decisions For Presidio

In Presidio, a beautification project led by a new nonprofit has prompted heated debate over the city’s approach to downtown development. Tensions recently came to a head over a publicly funded mural, with locals and their new neighbors offering differing visions for the city’s priorities. | Lea esta nota en español


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Feds Approve West Texas Nuke Waste Plan, Despite State Law Blocking It

Some advocates say the issue could be headed to legal fights and a state-versus-federal dispute.


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Midland Memorial Hospital Opens New Mass Vaccination Clinic

Midland’s only hospital is opening a mass vaccination clinic that officials hope will spur more residents to get vaccinated — and encourage third shots, and eventually boosters, to those who need them.


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Angel Castro, 16, received his first shot of the Pfizer vaccine at William D. Slider Middle School in El Paso on July 22, 2021. After being battered by COVID-19 surges last year, El Paso has been a bright spot during the delta surge. (Briana Sanchez/El Paso Times via REUTERS)

The Delta Variant Is Wreaking Havoc On Most Of Texas — But Not El Paso. Here’s Why.

High vaccination rates, geography and a sense of community in the wake of 2019’s Walmart shootings help keep El Paso’s delta numbers low, experts and locals say.


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In Efforts To Restore Fort Stockton’s Comanche Springs, Hope Springs Eternal

Today, Fort Stockton is pocked with dusty craters and empty canals, but this West Texas town was once known as the “Spring City of Texas.” The nickname came from Comanche Springs, which flowed prolifically until the 1950s when groundwater pumping picked up and dried the springs. 


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Dancers at El Cosmico's Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love in 2018. (Sarah Vasquez)

Marfa’s Trans-Pecos Music Festival To Require Vaccination Proof or Negative COVID Test

The festival at El Cosmico is returning in September after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic, but organizers have announced updated COVID-19 safety protocols that mirror those enacted by other high-profile events around the country.


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Unassuming as it is, the Cementerio del Barrio de los Lipanes holds a key piece of West Texas history. It’s the final resting place of nearly 50 people –– at least some of whom were members of the Lipan Apache tribe. (Sarah Vasquez for Marfa Public Radio)

Presidio Works To Preserve a Lipan Apache Cemetery And Tell Its Story

In Presidio, a small cemetery just off Market Street appears forgotten, full of overgrown, unmarked graves. But descendants of the Lipan Apache people buried there have been working to protect the site for years.

Now, historians and tribal members have joined them to help preserve it — and tell its story. | Lea esta nota en español


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Midland Memorial’s COVID-19 Hospitalizations Drop, But Still Straining Resources and Staff

Healthcare officials in the Permian Basin are continuing to treat a high number of patients for COVID-19. Throughout August, hospitalizations for the disease at the major hospitals in Midland and Odessa reached record levels, and deaths related to the disease have reached startling numbers. 

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After Months, State Health Workers Return to Alpine To Administer COVID-19 Vaccines

The Texas Department of State Health Services will hold a one-day vaccine clinic in Alpine for residents throughout the Big Bend region, offering first and second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, as well booster shots for those who qualify.

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Texas Now Has A Ban On Abortions As Early As Five Weeks. Anti-Abortion Groups Are Prepared To Enforce It.

“We are all, unfortunately, expecting that approximately 85% of patients seeking abortions will not be able to access an abortion in a health center in Texas,” says a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas.

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Republican Bill Tightening Texas Election Laws Is Headed To Gov. Greg Abbott’s Desk

Senate Bill 1 rewrites Texas election laws to further restrict the voting-by-mail process and outlaw local voting initiatives meant to widen access, namely those pushed by Harris County that were disproportionately used by voters of color.

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Odessa Marks Two Years Since Deadly Mass Shooting

Two years after a shooter killed seven people in a rampage across the Odessa area, one mental health worker says “healing is happening,” though the community continues to struggle with the added trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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