Marfa Public Radio and Big Bend Sentinel Joint Town Hall: Aging And Dying In The Big Bend Region

Seniors living in the Big Bend region struggle to get the care that they need. Many end up having to leave their homes and travel far away at the end of their lives to seek healthcare.

The Big Bend Sentinel and Marfa Public Radio are hosting a joint town hall on aging and dying in the tri-county area on November 21st, featuring a panel of West Texans dedicated to serving the needs of seniors and their families.

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Trump Impeachment Inquiry: Watch House Hearings Live


The U.S. House of Representatives continues with its second week of open hearings in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. All hearings will be streamed through this video player as they are live.

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Oil field workers and their RVs began to fill the small town of Balmorhea after oil was discovered in the region. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

As The 2020 Census Draws Nearer, Permian Basin Communities Brainstorm How To Count Transient Workers

By Mitch Borden

Over the last ten years, the population of West Texas has soared as its oil fields were revived by hydraulic fracturing. And now, with the upcoming 2020 U.S. census, community leaders are trying to track down the thousands of workers who have flocked to the oil fields.

An under count of its population could mean the loss of millions of dollars in federal funding for struggling Permian Basin towns, which are facing infrastructure concerns brought on by the oil industry.

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(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

Local Political Action Committee Calls For A Recount In The Midland ISD Bond Election

By Mitch Borden

It’s now three weeks since election day, but it seems there’s one race still going strong — Midland ISD’s $569 million dollar bond election.

In the end, 25 votes separated the bond from passing, but now pro-bond advocates are pushing for a recount, which comes on the heels of an election marred by incorrect results and glitches with new voting machines.

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U.S. Border Patrol agents patrol a portion of the Rio Grande at Roma in Starr County. (Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune)

Apprehensions Of Undocumented Immigrants On The Southwest Border Continue To Fall

By Julián Aguilar, Texas Tribune

The number of people apprehended by or surrendering to immigration officials on the U.S.-Mexico border hit its lowest monthly total in more than a year last month, according to statistics released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.

The total for October was 45,250 apprehensions, which includes about 9,800 people officials deemed inadmissible after they tried to enter at the country’s ports of entry and 35,444 apprehended between the ports. The total figure is the lowest since July 2018 and marks the fifth consecutive month that the number has dropped. Last month, 52,546 people were apprehended.

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For the last seven months, Presidio County officials met to discuss permitting procedures for large-scale events in Presidio County. (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

After Months of Debate, Presidio County Officials Approve Process For Large-Scale Events

By Sally Beauvais

After seven months spent debating what should go into permitting procedures for major events and outdoor music festivals, Presidio County officials unanimously approved Wednesday a set of formal processes.

The county passed two applications — one for something called mass gatherings, and another for outdoor music festivals. For years, the county didn’t have any formal permits for large scale events.

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State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, on the House floor on May 1, 2019. (Juan Figueroa / The Texas Tribune)

Arrest Warrant Issued For State Rep. Poncho Nevárez After He Was Caught On Tape Dropping Envelope With Cocaine

By Cassandra Pollock and Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

Authorities issued a warrant Thursday for the arrest of state Rep. Poncho Nevárez, an Eagle Pass Democrat, on felony drug possession charges. A state special investigator claims in the warrant, which was obtained by The Texas Tribune, that Nevárez was caught on surveillance footage in September dropping an envelope with cocaine as he was leaving the Austin airport.

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Midland ISD’s $569M Bond Failed By 25 Votes. But Election Mistake First Showed It Passed

By Mitch Borden

After a week of uncertainty — which included a clerical mistake that failed to include over 500 mail-in ballots and a botched release of updated election results — Midland County election officials now say Midland Independent School District’s $569 million bond has failed. 

In the end, Midland ISD’s bond failed by 25 votes.

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The Presidio port of entry could soon become an official crossing point for transmigrantes, Central American drivers who haul junk cars to their home country to sell them.(GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT)

Presidio Officials Worry Transmigrante Traffic Could Soon Be Headed To The Region

By Sally Beauvais

Residents in the border town of Presidio could soon see a new kind of traffic crossing through the local port of entry: lines of Central American citizens known as transmigrantes, drivers who make a living towing junk cars from the U.S. to their home countries where they sell them for a profit.

Currently, the only approved route from the U.S. into Mexico for transmigrantes runs through Los Indios, a small town in South Texas. But Mexican officials are considering diverting a percentage—or all—of that traffic through Presidio, according to city administrator Jose Portillo. At a recent county meeting, Portillo said he’s still waiting on official word from the Mexican government. He cited criminal activity along the current route through Mexico as one of the motivating factors behind the possible change. 

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Meet West Texas Wonders 2.0

By Sally Beauvais In the first year of our public-powered journalism series, West Texas Wonders, our goal was to increase engagement from across our wide range and find out what our listeners are curious about. Some themes emerged. History. Environmental … Continue reading

Thu. Nov 7 Interview: Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend; Caitlin Murray on “Donald Judd Interviews”

Family Crisis Center of the Big Bend office in Alpine, Texas (Diana Nguyen / Marfa Public Radio)

Annette Minjarez

Diana Nguyen talks to Annette Minjarez, the Community Education Coordinator forFamily Crisis Center of the Big Bend.

The organization offers shelter space, legal help, and counseling to survivors of domestic and sexual violence in Brewster, Jeff Davis, Pecos, Presidio, and Terrell Counties. There are physical offices in Alpine, Terlingua, and Presidio.

Nguyen and Minjarez talk about domestic and sexual violence and the resources the organization offers.

If you’re in need of assistance, you can call the center’s 24-hour hotline at 1-800-834-0654.

Caitlin Murray, Director of Archives and Programs at Judd Foundation (Courtesy of)

Caitlin Murray, Co-editor of Donald Judd Interviews

Later in the show, Diana Nguyen talks to Caitlin Murray — the Director of Archives & Programs at Judd Foundation and co-editor of the new volumeDonald Judd Interviews.

Donald Judd Interviews includes conversations the artist had spanning thirty years on panel discussions, television, the radio, in films, for newspaper and magazine articles, and more. The book covers a diverse range of topics which include include art, politics, and philosophy.

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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After A Hard Fought Campaign, Patrick Payton Sweeps Midland’s Mayoral Race — But There Are Still Some Elections That Need To Be Resolved

By Mitch Borden

Former Stonegate Minister Patrick Payton beat Midland’s current and long-time mayor Jerry Morales, along with local businesswoman Jenny Cudd, in the election to be the city’s leader for the next three years. Preliminary results released after polls closed in Midland on Tuesday night show Payton edging out Morales by thousands of votes.

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Mexican Migrants Wait In The Streets Of Juárez For Their Chance To Claim Asylum

By Mallory Falk, KERA

A growing number of Mexicans are fleeing their homes and heading to the U.S. border to seek asylum, driven by a surge in violence. But once they get to a port of entry, many of them are blocked.

A policy called metering limits the number of asylum seekers allowed into the U.S. each day. That leaves some Mexicans stuck in their own country, terrified the violence they’re fleeing may catch up with them.

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Find Your November Election Results Here.

By Marfa Public Radio

Voters in Texas are deciding on 10 proposed amendments to the state constitution. Others in West Texas are also weighing in on a handful of elections, including a few bond elections in several districts.

From bond issues to city council seats and mayoral races, we’ll have all the results here as they become available. The results for the constitutional amendments are with 98% of Texas counties reporting.

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Earthquakes In West Texas Have Dramatically Increased, According To New University Of Texas Study

By Stacy Fernández, Texas Tribune

West Texas has seen a dramatic increase in earthquakes, jumping from 19 in 2009 to 1,600 in 2017 alone, according to a new study published Monday by the University of Texas at Austin.

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