WE’RE HIRING: Programming & Operations Manager

Marfa Public Radio believes in the capacity of public media to shape and animate who we are, where we live, and how we relate. Public media serves a critical role in our region.

The Operations Manager oversees, coordinates, and administers a range of operational and administrative activities in direct support of the delivery of 24-hour radio programming by the station. They apply their know-how, commitment to community, and attention to detail to the implementation of operations and programming needs of our station.

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Volunteers count up 837 votes that were left out of a previous hand recount in the Midland ISD $569 million bond initiative. ( Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

After Election Roller Coaster, Midland ISD’s $569M Bond Fails

By Mitch Borden

Inside the Midland County Annex, volunteers huddled around two small tables to count hundreds of votes found in a missing ballot box with from the Nov. 5 Midland Independent School District election.

By the end of Friday’s two-hour count, it was finally clear: the district’s $569 million bond initiative failed by 26 votes — 11,826 against and 11,800 in favor. 

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Under new city of Odessa rules, traveling dancers who want to work at Jaguars, a local strip club, will have to wait until their license is approved to start working. That can take up to 15 days. (Courtesy of Susan Elizabeth Shepard)

What’s It Like Selling Sex Appeal In The Permian Basin? Listen To Episodes 5 and 6 of Boomtown To Find Out

By Marfa Public Radio Staff

For the last several months, Marfa Public Radio has been working behind the scenes on a project that many West Texans have caught wind of by now: Texas Monthly‘s Boomtown.

The podcast, produced in partnership with Imperative Entertainment, brings listeners into the heart of America’s most productive oilfield — the Permian Basin. It explores the lives of people directly affected by the boom and bust cycles that have defined the the region for nearly a century, from roughnecks and executives, to barbers, waitresses, and sex workers.

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Pumpjacks at sunrise in the Permian Basin in West Texas. (Jerod Foster for The Texas Tribune)

Texas Oil And Gas Industry Could See A Major Slowdown In 2020

By Kiah Collier, Texas Tribune

The oil and natural gas industry paid a record-setting $16.3 billion in taxes and royalties to local governments and the state in 2019, the Texas Oil and Gas Association announced Tuesday.

It is the highest sum since the 100-year-old association began tracking payments in 2007 — an indicator of the historic nature of the oil and gas boom that’s gripped the state in recent years. The frenzy has driven U.S. fossil fuel production — and exports — to record levels.

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Staff escort immigrants to class at the U.S. government’s holding center for children in Carrizo Springs, Texas, on July 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

After Deaths of Immigrant Children, Border Officials Defend Detention System

By Travis Bubenik, Courthouse News

Facing criticism over multiple cases of immigrant children dying while in government custody, U.S. border officials on Tuesday defended their agencies’ approach to caring for families and children who arrive at the southern border.

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The president of the Texas Oil and Gas Association acknowledged Tuesday that fossil fuels contribute to global warming. (Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT)

Texas’ Biggest Oil And Gas Industry Group Accepts Role In Climate Change

By Mose Buchele, KUT

The head of the Texas Oil and Gas Association said Tuesday his group agrees fossil fuels contribute to global warming and that the industry will find ways to reduce emissions.

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Yetzabeth Vega López is one of some 200 residents who live in one of the harder hit areas in Puerto Rico. (Rachel Templeton)

In Puerto Rico, A Tight-Knit Community Damaged By Recent Earthquakes Wonders What’s Next

By Rachel Templeton

Villas del Caribe is a low-income housing project in Ponce, one of the harder hit areas in Puerto Rico following a week of powerful earthquakes. Some 200 families live in the development and before this week, the courtyards between the four-story buildings were a natural meeting point for children to play and parents to be together. 

But now, this tight-knit community is coming to an end.   

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Patrick Payton, former pastor at stonegate church in Midland, pulled in almost $200,000 in campaign contributions in less than three months. (Photo courtesy of the Payton Campaign)

Midland’s New Mayor And City Councilmembers Officially Are Sworn Into Their New Positions

By Mitch Borden

In Midland, a changing of the guard: Three new city leaders assumed their new roles Monday during a swearing-in ceremony.

Marfa Public Radio  Mitch Borden reports, Midland now has a new Mayor and two new city councilmembers. 

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Midland County officials discovered a ballot box last week that wasn't accounted for during a recount of the bond election. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Judge Orders All Outstanding Votes In Midland ISD’s Bond Election To Be Counted

By Mitch Borden

The outcome of Midland Independent School District’s $569 million bond is still up in the air after bungled election results and a box of missing ballots threw the fate of the initiative to build more schools into chaos.

But, now there may finally be a light at the end of the tunnel.

After multiple election contests were filed, a judge has ordered that the 800+ missing ballots, which were found in a stray box in December, be tallied. This could finally reveal whether the multi-million dollar bond passed or failed.

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Owner Brad Kelley has slowly pieced together nearly two dozen properties over several decades to create Brewster Ranches. (Courtesy of King Land and Water)

Brad Kelley’s 420,000 Acre Ranch Is For Sale In Brewster County

By Sally Beauvais

What may be the largest contiguous ranch currently for sale in the U.S. is on the market in Far West Texas.

The property, a topographically diverse expanse of land located south of the town of Marathon, clocks in at more than 420,000 acres. That’s half the size of the state of Rhode Island.

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A helicopter maneuvers sheep, blindfolded and dangling from a tether, to the field study site where veterinarians and researchers will collect data about the species. This relocation effort is done in hopes of reviving the Desert Big Horn Sheep population in West Texas. (Julia Reihs/Texas Standard)

Protecting Texas’ Bighorn Sheep Requires A Hands-On Approach

By Michael Marks, Texas Standard

It’s a clear, cool morning in West Texas, and about 50 people are watching a helicopter wind its way around the south side of Elephant Mountain – a brown, flat-topped summit about 30 miles south of Alpine. The sun isn’t all the way up yet, but you can tell that the helicopter is hauling some unusual cargo.

“Look like we got some sheep coming in,” says Bob Dittmar, the state wildlife veterinarian for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Looks like we’ve got some slung in there.”

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Looking at How Climate Change Will Transform the West Texas Landscape

In broad strokes, the impacts of climate change on West Texas are known. Average temperatures will rise at least 4 degrees by 2050 – and, if global emissions continue apace, 8 degrees by the end of the century. Annual rainfall … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 am and 4:45 pm.
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Thu. Jan 9 Interview: REBROADCAST: What’s It Like To Date in West Texas?; Border Journalists Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga

Image Courtesy: Denis Bocquet (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Gabriela Carballo & Rachel Monroe

Elise Pepple talks to Rachel Monroe and Gabriela Carballo about a topic on a lot of residents’ minds… the difficulty of dating in rural America. They go over the complications, the highs, and the lows of finding love in West Texas.

Gabriela Carballo hosts the Marfa Public Radio show “Borders, Beats, and Babes” and is the founder of the Instagram account fishermen.o.tinder (a curated collection of Tinder profile photos of men posing with dead fish). Carballo says she cries a lot, is a hopeless romantic with a skepticism problem, and is so lonely she’s developing relationships with her plants.

Rachel Monroe is a Marfa Public Radio contributor and writer who has written about tindering in rural America. Monroe’s work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Texas Monthly, among others.

Alfredo Corchado (David Spuro), Angela Kocherga (Patty Aleman)

Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga

Later on the show, Carlos Morales talks to journalists Alfredo Corchado and Angela Kocherga. They’ve both spent their life’s work covering the U.S.-Mexico border.

Alfredo Corchado is the border correspondent for the Dallas Morning News and is the author of Midnight in Mexico and Homelands.

Angela Kocherga is a journalist who’s worked in radio, tv, and print. She’s currently covering the border for the Albuquerque Journal.

They discuss their work as journalists, immigration policy, and the roots of the mass migration from Central America.

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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What We Know: Iran’s Missile Strike Against The U.S. In Iraq

By Bill Chappell, NPR

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

Details are still emerging about Iran’s ballistic missile attack on Iraqi bases housing American military forces, which set off rampant speculation about a potential U.S. response. But President Trump suggested Wednesday that any U.S. action would be economic, not military.

“Iran appears to be standing down, which is a good thing for all parties concerned — and a very good thing for the world,” Trump said.

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Julián Castro Ends 2020 Campaign For White House

By Texas Public Radio Staff

The last Democratic presidential candidate from Texas — and the only Latino — has stepped off the political field, nearly one year since the former secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development and San Antonio mayor first entered the race.

Julián Castro said he was dropping out with a heavy heart.

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In Rural Texas, People Experiencing Homelessness Lead ‘Masked’ Lives Outside Of Public View

By Juan Pablo Garnham, Texas Tribune

STEPHENVILLE — No one knew Billy Ray “Shaggy” Hagen was homeless until the janitor arrived early one morning and saw him sleeping on the floor of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

The 27-year-old had lost his job at a pizzeria and, after having problems with his roommates, left the house where he was living with nowhere to go.

“I’ve heard that some churches leave their door unlocked at night,” Hagen said.

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