Welcome, KOJP Presidio!

Marfa Public Radio is now broadcasting in the border town of Presidio. (Gabriel C. Perez / KUT)

Marfa Public Radio is now broadcasting in Presidio on KOJP-95.3 FM. The station’s 1,000-watt antenna is atop the Presidio water tower, known for its iconic abuela mural by artist El Mac.

Our new frequency will serve the border with news from National Public Radio, local reporting, vital emergency updates and DJs who play a wide variety of music — from classical to hip hop to oldies, and everything in between.

The addition of the Presidio was made possible through contributions from Big Bend Telephone, Grand Companions, First Presidio Bank and the City of Presidio.


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Untapped: Texas Standard Live in Midland September 17 and 18

Join Texas Standard and Marfa Public Radio at the Petroleum Museum in Midland.

Following a year-long look at energy and the environment in West Texas through its Untapped series, Texas Standard comes to Midland to meet those most affected by this evolving and ever-changing landscape.


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tate Sen. José Rodríguez's district covers El Paso, Culberson, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio counties. (Emree Weaver/The Texas Tribune)

Sen. José Rodríguez, An El Paso Democrat, Announces His Retirement

By Cassandra Pollock and Patrick Svitek, Texas Tribune

State Sen. José Rodríguez, an El Paso Democrat, announced Friday that he will not seek reelection to the upper chamber in 2020.

Rodriguez informed El Paso colleagues of his decision in a text late Thursday night that was obtained by The Texas Tribune. He made the announcement official at his district office.


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The Presidio Station is one of a handful of locations in the sprawling, 513-mile stretch of border covered by the Big Bend Sector, where Migrant Protection Protocols was rolled out in August. (GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT)

Migrant Protection Protocols Quietly Expands To Big Bend Sector

By Carlos Morales

A controversial Trump administration policy requiring some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their cases progress through U.S. immigration courts has now expanded to the Big Bend Sector — a remote but sprawling 500-mile stretch of the Texas-Mexico border.

Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — sometimes referred to as “Remain in Mexico” — was officially rolled out earlier this year in California and soon expanded to major border cities in Texas such as El Paso, Laredo, Brownsville, and — just this month — Eagle Pass

The move to expand the policy to the Big Bend Sector began in August, according to the sector’s chief, Matthew Hudak. In an interview with Marfa Public Radio, Hudak said migrants selected for MPP in the Big Bend Sector are sent to El Paso where they’re processed, and then are sent to Mexico to wait out their asylum claims.


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From left: Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen hosted the first meeting of the Texas Safety Commission at the state Capitol on Aug. 22. (Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune)

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott suggests improving voluntary background checks for person-to-person gun sales

By Cassandra Pollock, Texas Tribune

On the heels of two deadly mass shootings last month, Gov. Greg Abbott proposed a series of ideas to the Texas Legislature on Thursday aimed at keeping guns out of the hands of people who should not possess them — though he stopped short of joining another top Republican’s push for mandatory background checks for person-to-person firearm sales.


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U.S. citizens use ropes to cross the Rio Grande from San Antonio del Bravo, Mexico, back into Candelaria, Texas. U.S. citizens depend on the free health clinic in San Antonio del Bravo. (Lorne Matalon)

Why Crossing Into Mexico Is A Lifesaver For Some In A Small Texas Border Town

By Lorne Matalon

In a reversal of stereotypes along one rugged stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. citizens are the ones breaking border laws.

It is, of course, illegal to enter the U.S. without passing through an official border crossing. Along one stretch of the Rio Grande, the river that marks the southern U.S. border with Mexico, U.S. citizens are doing just that because of a shortage of basic services, including health care, in rural Texas.


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Odessa Representative Brooks Landgraf (Photo source: office of state representative Brooks Landgraf)

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf Will Run For Re-election For State House, Forgoing Congressional Bid

By Mitch Borden

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf will run for his fourth term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he says he “can serve most effectively and immediately as a strong, conservative voice for West Texas.”

Speculation surrounding Landgraf’s future has swirled since longtime Republican Congressman Mike Conaway announced his resignation in July. Some believed Rep. Landgraf would look to run for the Permian Basin seat Conaway has held since 2005, but the Republican representative said “there’s more work to be done” in District 81.


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Classical Guitarist Evan Taucher performing in Marfa Public Radio DJ Nick Hurt's living room. (Courtesy of Nick Hurt)

Texans In Tune: Evan Taucher

Nick Hurt, host of Marfa Public Radio’s Monday classical program, In Tune, is launching a new segment of his show dedicated to live recordings and interviews with fellow musicians at the University of Texas at Austin.

It’s called Texans In Tune.


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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has advocated for requiring background checks for stranger-to-stranger gun sales. (Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / The Texas Tribune)

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick And NRA Feud Over Gun Background Checks

By Alex Samuels, Texas Tribune

Two usual political allies — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and the National Rifle Association — traded rhetorical blows Friday after Patrick continued to advocate for requiring background checks for stranger-to-stranger gun sales.

Calling his support for the background checks a “political gambit,” the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action said in a statement that Patrick’s “‘proposals’ would resurrect the same broken, Bloomberg-funded failures that were attempted under the Obama administration.”


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At the entrance to Odessa High School, a memorial for 15-year-old Leilah Hernandez has been set up by her classmates. (Mitch Borden / Marfa Public Radio)

Family and Friends Remember Leilah Hernadez, The Youngest Victim In The Odessa Shooting

By Mitch Borden

Leilah Hernandez was 15 years old. She had just started her sophomore year at Odessa High School. And over the Labor Day weekend she was with her family at a car dealership when she was fatally shot.  

Her name is now written on a white cross, as part of a memorial honoring her and the six others killed in the mass shooting in Odessa.


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Residents gather outside the Presidio County Courthouse on a September night in Marfa. (Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio)

Presidio County To Hold Public Meeting Dedicated to “Mass Gathering” Permits

By Sally Beauvais

Presidio County officials have agreed to hold a public meeting in the near future to discuss local permitting procedures for large-scale events.

The decision comes after months of debate between the county and residents about a controversial festival that may be coming to West Texas.


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Untapped: Texas Standard Live in Midland September 17 and 18

Join Texas Standard and Marfa Public Radio at the Petroleum Museum in Midland.

Following a year-long look at energy and the environment in West Texas through its Untapped series, Texas Standard comes to Midland to meet those most affected by this evolving and ever-changing landscape.

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Death Toll In West Texas Shooting Rampage Now At 7

By Bobby Allyn, NPR

Updated at 3:22 p.m. ET

The death toll from a mass shooting carried out by a gunman in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa has risen from five to seven, and 22 others remain injured, officials said on Sunday.

Authorities said a man armed with an “AR-type weapon” was killed by police just moments before heading toward a crowded movie theater, preventing what investigators said could have been an even deadlier rampage.

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8 New Gun Laws Take Effect In Texas Sept. 1

By Lisa Dunn, Guns & America

At least seven people were killed and another 20 were injured in a mass shooting that stretched in and around Midland and Odessa, Texas, Saturday. The incident was the second mass shooting in that state in less than a month, following a shooting in El Paso, on Aug. 3. 

But less than 24 hours later, a series of new gun laws, passed in late May and early June by the Texas legislature, went into effect.

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At Least 5 Killed, 21 Injured In West Texas Shooting

By Andy Jechow, KUT, and Marfa Public Radio

At least five people were killed and 21 others injured in shootings reported near the West Texas cities of Odessa and Midland — about 20 miles apart. 

A Midland police officer, an Odessa police officer and a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper were also wounded. 

The incident started around 3:17 p.m. when a trooper pulled over a vehicle and was shot by the occupant of the car, Odessa Police Chief Michael Gerke said at a 6 p.m. press conference. 

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Midland ISD Sets Out To Win A Multi-Million Dollar Bond Election

By Mitch Borden

The Midland Independent School District is gearing up for a battle. It has about two months to convince voters to something they’ve never done before: approve a $569 million bond — that’s three times the size of the largest bond the school district’s ever passed.

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