West Texas | KERA News

West Texas

Courtesy Héctor Galán

From Texas Standard:

There’s a historical marker in Presidio County that tells the story of a massacre that took place a century ago in the small town of Porvenir. The Spanish word, porvenir, means “future” in English. But when Texas Rangers and others rounded up more than a dozen townspeople and shot them dead in 1918, Porvenir didn’t seem like it had much of a future at all.

Emree Weaver / The 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.

Associated Press

After seven states passed sweeping abortion bans this year, speculation soon arose about the potentially onerous travel burdens the laws could someday impose on women seeking to end unwanted pregnancies.

Across a huge swath of West Texas and the Panhandle, there's no need for speculation. 

Police say a man hijacked a postal truck and began shooting people at random in the Midland and Odessa areas of Texas on Saturday, leaving at least five people dead and 21 others injured.

The chaotic afternoon began with a traffic stop and ended with police shooting the gunman dead. Odessa Police Department officials say three law enforcement officers were shot: an Odessa police officer, a Midland police officer and a state police officer.

How Do Clouds Form, And What Are Some Identification Tips?

Aug 23, 2019
Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio

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 rainfall, from May through September.

But no matter the time of year, the cloud show is always pretty spectacular out here in Big Bend country.

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

Aug 14, 2019
Callie Richmond / The 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.

From Texas Standard:

The Ogallala Aquifer is a massive store of groundwater that quenches the thirst of people, crops and livestock throughout the Great Plains. The aquifer extends, roughly, from Midland, Texas, through the Texas Panhandle and all the way to South Dakota. In fact, it's the aquifer that makes the current way of life on the Plains possible. So what happens if it becomes depleted? 

Don't see the graphic above? Click here.

On Friday, President Trump confirmed reports that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement plans to conduct nationwide sweeps to arrest thousands of undocumented immigrant families that the government says have missed a court appearance or have been issued court-ordered removals from the country.

Shutterstock

Authorities say all five people killed in a fiery crash in southeastern New Mexico's oil country were from Texas, including one person from Arlington.

Associated Press

A former oilfield worker camp off a dirt road in rural Texas has become the U.S. government's newest holding center for detaining migrant children after they leave Border Patrol stations, where complaints of overcrowding and filthy conditions have sparked a worldwide outcry.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET Friday

Bleak scenes of tearful, malnourished children reeking of filth and jammed into frigid, overcrowded quarters have emerged in new accounts from immigrant rights lawyers, who conducted dozens of interviews with children inside Border Patrol stations across Texas.

The descriptions contained in sworn declarations as part of a legal case stand in stark contrast to what was seen when federal officials opened the doors of a Border Patrol facility outside El Paso on Wednesday.

From Texas Standard:

As the gap between the wealthy and poor has grown in places where the cost of living is high, cities across the country have been struggling with growing populations of people experiencing homelessness – people soliciting passersby, sleeping and living on public streets and in parks. In Austin, where the wealth gap has been skyrocketing, so have the numbers of people living on the streets.

Ivan Pierre Aguirre / The Texas Tribune

 

Updated at 5:07 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

The head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Tuesday he is stepping down as his agency is under siege over the discovery of dozens of children in filthy conditions at one of its stations in Texas.

Associated Press

The U.S. government has removed most of the children from a remote Border Patrol station in Texas following reports that more than 300 children were detained there, caring for each other with inadequate food, water and sanitation.

Today, we’re going to eavesdrop on a conversation between two people in Marfa, TX. It’s part of a new StoryCorps initiative called One Small Step (OSS) that brings together people on opposite sides of the political divide. Through StoryCorps conversations, the OSS Initiative seeks to remind people across the political and cultural divide of our shared humanity.

Associated Press

A legal team that recently interviewed over 60 children at a Border Patrol station in Texas says a traumatic and dangerous situation is unfolding for some 250 infants, children and teens locked up for up to 27 days without adequate food, water and sanitation.

Solar power continues to grow in Texas, new research finds, and that growth is due in part to another renewable energy the state has in abundance: wind.

Texas is hot. That is not news. It has, seemingly, always been hot. Again, not news. Here is some news: A climate scientist visualized the Lone Star State's average annual temperatures. It shows that Texas (which, again – we've covered – is hot) is getting hotter.

It’s time to blow out the candles. Big Bend National Park — home to 800,000 acres of sweeping Chihuahuan desert landscapes, imposing mountains, wiry cacti and an international boundary in the Rio Grande — is turning 75.

Associated Press

Facebook is building a massive solar farm in West Texas that's believed to be one of the largest solar projects in the nation and the social media giant's first direct investment in renewable energy.

From Texas Standard:

Many Millennials, who are often saddled with student debt and face a sometimes shaky job market, have put off large purchases like homes. But that’s not the case in Midland.

In this Friday, March 22, 2019 photo, Allan Votaw, 66, pauses as he recalls and describes the years of abuse he suffered at the Cal Farley's Boys Ranch during an interview at this home in Kingston, Okla.
Associated Press

When Allan Votaw stepped onto Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Texas in 1957, the 5-year-old hoped he and his two brothers — ages 3½ and 6 — had found a home. Instead, the now-66-year-old says, they found a "horror house" where sadistic staff members whipped children until they were bruised and bloody and children were molested by older kids.

Since then more men have come forward, but the reckoning some had hoped for hasn't happened. 

The space travel company Blue Origin – owned by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos – launched its New Shepard rocket for the second time this year at its West Texas facility Thursday morning.

Multinational oil giant Chevron will buy the American oil and gas production and exploration company Anadarko Petroleum in a $33 billion cash-and-stock deal that strengthens Chevron's position in the booming Permian Basin.

Despite objections from students and faculty, the University of Texas System Board of Regents on Tuesday unanimously approved Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson as the University of Texas El Paso's new president.

Before the vote, Board Chairman Kevin Eltife said he was confident Wilson would "do an outstanding job." 

An iconic spring-fed swimming pool in West Texas that closed last year for repairs has reopened following $2 million in upgrades.

The congregation of about 1,700 Central American migrants in Piedras Negras, Mexico, this week sparked a swift response from the U.S. Hundreds of Army soldiers and law enforcement personnel tightened security measures in Eagle Pass. Residents accustomed to easy passage between two nations experienced long waits on the bridges, body searches, diminished commerce and unease over the sudden show of armed force in their small town.

The Davis Mountains of West Texas
Sally Beauvais / Marfa Public Radio

Next year, West Texas may become home to a new festival.

Marfa Mayor Ann Marie Nafziger announced at Thursday’s City Council meeting that the organizers hope 5,000 people will attend. That’s more than double the size of Marfa’s population, as well as its largest annual festival, the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music and Love at El Cosmico.

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