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West Texas

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.

How One Tiny School District In Rural West Texas Is Making It Work

Feb 1, 2019
Rebekah Oñate is the youngest teacher at Valentine Independent School District. Eighty percent of her colleagues are old enough to retire.
Sally Beauvais, Marfa Public Radio

From Marfa Public Radio:

In the tiny West Texas town of Valentine, population 130, there’s no gas station, and it’s a 30-mile drive to the nearest grocery store. But there is a school, and somehow, year after year, it outperforms the state average in academics.

The spring-fed pool, photographed in 2006, at Balmorhea State Park has been closed since last May.
Associated Press

An oil and gas company operating in West Texas has donated $1 million to reach the fundraising goal for repairs to what's touted as the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool.

Jessica Quintanilla, a hydrologist for the Edwards Aquifer Authority, sloshes back onto shore in her black waterproof boots from the middle of this creek just off Scenic Loop Road, south of Grey Forest.

“Next, we have to set up the peristaltic pump,” she said, as she inserts the white, quarter-inch tube she dragged 15 feet back to shore from her water sensor, before flipping on a generator and starting the pump.


On the High Plains in West Texas, hot winds blast through cotton fields as far as the eye can see.

In the middle of it all is a tiny vineyard.

Andis Applewhite is the owner. She's an artist whose family has worked this land for a century. They once planted crops more typical of the neighborhood, like cotton and wheat. Applewhite decided to try something different: She put in a couple of acres of cabernet franc grapes.

From Texas Standard.

Out in the sand dunes of west Texas, a tiny lizard has been wrapped up in a big controversy for years. The four-inch long dunes sagebrush lizard calls the middle of the Permian Basin home, but conservationists have long feared the oil boom there would be detrimental to the lizard’s rare habitat. But in the past year, a new threat has emerged.

From Texas Standard.

Does the Wink Sink ring any bells for you? It is, as the name implies, a pair of giant sinkholes near the town of Wink, located about 60 miles west of Odessa. One of the reasons why they’re remarkable is that they’re unique, though that may not always be the case.

Large Portions Of West Texas Sinking At Alarming Rate, New Report Finds

Mar 23, 2018
Rafael Aguilera

Nearly two years after a pair of giant West Texas sinkholes gained national attention, new research in the area shows they likely won't be the last in the region.

Untapped: The New West Texas

Nov 16, 2017

This piece is Part 1 of our Untapped series about the new West Texas.

The Permian Basin in West Texas leads the nation in oil and gas production. Midland and Odessa have long been the heart of this industrialized desert. But oil and gas development is expanding outward. In the past year, drilling operations have moved south and west into a region long written off as undevelopable.

Blue Origin / YouTube

The commercial space company Blue Origin carried out another successful test flight from West Texas on Wednesday. The firm owned by billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos expected its reusable rocket to be destroyed during the test, but instead, it landed safely back on Earth for the fifth time.

West Texas Site Wants Nation's Spent Nuclear Fuel

Feb 11, 2015
David Bowser / The Texas Tribune

Texas’ only radioactive waste dump wants to open its gates to tens of thousands of metric tons of spent nuclear reactor fuel now scattered across the country.

Sarah Fields Photography / Shutterstock

The largest federally-owned wind farm is about to be built at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced today. The five-turbine project will power more than 60 percent of the plant once it is complete.

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