Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke, left, and incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz participated in a debate Tuesday in San Antonio. MARJORIE KAMYS COTERA/BOB DAEMMRICH

WATCH: Cruz, O’Rourke Debate In San Antonio

Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who trails Sen. Ted Cruz in the polls of a senate race that has garnered national attention, turned markedly more aggressive, while the two clashed on topics ranging from the judicial confirmation of Bret Kavanaugh and the makeup of the U.S. Supreme Court to trade wars and border security Tuesday night in San Antonio.

WATCH | Rebroadcast of Cruz-O’Rourke debate in San Antonio


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A Health and Human Services-operated tent shelter housing migrant children in Tornillo, TX will remain open until at least the end of the year. (Courtesy HHS)

Tornillo’s “Tent City” Now Holds 1,500 Migrant Children

By Sally Beauvais

The children don’t go anywhere on the grounds unaccompanied. Boys sleep in groups of 20, in rows of insulated tents. In one, shelter Alpha 11, the tightly-made bunk beds are adorned with Halloween decorations. Nearby are shower trailers with hot running water, emergency medical services, and an on-site meteorologist.

Across the country, the government is running out of beds to shelter a record number of detained migrant children currently in its custody  over 13,000 as of October 2. That’s part of the reason kids are still living in tents in Tornillo, the small border town hosting what was supposed to be a temporary installation.


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Artist Boyd Elder, celebrating a pledge drive for Marfa Public Radio in April 2013 (Tom Michael / Marfa Public Radio).

Valentine’s Boyd Elder Has Died At Age 74

Legendary West Texas artist Boyd Elder has died.

His daughter, Shaula Elder, confirmed the 74-year-old’s death on Facebook Saturday night.

“The rumors are swirling about our father passing into the cosmos,” the post reads. “It breaks my heart to say it is true. He is stardust.”


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(Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

How Did West Texas Ranches Get SO BIG?

In Texas, 95 percent of the land is privately owned, much of it by ranchers. And if you drive out West, the swaths of private land holdings get even bigger. But how did these parcels of land get to be … Continue reading

Broadcast disruptions in the Basin

A note to our valued Midland and Odessa listeners.  Problems with regional Fiber Access Internet have momentarily disrupted our broadcast signal in the Basin.   We’re hoping to be back on the air shortly.  Thanks for your support and patience!

The Deadline To Register To Vote In Texas Is Oct. 9. Here’s Everything You Need To Know.

Oct. 9 is the last day to register to vote in the November elections in Texas. It’s also the last day to update your address if you’ve moved since the last time you voted.

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Discovering the Book on Texas By Writer Calvin Trillin

On this edition of the Rambling Boy, Lonn discusses the stories behind one of his favorite authors, Calvin Trillin.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Mondays after the 10 am newscast and again after the 7 pm newscast.
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What Midland’s Growing Pains Mean For Families Settling in the Permian Basin

By Diana Nguyen and Carlos Morales

In the early twentieth century, oil and gas companies began building housing for their workers and their families. The housing — often in remote stretches of Texas — had many of the amenities a family could want.

But for some moving to the country’s oil and gas hub today, things can be a little more complicated. A tight housing market and stretched resources are testing the likelihood of families settling in Midland.

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Thu. Oct 4 Interview: Personal Essays from UTPB’s Boom or Bust Project

Downtown Midland (Carlos Morales / Marfa Public Radio)

For this episode, we’re highlighting personal essays from UT PB’s Boom or Bust project, which aims “to help promote understanding Permian Basin’s energy and economic resources from a humanistic perspective.”

The essays from Andrea Harbin, Beckwith Thompson, Brittany Thomas, and H.D. Whatley reveal a glimpse into how economic growth and downturns affect residents in the Permian Basin. 

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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From Family Camps to Man Camps: A Brief History Of Housing Workers In The Oil And Gas Industry

By Diana Nguyen and Carlos Morales

For people working in the oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin, finding housing can be a challenge. The blue-collar workforce often ends up in hotels, motels, and so-called man camps. Sometimes, companies even rent blocks of rooms to put their employees up.

But in the past, companies built their own housing, and it wasn’t just for employees — it was for their families, too. Since then, much has changed for workers heading to the Permian Basin to work in the oil and gas industry. 

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