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Some 2,000 protestors marched in the small, desert town of Tornillo Texas to rally against the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy. (Carlos Morales / KRTS)

More than 2,000 March In Tornillo to Protest Family Separation at the Border

A crowd of more than 2,000 gathered at a border crossing in Tornillo, Texas early Father’s Day to protest the separation of children and parents who enter into the U.S. illegally.

The rural town of 1,500 has become well-known over the last several days as home to the first temporary shelter or “tent city” along the southwest border that will house a surging number of unaccompanied migrant children in the wake of the Trump Administration’s “zero tolerance” policy.


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Seen from the Mexican side of the border, the temporary shelter in Tornillo is currently holding migrant boys. (Carlos Morales/KRTS

State Representative Expects Nearly 300 Migrant Children at Tornillo Shelter by End of Friday

On June 14, the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed that Tornillo – a town 20 miles southeast of El Paso – would become a shelter for migrant children. We spoke with State representative Mary González about the temporary shelter in her district.


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New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn walks along Ranch Rd 652 at the Texas-New Mexico border on May 23, 2018, next to a water line that runs from Loving County, Texas to Lea County, New Mexico. (Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera for The Texas Tribune)

New Mexico official says Texas landowners are “stealing” millions of gallons of water and selling it back for fracking

Water restrictions in New Mexico have created a supply crunch for the fracking industry, so more free-flowing Texas water is helping to fill the void. But not without controversy: A top New Mexico politician says Texans are pumping his state’s water and piping it across the state line for oil drillers.


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The U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2017. (Photo by Shelby Knowles for The Texas Tribune)

U.S. Supreme Court calls legal challenge in undocumented teenager’s abortion case “moot”

Justices made the decision months after the teenager, who was in federal custody in Brownsville, terminated her pregnancy. Federal officials argued they didn’t have time to appeal a lower court’s ruling that cleared the way for the procedure.


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Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at a campaign rally in Mexico City. Lopez says that if he wins the Mexican presidency on July 1, he will review contracts awarded to foreign energy companies. That statement is triggering uncertainty about the future of foreign participation in Mexico's oil, gas & electricity markets. (photo: Lorne Matalon)

Mexico’s Presidential Election: The Implications For Texas’ Energy Industry

Mexico’s presidential election is coming up in July and the outcome could have serious implications for Texas energy companies.


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Dr. Shailesh Bobby Jain Hopes to Increase the Number of West Texas Child Psychiatrists Through a New Fellowship Program

Dr. Shailesh Bobby Jain is head of a new fellowship program that intends to increase mental health resources for children and families in West Texas.

The program is an expansion of Texas Tech University Health Services Center’s existing child psychiatry  program in the Permian Basin, made possible due to partnership with Midland Development Corporation.

The funding from Midland Development Corporation allows the program to see patients from all walks of life, including those who rely on Medicaid and Medicare. The program also offers a sliding scale fee.

Dr. Jain explains that as more young families move into the Permian Basin, it’s important to increase available psychiatry resources, especially for children. Currently, many end up traveling to other cities like El Paso or Dallas to receive psychiatric care.

“At present, there is a very acute shortage of competent child psychiatrists in the West Texas area right now. We may have three or four, including myself, board-certified psychiatrists in West Texas,” he says.

The program requires an additional two years of specialized training to become a child psychiatrist.

Dr. Jain hopes the fellowship program will begin in July or August, once another psychiatrist is recruited. “This is a very timely investment, I would say, in the future of the West Texas area in terms of psychiatric care and psychiatric well-being of the community,” he says.

Although the fellowship program has not yet begun, adults and children can seek psychiatric care through the existing program at Texas Tech Physicians of the Permian Basin. 

 

GABRIEL C. PÉREZ / KUT

Why Don’t We Regulate Semiautomatic Guns The Same Way We Regulate Automatic Ones?

As Texas debates what, if any, steps should be taken to prevent mass shootings in the state, we asked our audience what questions they had about guns in schools.

A common question was whether why regulations on automatic weapons differ from those regulating semiautomatic ones:

Why don’t we treat all semi-automatic weapons the same as we treat automatic weaponry?– R. Anthony Steele

 


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Marfa Public Radio Hiring Corporate Support Account Manager

Marfa Public Radio (Photo by Sara Childress)

Position Overview
The Corporate Support Account Manager is ready to take their media sales career to a meaningful place. This team member is a determined, persuasive, skillful media sales professional. And, s/he loves public radio.


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The pool's closure could mean big losses for the state. In 2017 the pool brought in nearly $1 million and saw nearly 153,000 visitors. (Carlos Morales / KRTS)

Closure at Balmorhea State Park Leaves Visitors, Businesses Adrift

Last month, Balmorhea State Park announced it would be closing its pool for an undetermined amount of time.  The reason: park officials say they found a crack in the pool wall and it could be unsafe for swimmers.

For many, the pool’s closure means a West Texas summer tradition has been put on hold.  But in late May, a team of engineers began assessing the damage and are now working on a repair plan.


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The Catholic Charities shelter at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen has provided assistance to hundreds of displaced immigrants who have crossed the Texas-Mexico border. (Photo by Marjorie Kamys Cotera)

Texas immigration case could play large role in family separations

In El Paso, attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union and representatives from the Border Network for Human Rights said a lawsuit that seeks to end family separations at the border could hinge, in part, on the case of a woman detained in 2017.


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Public Domain Photos.net

As Drought Spreads Across Texas, Ranchers Are Forced to Liquidate Their Stock

One Panhandle ranch manager is liquidating 90 percent of his cattle, because there’s not enough grass to support them.


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Author Melissa del Bosque will speak Saturday May 26 at 6:00 PM at the Crowley Theater. (Photo Courtesy of del Bosque)

Melissa del Bosque Discusses her Book “Bloodlines” in Marfa on Saturday

This weekend, award winning investigative journalist Melissa del Bosque will read from her book Bloodlines at the Crowley Theater in Marfa at 6 PM. 

She has written about the U.S.-Mexico border since 1998 for various media outlets, including The Texas Observer, the Guardian, and Time.


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The US 67 Corridor Master Plan public meeting in Marfa. (Carlos Morales for Marfa Public Radio)

Concern and Optimism Surrounds the US 67 Corridor Master Plan

Last week, the Texas Department of Transportation hosted a series of meetings to gather public input about a major West Texas roadway — US 67. To some, it’s a welcome conversation about making this traveled path safer. But for others, the renewed talks are reminiscent of a contentious study years ago.


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On a map of Highway 67 drivers write out potential changes, like rest areas and passing lanes. (Carlos Morales / KRTS)

TxDOT Hosts Public Meetings for US 67 Corridor Study

The Texas Department of Transportation is currently in the middle of conducting a two-year study on the Highway 67 Corridor. As tourism and travel along the highway increases, the study aims to identify short, medium, and long term projects for the corridor. 


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In May, Balmorhea State Park began limiting visitors to 1,300 people a day. (Diana Nguyen)

Balmorhea State Park Pool Closes After Structural Damage Found

If you’re in West Texas and planning on making a trip to the largest spring-fed swimming pool in the world, you’ll have to wait.

That’s because Balmorhea State Park pool has been closed  due to “structural failure.”


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Photo by Steve Jurvetson

Environmental groups ask feds to protect threatened West Texas lizard

Two environmental groups asked the federal government on Tuesday to list the dunes sagebrush lizard as threatened or endangered.


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May 25 West Texas News Round Up

Like the region itself, the news of West Texas is sweeping in its scope. So to help us break it all down, we have news editors from across the region joining us. In this roundtable, we hear from Laura Dennis with the Odessa American and Robert Halpern at the Big Bend Sentinel-Marfa.

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Yturria and The Last Big Wild West Show in America

Several months ago, Lonn wrote a column about Tejano cowboys who had become vaqueros in the Wild West shows that toured America and Europe in the early-twentieth century, but it looks like he forgot to mention one well-known South Texas performer.

On this edition of the Rambling Boy, Lonn explores the life and times of Frank Yturria.

The Rambling Boy is broadcast Monday evenings after the 7 pm newscast.
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Here Are 22 Ideas Gov. Abbott Shared For Stopping School Shootings

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is hosting three roundtable discussions this week in response to the school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas. The first roundtable, held Tuesday, focused on “school and community safety.”

The meeting was private, but afterward Abbott read reporters “a list of suggestions and ideas that came out of” the discussions.

He said these ideas will help Texas lawmakers come up with new policy to stop gun violence.

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Tequila Interchange Project Says Future of Agave Spirits Must Be “Bat-Friendly”

It’s been a staple for as long as people have lived within its range. From Texas to the Mexican interior, agave has been food, fiber and drink, and its distilled spirits – tequila, mezcal – have been called “the spirit … Continue reading

Nature Notes is broadcast Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:35 am and 4:45 pm
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Thu. May 24 Interview: Lannan Resident Elmaz Abinader on Writing the Personal into the Political, and Growing Up Arab American

On this episode, Sally Beauvais speaks with writer Elmaz Abinader about her family’s dislocation from Lebanon to the United States, and how that has informed her work.

Abinader is an award-winning author of two volumes of poetry, This House, My Bones and In the Country of My Dreams, and a memoir, The Children of the Roojme: A Family’s Journey from Lebanon. She’s also written plays that uncover personal narratives of Arabs living through political trauma.

She teaches at Mills College in Oakland, CA and is co-founder of the Voices of Our Nation Arts Foundation, which holds annual workshops for writers of color.

Abinader will read at the Crowley Theater on Sunday, May 27 at 6 pm.

 

West Texas Talk is broadcast each Thursday at 6:00 PM and each Friday at 9:00 PM.
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