Inclement weather in Midland county has led to dangerous road conditions since Friday morning. Zane Brzezinski and Lorne Matalon spoke with Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter about how those conditions are being improved, and how drivers can stay safe.
LISTEN NOW: Winter Road Conditions in Midland County
The temperature has dropped several degrees in a matter of hours in the Basin, with average temperature at 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Interstate 20 has had several incidents reported in Martin County this morning around 8AM. The freezing rain and temperatures were impeding driver visibility because the sleet was freezing to their windshields. The ground is white with sleet here in the Basin, Tom.
Officials caution motorists about icy conditions on all roads county-wide in Ward, Ector, Martin, Mitchell, Howard, Andrews, Scurry, Dawson, and Pecos Counties. TXDOT is encouraging drivers to drive slow because of freezing rain and black ice. They discouraging travel in Mitchell county due to the poor conditions.
In Midland County
- Midland Classical Academy has released their students for the remainder of the day. Classes have been canceled for Thursday only. According to their website, MCAG only classes for Friday, December 6 have been canceled.
- Richard Milburn Academy has canceled all afternoon sessions.
- Midland Public Libraries will closing at 5pm today but also said if weather gets worse they may close sooner. Also, depending on the weather they will reopen tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m.
- EnviroKids Preschool in Midland will close at 1 p.m. today
- Greenwood ISD will be releasing school at 12:30 p.m., buses will run at that time.
- Greenwood Baptist Children’s Learning Center will dismiss at 12:30 p.m. today
- Lifehouse Kids will close at 1 p.m. due to the weather.
- Kelview Preschool and Daycare will close at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday.
- Holiday Evening at Midland College cancelled due to inclement weather.
- Midland College (all locations in Midland County) will close at 5 p.m. Thursday. There will be no evening classes.
- The Midland Early Learning Academy will be closing at 2:30 p.m. today.
- All Midland Peppermint Plantation Daycare locations will be closing at 1:30 p.m. today.
- Midland Texas Leadership Charter Academy (TLCA) will release students at 1:00 p.m. The program and spaghetti dinner that was scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled for Monday, Dec. 9th at 6:00 p.m.
- Millers gymnastics academy in both Midland and Odessa will NOT be running their after school care pick up for today.
- Noah’s Ark Preschool in Andrews will release at 2:15pm today.
- Paragon Learning Center in Midland will be closing at 3:00 p.m. today.
- TOE Driving Academy- all scheduled teenage-adult classes and in-car driving instructions closed for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
- The H-E-B Feast of Sharing dinner in Odessa has been cancelled. The dinner will be rescheduled for January or February next year.
In Martin County
- Grady ISD closing at Noon
- Stanton ISD closing at 12:30 – buses will run at that time
- Hoop Town tournament cancelled
- Stanton Christmas Parade cancelled
In Gaines County
- Seminole ISD will be releasing school at 1 p.m. They have 10 a.m. start scheduled for tomorrow.
In Howard County
- Due to the inclement weather, all of the City of Big Spring will close all offices, including the landfill and sanitation at Noon Today, December 5, 2013. Operating hours for Friday, December 6, 2013 will be determined at a later time. If you are Scheduled for a Pretrial with the City Attorney, you will be notified by mail of a new date.
- Emergency services (Police, Fire, and EMS) will continue normal operations. Emergency Utilities Department will also continue and can be contacted at 264-2392.
- Big Spring ISD will be releasing school at 12:30 p.m., buses will be running.
- Coahoma ISD will be releasing school at 12 p.m. However, parents can pick up their children at any time. Buses will take kids home at noon but if they can’t make it to their stops safely, parents can pick up their kids at the elementary campus where all bus riders will then be monitored.
- Forsan ISD will be releasing school at 12 p.m., buses will be running.
- Howard College will be releasing their Big Spring Campus and SWCID Campus will both be closing at 12:15 p.m. today. That includes their Howard Cottage and the Fitness Center on the Big Spring Campus.
- Weatherford A&M Composite in Big Spring will be closing at noon today.
TXDOT Officials caution motorists about icy conditions on all roads county-wide in Ward, Ector, Martin, Mitchell, Howard, Andrews, Scurry, Dawson, and Pecos Counties. TXDOT is encouraging drivers to drive slow because of freezing rain and black ice. They discouraging travel in Mitchell county due to the poor conditions. The National Weather Service is citing the “potential” for sleet accumulations across the warned area of 1-2 inches as well as ice accumulations around one quarter inch possible. National Weather Service is forecasting that the icy conditions could continue through Friday and Saturday.
- KXWT’s Lana Straub Reporting
While the Permian Basin and the rest of West Texas celebrated Thanksgiving, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spent the day in Ojinaga, Chihuahua, Mex., one of our nearest border towns. It’s a town so small that no Mexican president had ever visited there.
During his visit, Peña Nieto unveiled an economic and infrastructure stimulus for the border region. For West Texas Public Radio, Lorne Matalon reports.
Tom Michael interviewed Erin Morgenstern, author of One Book Odessa selection The Night Circus.
Reporter Lana Straub will be covering all of the proposed amendments to the Texas State Constitution for our sister station in the Permian Basin KXWT. This post will be updated as the series airs.
LISTEN NOW: Texas State Constitution Propositions: Prop 1
Here’s the first part of reporter Lana Straub’s series on the proposed Amendments to the Texas State Constitution. This part covers Proposition 1, which deals with tax exemptions for spouses of members of the US Armed Services killed in action.
To see the rest of the series, click here
Reporter Lana Straub will be covering all of the proposed amendments to the Texas State Constitution to be voted on November 5. Here’s an introduction to the Texas Constitution and how the government follows it.
To see the rest of the series, click here
KRTS/KXWT reporter Lorne Matalon has a report on the potential economic loss faced by American companies looking to grow genetically-modified crops in large plots hugging our southern border. The plots have been bought by U.S.companies with Mexican partners as required by Mexican law. But those companies have just received a setback from the courts.
Read the full article here.
KXWT’s Lana Straub Reports:
On Saturday, October 12th, I walked around Trade Days talking to vendors and shoppers about the government shutdown and how it might be affecting their lives. I met Sharon Rasco of Burleson, Texas. Sharon is the wife of a disabled Vietnam Veteran and their family depends on his benefit check to make ends meet. Listen to Sharon’s story.
KXWT’s Lana Straub Reports:
Old Sorehead Trade Days saw a sold out show the weekend of October 12-13, 2013. Saturday saw record numbers of visitors and the entertainment area overflowed with onlookers stopping to listen and rest before continuing their October Christmas shopping in the cool Autumn breeze. Sunday, however, was not so nice. Unfortunately the trading was cut short by a thunderstorm as burst of rain at 2:15pm continued to shower the town for most of the evening resulting in 3 inches of rain being reported by residents. The area’s playa lake, Stanton Catch Basin, commonly referred to by residents as “Pauline’s Hole” was filled to such capacity on Monday that local residents observed passerby ducks enjoying the accumulated playa lake water in the evening sunset.
LISTEN NOW: Midland Native Abi Ann to perform at CAF Airsho
When Abi Ann plays at the Commemorative Air Force Airsho tomorrow, it will be a homecoming of sorts.
The 16-year-old Midland native splits most of her time between Los Angeles and Nashville to pursue her passions for acting and music. Ann has garnered nearly a million hits for her single “Silence” and was named “Best New Teen Country Artist of 2013.” Currently on her “Day Dreaming” tour, she will be returning to familiar ground when she plays at the air show on Saturday.
Abi Ann talks to KXWT’s Tom Michael about her passion for music, acting and returning home to Midland.
The KXWT Fall Membership Drive has ended, and we thank all the volunteers, staff, and especially the donor-members. Here are some earlier photos from the Fund Drive.
KXWT reporter Lana Straub reports.
On Friday, September 13th, the Ector County Library announced the title of the 2013 selection in its community-wide reading program, One Book Odessa.
One Book Odessa is the local chapter of the nationwide One City One Book movement, which aims to encourage conversation around literature. The 2013 One Book Odessa selection is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The book is a fantastical tale, set in Victorian London, about Le Cirque des Rêves, the Circus of Dreams, a magical event that appears only at night.
Over the course of the next month, the library and its partners will present a series of events. KXWT 91.3 FM will broadcast a conversation with author Morgenstern in early October. In this radio report (podcast above) KXWT News describes the drama surrounding the announcement of the book selection.
High market prices for oil as well as new drilling techniques have brought prosperity to Midland-Odessa and the Permian Basin. Yet as per capita income in the area skyrockets, many ask how long the boom will last. After the area’s last oil bust in the 80′s, many workers and families lost their homes as well as their jobs.
If oil supply continues to increase, prices per barrel will drop to levels that local drillers won’t be able to match. Furthermore, many American families are driving less, and cars are becoming increasingly fuel-efficient. With these and many other variables affecting the supply and demand of oil, the only thing that’s clear is that no one knows how long the boom will last.
KXWT and KUT’s StateImpact Texas hosted Drilling Down: How Oil And Gas Exploration Is Affecting Our Land, Water And Community panel at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin this past Tuesday.
For those that missed it, KXWT will rebroadcast audio from the panel in the future.
LISTEN NOW: Finding Oil is Easy, Just Look on the Ground
There’s a lot of drilling going on in Texas for oil and gas. So much, that Texas is a big reason why the United States in now producing more oil than it imports. But it all begins with what in the oil business is the most fundamental of challenges: finding the right place to drill. A place where you’ll hit “Black Gold”, not a “Dry Hole.” State Impact Reporter Dave Fehling starts with a bit of history.
LISTEN NOW: Pollination And Rare Plants
The seed is everything. But there’s a problem Researchers have long noted that rare plants often don’t produce many seeds. In 2013, the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute investigated this phenomenon. Researchers spent the summer working on a list of 212 … Continue reading
LISTEN NOW: Solar Developers Warming To West Texas
Some of the world’s most intense sunlight beams down here in West Texas. Solar energy developers are taking notice.
“So for the same solar panel – think one panel – that you would put in Austin, for example, you put the same panel here – costs the same to make – but the panel located here is going to produce more units of energy, more megawatt hours. That’s because the solar resources is better in this area,” said John Lichtenberger of First Solar.
Last month, two solar developers made their pitches to the district. The first pitch was for a 60-megawatt solar farm while SunPower presented a 50-megawatt project. The largest solar farm operating in Texas today produces 35-megawatts.
So in a state that prides itself on doing things big, why has solar not taken off in Texas? To understand this contradiction, you first have to look at the state’s other renewable resource: wind.
The Lone Star State leads the nation in wind energy production. We have two major wind farms nearby in Pecos county.
But why wind and not solar? This issue was, and still is cost. But this is changing.
“We’ve had a decrease in panel prices alone, of anywhere from 89 to 150 percent in the last 12 to 18 months, ”said Erika Benson, an attorney specializing solar energy development.
“So it is dramatic. There are a number of factors for that: The technology has vastly improved extremely quickly. Countries like China – you know – have a number of major companies producing panels at extremely, extremely cheap prices.”
With China now manufacturing most of the world’s solar panels, the cost for solar farm developers is falling.
And then there’s taxes. Starting next year, taxes on projects like these will be lowered over ten years. Previously, appraisers in each county have been able to determine that rate themselves. What this means is that certain counties could be getting less in tax revenue than they had anticipated.
“That radically changes things. So now you this big boost [in] year one but it’s coming down really fast. So you lowered your taxes, to brag about the new tax base, but then it’s evaporating right before your eyes and now you’re having to raise taxes again just to get back to revenue neutral,” said Judge Paul Hunt, the chief elected official in Presidio County.
That’s not the only change in Texas that’s going to affect these two proposed projects. Currently, school districts can offer tax incentives to lure businesses that would pay a lowered rate for the first eight years. But four weeks from now, school districts will no longer be able to make that decision themselves. While the provision to incentivize businesses will still be there, it will be up to the State Comptroller to decide.
“If the determination is going to be made in Austin.” said Hunt. “They might say ‘Solar energy is worth it to us; we’ll sacrifice Presidio county, we’ll sacrifice what they think they want their neighborhood to look like and it will become our photon farm.”
Both companies proposals were accepted unanimously by Marfa ISD. The next step will be for the Comptroller to decide whether the projects qualify for the tax incentives.
- Jefferson Yen
KXWT is back on the airwaves. Thank you for understanding while we dealt with our technical difficulties
The ice storm that hit over the weekend is causing some issues with our equipment. We’ll be back on the air as soon as we can. Thanks for your understanding
LISTEN NOW: The Solitario
Big Bend Ranch State Park contains geology that reflects the history of the broader region. Arguably the crown jewel of Trans-Pecos geologic history is the Solitario. The name says it all – Solitario – the Spanish word for lonely. And … Continue reading