(Tom Parker/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons)

(Tom Parker/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons)

91.3 FM Off-Air Temporarily for Station Move

91.3 FM is currently off the air for a station relocation, but don’t worry! It’s only temporary.

We expect to have all of our regular programming back on the air sometime around Thanksgiving – NPR in West Texas is here to stay!

If you want more information on the move, just click here, but here’s a short explainer:

The headquarters for KXWT 91.3 FM in Midland-Odessa – and our sister station KRTS 93.5 FM in the Big Bend – are located in Marfa. We’re leaving that building this week and moving into a new, bigger and better home, also in Marfa. We’re also currently talking with Basin PBS about the possibility of opening a studio space at the historic Ritz Threatre in downtown Midland, which Basin PBS is renovating as a whole.

Governor-elect and AG Greg Abbott speaks on Obama's recent executive order during a press event on Nov. 24, 2014. (Bob Daemmrich)

Governor-elect and AG Greg Abbott speaks on Obama's recent executive order during a press event on Nov. 24, 2014. (Bob Daemmrich)

Abbott: Immigration Lawsuit Could Come in Two Weeks

A state lawsuit challenging President Obama’s executive order shielding as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation could come from Texas in the next two weeks, Gov.-elect Greg Abbott said during a Monday press conference.

“Most everyone agrees that the immigration system in America is broken,” Abbott said. “Similarly, most agree that executive fiat is not the right way to fix it.”

Added Abbott: “The president must follow the law just like everyone else.”

Obama’s order means that undocumented parents of children in the country legally are eligible for a reprieve from deportation proceedings if they pass background checks, pay taxes and have been in the country for more than five years.

That could affect as many as 533,000 undocumented immigrants in Texas, about 40 percent of the state’s population. Another 92,000 reside with children who are not citizens but could be in the country legally.


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The banner reads Fue El Estado, translated as 'It was the state.' There's no indication the murders of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero went beyond the local level, but protesters say the alleged involvement of a mayor and police, both agents of the state imply that the Mexican state as an institution also bears some responsibility. (mioaxaca.com)

The banner reads Fue El Estado, translated as 'It was the state.' There's no indication the murders of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero went beyond the local level, but protesters say the alleged involvement of a mayor and police, both agents of the state imply that the Mexican state as an institution also bears some responsibility. (mioaxaca.com)

Mexico Marks Día De La Revolución: Patriotism, Protest And Revulsion

Mexico has marked the 104th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution. This year, the day was transformed into a platform for nationwide protests. Anguish is mounting over the government’s response to the murders of 43 college students in September.

A mayor in central Mexico, José Luis Abarca Velázquez, his wife Maria de los Angeles Pineda and police are accused in the crime. Several analysts maintain that Mexico is in turmoil now, that a society seen to be historically passive in the face of crime driven by the narco-political nexus in the country is incensed in a way that hasn’t been seen in generations.

It’s not just the crime itself that’s roiling Mexico. It’s the perception that the government’s reaction was slow. It took a month before the arrest of the mayor, the politician who allegedly orchestrated the deaths of 43 students.


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Cameron County Judge and presumptive Texas Secretary of Satate Carlos Cascos. (Courtesy Carlos Cascos)

Cameron County Judge and presumptive Texas Secretary of Satate Carlos Cascos. (Courtesy Carlos Cascos)

Incoming Texas Secretary of State Echoes GOP Leaders on Border Issues

For the first nomination of his incoming administration, Governor-elect Greg Abbott has tapped Cameron County Judge Carlos Cascos to be the next Texas Secretary of State.

In Texas, the office oversees state elections, but also serves as the governor’s chief adviser on border and Mexican affairs. Cascos will also be the state’s Chief International Protocol Officer.

Given the way border security and immigration has dominated the political climate in Texas this year, Cascos is likely to play an important public role in the Abbott administration.

It’s no coincidence that Cascos was originally born in Matamoros, Mexico, is a longtime South Texas resident and has served on the Texas Border Security Council.

Announcing the nomination, Abbott said Cascos will “inspire the next generation of Hispanic leaders,” and pending the senate’s approval, would work to promote the governor-elect’s vision of the Rio Grande Valley as vital to the economic success of the rest of the state.

The appointment is also a symbolic gesture from the Abbott administration, aimed at least in part at bringing more Hispanic voters into the GOP’s base. Cascos’ parents immigrated to the U.S. when he was a child, and the family pursued legal paths to citizenship when he was still young.


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Traffic arrives at the newly-opened Tornillo International Port of Entry in El Paso County on Monday, Nov. 17. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

Traffic arrives at the newly-opened Tornillo International Port of Entry in El Paso County on Monday, Nov. 17. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

New Tornillo Port of Entry Opens as Construction Continues

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Monday the opening of a new international border crossing near the small border town of Tornillo, TX.

Construction on the new, six-lane port of entry has been underway since July of 2011, when CBP announced a $96 million project to replace an existing two-lane entry point in nearby Fabens.

At the time, CBP cited a forecast for growing cross-border trade as the motivation behind the new port.

The new Tornillo crossing would be a step forward in cross-border economic partnerships, but would also represent “joint efforts in standing guard at our nation’s doorstep,” the CBP said in 2011.

On the other side of that door, the Mexican town of Guadalupe – just across the Rio Grande from Tornillo and Fabens – has suffered from brutal drug war violence.

In 2012, Texas Observer reporter Melissa del Bosque dubbed Guadalupe and the surrounding Juárez Valley “The Deadliest Place in Mexico.”


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Julia Poplawsky, 26 years old and butcher at Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club in Austin, and her assistant Ashley Chaney, 28, work to prepare cuts of beef on Nov. 11, 2014. (Todd Wiseman)

Julia Poplawsky, 26 years old and butcher at Dai Due Butcher Shop & Supper Club in Austin, and her assistant Ashley Chaney, 28, work to prepare cuts of beef on Nov. 11, 2014. (Todd Wiseman)

Texas Beef Council Turns Focus to Younger Eaters

It has been 22 years since the racing violins and xylophonic beats of composer Aaron Copland’s “Hoe-Down” from his ballet “Rodeo” poured out of television sets, making “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.” one of the most recognizable advertising campaigns of the early 1990s.

Since then, public affection for beef — and traditional television — has waned, particularly among members of the millennial generation, who are less inclined to eat meat and more likely to encounter advertising on phones and computer screens.

In Texas, where cattle are almost as important to the state’s image as its economy, beef producers are trying to grasp both horns of that dilemma.

After a dinner of beef brisket on a warm fall evening in north San Antonio, members of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association sat back and listened to Jason Bagley of the Texas Beef Council outline how the trade group is moving away from print, television and radio ads.

To attract young families, Bagley said, the Beef Council is turning to food and recipe apps, its website and tailored cooking events.

“Times have changed from where we tried to reach everybody in a TV commercial or TV spot at night,” Bagley explained, referring to the popular 1992 ad narrated by the actor Robert Mitchum.


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One of the McDonald Observatory's all-night cameras captured a brief trace of Saturday night's fireball across the Texas sky. (Coyne Gibson/McDonald Observatory)

One of the McDonald Observatory's all-night cameras captured a brief trace of Saturday night's fireball across the Texas sky. (Coyne Gibson/McDonald Observatory)

Texas “Fireball” Spotted at McDonald Observatory

Last Saturday, people across Texas reported seeing a massive ball of light streak across the night sky just before 9 pm.

Reports of a massive, greenish-yellow streak of light poured in from San Antonio to Houston, from Terlingua to Midland-Odessa.

NASA later confirmed the object was what’s called a “fireball” – the (very technical) name given to extremely bright meteors that appear brighter than the planet Venus in the night sky.

The meteor was even spotted in New Mexico, and a few lucky West Texans got to see it under pitch black skies at a McDonald Observatory star party.


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(Tom Parker/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration via Wikimedia Commons)
Governor-elect and AG Greg Abbott speaks on Obama's recent executive order during a press event on Nov. 24, 2014. (Bob Daemmrich)
The banner reads Fue El Estado, translated as 'It was the state.' There's no indication the murders of 43 students in Iguala, Guerrero went beyond the local level, but protesters say the alleged involvement of a mayor and police, both agents of the state imply that the Mexican state as an institution also bears some responsibility. (mioaxaca.com)
Cameron County Judge and presumptive Texas Secretary of Satate Carlos Cascos. (Courtesy Carlos Cascos)
Traffic arrives at the newly-opened Tornillo International Port of Entry in El Paso County on Monday, Nov. 17. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Credit: Cindy Cornett Seigle via Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Texas Case vs Border Patrol May Set Precedent: Decision Said To Be Imminent

A case now before the courts in Texas may set a precedent in alleged racial profiling cases brought against the Border Patrol.

If it succeeds, it would open a pathway for people judged by the courts to have been unlawfully seized in roving patrols to sue an individual agent, not simply the Border Patrol as an institution.

Roving patrols are separate from immigration checkpoints placed within 100 miles of the border with Mexico.

With respect to internal immigration checkpoints, Border Patrol agents have the right to question drivers and passengers. That’s based on a case known as U.S. vs Martinez-Fuerte that was adjudicated in 1976.

Martinez-Fuerte was decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that said checkpoints set up on public roads or highways leading to or away from the border with Mexico are not a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, one designed to protect people against arbitrary search and seizure.

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booster-shots-KXWT

Booster Shot: Asthma in West Texas

This is Booster Shot, your monthly look at personal health. On this show, we talk to Renado Galindo of Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, about asthma.

In  Texas, 43 out of 100,000 deaths can be attributed to lower airway disease or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). Ector County is actually double the rate: 86 per 100,000.

On this month’s Booster Shot, we discuss symptoms, prevention and treatment for COPD.

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Stanislav Khristenko

West Texas Talk: Rach Rocks with Stanislav Khristenko, Jeffrey Nytch, and MOSC

This week on West Texas Talk, we’re featuring interviews conducted by Tom Michael with pianist Stanislav Khristenko and composer Jeffrey Nytch, ahead of the Rach Rocks performance with the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale. Rach Rocks is a musical celebration of a unique duo, Rachmaninoff and the American Southwest, and will be performed Saturday, November 8th, at 7:30 PM.

Stanislav Khristenko, a Ukrainian concert pianist and winner of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, willbe performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Symphony No. 1: Formations, composed by Jeffrey Nytch

Symphony No. 1: Formations, composed by Jeffrey Nytch

Jeffrey Nytch is a composer and director of the Entrepreneurship Center for Music at the University of Colorado Boulder. Nytch’s Symphony No. 1: Formations centers on the exploration of human history in relation to the geology of the American South, including the formation of fossil fuels, and will be performed by the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale.

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election2014

Election Results in the Permian Basin

West Texans went to the polls on Tuesday and for the most part helped support a GOP sweep for the top-ticket positions across the state.

A statewide GOP sweep means Greg Abbott as governor, Dan Patrick as lieutenant governor, Ken Paxton as attorney general, Glenn Hegar as comptroller, George P. Bush as land commissioner, Ryan Sitton as railroad commissioner, and Sid Miller as agriculture.

Midland and Ector County voters favored GOP candidates at the top of the ticket by large margins, with Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott pulling in 86% of the vote in Midland County and 82% in Ector.

“It seems to be one of those Republican types of years,” says Brooks Landgraf (R), the Odessa-based State Representative for District 81.

Langraf secured a seamless win over write-in candidate Michael McCulloch, netting nearly 98.5% of the vote in Ector County.

Incumbent 11th District U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway also pulled an easy victory in the Permian Basin after facing a barely noticeable competition from Libertarian candidate Ryan Lange.

Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton spoke to us Tuesday evening as the returns were coming in – he wound up defeating Democrat Steve Brown by a margin of nearly 62% in Ector County and 71% in Midland County.

“The big things that are happening in Texas today are with this revolution in energy production,” Sitton said. “Our oil and gas production in this state has tripled over the last six years. We want to make sure that people in this state have confidence in how the energy is being developed.”

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Texas Standard

Election Wrap-Up From Texas Standard

Tune in to hear a special episode of Texas Standard, with host David Brown, as we explore what comes after the 2014 elections. What do election results tell us about Texas’ role in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes? On what issues does Texas lead the nation and on what issues does Texas trail? We’ll look at which campaign ads made a dent, which didn’t, and whether it’s possible the biggest losers on election night will prove to be winners in the long term. Guests include experts from around the state and around the nation.

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