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Texas Border City A Model For Solar Power

Travis Bubenik
The Acacia Solar Plant in Presidio, TX has allowed this border city to put more power onto the electric grid than it takes off.

Fronteras: The USDA has lifted a ban on inspectors working in Mexico, which could invigorate a cattle trade that has been hurt in both countries. We look at how one border city provides a model for solar power in Texas. State health officials have alerted the CDC about conditions in border facilities where thousands of Central American minors are being detained. Commentator Yvette Benavides takes us inside an immigration court room in San Antonio where these children and teens are making their cases.

USDA Changes Border Policy – Agents Return To Shuttered Mexican Inspection Pens

The USDA has rescinded a 2012 ban on inspectors working at what was the largest single point of entry for Mexican cattle into the United States until two years ago. Lorne Matalon reports from Mexico that the lifting of the ban signals a small but significant shift in border policy. The USDA is signaling that some places on the border are safe enough to continue its work. In returning to Mexico the agency is hoping to invigorate a cattle trade that’s been hurt in both countries.

Credit Lorne Matalon
Cattle from Durango, Mexico arrive at Ganadera Chihuahua near Presidio, Texas, July 11, 2013. Citing unspecified threats, USDA banned its inspectors working here in 2012. That ban has now been lifted.

As Solar Grows in Texas, Border City Provides a Model

For most of its life, the small border city of Presidio, Texas, has been on the edge of the electric grid. This rugged part of West Texas has seen a major upgrade of its transmission lines over the past five years, but before that, it was pretty much the Wild West of the grid.

For decades, the only power lines coming in and out of the region hung from old wooden poles built in the 1950s. As part of Marfa Public Radio’s series on the future of solar power in Texas, Travis Bubenik reports on how after the upgrades, Presidio turned to the sun to make blackouts and power surges a thing of the past.

State Health Officials Are Concerned About Increased Risk For Disease Among Child Migrants

State health officials have alerted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about conditions in border facilities where thousands of Central American children are being detained. KERA’s Shelley Kofler reports on concerns about an increased risk for the spread of disease.

Commentary: Searching for Lady Justice on San Antonio’s Dolorosa Street

The federal system housing thousands Central American children is overwhelmed. Also overwhelmed are immigration courts. That’s the next step in these children’s long journey and it can also be treacherous.
A law change is being proposed in Congress that would remove some legal protections for these children and fast track their deportations. But Texas Public Radio commentator Yvette Benavides recently visited immigration court in San Antonio and wondered how justice is best served.

Castro Says Goodbye At Chambers Of Commerce Celebration

San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro is preparing to depart for our nation's capital and the area chambers of commerce recently hosted a community celebration in his honor. Castro begins his job with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 28. Texas Public Radio's Ryan Loyd reports.

Crystal Chavez was Texas Public Radio’s Morning Edition host for three years, until January 2015.