West Texas | Texas Public Radio

West Texas

In the endless boom and bust cycle of the oil business, there has never been anything like 2020. The oil patch is reeling from historically low prices. Futures for West Texas Intermediate crude closed at $25 a barrel on Friday, down from more than $60 a barrel at the beginning of the year.

On a normal day in Andrews County, you can look in any direction and see the bobbing horse heads of pump jacks stretching to the horizon, sucking up oil from deep in the Earth. But these are anything but normal days.

Host Robin Young speaks with author Elizabeth Wetmore about her new novel “Valentine.” The book explores the ramifications of a brutal attack in Odessa, Texas, in the mid-1970s.

Book Excerpt: ‘Valentine’

By Elizabeth Wetmore

Most Texas Latino Voters Fear Gun Violence Driven By Racism, Poll Finds

Sep 30, 2019
A women pauses at the memorial for the 22 people who died in a mass shooting in El Paso.
Carlos Morales | Marfa Public Radio

Eighty-one percent of Latino voters in Texas are concerned about racism-motivated gun violence and that the Latino community might be targeted again in attacks similar to the mass shooting in El Paso, according to a survey sponsored by the gun control group Giffords and the progressive group Latino Victory Project.

State Rep. Roland Gutierrez at the podium during news conference by local Texas Democrats calling for a special legislative session on gun violence. Other local state lawmakers stand behind him at event held at San Antonio College.
Brian Kirkpatrick | Texas Public Radio

Democratic state lawmakers held joint news conferences across Texas on Wednesday to urge Gov. Greg Abbott to call a special legislative session in Austin to address gun violence in the state.  


Update, 6:20 p.m. ET: This story now includes additional language about the types of ammunition Walmart will no longer sell. 

Walmart announced Tuesday that it will discontinue sales of ammunition designed for handguns and military-style rifles such as the AR-15.

The company will also stop allowing customers to openly carry firearms inside its stores, and called on lawmakers to consider passing new gun control legislation.

Anlo Sepulveda

Pianist and composer Justin Sherburn has enjoyed a long career as a touring musician with Austin bands like 8 ½ Souvenirs and Okkervil River, but now finds himself in front of the big screen with his ensemble Montopolis, performing original soundtracks to silent classics, and now creating a series of multimedia productions highlighting the natural wonders of the Lone Star State.

From Texas Standard:

Representatives from Texas food banks will gather at the Capitol on Tuesday to talk with legislators about food insecurity and lobby for ways the state can help. Food insecurity is a bigger problem than some may think. The term doesn't just describe people who are going hungry; it also describes people who don’t have the household resources to consistently buy healthy food.

From Texas Standard:

Not all darkness is created equal. In a place like Big Bend, the night sky reaches depths not present closer to a big city. That's also true of Devils River State Natural Area, located about 60 miles north of Del Rio. It’s the newest dark sky sanctuary – so designated by the International Dark-Sky Association.

From Texas Standard:

After a dry summer in west Texas, locals would love nothing more than to be able to summon a rainstorm on command. This isn't a new desire; humans have a long history of trying to harness the clouds to do their bidding. Katie Nodjimbadem recently wrote about a wave of efforts to do that in Texas in the late 1800s, for Smithsonian Magazine.

From Texas Standard.

The next full moon falls on June 27. In the west Texas desert near Marfa – if you are in the high desert grasslands just east of town – you may spot an unlikely arrangement of large black or granite stones like a Texas Stonehenge. As the sun sets on that day, that megalith will begin to come to life.

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