Wade Goodwyn

Wade Goodwyn is a NPR National Desk Correspondent covering Texas and the surrounding states.

Reporting for NPR since 1991, Goodwyn covers a wide range of issues from politics and music to breaking news and crime and punishment. His reports have ranged from weather calamities, religion, and corruption, to immigration, obituaries, business, and high profile court cases. Texas has it all, and Goodwyn has covered it.

Over the last 15 years, Goodwyn has reported on many of the nation's top stories. He's covered the implosion of Enron, the trials of Jeff Skilling and Kenneth Lay, and the prosecution of polygamist Warren Jeffs. Goodwyn's reporting has included the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, and the trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in Denver. He covered the Olympic Games in Atlanta and the school shootings in Paducah Ky., Jonesboro, Ark., and Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

Among his most recent work has been the wrongful prosecution and conviction of black and Hispanic citizens in Texas and Louisiana. With American and Southwest Airlines headquartered in his backyard, coverage of the airline industry is also a constant for Goodwyn.

As Texas has moved to the vanguard in national Republican politics, Goodwyn has been at the front line as what happens politically in Texas, which is often a bellwether of the coming national political debate. He has covered the state's politicians dominating the national stage, including George W. Bush, Tom Delay and rising GOP star Texas Governor Rick Perry

Before coming to NPR, Goodwyn was a political consultant in New York City.

Goodwyn graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in history.

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3:34pm

Thu November 21, 2013
The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later

Marking Kennedy Assassination, Dallas Still On 'Eggshells'

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 6:22 pm

Dallas is preparing for Friday's 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, and hoping to show how much the city has changed.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Friday's 50th anniversary of assassination of President John F. Kennedy is an important moment for Dallas: The city wants to use the occasion to demonstrate how much it has changed.

In the 1960s — after the president's murder — Dallas became known around the world as "The City of Hate." And it was a hotbed of right-wing politics, a magnet for the extremes of the conservative movement at the time.

If the world would like to see evidence that Dallas is no longer the City of Hate, it need not look further than the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

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2:49pm

Wed October 30, 2013
Politics

Texas' Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 7:03 pm

Marta Rangel Medel vacuums the stage in preparation for the Texas Democratic Party 2012 election watch party in Austin. The state's controversial voter ID law is unexpectedly hindering women at the polls.
Eric Gay AP

In 2012 a federal court struck down Texas' ID law, ruling it would potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority voters.

But that federal decision was invalidated when the Supreme Court last year ruled part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. So now Texas is test-driving its voter ID law — one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation.

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3:21am

Wed August 14, 2013
Law

Feds Sue To Block Proposed Airline Merger

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And let's hear now about a proposed airline merger. In a surprise move, the Justice Department announced yesterday that it will try to stop American Airlines and U.S. Airways from becoming one. This is largely because of two other mergers that made both Delta and United Airlines much bigger. Those deals were approved back in 2008 and 2010. Now, as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports from Dallas, the government seems determined to change course.

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3:12pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Law

Federal Case Pits Wounded Warrior Against FBI

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:43 pm

Former Army Ranger Justin Slaby is suing the FBI, claiming he was unfairly dismissed from agent training because of his prosthetic hand.
Courtesy of Butler & Harris

Army Ranger Justin Slaby served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. While he was back in the U.S. preparing to deploy for a fourth tour, his left hand was blown off by a faulty grenade in a training accident. After being fitted with a state-of-the-art prosthesis, Slaby was encouraged by one of his doctors to try for a career in the FBI. What happened next has landed the ex-Ranger and the FBI in court and already tarnished the career of a high-ranking agent.

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12:57am

Tue July 23, 2013
The Salt

Texas Pit Masters Bask In Moment Of Barbecue Glory

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 1:18 pm

The Pecan Lodge's combination plate, a meat lover's dream.
Wade Goodwyn NPR

It's not even noon yet but every table out front of the Pecan Lodge in downtown Dallas is filled with veterans with barbecue heaped on their plates, smirking at the gobsmacked newbies. First timers are easily discernible by the stunned looks on their faces when they walk in and see the line.

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3:48pm

Wed July 3, 2013
It's All Politics

Democrats Want To Mess With Texas? GOP Says Not So Fast

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:38 am

A Texas delegate on the floor of the Republican National Convention in 2012.
David Goldman AP

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

Democrats see opportunity in Texas' fast-growing Latino population. But the Republican Party is strong in Texas — very strong.

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3:03pm

Thu May 23, 2013
Politics

Health Officials Decry Texas' Snubbing Of Medicaid Billions

Originally published on Thu May 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the opening session of the Texas Legislature in Austin earlier this year.
Eric Gay AP

The state of Texas is turning down billions of federal dollars that would have paid for health care coverage for 1.5 million poor Texans.

By refusing to participate in Medicaid expansion, which is part of the Affordable Care Act, the state will leave on the table an estimated $100 billion over the next decade.

Texas' share of the cost would have been just 7 percent of the total, but for Gov. Rick Perry and the state's Republican-dominated Legislature, even $1 in the name of "Obamacare" was a dollar too much.

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3:43pm

Tue May 21, 2013
Around the Nation

Okla. Tornado Survivors Try To Collect Lives After Storm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In Moore, for the many people whose homes were destroyed, the top priorities are finding a place to stay, some clothes to wear, and food to eat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn has been talking with survivors in Moore, and he sent this story.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Jamie Martinez(ph) is a retired police officer who still does security work, and that's where he was when the tornado slammed into his neighborhood yesterday.

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3:51am

Sat May 4, 2013
U.S.

At NRA Convention, Dueling Narratives Displayed With Guns

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 10:50 am

An ammunition display at the NRA's annual convention in Houston on Friday.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention in Houston this weekend. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend for speeches and demos and acres of guns, ammo and camo.

The NRA is coming off of a major victory: the defeat of gun control legislation in the Senate. While the talk in the convention hall is about keeping up the fight and staying true to the Constitution, a small protest against gun violence is being held outside.

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3:17am

Fri April 26, 2013
Around the Nation

Mourners Pack Arena To Honor Victims Of Texas Explosion

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:59 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Nearly 10,000 mourners gathered yesterday to honor the men who died fighting a fire in a fertilizer plant in Texas. They packed the basketball arena on the campus of Baylor University in Waco. At least 14 people died when that fire led to an explosion in the little town of West - which is just north of Waco.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MARCHING)

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6:16pm

Thu April 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Thousands Attend Memorial For Plant Explosion Victims

President Obama visited Waco, Texas, on Thursday day to take part in a memorial for those killed in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week.

5:37am

Thu April 25, 2013
Around the Nation

Volunteers Help Residents Clear Explosion Debris In Texas

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 12:46 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

President Obama travels to another memorial today, this one in the Texas town of West. It is to remember those killed last week when a fertilizer plant exploded there. Yesterday, some of those living in homes closest to the plant were allowed back for the first time. NPR's Wade Goodwyn was there.

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3:21am

Sat April 20, 2013
Around the Nation

Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 2:47 pm

An explosion leveled a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on Wednesday. The blast killed 14 people, injured more than 200 others and damaged or completely destroyed at least 80 homes.
Charlie Riedel AP

With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.

On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn caused a stir when he suggested that there might be many more people missing than thought.

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1:21am

Thu April 11, 2013
Business

Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 6:35 pm

This story is part of a two-part series about the construction industry in Texas. Find the first part here.

Homes in Texas are cheap — at least compared with much of the country. You can buy a brand new, five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot house near Fort Worth for just $160,000.

But that affordability comes at a price — to workers, many of whom are in the country illegally and make $12 an hour or less, but also to business owners.

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1:20am

Wed April 10, 2013
Business

Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 11:12 am

Marchers at the state capitol building in Austin, Texas, in February protest working conditions in the state's construction sector.
Jason Cato Courtesy of Workers Defense Project

Like almost everything in the Texas, the construction industry in the Lone Star State is big. One in every 13 workers here is employed in the state's $54 billion-per-year construction industry.

Homebuilding and commercial construction may be an economic driver for the state, but it's also an industry riddled with hazards. Years of illegal immigration have pushed wages down, and accidents and wage fraud are common. Of the nearly 1 million workers laboring in construction here, approximately half are undocumented.

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4:11pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Business

Texas Study Points To A Longer Natural Gas Boom

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 4:59 pm

A natural gas drilling rig just east of downtown Fort Worth, Texas. A new decade-long study finds the region's Barnett Shale formation has sufficient gas reserves to last another 25 years.
David Kent MCT/Landov/Fort Worth Star Telegram

There are few things in life more joyful than discovering a giant oil or natural gas field in Texas. You're suddenly rich beyond your wildest dreams. When the scope and size of the natural gas reservoir in the Barnett Shale in North Texas first became apparent, there were predictions that the find would last 100 years.

Well, that was over the top. But University of Texas geology professor Scott Tinker, who designed and authored a new study of the Barnett Shale, says there's still a lot of gas down there, even after a decade of drilling.

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4:10am

Tue February 5, 2013
NPR Story

Texas Court Of Inquiry To Decide If Prosecutor Lied

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 11:47 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

In Texas, a court of inquiry has been convened to consider prosecuting a Texas judge. He's Ken Anderson. He used to be the district attorney in Williamson County, Texas, and he could face criminal charges for concealing exculpatory evidence. That's evidence that could clear a defendant of guilt. The inquiry concerns his conduct during what has become an infamous case - the prosecution and conviction of Michael Morton. Morton was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife. NPR's Wade Goodwin reports.

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3:05pm

Tue January 15, 2013
It's All Politics

Another George Bush Plans To Try His Hand At Politics

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 5:54 pm

George P. Bush speaks during the 2011 Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Another member of the Bush family is throwing his hat into the political ring: George Prescott Bush, 36, the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, has announced he is running for office in Texas.

The Bush name is still strong in the Lone Star State: George P. has already raised nearly $1.4 million, though he still hasn't said which statewide office he will run for.

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1:58pm

Tue January 1, 2013
It's All Politics

Tea Party Texan Cruz Gives GOP Hope In Hunt For Hispanic Votes

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas answers a question from a television reporter on Nov. 6 in Houston.
David J. Phillip AP

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz of Texas is a bright young Hispanic star who will be sworn in this week in Washington. The Republican Party nationally hopes Cruz will be part of the solution to its growing problem luring Hispanic voters.

Almost nobody had heard of Cruz when he began his campaign for the U.S. Senate. But when he stepped in front of a microphone, he could light up a room in a way that made the other Republican candidates seem lifeless.

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2:56pm

Tue December 18, 2012
Shootings In Newtown, Conn.

Amid Calls For Gun Control, Some Push For Weapons At School

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:16 pm

David Thweatt, the school superintendent in Harrold, Texas, is seen in 2008. Troubled by school shootings around the country, Thweatt decided to arm school staff.
Tony Gutierrez AP

A growing number of lawmakers are indicating they are open to considering new gun control measures in the wake of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But while much of the national debate has focused on limiting access to guns, others are suggesting that schools should arm themselves to defend against attacks.

David Thweatt, school superintendent for the small Texas town of Harrold, northwest of Fort Worth, decided in 2006 that it was time to arm his staff. There's only one school in Harrold, a K-12 with 103 students.

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