NPR: Wade Goodwyn

Wade Goodwyn reports on all types of national affairs in Texas, Louisiana and the Southwest. He has been reporting for National Public Radio since 1991. Previously, Goodwyn was a political consultant in New York City.

Goodwyn has reported on the siege of the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas, the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, the trials of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols in Denver, the Olympic Games in Atlanta and the school shootings in Paducah Ky., Jonesboro, Ark., and Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.

Goodwyn is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in history.

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5:37pm

Mon April 14, 2014
Around the Nation

A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 6:42 pm

Firefighters search for survivors at a West, Texas, apartment building in April 2013. The breadth of destruction in West has raised questions about what, if any, new state laws should be passed to help prevent similar accidents in the future.
LM Otero AP

When firetrucks blew through the small town of West, Texas, on the evening of April 17, 2013, sirens screaming, naturally everybody was curious. People got in their cars and went to see the fire at the West fertilizer plant. For 10 minutes, they watched from cars and backyards as the fire grew ever bigger. A few moved as close as they could because they were filming on their smartphones. At no time did it occur to anybody that they might be in danger.

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5:56pm

Mon April 7, 2014
Sports

The Latest In HD TV, From The Comfort Of Your Courtside Seat

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 8:38 pm

Huge HD TV screens have changed the stadium experience. Many fans who paid big bucks for a ticket to the game will still be watching it on TV.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Millions of people will be glued to TV screens Monday watching the NCAA men's college basketball championship — and some of those viewers will actually be in the stands.

Monday's Connecticut vs. Kentucky game will be played at AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, where an enormous Mitsubishi screen hangs from the roof. It's the length of four coach buses by 72 feet high. And while the screen is ridiculously huge, the picture quality of the LED 1080 high definition is amazing.

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4:07pm

Mon March 24, 2014
News

Oil Spill Disrupts A Waterway Thick With Barges And Birds

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 6:46 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel.

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4:16pm

Thu March 6, 2014
News

Texas Abortion Restrictions Shutter Two More Clinics

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 7:50 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The last two abortion clinics in Texas' Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border are closing today. New restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature last year require that doctors at abortion clinics obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Well, many hospitals have been reluctant to grant those privileges, and as NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports, today's closures have women's health advocates concerned.

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3:38am

Tue February 25, 2014
Architecture

A College Project That Imagines A Floating City For Oil Workers

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 8:58 am

View of central crossing of the central hub island, one of dozens of man-made islands envisioned by Rice University architecture students. The islands would serve as a floating city for oil workers off the coast of Brazil.
Rice School of Architecture

Imagine you're in a college-level architecture class and your assignment is to come up with an idea so revolutionary that it could be considered an important advance in industrial design.

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5:45pm

Tue January 28, 2014
Shots - Health News

The Strange Case Of Marlise Munoz And John Peter Smith Hospital

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:37 pm

Erick Munoz, flanked by lawyers, walks to 96th District Court last Friday. A judge ordered a Texas hospital to remove life support from his wife, Marlise.
Tim Sharp AP

It would have been hard to find a happier man than Erick Munoz on that Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving.

With a healthy and delightful son toddling around the house, and his beautiful and successful wife pregnant with their second child, the fire department paramedic had everything in life that's really important. So it must have been with a feeling of disbelief and horror that Munoz knelt across the nearly lifeless body of his wife, Marlise, on the kitchen floor at 2 a.m., his fingers linking across her heart, arms pumping away in vain.

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4:30am

Thu December 26, 2013
Around the Nation

After Okla. Tornado's Devastation, A Search For Safety And Shelter

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 10:29 am

Crews work on a safe room for the new Plaza Towers Elementary school in Moore, Okla., behind crosses erected for the seven students who died in the May tornado.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Some of the most painful stories of 2013 came from a small community in Oklahoma, the town of Moore. It was hit by a monster F5 tornado in May. Two dozen people died. More than a thousand homes were wiped away. The damage was estimated at $2 billion. But when NPR's Wade Goodwyn returned to Moore recently, he found the worst damage might not be visible.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Stand in the middle of Lakeview Drive in Moore, and you're surrounded by a lot of wide-open Oklahoma. Turns out an F5 tornado can clear quite a stretch of land.

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6:22pm

Sat December 21, 2013
Around the Nation

Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times

Originally published on Sat December 21, 2013 10:28 pm

The camel trek guides insist everything Americans think they know about camels is wrong.
Wade Goodwyn NPR

At 10 on a crisp West Texas morning, five camel-trekkers stand under the open sky of the Davis Mountains. A few feet away, guide Doug Baum and Jason Mayfield load up five camels.

Baum, a former zookeeper, runs the Texas Camel Corps. The group guides camel treks around the world. In the Big Bend region, camels were for a brief time widespread, and the guides have brought them back.

'As Good As They Come'

You have to like a man who brings his own camel to a camel trek. On Mayfield's arm is a tall, beautiful blond named Butter.

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3:03am

Tue December 17, 2013
U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work

Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:30 am

Texas Highway 130, a new Austin bypass toll road, is so far east of the city that it sees little traffic. The state recently raised the speed limit there to 85 mph in hopes of boosting its use.
Wikipedia

Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation's worst traffic congestion.

For years, the city has done little to address the growing problem. But most in the Texas capital now agree something has to change if Austin is to save what's left of its quirky character.

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4:58pm

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

Marking Kennedy Assassination, Dallas Still On 'Eggshells'

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:22 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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4:44am

Mon August 26, 2013
Around the Nation

97-Year-Old Birder Has No Intention Of Slowing Down

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 6:57 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If 60 is the new 50 and 50 the new 40, well, what then is 97? Veteran bird guide Karl Haller is busy redefining what it means to be just shy of a century. He's been counting birds and teaching the art of bird watching at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in North Texas for over 50 years.

His student this time: NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: A cool breeze is blowing off Lake Texoma and into the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.

(LAUGHTER)

KARL HALLER: Well, it could be. Yeah. We'd only...

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4:49am

Thu August 22, 2013
Law

Closing Arguments Begin Thursday In Fort Hood Shooting Trial

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 12:43 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And closing arguments will begin this morning in the trial of Major Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas. Hasan faces the death penalty. He's accused of killing 13 people and shooting 32 others.

From Killeen, Texas, here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

WADE GOODWIN, BYLINE: The defense rests. With those three words, Major Nidal Hasan put an end to his non-existent defense case. It was a case he never wanted to make, anyway. He began the trial by wishing to plead guilty to the charges, but military law prohibits that in death penalty cases.

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5:36am

Wed August 14, 2013
Law

Feds Sue To Block Proposed Airline Merger

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 9:16 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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5:43pm

Thu July 25, 2013
Law

Federal Case Pits Wounded Warrior Against FBI

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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2:57am

Tue July 23, 2013
The Salt

Texas Pit Masters Bask In Moment Of Barbecue Glory

Originally published on Thu July 25, 2013 3:18 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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5:48pm

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 12:38 pm

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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5:43pm

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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5:51am

Sat May 4, 2013
U.S.

At NRA Convention, Dueling Narratives Displayed With Guns

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 12:50 pm

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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5:17am

Fri April 26, 2013
Around the Nation

Mourners Pack Arena To Honor Victims Of Texas Explosion

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 6:59 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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8:16pm

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.

5:21am

Sat April 20, 2013
Around the Nation

Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 4:47 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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5:59pm

Fri April 19, 2013
Around the Nation

As Texas Search Winds Down, Investigation Continues

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:51 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

We're going to touch briefly now on another dramatic story, the deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West. Authorities now confirm that the death toll has risen to 12. That's how many bodies have been recovered so far. The cause of the fire and subsequent blast on Wednesday night are still unknown. From West, here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

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7:24am

Fri April 19, 2013
Around the Nation

Investigators Search For Clues In Texas Plant Explosion

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 1:32 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's turn now, briefly, to West, Texas, the scene of this week's fertilizer plant explosion. Many questions remain unanswered there. In fact, it's still hard to estimate how many people were killed. We do know that regulators had a few concerns with this plant in the past, though it's not clear if anybody questioned the plant's location near homes and a school.

And amid all these questions, the people of West are picking up and taking stock. Here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn.

(SOUNDBITE OF HELICOPTER)

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3:21am

Thu April 11, 2013
Business

Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:35 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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3:20am

Wed April 10, 2013
Business

Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 1:12 pm

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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6:12pm

Thu February 28, 2013
Business

Texas Study Points To A Longer Natural Gas Boom

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 6:59 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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6:10am

Tue February 5, 2013
NPR Story

Texas Court Of Inquiry To Decide If Prosecutor Lied

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:47 pm

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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5:17pm

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 7:54 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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3:58pm

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 2:19 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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4:56pm

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 3:16 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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