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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3:02am

Tue May 29, 2012
House & Senate Races

Texas Senate Hopefuls Woo Republicans Of All Stripes

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 4:34 am

It's high noon in Texas at the Stephenville Community Center out on Highway 67, and the Cross Timbers Republican Women's Club Candidates Forum is about to begin.

Time has run out on this Republican Senate primary. This is a last chance for the candidates to make an impression before Tuesday's vote. They're vying to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, who is retiring after serving for nearly 20 years.

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5:03am

Sat April 28, 2012
Law

Free After 25 Years: A Tale Of Murder And Injustice

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 11:15 pm

Michael Morton and his mother, Patricia Morton, in October after a judge announced him free on bond after nearly 25 years in prison for a wrongful conviction.
Courtesy of The Williamson County Sun

The past few years in Texas have seen a parade of DNA exonerations: more than 40 men so far. The first exonerations were big news, but the type has grown smaller as Texans have watched a dismaying march of exonerees, their wasted years haunting the public conscience.

Yet a case in Williamson County, just north of Austin, is raising the ante. Michael Morton had been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife. He was released six months ago — 25 years after being convicted — when DNA testing proved he was not the killer.

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5:39pm

Mon April 23, 2012
Business

Bankrupt American Airlines Spars With Unions

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 8:24 pm

American Airlines and American Eagle employees protest Monday in New York City against American's plans to cut jobs and labor costs while under bankruptcy court protection. American is seeking permission to break up union contracts and cut expenses, but the unions oppose those plans and support a potential takeover bid by US Airways.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

With US Airways breathing down its neck, making nice with its unions as well as its creditors, American Airlines came to New York City on Monday to ask a federal bankruptcy judge for relief. Mostly, American wants relief from its unions — 13,000 jobs would be eliminated under its reorganization proposal. American has been hemorrhaging money for years and wants to lower its costs to compete.

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4:00am

Fri March 30, 2012
Election 2012

George H.W. Bush: It's Time To Get Behind Romney

In Houston Thursday, former President George H.W. Bush endorsed Mitt Romney's run for the Republican presidential nomination. Bush's endorsement is one more signal from the Republican establishment for the party to close ranks behind Romney.

6:01pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Election 2012

Lots Of GOP Money Flowing From The Texas Two

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 10:50 am

Houston home builder Bob Perry at the sales center of one of his developments in 2002.
Melissa Phillip AP

The latest reports from the Federal Election Commission shed new light on the political largesse of two Texas businessmen who have become common names in the world of Republican fundraising.

With a $1 million check in February to the superPAC backing Rick Santorum, Dallas nuclear waste dump owner Harold Simmons and his wife, Annette, have now contributed to groups supporting all three of the top GOP candidates.

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3:47pm

Wed March 14, 2012
Fine Art

800-Year-Old Frescoes Leave Texas For Cyprus

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:57 am

In the 1980s, this dome from the 13th century was stolen out of the church of St. Evphemianos in Lysi in the Turkish occupied section of Cyprus. The fresco portrays Christ in heaven, surrounded by 12 angels. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel flank the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist as a medallion illustrates the throne that's been prepared for the Lord.
Kevin Keim Charles Moore Foundation

A set of 13th-century Byzantine frescoes — plundered after Turkey invaded Cyprus and on display in Houston for the last 15 years — is headed home at last. It's the closing chapter in what turns out to be a remarkable odyssey.

It all started in the summer of 1974, when the Turkish army invaded Cyprus and nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriots became refugees fleeing south.

"And so all the churches and homes and art was left behind," says Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection in Houston. "And after years, some of these churches began to be looted."

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4:00am

Thu February 9, 2012
NPR Story

After 3 Wins, Santorum Campaigns In Texas

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 6:33 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Rick Santorum headed in a different direction after his wins on Tuesday.

Here's NPR's Wade Goodwyn in Dallas.

WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: North Texas was a good choice for former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum to keep his campaign's momentum going. He met with evangelical pastors in the morning, Tea Partiers in the afternoon and a Republican women's group at night.

(SOUNDBITE OF MEETING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: It is our pleasure to introduce to you Rick Santorum. Give him a Texas welcome.

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6:06pm

Wed February 8, 2012
It's All Politics

Buoyant Santorum Takes Campaign To Texas — And Corrals Some Perry People

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 7:09 pm

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks at the Bella Donna Chapel in McKinney, Texas, on Wednesday.
Rex C. Curry Associated Press

Fresh off his hat trick in Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum campaigned in Texas on Wednesday, speaking to a group of pastors at Bella Donna Chapel in the town of McKinney.

Forty miles north of Dallas, where black prairie dirt meets the fresh poured concrete of suburbia, this is Rick Santorum country.

This used to be Texas Gov. Rick Perry country.

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12:01am

Tue December 13, 2011
Business

Airplane Mechanics: A Farm Team For Everyone Else?

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 8:21 pm

The best airplane mechanics are skilled at everything from metal part fabrication to electronics to lavatory plumbing. Other, better-paying companies soon become interested in their skills.
Courtesy AAR

Talk of jobs — or lack of them — dominates the national conversation right now. But there are places in the economy where willing, qualified workers are hard to come by.

One such place is AAR Aircraft Services Corp., an aircraft maintenance facility in Oklahoma City. There, American capitalism is on display with all its strengths and weaknesses. AAR services jet aircraft, including passenger planes from carriers like Alaska Airlines, Mesa Air and Allegiant Air.

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3:00pm

Tue November 29, 2011
NPR Story

American Airline's Parent Company Files For Bankruptcy

American Airline's parent company AMR has filed for bankruptcy protection. American will continue to operate its flights as usual. The airline will use bankruptcy to off-load some of the debt that is weighing it down.

3:00pm

Thu November 10, 2011
Election 2012

Perry Campaign Tries To Right Debate 'Oops'

Texas Gov. Rick Perry drew a blank at last night's GOP presidential debate, forgetting one of three federal agencies he would eliminate if he becomes president.

4:09am

Sat October 29, 2011
Business

After Scandal, Solar Industry Looks On Bright Side

Originally published on Wed November 2, 2011 8:36 am

A worker stands next to an array of Sharp solar cell modules at a power plant south of Tokyo in August. Sharp was one of 1,400 solar panel manufacturers in attendance at the Solar Power International conference, where industry optimism was high.

Toshifumi Kitamura AFP/Getty Images

Solar power's image has taken a hit lately with the bankruptcy of Solyndra. The California solar panel manufacturer received more than half a billion dollars in Energy Department loan guarantees before going belly up.

But the industry is still optimistic — that much was apparent at the Solar Power International conference held in Dallas in mid-October. Walking into the big hall of the Dallas Convention Center, it was impossible not to be impressed by the huge array of black solar panels hanging from the ceiling.

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4:00am

Wed October 19, 2011
Business

American Airlines To Report 3rd Quarter Earnings

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 1:21 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

All of the major U.S. airlines are expected to report a profit for the third quarter, except for American Airlines. Its earnings come out later today. If United Airlines and Delta can make money in this economy, what's the problem with American? NPR's Wade Goodwyn explains.

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4:38am

Sat October 1, 2011
Around the Nation

Recycled Water Quenches San Antonio's Thirst

In times of drought, the Twin Oaks Aquifer Storage and Recovery Facility pumps water up from underground and sends it back to San Antonio for use. The facility uses water from the Edwards Aquifer and the Carrizo Aquifer.
Paul Robinson San Antonio Water System

Gliding along in a flat-bottom boat on the San Antonio River thorough the heart of downtown San Antonio is a beautiful and authentic Texas experience.

There's one thing a boat tour guide is not going to mention, however. Texas is in the middle of a historic drought, and the river that tourists are cruising along with ducks, big bass, catfish and perch is actually treated sewage water.

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12:01am

Tue September 20, 2011
Politics

Gov. Perry Cut Funds For Women's Health In Texas

Texas Gov. Rick Perry likes to hold out the Lone Star State as a model — his vision for the country. But while Texas' growing economy has been a reliable jobs producer, the state's health care system is straining.

Only 48 percent of Texans have private health insurance, and more than a quarter of the state's population has no insurance at all, more than any other state. To fill this gap, the state's hospital emergency rooms and dozens of women's health clinics have stepped in to serve the uninsured across Texas.

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3:22pm

Fri September 16, 2011
Rick Perry

In Texas, Perry's Vaccine Mandate Provoked Anger

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 1:15 pm

Mike Toomey (foreground), former chief of staff to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, watches primary election returns with other staffers in Austin in 2006.
Harry Cabluck AP

The most dramatic moment of the GOP debate in Florida last Monday revolved around Gov. Rick Perry and his 2007 executive order mandating that all 11- and 12-year-old girls in Texas get the HPV vaccine. The human papillomavirus vaccine protects women and teens against a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer.

During the debate, presidential candidate Michele Bachmann called Perry's executive order an example of crony capitalism.

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11:45am

Tue August 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Has Pneumonia, Is Not In Coma

This Texas Department of Corrections mug shot of Warren Jeffs was distributed to news outlets on Aug. 10, 2011.
AFP/Getty Images

Jailed polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is suffering from pneumonia and is not in a medically-induced coma, as has been widely reported, a source familiar with Jeffs' condition tells NPR.

According to the source, the 55-year-old leader of the nation's largest polygamist group was sedated, pharmacologically paralyzed and placed on a ventilator as part of his treatment for pneumonia. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity due to federal medical privacy laws that do not permit disclosure of medical treatment without permission of the patient or family.

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12:01am

Fri August 26, 2011
Around the Nation

Drought Puts Texas Ranchers, And Cattle, At Risk

A severe drought has caused shortages of grass, hay and water in most of Texas, forcing ranchers to thin their herds or risk losing their cattle to the drought. Cattle use a tree for shade in late July, as temperatures rose above 100 degrees near Canadian, Texas.
Scott Olson Getty Images

In the cattle town of Emory in East Texas, the worst drought in state history is threatening a way of life. Scorching temperatures and no rain have forced many ranchers to sell off their stock.

Normally before being brought to market, cattle are penned in a rancher's best pasture to be fattened. The heavier the cow, the more the buyer pays.

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12:01am

Wed August 17, 2011
Election 2012

Texas Job Growth Trend Stretches Back For Decades

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 10:56 am

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry meets with business leaders at a lunch in Dubuque, Iowa, on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

As Gov. Rick Perry of Texas campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, he's promoting his record in his home state, which has created more than 265,000 jobs in the past two years.

Perry says he would do for the nation what he's done for the Lone Star State.

The economy of Texas is growing at roughly twice the national average, but the question is: How much did Rick Perry and his low-tax, low-regulation philosophy influence that growth?

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3:08pm

Fri August 12, 2011
Politics

The Lone Star State Beginnings Of Rick Perry

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 6:32 pm

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Texas Education Agency Administrators' Midwinter Conference in Austin, Texas, in 2001.
Deborah Cannon AP

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will officially make clear his intentions to run for the GOP presidential nomination during a speech on Saturday in South Carolina. But he has sounded like a candidate for a while.

"Until Washington figures out that the only true stimulus is more money in the hands of employers across all economic sectors, as well as a restrained bureaucracy that is no longer overreaching into the workplaces, our national nightmare will continue," he said in San Antonio this week.

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11:21am

Fri July 29, 2011
The Two-Way

Warren Jeffs: Alone For The Defense

At the end of court yesterday, Warren Jeffs stood all by himself at the defense table, head bowed, motionless as everyone swirled around him.

The morning began with him firing his defense lawyers and announcing he would represent himself. It was a particularly cruel blow for Deric Walpole, Jeffs' lead defense lawyer, who'd been working 20-hour days to get ready for this moment only to have Jeffs pull the rug out from under him.

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4:00am

Fri July 29, 2011
U.S.

Texas Trial Of Polygamist Leader Warren Jeffs Begins

In the Texas trial of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, the suspect fired his lawyer and told the judge in the case that he wants to defend himself. The proceedings went forward Thursday, with plenty of dramatic moments.

4:41pm

Wed July 13, 2011
Remembrances

Arctic Exhibit In Texas Highlights A Lifetime Of Work

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:40 am

Edmund "Ted" Carpenter on a ship from a Greenland expedition in the 1990s.
Adelaide de Menil

While the weather is sultry in Houston, the Menil Collection has a cool exhibit about ancient Arctic cultures.

"Upside Down" is a rare display of artifacts from a place where there is still much to be discovered.

Show Re-Creates Arctic Environment

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4:55pm

Wed June 15, 2011
Law

Planned Texas Execution Has Mexico Up In Arms

Humberto Leal Jr., a Mexican citizen, has been on death row since 1995 for the rape and bludgeoning of a 16-year-old San Antonio girl. He's slated to be executed in three weeks. But the Mexican government says he wasn't informed of his rights.
Courtsey of San Antonio Express-News

A planned execution in Texas has the state at odds with the federal government and the International Court of Justice.

The dispute involves Humberto Leal Jr., a Mexican national who was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

When he was arrested, Leal was not informed of his right to notify his embassy or consulate. Mexico cried foul, the International Court of Justice agreed, and the U.S. government asked Texas to review the case.

But the state has refused and plans to execute Leal in three weeks.

The Case

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4:11am

Tue June 14, 2011
Politics

Texas Gov. Perry Ratchets Up Conservative Credentials

Seven Republican presidential contenders squared off in a debate in New Hampshire on Monday night. There are, however, still a number of big names on the sidelines, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Perry has been coy about a possible run, but speaking before a group of anti-abortion Hispanics in Los Angeles over the weekend, he sure sounded like a candidate.

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3:13pm

Fri June 3, 2011
Music News

Texas Gets The Accordion Bug And Never Looks Back

Originally published on Fri June 3, 2011 9:00 pm

Flaco Jimenez is one of the foremost players of conjunto, a Tejano musical style that developed after German and Czech immigrants brought the accordion to Texas.
John Dyer

It's a well-known story — the one where European conquerors ravaged the New World with disease in the 15th century. That story repeated itself, in a very different way, in the early part of the 20th century in Texas.

Only it wasn't illness that German and Czech settlers were spreading to unsuspecting Hispanics, Creoles and Cajuns. This time, it was a musical instrument from which they would not recover.

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11:35am

Tue May 31, 2011
Business

Airline 'Sky' Cabins: Roomier And More Colorful

A flight attendant prepares to close a luggage bin on the redesigned 737. Thanks to the bin's new pivoting motion, passengers in the aisle seat will have more headroom.
American Airlines

American Airlines just took delivery of its first Boeing 737-800, a passenger plane with an option list that includes LED lighting that can be tuned to the time of day (or night), more headroom, larger storage bins and a futuristic feel.

On a reporter's recent visit to the Boeing factory in Renton, Wash., outside Seattle, a row of 737s stood nose to tail. If you think the glory days of American manufacturing are but a memory, consider this: From start to finish, it takes 10,000 mechanics and engineers 11 days to build a new 737.

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6:16am

Mon May 30, 2011
U.S.

Obama Visits Joplin, Mo.

President Obama visited Joplin, Mo, on Sunday as the town begins cleaning up after a devastating tornado killed more than 135 people and flattened the area.

3:00pm

Sun May 29, 2011
Around the Nation

Obama Visits Joplin, Mo., To Survey Damage

President Obama visited the devastated area around Joplin, Mo., for the first time on Sunday. He said the nation will be with the devastated city "every step of the way."

11:32am

Thu April 21, 2011
Remembrances

Marine Activist Loses Battle With PTSD

Growing up in Houston, Clay W. Hunt was the quintessential Texas kid. He was a good athlete, competitive. Hunt was friendly and nice looking and the girls liked him.

"He just loved the outdoors, and he was a team sport kind of guy. He much preferred to be on a football and baseball team," says Susan Selke, Hunt's mother.

After high school Hunt went to college but halfway through he decided he wanted to be a Marine. He tested so well, the Marines wanted him to be an officer, but Hunt declined. He wanted on the team.

He was infantry and happy.

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