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.

Pages

Around the Nation
1:33 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Teenager's Faith At Odds With Locator Tags In School IDs

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 3:17 am

A federal court in Texas on Monday will take up the case of a high-school student who refuses to wear her location-tracking school ID.

The 15-year-old sophomore says the ID badge, which has an embedded radio frequency identification tag, is a violation of her rights. The student, Andrea Hernandez, believes the ID is "the mark of the beast" from the Book of Revelation.

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Politics
3:50 am
Sun November 18, 2012

GOP Governors Say Party Lost On Strategy, Not Issues

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (left), Indiana Gov.-Elect Mike Pence (center) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, participate in a panel discussion during the 2012 RGA Annual Conference on Thursday in Las Vegas.
Ronda Churchill AP

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 12:22 pm

Republican governors got together in Las Vegas last week to take stock of the election results, which continue to sink in.

Going into Election Day, Republican confidence was high that the Grand Old Party would sweep President Obama aside, retake the U.S. Senate and reshape the country in the aftermath.

So on Nov. 6, when the results came in, many if not most Republicans were shocked by the president's victory. Pat McCrory, the newly elected governor of North Carolina, however, saw it coming.

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Business
2:24 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

American Airlines Fliers Fed Up As Labor Clash Rages

American Airlines planes sit on the tarmac at Miami International Airport this month. Reports indicate that American Airlines has canceled somewhere between 2 and 5 percent of flights in recent days, reportedly blaming a surge in pilot sick days and maintenance write-ups by pilots.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 10:37 am

Pat Henneberry is an airline's dream customer. She flies all week, every week, and buying an $800 ticket so that she can have full flexibility is standard operating procedure. She's an American Airlines platinum customer. But she is fed up with the endless delays and cancellations.

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U.S.
1:21 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Smoke Cleared, Texas Gun Owners Remain Wary

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:09 pm

Texas state Rep. Wayne Christian was born two blocks from where he now lives in what is called Deep East Texas.

"We were not wealthy people, [we were] common laborers, but that was typical in rural East Texas at that time," he says.

When he was growing up, Christian says, by first or second grade, an East Texas boy would accompany his father or grandfather on a hunting trip. But before a boy got a gun, he had to learn how to act — how to address the other men respectfully, to watch how it worked.

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Around the Nation
4:23 am
Sun September 16, 2012

Many Texans Bereaved Over 'Dead' Voter Purge

Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 6:36 am

Quite a few Texas voters are seeing dead people in the mirror these days when they go to brush their teeth in the morning.

In Houston, high school nurse Terry Collins got a letter informing her that after 34 years of voting she was off the Harris County rolls. Sorry.

"Friday of last week, I got a letter saying that my voting registration would be revoked because I'm deceased, I'm dead. I was like, 'Oh, no I'm not!' " Collins says.

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U.S.
3:30 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Court Paves Way For Texas Planned Parenthood Cuts

Abortion-rights opponents outside a Planned Parenthood of North Texas event in Fort Worth in February. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that Texas can defund Planned Parenthood clinics because the organization provides abortions.
David Kent MCT/Landov

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 4:23 pm

Officials in Texas say they will cut off state funding to Planned Parenthood following a federal court ruling last week. The decision by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the state can defund the health clinics because Planned Parenthood is associated with abortion.

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Around the Nation
2:54 am
Wed July 25, 2012

When The Ship Comes In To Brownsville, Rip it Up

A ship cutter helps dismantle a ship at the Bay Bridge Texas recycling yard.
Michelle Lopez for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:41 pm

This fall, the U.S. Navy will contract three Cold War-era aircraft carriers — the USS Forrestal, the USS Saratoga and the USS Constellation — for scrapping. Often called "supercarriers" owing to their massive size, the ships contain nearly 60,000 tons of steel and other metal each.

All three carriers are likely to be sent to the landlocked city of Brownsville, Texas, to be ripped apart.

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U.S.
1:40 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Rain Over Texas Quenches Dry Lone Star State

Pedestrians stand along the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas, in May. The state has gotten a reprieve from more than a year of drought.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:42 pm

While severe drought is taking hold in the Midwest, Texas is doing better. At this time last year, the state was on fire, crops were desiccated in the field and livestock were slowly starving. But recent rains have almost ended more than a year of record drought.

"If you look at the way we were thinking and feeling on the last July 16, that was desperation. That was despair," says Gene Hall, public relations director for the Texas Farm Bureau.

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Business
1:29 am
Mon July 16, 2012

In Bankruptcy, American Airlines Looks At All Options

Will American emerge from bankruptcy as a stand-alone airline, or will it merge with US Airways? An American spokesman says it's considering all options.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 5:30 am

Imagine going into bankruptcy with billions of dollars in cash still in your bank account. That's what American Airlines did last November. The thinking was that management would gut the company's pensions and union contracts and emerge from bankruptcy ready to compete.

But then US Airways said it could take over American and be profitable, and it wouldn't have to hurt American's employees nearly as bad in the process. American's pilots, mechanics and flight attendants loved that idea.

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U.S.
2:40 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Lake Lures Fishermen ... And Drug Traffickers

James Bendele runs the Falcon Lake Tackle Shop in Zapata, Texas. Bass fishermen flock to the lake, despite the presence of a Mexican drug cartel.
Wade Goodwyn

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 8:32 pm

On the long drive to Falcon Lake, it slowly becomes apparent why it's ranked the No. 1 bass fishing lake in America: It's in the middle of nowhere.

The lake straddles the Texas-Mexico border, and San Antonio, the closest city, is a four-hour drive away.

A fisherman has to have some serious "want to" to take on Falcon Lake, as they say around here.

But plenty of anglers do. And the trek pays off, because the bass here are big. Very big.

Read more
Race
3:17 am
Wed May 30, 2012

With One Wish, Banishing Memories Of Jim Crow

Almost 70 years ago, Dorothy Flood was denied access to a train dining car because she was black. Now, after finally dining in a first-class car, she says she'll never ride another train again.
Rachel Greiman Jeremy Bloom's Wish of a Lifetime

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 5:39 am

As the sun beams down, Dorothy Flood, 75, stands on the steps of the Royal Gorge Route Railroad train, smiling like a 1940s movie star.

"Right there! Then turn around, right there!" photographers call out, jockeying to snap her picture. "Here we go, count of three — one, two and three!"

And with a tip of his cap, a porter offers Flood his hand, and her "Wish Of A Lifetime" begins.

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House & Senate Races
1:02 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Texas Senate Hopefuls Woo Republicans Of All Stripes

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 2:34 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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Law
3:03 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Free After 25 Years: A Tale Of Murder And Injustice

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

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 9:15 pm

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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Business
3:39 pm
Mon April 23, 2012

Bankrupt American Airlines Spars With Unions

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

Originally published on Mon April 23, 2012 6:24 pm

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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Election 2012
2:00 am
Fri March 30, 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.

Million Dollar Donors
4:01 pm
Wed March 21, 2012

Lots Of GOP Money Flowing From The Texas Two

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

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 8:50 am

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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Fine Art
1:47 pm
Wed March 14, 2012

800-Year-Old Frescoes Leave Texas For Cyprus

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

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:57 am

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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Election 2012
2:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

After 3 Wins, Santorum Campaigns In Texas

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 4:33 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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It's All Politics
4:06 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 5:09 pm

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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NPR Story
2:00 am
Fri December 16, 2011

Fort Hood Soldiers Return From Iraq

Originally published on Fri December 16, 2011 1:23 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Congress has already OK'ed a bill authorizing more than $660 billion to be spent on defense. Senate approval came yesterday, the same day the Pentagon declared an official end to the war in Iraq. Among the troops coming home from Iraq are the soldiers of the 112th Cavalry 3rd Brigade 1st Cavalry Division.

NPR's Wade Goodwyn was there for their return to Fort Hood, Texas.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Business
10:01 pm
Mon December 12, 2011

Airplane Mechanics: A Farm Team For Everyone Else?

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

Originally published on Tue December 13, 2011 6:21 pm

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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Business
1:00 pm
Tue November 29, 2011

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.

Around the Nation
2:38 am
Sat October 1, 2011

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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Politics
10:01 pm
Mon September 19, 2011

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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Rick Perry
1:22 pm
Fri September 16, 2011

In Texas, Perry's Vaccine Mandate Provoked Anger

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

Originally published on Tue September 20, 2011 11:15 am

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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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Tue August 30, 2011

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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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Thu August 25, 2011

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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Election 2012
10:01 pm
Tue August 16, 2011

Texas Job Growth Trend Stretches Back For Decades

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

Originally published on Wed August 24, 2011 8:56 am

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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Politics
1:08 pm
Fri August 12, 2011

The Lone Star State Beginnings Of Rick Perry

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

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 4:32 pm

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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