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.


11:45 am
Thu September 24, 2015

The Very Strange Case Of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl faced a preliminary hearing in San Antonio last week. He faces a possible court-martial for walking off his base in Afghanistan in 2009. An Army investigation produced a wealth of new information on his motivations. The major general who led the inquiry recommended against a prison sentence.

Originally published on Thu September 24, 2015 2:41 pm

When you don't know the facts of a given incident, it's human nature to attempt to fill them in yourself. But in the case of Bowe Bergdahl, there's no way you could concoct the narrative the Army's two-month investigation uncovered.

According to the testimony of Maj. Gen. Kenneth Dahl, who led the 22-member team during the investigation, Bergdahl, who was a private first class at the time, quietly slipped away from his bunk and sneaked out of Forward Operating Post Mest in eastern Afghanistan on the night of June 30, 2009.

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National Security
5:02 pm
Sat September 19, 2015

The Fate Of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Now In The Hands Of His Superiors

Originally published on Sat September 19, 2015 6:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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National Security
5:31 pm
Fri September 18, 2015

Chief Investigator Says Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl Shouldn't Be Sent To Prison

Originally published on Fri September 18, 2015 6:39 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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5:13 am
Fri September 18, 2015

Hearing To Decide If Court-Martial Is Warranted For Bowe Bergdahl

Originally published on Fri September 18, 2015 5:31 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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The Two-Way
6:31 pm
Wed September 16, 2015

Army To Open A Hearing On Former Taliban Prisoner, An Accused Deserter

The Army opens a hearing Thursday to decide whether to court-martial Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who is accused of deserting his post in Afghanistan. Bergdahl was picked up and held prisoner by the Taliban for five years.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Thu September 17, 2015 10:39 am

Army Sgt. Robert "Bowe" Bergdahl will be in a military courtroom in Texas Thursday, for the start of a hearing that will determine if he will face a court-martial on desertion and other charges. He could face a sentence of life in prison.

Whether the military proceeds with a court-martial will hinge, in part, on the events of the night of June 30, 2009. That's when Bergdahl went missing from his unit's outpost in a remote part of eastern Afghanistan.

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It's All Politics
6:55 pm
Tue September 15, 2015

At Massive Dallas Rally, Trump's Speech Lacks Policy

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the American Airlines Center in Dallas Monday.
Laura Buckman AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 15, 2015 7:56 pm

Donald Trump's rallies tend to feel more like a playoff game or music concert than electoral politics. There's an expectation of entertainment — older couples are dressed up, and people are friendly and excited. Monday night's large rally at a basketball arena in Dallas was no exception.

"He's telling me everything I want to hear. I'm for change; I'm fed up with the 30 years of empty suits in Washington," said Brian Markum, an energy consultant who came to the rally with his wife.

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It's All Politics
11:11 am
Sat September 12, 2015

In Texas, It May Have All Come Too Easily For Rick Perry

Rick Perry phone-banking during his reelection campaign as governor of Texas in 2006. There was evidence of the problems that lay ahead in his presidential campaigns in those days in Texas.
Michael Stravato AP

Originally published on Sat September 12, 2015 1:26 pm

The seeds of calamity for Rick Perry were sown years ago in the fertile political ground that Texas became for the Republican Party.

Perry suspended his campaign for president Friday evening, becoming the first candidate this year to get out of the crowded race for president. It was his second failed bid for the White House after leaving as Texas' longest-serving governor.

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4:49 pm
Thu September 10, 2015

So Many Sports, So Little Time: Texas High School Athletes Opt Out Of Football

Originally published on Fri September 11, 2015 11:03 am

In Texas, fewer high school boys are playing football. And while there may be some concern about head injuries, one young athlete says the trend has more to do with demands on his time and the push for players to specialize in one sport.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Wed August 12, 2015

Rick Perry's Loss Is Ted Cruz's Gain

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (left) support among Republican voters nationally is neither wide nor deep. Meanwhile, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is busily ascending the GOP escalator.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 12, 2015 5:29 pm

Tuesday, Rick Perry's campaign announced it could no longer pay his staffers around the country and released them to find other work. His fundraising had dried up. It's potentially an ignominious end to a noteworthy political career that spanned more than 30 years.

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Around the Nation
6:40 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Boy Scouts To Announce End Of Ban On Gay Leaders

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 7:24 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



The executive board of the Boy Scouts of America has ended its outright ban on gay scout leaders today, but there's a caveat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports that the resolution allows each scout unit to decide for itself whether to accept gay adult leaders.

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Around the Nation
5:43 pm
Fri June 26, 2015

President Obama Delivers Eulogy At Funeral For Rev. Clementa Pinckney

Originally published on Fri June 26, 2015 9:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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Around the Nation
6:33 pm
Wed June 24, 2015

Texas Abortion Curbs Go Into Effect Soon, Unless Supreme Court Acts

On July 9, 2013, opponents and supporters of a bill to put restrictions on abortion hold signs near a news conference outside the Texas Capitol in Austin. The bill was passed, but has been battled in the courts for two years; now, the law is set to go into effect July 1.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Wed June 24, 2015 8:01 pm

At the hands of the Texas Legislature, the last four years have been long for supporters of abortion rights.

The next blow lands on July 1, when a new law will go into effect in Texas and drastically reduce access to abortion services — likely leaving just nine clinics that perform abortions open in the entire state.

The controversial law, passed in 2013, requires clinics to meet tougher building standards and doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

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It's All Politics
5:03 am
Thu June 4, 2015

5 Things You Should Know About Rick Perry

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at the Iowa Faith & Freedom 15th Annual Spring Kick Off in Iowa in April.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 3:52 pm

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Shots - Health News
4:23 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

Texas Politicians And Businesses Feud Over Medicaid Expansion

While governor of Texas, Rick Perry refused to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid.
Rick Wilking Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 12:12 am

Dallas's Parkland Hospital treats a lot of people without health insurance. On a November day in 1963, emergency room doctors at this county hospital frantically tried to save an American president who could not be saved. These days, emergency room doctors frantically try to treat 240,000 patients every year.

"So you can see we have every treatment area filled up. Beds are in the hallways and the rooms are all full," says Dr. John Pease, chief of emergency services.

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It's All Politics
7:12 pm
Tue May 12, 2015

Texas Sen. Doesn't Want Clergy 'Coerced' Into Officiating Same-Sex Marriages

Texas Republican state Sen. Craig Estes' bill reinforces that clergy would not have to perform same-sex marriages.
Harry Cabluck AP

Originally published on Tue May 12, 2015 8:09 pm

The Texas Legislature is sending a message this week on the subject of same-sex marriage. And that message is: Hell no — again.

The bill that just got initial approval in the Texas Senate would protect clergy from having to conduct any marriage ceremony or perform any service that would violate their sacred beliefs.

"We want to make sure they are not ever coerced into performing a marriage ceremony that would violate their sincerely held religious beliefs," State Sen. Craig Estes told NPR. Estes sponsored the bill.

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5:11 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Texas Shooting Sheds Light On Murkiness Between Free, Hate Speech

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:32 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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Around the Nation
4:31 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

FBI Searches Phoenix Home Connected To Garland, Texas, Gunman

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 10:57 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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5:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Amid Rising Concern About Addiction, Universities Focus On Recovery

Students in recovery from substance abuse are finding support on a growing number of college and university campuses, including the University of Texas at Austin.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 6:22 pm

In murder mystery novels, when the hero, a private detective or homicide cop, drops by a late-night Alcoholics Anonymous meeting to stave off a sudden craving for a beer or two or 20, it's usually in some dingy church basement or dilapidated storefront on the seedier side of town. There's a pot of burnt coffee and a few stale doughnuts on a back table.

The Center for Students in Recovery at the University of Texas could not be more different.

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4:50 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Sniper Trial Could Be In Jury's Hands Soon

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 7:16 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Deceptive Cadence
2:21 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

One Night Only: The Streets Meet The Opera House

The Dallas Street Choir performed in T-shirts, then changed into formalwear for the Street Requiem. Baritone Russell Rodriguez is in front, far right, in an orange T-shirt.
Courtesy of Mark Mullaney

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 7:35 pm

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6:19 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

Botched Lethal Injection Executions Reignite Death Penalty Debate

Arizona Department of Corrections inmate Joseph Wood was executed by lethal injection in July. It took 15 doses and nearly two hours for him to die.

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 6:36 pm

This past year, the number of inmates executed in America was the lowest in two decades at 35, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

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Around the Nation
5:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Texas Death Row Case Draws Attention To Mentally Ill Convicts

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 7:41 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



The legal process is scheduled to end in Texas today for Scott Panetti. He's a convicted killer set for execution. He's drawn worldwide attention because he has a 36-year history of chronic schizophrenia. From Dallas, NPR's Wade Goodwyn reports.

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Around the Nation
5:41 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Texas Execution Nears For Murderer Whose Competence Was Debated

Texas death row inmate Scott Panetti has had a long history of mental illness but was allowed to defend himself at trial. He is scheduled to be executed next Wednesday.

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 6:39 pm

On Dec. 3, Texas is scheduled to execute Scott Panetti for murdering his in-laws in 1992. There is no doubt he committed the crime, and there is also no doubt that Panetti is mentally ill. But he was deemed fit to stand trial, and he was allowed to defend himself, dressing in a cowboy costume in court, insisting he was a character from a John Wayne movie.

Over the course of the last two decades — and many appeals — his case has gained national attention, and it has shone a spotlight on capital punishment and mental illness.

A Diagnosis

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Around the Nation
6:59 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Was CDC Too Quick To Blame Dallas Nurses In Care Of Ebola Patient?

Dallas nurse Nina Pham speaks at a press conference after she was confirmed free of Ebola and released from a National Institutes of Health facility on Friday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Dallas nurse Nina Pham was discharged from a National Institutes of Health hospital in Maryland Friday, where doctors confirmed she was free of the Ebola virus.

Pham's colleague Amber Vinson is also said to be free of Ebola, though she remains in a hospital in Atlanta.

While their progress is being cheered, many nurses around the country still feel their profession unfairly received blame for the errors in treating Ebola in Dallas.

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Around the Nation
7:46 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Dallas Hospital Deals With Aftermath Of Ebola Missteps

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 3:46 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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The Two-Way
7:35 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Dallas Hospital Chief Shares Lessons Learned In Battle With Ebola

Clinical Director of Texas Health Resources Dr. Daniel Varga at a press conference Wednesday in Dallas.
Stewart F. House Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:03 pm

Dr. Daniel Varga is chief clinical officer for Texas Health Resources, a network of 25 hospitals that includes Presbyterian in Dallas, which treated the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States.

I spoke with Varga today about the lessons the hospital learned in its battle with Ebola. Here are a few highlights:

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12:22 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Man Diagnosed With Ebola In Texas Dies In Hospital

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



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8:15 am
Sat September 13, 2014

After Exoneration, Small Moments Take On New Meaning

James Lee Woodard was exonerated by DNA evidence after spending 27 years in prison.
Wade Goodwyn NPR

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 12:47 pm

This month brought two more exonerations based on new DNA evidence. Henry Lee McCollum was 19 years old and his half-brother, Leon Brown, was 15 when they were arrested. The two black, intellectually disabled half brothers were convicted of the rape and murder of an 11-year-old Sabrina Buie and spent 30 years on death row.

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Shots - Health News
5:48 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

A Doctor Who Performed Abortions In South Texas Makes His Case

Though Reproductive Services of Harlingen has been shuttered for months, the surgery rooms seem frozen in time.
Maisie Crow

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 5:33 pm

In a Brownsville family clinic, a powerfully built, bald doctor treats a never-ending line of sick and injured patients. He has been practicing for nearly four decades, but family medicine is not his calling.

"For 35 years I had a clinic where I saw women and took care of their reproductive needs, but mostly terminating pregnancies," Dr. Lester Minto says.

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12:33 pm
Sat August 30, 2014

Rick Perry's Legal Trouble: The Line Between Influence And Coercion

Texas Gov. Rick Perry talks to the media and supporters after he was booked on August 19 in Austin. Perry is charged with abuse of office and coercing a public official.
Eric Gay AP

The day he was booked, Texas Gov. Rick Perry gave a big smile for his mug shot — which was then printed up on t-shirts to demonstrate just what a farce he thought the indictment was. In a press conference, the scorn dripped from Perry's voice as he took up the sword — defender, not of himself, but of the state's constitution.

"We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said. "It is outrageous that some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state's constitution."

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