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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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/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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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Religion
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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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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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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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Health
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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Law
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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Law
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.
AP

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/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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.
AP

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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U.S.
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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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Commentary
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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Politics
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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Around the Nation
5:19 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Messy Legal Road That Led To Oklahoma's Botched Execution

Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, here with Michael C. Thompson, state secretary of safety and security, charged that the state Supreme Court had exceeded its jurisdiction when it called for a stay of execution in the Clayton Lockett case in March.
Alonzo Adams AP

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 11:08 pm

Although most of the country just became aware of issues with Oklahoma's capital punishment protocols last week after Clayton Lockett's bungled execution, his lawyers had been worried for months. That's because in January, two condemned men in different states but injected with the same new drug cocktail endured executions that went badly. Lockett's lawyer, Susanna Gattoni, was unable to keep him from suffering a similar fate last week.

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Around the Nation
5:37 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

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

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

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

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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Sports
5:56 pm
Mon April 7, 2014

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

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

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

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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Around the Nation
4:30 am
Thu December 26, 2013

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

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

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

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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Around the Nation
6:25 pm
Sat December 21, 2013

Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times

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

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

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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The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
5:01 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Marking Kennedy Assassination, Dallas Still On 'Eggshells'

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

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 8:22 pm

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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Around the Nation
4:51 am
Mon August 26, 2013

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

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

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

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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Law
4:49 am
Thu August 22, 2013

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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