Wade Goodwyn | KUER 90.1

Wade Goodwyn

Wade Goodwyn is an NPR National Desk Correspondent covering Texas and the surrounding states.

Reporting for NPR since 1991, Goodwyn has covered a wide range of issues, including politics, economics, Texas's vibrant music industry, tornado disasters in Oklahoma, and breaking news. Based out of Dallas, Goodwyn has been placed in the center of coverage on the killing of five police officers in Dallas in 2016, as well as the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City, and hurricanes in nearby states.

Even though he is a journalist, Goodwyn really considers himself a storyteller. He grew up in a Southern tradition of telling good stories, and he thinks radio is a perfect medium for it. After college, he first worked as a political organizer in New York, but frequently listening to WNYC led him to wanting a job as an NPR reporter.

Now, listeners recognize Goodwyn's compelling writing just as much as his voice. Goodwyn is known for his deep, "Texas timbre" and colorful, descriptive phrases in the stories he files for NPR.

Goodwyn is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in history. He lives in Dallas with his wife and daughters.

If you arrived at Beto O'Rourke's recent town hall meeting in San Antonio even 40 minutes ahead of time, you were out of luck. All 650 seats were already taken.

It was one sign that the El Paso Democratic congressman has set Texas Democrats on fire this year, as he takes on Republican Sen. Ted Cruz's re-election bid.

Texas Democrats have been wandering in the electoral wilderness for two decades — 1994 was the last time they won a statewide race — but at O'Rourke's events, they have been showing up in droves. Often, it's standing room only.

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Twenty years ago Saturday, two middle school students outside Jonesboro, Ark., lured their 11- and 12-year-old classmates out of school and opened fire from across the playground. They killed four students, all girls, and a teacher, wounding 10 others.

When the Columbine High School shooting occurred the following year in Littleton, Colo., the horror at Westside Middle School was, in effect, superseded. As the years passed, Columbine became the touchstone, the school shooting everyone remembered. And it left the survivors in Jonesboro feeling forgotten and even more bereft.

Two filmmakers from Amarillo, Texas, released their debut film about the death of a young man in the late '90s after a jocks-versus-punks brawl that got widespread national attention and exposed deep divisions in the city. The film, Bomb City, carries a nickname for Amarillo, the only city in the country with a nuclear assembly plant.

The rain's coming in sheets as folks file into the Douglas Community Center in Pittsburg, Texas, population 4,707.

The organizers of an event for Democratic Senate candidate Beto O'Rourke have set out 50 chairs, but they're worried now that's going to be too many. But by the time the candidate bounces through the door, they're unfolding dozens more chairs as the crowd zooms past 100.

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Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner says reservoir releases will keep water flooding into some homes for up to two more weeks. He's urging people in the western part of the city to get out.

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Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, was an early supporter of President Trump and often praises him. But he says he has not heard directly from Trump since the president said he was seriously considering pardoning Arpaio on a recent conviction for criminal contempt of court.

At an event Wednesday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was met by about 150 protesters who oppose the Senate's efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. On a hot evening, they stood outside a hotel in McKinney, a north Dallas suburb, shouting "shame on Ted" and "save Medicaid."

The by-invitation, town hall-style event was held one day after the senator's appearance in McAllen was disrupted by protesters concerned about health care as well as immigration.

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President Trump wants to revive a program that deputizes local law enforcement to help federal immigration agents cast a wider net.

It's part of his vow to increase deportations of unauthorized immigrants.

Kristen Hotopp stands in the front yard of her well-worn East Austin home, where she has lived for the past 17 years. She points across the street at an attractive, nearly new, two-story home — by far the nicest on the block.

"There are two units on this lot," Hotopp says. "There's a house in the back that's smaller and a house upfront. We're getting investors descending upon the area and buying up a lot of these properties."

The Big 12 Conference decided Wednesday to impose a multi-million dollar sanction on Baylor University after another recent round of stinging revelations about the extent and nature of the university's problems with alleged sexual assaults by former members of its football team.

Abortion rights activists on Monday filed a challenge in federal court to stop Texas' new rules requiring health clinics to bury all fetal remains from abortions and miscarriages.

Last year, the Texas legislature approved a $350 million cut in Medicaid reimbursement rates to early childhood intervention therapists and providers. The cuts, made to help balance a billion dollars in property tax relief, affect the most vulnerable Texas children — those born extremely prematurely or with Down syndrome or other genetic conditions that put them at risk for developmental delay.

It's called sticking to your guns to the noble and bitter end, and it's almost certainly what the Senate majority is going to do when it comes to refusing to even consider President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Merrick Garland.

Polls show the presidential race in Texas is closer than it's been in decades. Some even show the two candidates within the margin of error.

Does Hillary Clinton actually stand a chance in Texas? It's unlikely, but it could be closer than at any time in the past 20 years. The reason for how competitive the race looks lies in two demographic groups — Republican-leaning suburban women offended by Trump's comments about women, and Latinos, who are fired up to vote against him.

Suburban women cool to Trump

They congregated in VFW halls and sports bars, private homes and the back rooms of restaurants — Americans gathered to watch Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump finally go toe to toe.

Or to see how the Atlanta Falcons fared against the New Orleans Saints in the Superdome.

One contest or the other, the seductive glow of large flat panels drew more than the usual contingent of moths to their Monday night flames.

The Clinton crowd

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It's been almost a month since Micah Xavier Johnson murdered five Dallas police officers and wounded 11 other people following a protest march. In the days that followed, the city's white mayor, Mike Rawlings, and black police chief, David Brown, appeared together openly grieving, offering words of consolation and praising the bravery of their officers.

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In Texas, Republican leaders are denouncing today's directive from President Obama on transgender students. Here's the state's Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.

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"My friends, it's Saturday night, this is an emergency transmission. Associate Supreme Court Justice Anthony Scalia died earlier today at a ranch outside Big Bend in South Texas. ... The question is, was Anthony Scalia murdered?"

So begins conservative talk show host Alex Jones' Internet video. Jones then quickly answered his dramatic query "Has the Bill of Rights and the Constitution been murdered?" Yes, he says, yes they have.

For the past five years, the Texas Legislature has done everything in its power to defund Planned Parenthood. But it's not so easy to target that organization without hurting family planning clinics around the state generally.

Of the 82 clinics that have closed, only a third were Planned Parenthood.

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