Wade Goodwyn http://wuis.org en A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast http://wuis.org/post/roller-coaster-year-texas-town-rocked-blast 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.<p>And then — a massive explosion. The men fighting the fire at the plant never had a chance. Mon, 14 Apr 2014 21:37:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 23014 at http://wuis.org A 'Roller Coaster' Year For Texas Town Rocked By Blast The Latest In HD TV, From The Comfort Of Your Courtside Seat http://wuis.org/post/latest-hd-tv-comfort-your-courtside-seat 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.<p>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. Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:14:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 22506 at http://wuis.org The Latest In HD TV, From The Comfort Of Your Courtside Seat Oil Spill Disrupts A Waterway Thick With Barges And Birds http://wuis.org/post/oil-spill-disrupts-waterway-thick-barges-and-birds Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.<p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>I'm Robert Siegel.<p>In this part of the program, the latest on a large oil spill over the weekend in Texas. Also, the legacy of one of the nation's biggest spills, the Exxon Valdez, 25 years later. First, the current mess that has shut down the Houston Ship Channel. A 585-foot-long cargo ship named Summer Wind collided with an oil barge, sending thousands of barrels of heavy bunker fuel into the water. Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:24:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 21531 at http://wuis.org Texas Abortion Restrictions Shutter Two More Clinics http://wuis.org/post/texas-abortion-restrictions-shutter-two-more-clinics Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>The last two abortion clinics in Texas' Rio Grande Valley along the Mexican border are closing today. New restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature last year require that doctors at abortion clinics obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 20314 at http://wuis.org A College Project That Imagines A Floating City For Oil Workers http://wuis.org/post/college-project-imagines-floating-city-oil-workers Imagine you're in a college-level architecture class and your assignment is to come up with an idea so revolutionary that it could be considered an important advance in industrial design.<p>Students at Rice University in Houston accomplished that with <a href="http://www.petropia.org/projects/project-floating-frontiers/drift-drive-2/" target="_blank">plans for a floating city</a> that is being considered by one of the world's largest oil companies. Tue, 25 Feb 2014 08:38:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 19636 at http://wuis.org A College Project That Imagines A Floating City For Oil Workers The Strange Case Of Marlise Munoz And John Peter Smith Hospital http://wuis.org/post/strange-case-marlise-munoz-and-john-peter-smith-hospital It would have been hard to find a happier man than Erick Munoz on that Tuesday morning before Thanksgiving.<p>With a healthy and delightful son toddling around the house, and his beautiful and successful wife pregnant with their second child, the fire department paramedic had everything in life that's really important. Tue, 28 Jan 2014 22:45:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 17847 at http://wuis.org The Strange Case Of Marlise Munoz And John Peter Smith Hospital After Okla. Tornado's Devastation, A Search For Safety And Shelter http://wuis.org/post/after-moores-f5-tornado-storm-shelter-interest-increases Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>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.<p>WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Stand in the middle of Lakeview Drive in Moore, and you're surrounded by a lot of wide-open Oklahoma. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 09:30:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 15732 at http://wuis.org After Okla. Tornado's Devastation, A Search For Safety And Shelter Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times http://wuis.org/post/camels-trek-texas-desert-just-old-times 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.<p>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.<p><strong>'As Good As They Come'</strong><p>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.<p>"She's 8 years old. Sat, 21 Dec 2013 23:28:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 15514 at http://wuis.org Camels Trek In The Texas Desert, Just Like Old Times Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle http://wuis.org/post/even-85-mph-highway-cant-fix-austins-traffic-tangle Four decades ago, Austin, Texas, had a population of 250,000 and a reputation as a laid-back oasis of liberal politics and live music. Today, the Austin metro area is home to 1.8 million people and has some of the nation's worst traffic congestion.<p>For years, the city has done little to address the growing problem. But most in the Texas capital now agree something has to change if Austin is to save what's left of its quirky character.<p>The best way to experience Austin traffic may be from inside the police department's new helicopter. Tue, 17 Dec 2013 08:03:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 15167 at http://wuis.org Even An 85 MPH Highway Can't Fix Austin's Traffic Tangle Marking Kennedy Assassination, Dallas Still On 'Eggshells' http://wuis.org/post/marking-kennedy-assassination-dallas-still-eggshells Friday's 50th anniversary of assassination of President John F. Thu, 21 Nov 2013 22:15:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 13525 at http://wuis.org Marking Kennedy Assassination, Dallas Still On 'Eggshells' Texas' Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women http://wuis.org/post/texas-voter-id-law-creates-problem-some-women In 2012 a federal court struck down Texas' ID law, ruling it would potentially disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of minority voters.<p>But that federal decision was invalidated when the Supreme Court last year ruled part of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. So now Texas is test-driving its voter ID law — one of the most restrictive voter ID laws in the nation.<p>Texas judges are accustomed to a certain level of respect, even deference as they go about their daily business in the Lone Star State. Wed, 30 Oct 2013 21:12:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 12017 at http://wuis.org Texas' Voter ID Law Creates A Problem For Some Women 97-Year-Old Birder Has No Intention Of Slowing Down http://wuis.org/post/profile-97-year-old-birder Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>If 60 is the new 50 and 50 the new 40, well, what then is 97? Veteran bird guide Karl Haller is busy redefining what it means to be just shy of a century. He's been counting birds and teaching the art of bird watching at the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in North Texas for over 50 years.<p>His student this time: NPR's Wade Goodwyn.<p>WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: A cool breeze is blowing off Lake Texoma and into the Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge.<p>(LAUGHTER)<p>KARL HALLER: Well, it could be. Yeah. Mon, 26 Aug 2013 08:51:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 7854 at http://wuis.org Feds Sue To Block Proposed Airline Merger http://wuis.org/post/feds-sue-block-proposed-airline-merger Transcript <p>DAVID GREENE, HOST: <p>And let's hear now about a proposed airline merger. In a surprise move, the Justice Department announced yesterday that it will try to stop American Airlines and U.S. Airways from becoming one. This is largely because of two other mergers that made both Delta and United Airlines much bigger. Those deals were approved back in 2008 and 2010. Wed, 14 Aug 2013 09:36:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 7258 at http://wuis.org Federal Case Pits Wounded Warrior Against FBI http://wuis.org/post/federal-case-pits-wounded-warrior-against-fbi Army Ranger Justin Slaby served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. While he was back in the U.S. preparing to deploy for a fourth tour, his left hand was blown off by a faulty grenade in a training accident. After being fitted with a state-of-the-art prosthesis, Slaby was encouraged by one of his doctors to try for a career in the FBI. Thu, 25 Jul 2013 20:59:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 6291 at http://wuis.org Federal Case Pits Wounded Warrior Against FBI Texas Pit Masters Bask In Moment Of Barbecue Glory http://wuis.org/post/texas-pit-masters-bask-moment-barbecue-glory It's not even noon yet but every table out front of the <a href="http://www.pecanlodge.com">Pecan Lodge</a> in downtown Dallas is filled with veterans with barbecue heaped on their plates, smirking at the gobsmacked newbies. First timers are easily discernible by the stunned looks on their faces when they walk in and see the line.<p>Half the people standing in line are not even going to get barbecue; it's going to run out before they can order. Tue, 23 Jul 2013 06:57:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 6138 at http://wuis.org Texas Pit Masters Bask In Moment Of Barbecue Glory Democrats Want To Mess With Texas? GOP Says Not So Fast http://wuis.org/post/democrats-want-mess-texas-gop-says-not-so-fast <em>All this week,</em><em> </em><a href="http://www.npr.org/series/196613711/texas-2020" target="_blank">NPR is taking a look</a><em> </em><em>at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.</em><p>Democrats see opportunity in Texas' fast-growing Latino population. But the Republican Party is strong in Texas — very strong.<p>Nearly two-thirds of the Texas Legislature stands with the GOP. Wed, 03 Jul 2013 20:47:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 5201 at http://wuis.org Democrats Want To Mess With Texas? GOP Says Not So Fast Okla. Tornado Survivors Try To Collect Lives After Storm http://wuis.org/post/okla-tornado-survivors-try-collect-lives-after-storm Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>In Moore, for the many people whose homes were destroyed, the top priorities are finding a place to stay, some clothes to wear, and food to eat. NPR's Wade Goodwyn has been talking with survivors in Moore, and he sent this story.<p>WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: Jamie Martinez(ph) is a retired police officer who still does security work, and that's where he was when the tornado slammed into his neighborhood yesterday.<p>JAMIE MARTINEZ: Our house is gone. It's leveled. Our - missing six pets; the least of our problems. I mean, we're alive; that's what counts. Tue, 21 May 2013 21:43:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 3060 at http://wuis.org At NRA Convention, Dueling Narratives Displayed With Guns http://wuis.org/post/nra-convention-dueling-narratives-displayed-guns The National Rifle Association is holding its annual convention in Houston this weekend. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend for speeches and demos and acres of guns, ammo and camo.<p>The NRA is coming off of a major victory: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/04/17/177638177/senate-rejects-expanded-background-checks-for-gun-sales">the defeat</a> of gun control legislation in the Senate. Sat, 04 May 2013 09:51:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 2165 at http://wuis.org At NRA Convention, Dueling Narratives Displayed With Guns Mourners Pack Arena To Honor Victims Of Texas Explosion http://wuis.org/post/mourners-pack-arena-honor-victims-texas-explosion Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.<p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>And I'm Renee Montagne.<p>Nearly 10,000 mourners gathered yesterday to honor the men who died fighting a fire in a fertilizer plant in Texas. They packed the basketball arena on the campus of Baylor University in Waco. Fri, 26 Apr 2013 09:17:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 1724 at http://wuis.org Thousands Attend Memorial For Plant Explosion Victims http://wuis.org/post/thousands-attend-memorial-plant-explosion-victims President Obama visited Waco, Texas, on Thursday day to take part in a memorial for those killed in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 23:49:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 1712 at http://wuis.org Volunteers Help Residents Clear Explosion Debris In Texas http://wuis.org/post/volunteers-help-residents-clear-explosion-debris-texas Transcript <p>RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: <p>President Obama travels to another memorial today, this one in the Texas town of West. It is to remember those killed last week when a fertilizer plant exploded there. Yesterday, some of those living in homes closest to the plant were allowed back for the first time. NPR's Wade Goodwyn was there.<p>WADE GOODWYN, BYLINE: As a springtime Texas sun streams down gently through the live oaks, neighbors and volunteers flow in and out of their houses, carting broken glass and sheetrock. Thu, 25 Apr 2013 11:37:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 1714 at http://wuis.org Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion http://wuis.org/post/officials-seek-answers-aftermath-deadly-explosion With the house-to-house search over and the living and dead largely accounted for, the town of West, Texas, began the transition from shock and disbelief to communal grieving.<p>On Friday night, mourners gathered at St. Mary Church of the Assumption to remember the dead. Many of the dead were first responders who were fighting a roaring fire for 30 minutes before the explosion, which was felt 80 miles away in Fort Worth.<p>Texas Sen. Sat, 20 Apr 2013 09:21:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 1446 at http://wuis.org Officials Seek Answers In Aftermath Of Deadly Plant Explosion Investigators Search For Clues In Texas Plant Explosion http://wuis.org/post/investigators-search-clues-texas-plant-explosion Transcript <p>STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: <p>And let's turn now, briefly, to West, Texas, the scene of this week's fertilizer plant explosion. Many questions remain unanswered there. In fact, it's still hard to estimate how many people were killed. We do know that regulators had a few concerns with this plant in the past, though it's not clear if anybody questioned the plant's location near homes and a school.<p>And amid all these questions, the people of West are picking up and taking stock. Fri, 19 Apr 2013 12:15:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 1404 at http://wuis.org Texas Contractors Say Playing By The Rules Doesn't Pay http://wuis.org/post/texas-contractors-say-playing-rules-doesnt-pay <em>This story is part of a two-part series about the construction industry in Texas. Find the first part <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/04/10/176677299/construction-booming-in-texas-but-many-workers-pay-dearly" target="_blank">here</a>.</em><p>Homes in Texas are cheap — at least compared with much of the country. Thu, 11 Apr 2013 07:21:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 1017 at http://wuis.org Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly http://wuis.org/post/construction-booming-texas-many-workers-pay-dearly Like almost everything in the Texas, the construction industry in the Lone Star State is big. One in every 13 workers here is employed in the state's $54 billion-per-year construction industry.<p>Homebuilding and commercial construction may be an economic driver for the state, but it's also an industry riddled with hazards. Years of illegal immigration have pushed wages down, and accidents and wage fraud are common. Of the nearly 1 million workers laboring in construction here, approximately half are undocumented.<p>Many of those workers have been in the U.S. for years, even decades. Wed, 10 Apr 2013 07:20:00 +0000 Wade Goodwyn 961 at http://wuis.org Construction Booming In Texas, But Many Workers Pay Dearly