Ted Robbins

As an NPR correspondent based in Tucson, Arizona, Ted Robbins covers the Southwest including Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada.

Specifically, Robbins reports on a range of issues from immigration and border security to water issues and wildfires. He covers the economy in the West with an emphasis on the housing market and Las Vegas development. He reported on the January 2011, Tucson shooting that killed six and injured many included Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

From Tombstone to Santa Fe, Phoenix to Las Vegas and Moab to Indian Country, there's no shortage of people, politics and places worth covering in the growing American Southwest. Robbins' reporting is driven by his curiosity to find, understand and communicate all sides of each story through accurate, clear and engaging coverage. In addition to his domestic work, Robbins has reported internationally in Mexico, El Salvador, Nepal and Sudan.

Robbins' reporting has been honored with numerous accolades, including two Emmy Awards: one for his story on sex education in schools, and another for his series on women in the workforce. He received a CINE Golden Eagle for a 1995 documentary on Mexican agriculture called "Tomatoes for the North."

In 2006, Robbins wrote an article for the Neiman Reports at Harvard about journalism and immigration. He was chosen for a 2009 French-American Foundation Fellowship focused on comparing European and U.S. immigration issues.

Raised in Los Angeles, Robbins became an avid NPR listener while spending hours driving (or stopped in traffic) on congested freeways. He is delighted to now be covering stories for his favorite news source.

Prior to coming to NPR in 2004, Robbins spent five years as a regular contributor to The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, 15 years at the PBS affiliate in Tucson, and worked as a field producer for CBS News. He worked for NBC affiliates in Tucson and Salt Lake City, where he also did some radio reporting and print reporting for USA Today.

Robbins earned his Bachelor of Arts in psychology and his master's degree in journalism, both from the University of California at Berkeley. He taught journalism at the University of Arizona for a decade.

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Around the Nation
5:32 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Ariz. Activists Rally For Votes Against Sheriff Arpaio

Rosa Maria Soto protests Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio outside the federal courthouse on July 19 in Phoenix. It was the first day of a trial that accuses Arpaio's office of racially profiling Latinos.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 9:17 am

Testimony is scheduled to end Thursday in the racial-profiling suit against Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The sheriff faces a class-action civil suit on behalf of Latino citizens and legal residents in Maricopa County.

The plaintiffs say deputies stopped and detained them because of the color of their skin. As lawyers fight Arpaio in the courtroom, activists outside are using the trial as a rallying point against the sheriff in his upcoming election.

'Adios Arpaio'

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Law
3:04 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Controversial Ariz. Sheriff's Tactics Go On Trial

A trial begins Thursday in Phoenix accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, seen in this May 3, 2010, file photo, of violating the civil rights of Latino citizens and legal U.S. residents.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 10:04 am

The self-proclaimed "Toughest Sheriff in America" is facing one of his toughest tests. A trial begins Thursday morning in Phoenix accusing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio of violating the civil rights of Latino citizens and legal U.S. residents. The class-action civil suit says the sheriff went over the line in his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration.

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Animals
4:17 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Wild Mustangs Give Patrol Horsepower On The Border

Border Patrol Agent Bobbi Schad pets a mustang at the agency's training facility in Willcox, Ariz., last August.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:26 pm

It's all new for Achilles: his name, his horseshoes, the surroundings at his home near Nogales, Ariz.

"To break 'em from what they're focusing on, you want to turn 'em from one side to the next," Border Patrol agent Luis Navarro says as he carefully leads Achilles into a round training arena.

Navarro holds the mustang by a short lead, and teaches it commands to trot and to slow down.

Read more
U.S.
6:06 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

After Arizona Immigration Ruling, Panic And Protests

Protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court shout slogans during an April 25 protest against Arizona Senate Bill 1070.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:48 pm

When the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's immigration law this week, it left standing a provision requiring police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons. The ruling has already created a chilling effect in the state, and it has sparked protests.

Protesters against Senate Bill 1070 stand in front of the Arizona state building in Tucson holding signs saying "Reject Racism" and "Today We March, Tomorrow We Vote." Patricia Carpio's sign says "Resistencia."

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Architecture
5:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Still Unimplemented, Ariz. Law Has Chilling Effect

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 6:49 pm

It will be weeks — maybe longer — before the one part of Arizona's immigration law the Supreme Court left standing goes into effect. A lower court has to remove its injunction before local police are required to ask about immigration status. But as NPR's Ted Robbins reports, there's already been a backlash.

Law
4:58 am
Tue June 26, 2012

Ariz. Gov. Brewer Calls Supreme Court Ruling A Win

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 8:25 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's return, now, to the governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer. As we heard a moment ago, she's calling this a win, even though the Court struck down most of the Arizona law and said it would wait and see how the show me your papers provision is applied.

GOVERNOR JAN BREWER: Arizona's and every other state's inherent authority to protect and defend its people has been upheld.

INSKEEP: Governor Brewer is one of many Arizona voices responding to the ruling. Here's NPR's Ted Robbins.

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Economy
5:20 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Part-Time Workers Skew Jobs Figures In Arizona

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:13 pm

Arizona is among the top ten states for job growth. But that includes part-time jobs, so thousands may be underemployed.

Around the Nation
5:09 am
Fri May 25, 2012

In Ariz. Contest, A Debate Over Government's Reach

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 10:22 am

Voters in southern Arizona's 8th Congressional District are deciding who will fill the seat formerly held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The Democrat resigned in January, a year after she was badly injured by a gunman at a district event in Tucson.

Giffords' resignation set in motion a special election to serve out the rest of her two-year term. Giffords' former district director, Ron Barber, won the Democratic nomination uncontested. Jesse Kelly easily beat three opponents in the Republican primary.

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Around the Nation
5:27 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Arizona Sheriff Arpaio Plans To Fight DOJ Lawsuit

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 7:10 am

The Department of Justice has announced it is suing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio because of civil rights violations. He became a controversial figure for his tough stance on immigrants. Arpaio says he will not surrender his office and will fight the suit.

Crisis In The Housing Market
3:05 am
Tue May 1, 2012

Some Housing Markets Rebound, But Bargains Scarce

While some sections of Arizona's housing market have shown signs of recovery, potential homebuyers who are looking for affordable houses have been frustrated. This file photo from 2008 shows a subdivision extending into desert scrubland.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 9:12 am

The real estate market has turned around in some parts of the U.S., but many buyers aren't seeing true bargains anymore. Investors are driving up prices, and inventory is low, especially for homes priced under $250,000. That's not great news for anyone hoping to buy an affordable house to live in.

Arizona is home to one of the nation's extraordinary turnarounds. The Phoenix-area median home price rose 20 percent over the past year — 6 percent in March alone. And Tucson was recently named the nation's best market for investors. But the easy money has already been made.

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Animals
4:57 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

A Bug's Life: Store Caters To Collectors Of Crawly Pets

The Poecilotheria metallica is a species of tarantula that reflects a metallic blue color. It is just one of many tarantulas for sale in Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil's pet store. Price: $200.
Kenthebugguy.com

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:49 pm

If you're the kind of person who screams at the sight of an insect or spider — or worse, steps on it — then a new store in Tucson, Ariz., might not be the best place for you to pick up a new family pet.

Owner Ken "The Bug Guy" MacNeil says his store is the only retail pet shop in the country devoted to insects and other arthropods. Judging from the recent opening day crowd at the store, plenty of people think the critters make great pets.

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Presidential Race
7:41 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Can Romney Keep Ariz. Red?

Originally published on Sat April 21, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. The Republican campaign for president literally heated up yesterday. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, the likely nominee, was in the Phoenix area. He addressed a rally of sun-soaked supporters, a meeting of Republican state chairmen and a group of Hispanic leaders. Now, in the moment, we'll hear more about how Republicans plan to reach out to Hispanic voters this election season. First, NPR's Ted Robbins has this report.

MITT ROMNEY: Thank you, thank you.

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Around the Nation
7:57 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Ariz. Immigration Law Limbo Sees Mixed Results

Tucson, Ariz., police officers work in the city's predominantly Hispanic South Side in May 2010. Since April 2010, when Arizona's controversial immigration bill passed into law, crime in the state has hit a 30-year low. Some attribute this to the law, but others are not so sure there's a connection.
Scott Olson Getty Images

The Supreme Court is about to take up one of this term's biggest cases. Next Wednesday, the court will hear arguments challenging Arizona's controversial state immigration law, known as SB 1070.

Among other things, the law makes it a state crime to be in the country illegally and requires police to question the immigration status of people they stop. Lower courts blocked parts of the law when it was passed nearly two years ago.

But in that time, things in Arizona have been changing.

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Sports
2:56 am
Wed April 11, 2012

New Season, New Owners For Los Angeles Dodgers

The L.A. Dodgers stand on the third baseline during the national anthem on opening day at Dodger Stadium. They beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-1, on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 9:31 am

It was a sold out game on a pure Southern California day.

"Isn't this beautiful? Blue sky, not a cloud in the air, nice little breeze," said Maury Wills, who was the Dodgers shortstop in 1962. "It's warm Southern California."

Wills joined a bunch of his old teammates Tuesday to celebrate Dodger Stadium's 50th anniversary. It's also the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys. So they sang the national anthem after "Surfer Girl."

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U.S.
12:02 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Komen Struggles To Regain Footing, And Funding

Participants at the 2012 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Southern Arizona in Tucson. As in several other regions, enrollment in the fundraising event was down this year.
Ted Robbins NPR

It's Race for the Cure season in many parts of the U.S. The signature fundraisers of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation draw crowds of men, women and children dressed in pink to city streets around the nation each year.

The national breast cancer charity's decision to cut — and then restore — funding to Planned Parenthood created a firestorm early this year. The decision generated heated debate and led to the resignation of a number of the organization's top leaders.

Read more

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