Brakkton Booker | WGLT

Brakkton Booker

Brakkton Booker is a National Desk reporter based in Washington, DC.

He covers a wide range of topics including issues related to federal social safety net programs and news around the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

His reporting takes him across the country covering natural disasters, like hurricanes and flooding, as well as tracking trends in regional politics and in state governments, particularly on issues of race.

Following the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, Booker's reporting broadened to include a focus on young activists pushing for changes to federal and state gun laws, including the March For Our Lives rally and national school walkouts.

Prior to joining NPR's national desk, Booker spent five years as a producer/reporter for NPR's political unit. He spent most to the 2016 presidential campaign cycle covering the contest for the GOP nomination and was the lead producer from the Trump campaign headquarters on election night. Booker served in a similar capacity from the Louisville campaign headquarters of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in 2014. During the 2012 presidential campaign, he produced pieces and filed dispatches from the Republican and Democratic National conventions, as well as from President Obama's reelection site in Chicago.

In the summer of 2014, Booker took a break from politics to report on the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Booker started his career as a show producer working on nearly all of NPR's magazine programs, including Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and former news and talk show Tell Me More, where he produced the program's signature Barbershop segment.

He earned a bachelor's degree from Howard University and was a 2015 Kiplinger Fellow. When he's not on the road, Booker enjoys discovering new brands of whiskey and working on his golf game.

Crews continue to search for two people who have been missing since Monday when two separate flash floods swept through parts of southern Utah and killed more than a dozen people.

The two missing include an adult hiker and a 6-year-old boy.

Searchers recovered two bodies in Zion National Park on Wednesday and continued to search for a missing hiker there.

In nearby Hildale, Utah, Mayor Phillip Barlow named the missing six-year-old as Tyson Lewis Black.

Much of America's political focus has understandably been on the 2016 presidential race. There is, however, a more immediate problem on the horizon.

Congress has two weeks to pass a measure to keep the government funded beyond Sept. 30. If no agreement is reached, federal agencies could be shuttered again — the second time in three years.


Taco Bell wants to change its reputation — and the key is booze.

On Tuesday, Taco Bell announced it is launching a new concept that "redefines fast food experience." The first of these "experiences" will open in Chicago next week, and another one will follow later this month in San Francisco.

Firefighters in Northern California continue to battle a pair of massive wildfires that together have charred more than 135,000 acres and destroyed more than 750 homes. At least one person, a 72-year-old woman, is known to have died.

Cooler temperatures and moist weather were helping fire crews Tuesday as they tried to gain the upper hand on the Butte Fire in Amador and Calaveras counties, about an hour's drive from Sacramento. Officials say that fire was about 37 percent contained.

The suspect in the shooting deaths of two people in Mississippi has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a police chase late Monday, according to authorities.

Mississippi Public Broadcasting's Paul Boger reports that police in Greenville, Miss., confirmed the death of the suspect, 45-year-old Shannon Lamb. Boger adds:

The world's most famous plumber reached a milestone over the weekend as Nintendo's Super Mario Bros celebrated the 30th anniversary of its release Sunday.

The celebration came a day before the video game company named executive Tatsumi Kimishima as its new president.

NBA legend Moses Malone, a three-time NBA Most Valuable Player and voted one of the NBA's greatest 50 players of all time has died. He was 60 years old.

The 6-foot-10 Malone earned the moniker "Chairman of the Boards" for his rebounding prowess. He was a 13-time all-star who was part of the Philadelphia 76ers that defeated the Los Angeles Lakers for the 1983 NBA championship.

President Obama is planning to "scale up" the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the U.S. and is informing his administration to make preparations to allow in at least 10,000 displaced Syrians over the next fiscal year that begins Oct. 1.

The announcement came Thursday from White House spokesperson Josh Earnest during the daily press briefing. Earnest said the U.S. is on track to allow 1,500 Syrians by the end of current the fiscal year.

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas were among the speakers at a Tea Party rally Wednesday to denounce the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump, who leads the Republican presidential field in virtually all national polls, had his trademark bluntness on full display. He told the crowd of hundreds on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol that he has experience with negotiating, and that the United States got a bad deal with Iran.

The giant semiconductor manufacturer Intel will be severing ties with a long- running science and mathematics competition that has awarded millions of dollars in prize money to America's top high school students.

Intel has been a corporate sponsor of the Science Talent Search since 1998, according to the Society For Science, the group that administers the contest.

Senate Democrats are on the verge of delivering a big win to President Obama on the nuclear agreement between the U.S., Iran and five other world powers.

With three more Democrats announcing Tuesday they were backing the accord, it gave supporters enough votes to prevent the passage of a disapproval resolution. Any such resolution would sink the White House-backed nuclear deal that lifts sanctions on Tehran in exchange for Iran curbing its nuclear program.

The American dentist who caused an international uproar by killing an iconic lion during a big-game hunting expedition in Zimbabwe over the summer returned to work at his Minnesota practice Tuesday.

Walter Palmer had been out of the public eye since being linked to the July killing of Cecil, a lion who was a tourist favorite and the subject of academic research.

Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig met his self-imposed goal of crowdfunding $1 million by Labor Day, and Sunday on ABC announced he's running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Lessig, an activist with a grass-roots following among some progressives, says he's running on a singular platform — the Citizen Equality Act of 2017. It would expand voting access, ban gerrymandering and institute campaign finance reform.

It was supposed to be a routine photo op.

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski announced Wednesday that she will support the Iran nuclear agreement, giving the White House the final vote needed to protect the accord from a Republican-led effort to defeat the measure.

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