Richard Gonzales

Richard Gonzales is NPR's National Desk Correspondent based in San Francisco. Along with covering the daily news of region, Gonzales' reporting has included medical marijuana, gay marriage, drive-by shootings, Jerry Brown, Willie Brown, the U.S. Ninth Circuit, the California State Supreme Court and any other legal, political, or social development occurring in Northern California relevant to the rest of the country.

Gonzales joined NPR in May 1986. He covered the U.S. State Department during the Iran-Contra Affair and the fall of apartheid in South Africa. Four years later, he assumed the post of White House Correspondent and reported on the prelude to the Gulf War and President George W. Bush's unsuccessful re-election bid. Gonzales covered the U.S. Congress for NPR from 1993-94, focusing on NAFTA and immigration and welfare reform.

In September 1995, Gonzales moved to his current position after spending a year as a John S. Knight Fellow Journalism at Stanford University.

In 2009, Gonzales won the Broadcast Journalism Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He also received the PASS Award in 2004 and 2005 from the National Council on Crime and Delinquency for reports on California's juvenile and adult criminal justice systems.

Prior to NPR, Gonzales was a freelance producer at public television station KQED in San Francisco. From 1979 to 1985, he held positions as a reporter, producer, and later, public affairs director at KPFA, a radio station in Berkeley, CA.

Gonzales graduated from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in psychology and social relations. He is a co-founder of Familias Unidas, a bi-lingual social services program in his hometown of Richmond, California.

Updated at 7:40 a.m. ET Saturday:

For the first time since wind-aided flames ripped through Northern California nearly a week ago, local and state fire officials are expressing optimism that they are slowly gaining ground against what are now the deadliest wildfires in the state's history.

Updated: 6:56pm ET

Police are still trying to determine what motivated Stephen Paddock to rain gunfire on some 22,000 music fans along the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday night. The attack left 59 people dead and more than 500 people were injured, in the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

In an afternoon news conference, Las Vegas Sheriff Joseph Lombardo said that the number of injured, reported at 527 yesterday, has "decreased slightly...maybe 20, because we had a double count error occurring at one of the hospitals."

Updated at 6:55 a.m. ET Tuesday

Less than 24 hours after the massacre at an open-air country music concert in Las Vegas, authorities are still piecing together what shooter Stephen Paddock did in preparation for his deadly shooting rampage that left 59 people dead and 527 others injured.

There is still a lot they don't know about what motivated Paddock, described by officials as a "lone wolf," to launch the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Updated 1 p.m. ET Saturday

President Trump heads to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico on Tuesday and, in a series of tweets early Saturday morning, defended his administration's handling of the recovery effort while hitting back at Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan.

"The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump," he wrote.

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued a new regulation restricting unauthorized drone operations over 10 Department of Interior sites, including the Statue of Liberty and Mount Rushmore.

The announcement Thursday says the two federal agencies "have agreed to restrict drone flights up to 400 feet within the lateral boundaries" of the following sites:

  • Statue of Liberty National Monument, New York
  • Boston National Historical Park (U.S.S. Constitution), Boston

A federal judge in Chicago has ruled that the Trump administration may not withhold public-safety grants to so-called sanctuary cities. The decision issued Friday is a setback to the administration's efforts to force local jurisdictions to help federal authorities crack down on illegal immigration.

The Department of Justice will not bring civil rights charges against six Baltimore police involved in the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, the young black man whose death caused widespread violent protest in that city in 2015.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray resigned Tuesday following the publication of new allegations that he sexually abused a cousin at a family home in the 1970s.

In a statement, Murray denied the charge, but said that he is resigning effective the end of the business on Wednesday.

The U.S. Supreme Court will temporarily allow the Trump administration to block many refugees from six mostly Muslim countries without direct familial ties in the United States from entering this country.

In a brief order issued Monday, Justice Anthony Kennedy delayed implementation of a ruling issued by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last week that would have allowed entry to refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies here.

President Trump this week tweeted that young immigrants brought to this country illegally by their parents, also known as DREAMers, "have nothing to worry about."

But a lot of DREAMers aren't buying it. (DREAMer is a term derived from a proposed bill called the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act.) In fact, they say the Trump administration gave them a new headache with a veiled threat to use the personal information they gave the government to deport them.

Here's what happened.

Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as DREAMers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.

It follows the administration's announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.

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A federal judge temporarily blocked an anti-abortion law set to take effect in Texas on Friday that would have limited second trimester abortions in that state.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel issued an injunction lasting 14 days that prevents Texas from outlawing an abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation, commonly used on women seeking to terminate their pregnancies in their second trimester.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the selection of four construction companies to build concrete prototypes of the wall President Trump plans to build along with border with Mexico.

Each prototype will be 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide, and cost between $400,000 and about $500,000.

The four companies are Caddell Construction of Montgomery, Ala.; Fisher Sand and Gravel/DBA Fisher Industries of Tempe, Ariz.; Texas Sterling Construction of Houston, Texas; and W.G. Yates & Sons Construction Company of Philadelphia, Miss.

Editor's note on Sept. 1: Some listeners and readers have asked why NPR pressed Red Cross operations and logistics executive Brad Kieserman about how much of the money his organization receives will actually be spent on helping those affected by Hurricane Harvey. NPR's questions were follow-ups to several years of reporting by NPR and ProPublica about shortcomings in the organization's disaster relief operations and misleading claims about its finances. NPR has asked several times in recent years to speak with Red Cross President and CEO Gail J. McGovern.

Houston Police say 60-year-old Sgt. Steve Perez, trying to get to work despite Hurricane Harvey, drowned in his patrol car in floodwaters.

In a somber news conference Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Art Acevedo said Perez's wife, Cheryl, had asked her husband not to report to work Sunday morning. But Perez, who had been on the police force for 34 years and was just a few days short of his 61st birthday, insisted on going in.

North Korea conducted a missile launch over Japan early Tuesday morning, further ratcheting up tensions in the region.

The incident was announced by South Korean officials who say the missile was launched from Sunan, near North Korea's capital, Pyongyang. Japanese officials say the projectile flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Investors sent shares of the Internet streaming service Netflix soaring after the company reported that it had beaten forecasts and attracted 5.2 million new subscribers worldwide, increasing its membership to 104 million.

"We also crossed the symbolic milestones of 100 million members and more international than domestic members. It was a good quarter," Netflix wrote in its second-quarter letter to shareholders.

The Pentagon is considering pulling out of a deal it made with thousands of noncitizen recruits with specialized skills: Join the military and we'll put you on the fast track to citizenship.

The proposal to dismantle the program would cancel enlistment contracts for many of the foreign-born recruits, leaving about 1,000 of them without legal protection from deportation.

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will re-hear a case that asks whether immigrants detained by the government have a right to a bond hearing to challenge their indefinite detention.

The case was argued in November 2016, months before Justice Neil Gorsuch filled the vacant seat of late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Leaders of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they have issued subpoenas for documents from two businesses operated by former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., in remarks to reporters, said the subpoenas were sent to Flynn Intel LLC and Flynn Intel, Inc. with a specific list of documents they are seeking. The senators did not say what to what those documents relate.

Updated at 4:30 a.m. ET

Police in Manchester, England, confirm 22 people dead at Manchester Arena following an explosion after a concert by Ariana Grande. Nearly 60 people have been injured.

Authorities say they believe one man detonated an improvised explosive device, and was killed in the explosion. Chief Constable Ian Hopkins of the Greater Manchester Police said in a news conference,

An active-duty U.S. Navy admiral was sentenced Wednesday to 18 months in prison for lying to federal authorities about his relationship with a foreign defense contractor involved in a massive bribery and fraud scandal that has engulfed more than a dozen current or former Navy officials.

The Defense Department says it is looking into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of two U.S. service members killed in a raid on ISIS leaders in eastern Afghanistan this week.

According to a statement released by the headquarters of United States Forces—Afghanistan, "USFOR-A is investigating the possibility that the two Rangers were accidentally killed by friendly fire during the more than three-hour fight. We have informed both of their families of this possibility and we have appointed a team to investigate the Soldiers' deaths."

Updated 11:45 p.m. ET

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that the Trump administration cannot withhold federal funds from jurisdictions that limit their cooperation with immigration authorities, commonly known as sanctuary cities.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET Wednesday

A young man brought to the U.S. by his parents and granted protection from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program is at the center of a growing controversy about his status and his claims that he was improperly deported to his native Mexico in February.

Millions of taxpayers are rushing to complete their federal and state filings before the April 18 deadline. Among them are several million people in this country illegally, and there are signs that fewer such immigrants are filing than in years past.

Private contractors seeking to get in on the ground floor for construction of President Trump's long promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border had until Tuesday to submit their bids for prototype designs.

At least 200 companies have expressed in interest in the project, but not all were expected to submit bids. Customs and Border Protection called for proposals for the border wall in March.

Gary Austin, who created and led one of improvisational theater's most influential troupes, the Groundlings, died Saturday at the age of 75 of cancer.

Austin was a writer, director, and musical performer whose students comprised a virtual Who's Who of modern comedy, including many cast members of Saturday Night Live.

As Deadline Hollywood reported,

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