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.

Remember those pictures of parched lawns and bone-dry unplanted fields when it seemed that Californians could only pray for rain and snow?

Now thanks to one of the wettest winters on record, scientists say that the snowpack along the Sierra Nevada mountain range is a whopping 185 percent of average. And that's important because the runoff from the Sierra snowpack provides one-third of all of California's water.

A federal magistrate judge in California ruled Wednesday that Noor Salman, the widow of Omar Mateen, can be released on a $500,000 bond pending her trial on charges that she helped her husband plan the deadly mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016.

A Minnesota police officer accused of fatally shooting Philando Castile in a St. Paul suburb last July pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter and two other charges.

St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez entered his plea in a brief hearing in Ramsey County district court.

The Department of Homeland Security issued new guidelines this week that call for hiring 15,000 additional Border Patrol agents and immigration officers. It also wants to greatly expand the number of unauthorized immigrants who are prioritized for deportation.

Updated Feb. 17, 2017, 8:00 p.m. ET with comment from ICE

Federal immigration agents last week detained a woman in the U.S. illegally just after she received a protective order against an allegedly abusive boyfriend, in an El Paso County courthouse.

El Paso County Attorney Joanne Bernal said the ICE arrest inside a courthouse was "unprecedented and stunning."

"To my knowledge, and others I have spoken to, no one has a recollection of immigration officials acting like this in a courthouse," Bernal told NPR.

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Federal immigration authorities launched a new wave of raids and other actions in several states over the past five days aimed at sweeping up people who are in this country illegally.

The majority of people in this country illegally reside in just 20 metropolitan areas, with the largest concentrations found in New York, Los Angeles and Houston, according to a new study published by the Pew Research Center.

Days after retail giant Nordstrom announced that it will no longer sell Ivanka Trump's clothing label, the president struck back, accusing the Seattle-based department store chain of treating his daughter "so unfairly."

The blast came in a tweet posted on his personal account.

Trump wrote, "My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!"

In a surprise announcement, the Boy Scouts of America said that it will begin accepting transgender boys who want to join its scouting programs.

The Scouts' policy change came in a written and video statement released by Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh. He said that for more than a hundred years the Scouts used the information on an individual's birth certificate to determine a boy's eligibility to join its single gender programs.

President Trump has signed a flurry of executive orders during his first week in office and apparently he isn't done yet. He is expected to sign a series of executive actions related to national security as early as Friday. One is related to combating ISIS and others will impact U.S. refugee policy, according to a White House official.

There's an active debate inside newsrooms, and particularly within the NPR newsroom, about how to characterize the statements of President Trump when they are at odds with evidence to the contrary.

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Isidro Baldenegro Lopez, a Mexican indigenous activist and subsistence farmer who led the fight to protect ancient forests from illegal logging in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, was slain on Sunday.

Baldenegro Lopez, a leader among the Tarahumara people, for years had led non-violent sit-ins and blockades in protest of logging in the Sierra Madre mountain region.

Three baseball stars who avoided convincing connection to steroid use during their playing days — Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez — were elected to Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame Wednesday. The stars all received 75 percent of the ballots cast by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

In a flood of clemency orders before he leaves office, President Obama commuted the sentences of 209 people and pardoned 64 others on Tuesday. The vast majority of offenders had been convicted of drug-related crimes. Two were involved in cases about leaks of government material. And two were cultural stars of past decades who had run afoul of the IRS.

The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence say they intend to investigate the allegations of Russian meddling in the U.S. elections.

In a joint statement, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the committee and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., the vice-chairman, said "we believe that it is critical to have a full understanding of the scope of Russian intelligence activities impacting the United States."

A downtown section of Birmingham, Ala., including the church where four black girls were killed in a Ku Klux Klan bombing in 1963, has been declared a national monument by President Obama.

The 16th Street Baptist Church will be the focal point of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Historical Park. The bombing, which also injured 22 other people, proved to be a turning point in the civil rights struggle.

The Obama administration is ending a two-decade-old policy that allowed Cuban refugees to enter the United States without visas.

Known as the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy, it began in 1995 under then-President Bill Clinton in response to a wave of Cubans fleeing the island in boats. The U.S. turned away those who were intercepted at sea ("wet-foot"), while permitting Cubans who managed to get to U.S. soil ("dry-foot") to stay and eventually become legal residents.

Lee Baca, once the top elected law enforcement official in Los Angeles, will be re-tried on charges of obstructing a federal investigation into his county jail. The announcement by federal prosecutors follows a recent mistrial in which he was nearly acquitted by a jury deadlocked 11-1 in his favor.

Democratic leaders of the California Legislature signaled their intention Wednesday to fight any challenges to state policies by the incoming administration of Donald Trump by hiring as outside legal counsel former Attorney General Eric Holder.

The announcement came in a joint statement issued by California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.

There aren't many Shakers left.

Sister Frances Carr, one of three remaining members of the religious group commonly known as the Shakers, died Monday at the age of 89.

According to the group's website, Carr died due to cancer at the Shaker community at Sabbathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine, "surrounded by the community and her nieces."

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The weekend fire at a warehouse party in Oakland, Calif., has claimed more than 30 lives, and that's just the count up to now.

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One of NPR's most celebrated and admired foreign correspondents, Alan Tomlinson, died in Miami on Nov. 26 from complications related to surgery for cancer.

Tomlinson covered Central America and the Caribbean for the BBC and later NPR during the 1980s and early 1990s, when the region was wracked by civil wars and corrupt dictatorships. He was a daring but not rash reporter, whose remarkable prose placed the listener right next to him as he would describe a riot in Haiti or a bone-jarring bus ride through the highlands of Nicaragua.

Americans continue to be divided along partisan lines over Obamacare, with an overwhelming percentage of Democrats favoring it and an equal share of Republicans having unfavorable views, according to a newly released Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

But when it comes to an actual gutting of Obamacare, there's doesn't appear to be a lot of support.

Two nephews of Venezuelan first lady Cilia Flores were convicted on charges of conspiring to ship more than 1,700 pounds of cocaine to the United States.

After powering the Chicago Cubs to their historic victory in the 2016 World Series, second-year third baseman Kris Bryant claimed one of Major League Baseball's most coveted individual awards on Thursday. He was named the National League's Most Valuable Player.

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