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.

Against the backdrop of the picturesque Lake Tahoe, President Obama said environmental conservation is a key part of fighting the impact of global warming.

Obama spoke on the first of a two-day environmental tour at an annual summit designed to keep the health of Lake Tahoe a priority for the federal government and the states it borders, Nevada and California.

The California Assembly unanimously passed a measure that requires a prison sentence for anyone convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious person.

Newly released government data paint a sobering picture of safety on the nation's roads and highways.

In 2015, the number of people who died in auto accidents reached 35,092, says the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a 7.2% increase over 2014. The last time there was such a large single-year increase was back in 1966 when Lyndon Johnson was president.

A judge has ruled that three transgender people — two students and one employee — at the University of North Carolina must be allowed to use the bathrooms corresponding to their gender identities.

A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled this week that a woman living in the United States illegally should not face immediate deportation simply because she was convicted of using a false Social Security number to work.

The California judge who is subject to a recall campaign after imposing a six-month jail sentence on a former Stanford swimmer convicted of sexual assault has been reassigned at his own request from criminal to civil court.

Aaron Persky, a Superior Court judge in Palo Alto, will move to a courthouse in downtown San Jose, effective Sept. 6.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled 3-1 Tuesday that graduate students working as teaching or research assistants at private universities are employees with the right to collective bargaining.

The decision comes in response to a petition filed by the Graduate Workers of Columbia-GWC and the United Autoworkers Union, which has been seeking to represent grad student assistants at Columbia University.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe renewed his efforts to restore the voting rights of felons in his state, announcing that his administration would process applications for 13,000 felons so that they might vote in November.

Have you ever wanted to keep track of bank robberies in your neighborhood or city? Or maybe you've always wanted to help the FBI catch a bad guy? As you've no doubt heard before, there's an app for that.

The FBI today released a Bank Robbers mobile app designed to help the public, law enforcement, and financial institutions see and share photos and information about robberies all over the country.

In a major victory for teachers unions in California, the state Supreme Court has upheld teacher tenure laws. By a 4-3 vote, a divided court decided not to hear Vergara vs. California, a case challenging state tenure laws.

A federal judge has ordered Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to answer written questions posed by a conservative watchdog group about her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. That means she will not have to sit in a lengthy deposition and answer questions from lawyers during the campaign.

As NPR's Carrie Johnson reports for our Newscast unit,

A microscopic parasite is ravaging the fish population of the Yellowstone River in Montana prompting state officials to ban water-based recreation along a 183-mile stretch of the river and all of its tributaries.

The state's Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks announced the closure, which extends from Yellowstone National Park's northern boundary at Gardiner to the Highway 212 bridge in Laurel.

A federal judge in San Francisco has upended Uber's bid to settle a class-action lawsuit with drivers who claim they are employees and not independent contractors.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen ruled Thursday that Uber's $100 million offer is "not fair, adequate, and reasonable."

Target, the big-box retailer that allows transgender customers and employees to use the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, is adding another option. The company announced that it will spend $20 million to build more single-stall bathrooms that can be locked for privacy.

Even as thousands of residents of southern Louisiana are returning to their flood-damaged homes, more danger could lie ahead as rain continues to fall and the full extent of the damage can't be known, according to state emergency response officials.

John McLaughlin, the former Jesuit priest who reinvented himself as a political candidate, speechwriter and then the acerbic host of the long-running public affairs talk show The McLaughlin Group, died Tuesday at his home in Washington, D.C., at the age of 89.

Cathy Lanier, the first woman to lead the Metropolitan Police Department for the District of Columbia, announced that she will step down next month to take a new job as the head of security for the National Football League.

The announcement came in a news conference by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. "The NFL is getting a good one here," said Bowser.

A day after she was convicted of perjury and other offenses, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, once considered a rising star in the Democratic Party, announced her resignation, effective at the end of the workday Wednesday.

In a statement, Kane said Tuesday, "I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and I wish them health and safety in all their days."

Vanderbilt University will pay more than a million dollars, returning a donation made 83 years ago, so that it can remove an inscription with the word "Confederate" from a campus dorm.

The building in the heart of the freshman commons is officially called Confederate Memorial Hall, but since 2002 it's been referred to as simply Memorial Hall. It opened in 1935 thanks to a $50,000 gift from the United Daughters of the Confederacy two years earlier.

Comedian Bill Cosby's attempt to have his deposition testimony about alleged sexual assaults resealed was rejected by a federal appeals court, which decided that the issue is moot because the details have already been published.

The 3rd U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled:

The leader of the Islamic State in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed Khan, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in late July, according to NPR's Tom Bowman, citing American military officials.

As Tom reports,

"Officials say Khan was killed by a drone strike in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province, where most Islamic State fighters are located. There are several thousand ISIS fighters in the province, officials say, and the group has been increasing its attacks.

Two Fox News insiders have been tapped to fill the shoes of outgoing Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes, who was forced to resign as a result of allegations he sexually harassed a former female news anchor.

Just 12 years ago, researchers feared that the California Island fox, a species about the size of a cat inhabiting a group of islands off the Southern California coast, was toast. Non-native predators and pesticides had dramatically reduced their ranks. The few that remained were placed on the endangered species list.

The murder trial of the man accused of killing Kate Steinle, whose 2015 shooting death on a San Francisco pier became part of the national debate over illegal immigration and sanctuary city policies, is not likely to start until next year.

Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, who had been deported back to his native Mexico five times before the July 1, 2015, shooting, will have his trial date set in December of this year.

A federal jury found Pacific Gas and Electric Company guilty on five felony counts of failing to adequately inspect its gas pipelines before the blast that incinerated a neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif., in September 2010. The utility was also found guilty of one count of misleading federal investigators about the standard it used to identify high-risk pipelines.

PG&E was acquitted on six other charges of violating pipeline safety laws.

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's bid for a reduction in his 14-year sentence for corruption was rejected today by a federal judge in Chicago. U.S. District Judge James Zagel upheld the sentence despite pleas for leniency from the disgraced ex-governor, his wife and two daughters.

Judge Zagel, acknowledged Blagojevich's family, saying "I am sympathetic to ... how painful this situation is to them. But as I said four years ago, the fault lies with the governor."

Despair no more, fans of Lucille Ball.

A new statue of the queen of comedy will be unveiled this weekend in her a hometown in Celoron, N.Y., and unlike the old one, this one actually looks like the Lucy everyone loves.

The new life-size bronze statue was created by noted sculptor Carolyn Palmer who won a national competition (involving more than 65 sculptors) for the honor of crafting a statue that will be unveiled on Aug. 6. It would have been Ball's 105th birthday.

In an unusual legal action, federal prosecutors in San Francisco drastically cut back the potential criminal penalties they were seeking in the trial of utility giant Pacific Gas and Electric Co. which is accused of violating pipeline safety laws in the wake of the 2010 San Bruno gas explosion. Eight people were incinerated and 38 homes were destroyed in that explosion.

The American bald eagle, once near-extinct, is back with a vengeance. And there's a rar e-- and frankly, brutal — video, perhaps the first ever footage of osprey predation by an eagle in Hog Island, Maine, to prove it.

James O'Neill, the man chosen to replace outgoing New York City Police Commissioner William J. Bratton, has a track record as a law enforcement innovator who is popular with the department's rank and file.

O'Neill's promotion by New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio was announced along with the news that Bratton will step down next month.