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.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government's first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years.

That document, released by FEMA on Thursday, outlines plans for building preparedness and reducing the complexity of the agency.

Concert promoter Billy McFarland, who promised to stage a "life-changing" Caribbean music festival in the Bahamas last year and instead presided over a fiasco, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and faces up to a decade behind bars.

A contrite McFarland admitted in a Manhattan federal court that he had defrauded 80 investors and falsified documents to secure more funds to put on the 2017 Fyre Festival.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The effort by a group of investors to buy the Weinstein Co., founded by the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, has ended.

The collapse of the deal was confirmed in a statement issued Tuesday by Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former Obama administration official.

Updated at 11:30 p.m ET

The city of San Francisco is joining the cause of removing old statues that are out of step with contemporary political and cultural tastes.

The sculpture "Early Days" sits near San Francisco's City Hall. It depicts a vaquero and a missionary standing over a sitting Native American.

Updated at 8:20 p.m. ET

A founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, John Perry Barlow, has died at the age of 70, according to a statement issued by the Foundation.

Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino acknowledged that he is responsible for insisting that actress Uma Thurman perform a car stunt that resulted in a crash that nearly killed her 15 years ago.

Thurman's account of the accident, which chilled relations between Thurman and Tarantino for years, was detailed in a New York Times story over the weekend. Much of the article centers on Thurman's allegations that she had been sexually assaulted by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The talent manager who helped make Halle Berry and Taraji P. Henson Hollywood stars says he will close his management agency after nine women of color accused him of sexual harassment.

Federal weather officials say that California is headed into another drought with severely dry conditions in three counties that are home to one-quarter of the state's population.

That assessment, released Thursday by the U.S. Drought Monitor, says that 44 percent of the state is experiencing a moderate drought.

The death of rocker Tom Petty in October 2017 came as a result of an accidental drug overdose with a toxic mix of drugs taken for several ailments, including a fractured hip.

The results of an autopsy were released Friday by Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner Jonathan Lucas.

Petty died at 66 of "multisystem organ failure due to resuscitated cardiopulmonary arrest due to mixed drug toxicity," according to a brief statement.

The drugs listed included "fentanyl, oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetylfentanyl, and despropionyl fentanyl."

A week after announcing a dramatic expansion of offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the Trump administration will grant an exception for the state of Florida.

Reality intruded into the land of fantasy—Disneyland, that is—as a failed transformer interrupted power to more than a dozen rides in two areas of the park for about an hour.

The power outage which occurred at about 11 a.m. knocked out rides in Mickey's Toontown and Fantasyland, but no one was hurt, according to a Disney spokesperson.

Updated at 9:48 a.m. ET

PBS will no longer distribute Tavis Smiley following what a spokeswoman called "multiple, credible" allegations of sexual misconduct uncovered by a recent investigation into the late-night show host's behavior.

French President Emmanuel Macron, in a not-so-subtle jab at President Trump, has awarded long-term research grants to 18 climate scientists — 13 of them U.S.-based researchers — to relocate to France and pursue their work with the blessing of a government that doesn't cast doubt on the threat of climate change.

High-ranking U.S.-based Volkswagen executive Oliver Schmidt has been sentenced to seven years in prison and ordered to pay a $400,000 fine for his part in a decade-long diesel-emissions cheating scandal.

Updated at 8:10 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the Trump administration to fully enforce its revised ban on allowing entry to the United States by residents of eight countries while legal challenges are heard by a federal appeals court.

Six of the countries — Syria, Libya, Iran, Yemen, Chad and Somalia — are majority-Muslim nations. The other two are North Korea and Venezuela.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. ET Tuesday

Veteran television host Charlie Rose has been fired by CBS, a day after eight women told The Washington Post that he sexually harassed them between the late 1990s and 2011.

Updated at 8 p.m. ET

TransCanada, the company that owns and operates the Keystone Pipeline, says that an estimated 210,000 gallons, or 5,000 barrels, of oil have spilled near the small town of Amherst, S.D.

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For just one more night, the facade of Notre Dame de Paris will display a light show for the ages, designed to celebrate both the cathedral's enduring majesty and the centenary of World War I.

New York police officials say they are building a "credible" case to arrest Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein on charges of raping actress Paz de la Huerta seven years ago in that city.

"We have an actual case going forward,' said the New York Police Department's chief of detectives Robert Boyce at a news conference at Police Headquarters. The investigation is nine days old, Boyce added.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

Actor Kevin Spacey's days portraying power-mad Washington politician Frank Underwood are drawing to a close with the Netflix announcement that the series House of Cards will end with the final season of 13 episodes debuting in 2018.

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein after an Italian model-actress alleged that he raped her at her hotel in 2013.

As NPR's Mandalit Del Barco reports, "A spokesman for the LAPD says the department is interviewing a 'potential victim' of sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein in 2013."

The allegations of sexual assault are the first reported in Los Angeles. Police in New York and London are investigating allegations that Weinstein sexually assaulted five women in those cities.

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,

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,

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.

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.

The election of Donald Trump has sent shock waves through civil rights organizations, including among LGBT activists. They say they fear a rollback in the progress their movement made during the Obama administration. Meanwhile, opponents of gay and lesbian rights also see a shift coming with the Trump administration.

For the past several years, conservatives in the culture wars — those who have felt that their views on same-sex marriage, for example, were under attack — now say they have something to cheer about.

In California, the city of Oakland was the first to regulate and tax medical marijuana dispensaries. Now, some city leaders see the industry's profits and are proposing to take a bigger piece of the action. The Oakland City Council is voting later this month on a pot profit-taking plan.

Harborside Health Center in Oakland is the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the nation.

Its executive director, Steve DeAngelo, says his dispensary brings in about $30 million in annual revenues.

Updated at 10 a.m. ET on Oct. 28

In a surprise verdict, a jury has found all seven defendants not guilty of charges linked to their 41-day, armed occupation of Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. The courtroom quickly descended into chaos.

The city of San Francisco is in a quandary. Like many big cities, it faces an affordability crisis, and city leaders are looking for a way to build housing to help low- and middle-income residents stay there.

But one proposal to give current residents of a historically African-American neighborhood help to do that has run afoul of the Obama administration.

Consider the case of Mack Watson. At 96, he is a vision of elegance in his freshly pressed ribbon collar shirt, vest and sports coat. He has called San Francisco home since 1947.