KTEP - El Paso, Texas

Vanessa Romo

Vanessa Romo is a reporter for NPR's News Desk. She covers breaking news on a wide range of topics, weighing in daily on everything from immigration and the treatment of migrant children, to a war-crimes trial where a witness claimed he was the actual killer, to an alleged sex cult. She has also covered the occasional cat-clinging-to-the-hood-of-a-car story.

Before her stint on the News Desk, Romo spent the early months of the Trump Administration on the Washington Desk covering stories about culture and politics – the voting habits of the post-millennial generation, the rise of Maxine Waters as a septuagenarian pop culture icon and DACA quinceañeras as Trump protests.

In 2016, she was at the core of the team that launched and produced The New York Times' first political podcast, The Run-Up with Michael Barbaro. Prior to that, Romo was a Spencer Education Fellow at Columbia University's School of Journalism where she began working on a radio documentary about a pilot program in Los Angeles teaching black and Latino students to code switch.

Romo has also traveled extensively through the Member station world in California and Washington. As the education reporter at Southern California Public Radio, she covered the region's K-12 school districts and higher education institutions and won the Education Writers Association first place award as well as a Regional Edward R. Murrow for Hard News Reporting.

Before that, she covered business and labor for Member station KNKX, keeping an eye on global companies including Amazon, Boeing, Starbucks and Microsoft.

A Los Angeles native, she is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University, where she received a degree in history. She also earned a master's degree in Journalism from NYU. She loves all things camaron-based.

Facebook, Microsoft and Uber have announced plans to reopen offices on a limited basis, as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic continues to slow.

Microsoft and Uber say their headquarters in Redmond, Wash., and San Francisco respectively will welcome employees on March 29.

The software giant has already begun to accommodate some additional workers in offices around the globe at its 21 locations and reopening offices in the Northwest by taking a hybrid approach is the next step, the company said in a statement.

The University of Southern California has agreed to pay more than $850 million to hundreds of women who were treated by a former campus gynecologist accused of sexual abuse.

The "global settlement" of lawsuits, announced on Thursday, is the biggest sex abuse pay-out in higher education history.

The $852 million settlement puts an end to the civil cases filed in Los Angeles Superior Court between 710 women and USC.

Updated March 26, 2021 at 4:07 AM ET

Deadly tornadoes that ripped through Alabama throughout Thursday remain a significant threat to other Southern states as the sun rises on Friday.

At least five deaths and multiple injuries have been reported in Calhoun County, Ala., after a tornado hit the region, county coroner Pat Brown told NPR Thursday.

Alabama Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Hastings estimated Thursday night that hundreds of homes were destroyed or damaged in his state.

Chinese hackers used fake Facebook profiles and spoof websites to target Uyghur activists with spy malware, the social media company announced on Wednesday.

Actor George Segal who first became a star alongside Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand has died at 87 after a career on stage, film and television that spanned more than 60 years.

The Oscar-nominated actor who recently wrapped up an eighth season on the ABC show The Goldbergs, died on Tuesday morning of complications from bypass surgery, his wife, Sonia, said in a statement.

Updated March 23, 2021 at 4:06 AM ET

Ten people were killed by a gunman in Boulder, Colo., during a mass shooting at a grocery store that left a trail of bodies, including one police officer, officials announced on Monday evening.

Law enforcement personnel said Monday that police had the suspect in custody and there was no further danger to the public. By 1 a.m. MT Tuesday, police still had not released the suspect's name.

Updated March 17, 2021 at 2:37 AM ET

At least eight people were killed and several others injured in a series of shootings at three spas in the Atlanta metro region Tuesday. A suspect has been taken into custody in connection with all three shootings, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced an executive action on Tuesday that allows tens of thousands of felons to recover their voting and other civil rights upon release from prison.

The move applies immediately to an estimated 69,000 Virginians who have completed their sentences, including ex-convicts who remain on supervision. And it comes as the state prepares for gubernatorial and legislative elections on June 8.

Updated March 16, 2021 at 4:14 PM ET

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday broke his relative silence on what he called a partisan, Republican recall, directing supporters to a newly launched anti-recall campaign website that asserts his opponents are "anti-vaxxers, QAnon conspiracy theorists, anti-immigrant activists and Trump supporters."

Rochester city officials, including the former police chief and the mayor, "knowingly suppressed" information from getting to the public, and some officials made "untrue statements" about the events leading to the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man experiencing a mental health episode who was asphyxiated by police while restrained and handcuffed.

A young, sickly whale that was trapped in more than a 100 feet of line off the coast of Maui was freed on Wednesday, following a harrowing rescue effort.

Trained responders from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary led the mission on Tuesday to untangle the small gauge line from the whale's mouth and pectoral flipper, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.

Herbert Alford said he was innocent.

Not only that, he said, he had proof.

There was no way he could have killed Michael Adams at 2:56 p.m. on the 3400 block of Pleasant Grove in Lansing, Mich., because at that very moment he was eight miles away at the Lansing Airport, wrapping up a car rental transaction at Hertz. There was a receipt that would corroborate his story.

The number of asylum-seeking migrants, including unaccompanied minors, crossing the southwest border into the U.S. is soaring, leaving the Biden administration scrambling to find appropriate care and housing for thousands of children.

President Biden's dog Major — the first to go from a shelter to the White House — has apparently not been a very good boy recently.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that on Monday the three-year-old German Shepherd was "surprised by an unfamiliar person and reacted in a way that resulted in a minor injury to the individual."

A former mid-level State Department aide in the Trump administration who is accused of being on the front line of the "first wave" of the violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, will be held in custody pending trial, a judge ordered on Tuesday.

U.S. Magistrate Zia Faruqui said Federico Klein's alleged role in the deadly siege, while he was still a government appointee, makes him a danger to the community. He is the only known Trump appointee to be swept up in the sprawling federal investigation.

Updated on Friday at 1:30 p.m. ET

The U.S. launched airstrikes in Syria on Thursday targeting Iranian-backed militia groups in the first known offensive military operation carried out by the Biden administration.

Updated at 9:04 p.m. ET

President Biden on Wednesday revoked a freeze that his predecessor had put on many types of visas due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the order did not advance U.S. interests and hurt industries and individuals alike.

"It harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here," Biden said in a proclamation revoking the measure.

Tiger Woods will not face reckless driving charges in the rollover accident in which the renowned golfer totaled an SUV he was driving down a dangerously steep road in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Tuesday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told reporters on Wednesday that the department has ruled the single-vehicle crash an accident although a traffic investigation is ongoing.

A reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor crime "that has a lot of elements to it," Villanueva said during an online press conference.

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered emergency inspections of Boeing 777 aircraft with engines like the one that exploded on a United Airlines jet last weekend.

Updated at 6:45 p.m. ET

New York Attorney General Letitia James says a grand jury voted that no charges will be filed against Rochester police officers in connection with the March 2020 death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who was in the midst of a mental health free fall during his encounter with the police.

Just a day after a bill banning most abortions in South Carolina was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster, a federal court blocked the measure.

U.S. District Court Judge Mary Geiger Lewis granted a two-week temporary restraining order on Friday while the case, brought by Planned Parenthood, works its way through the legal system.

South Dakota's Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was charged Thursday with three 2nd-class misdemeanors for his role in a car accident that killed a man who was walking down the side of a highway in September.

Without power to run water treatment plants, city and state officials across Texas are pleading with residents to conserve water and are issuing boil-water notices.

The warnings not to consume water out of the tap began in many places as early as Monday, but as of Wednesday night many municipalities had expanded those orders as the state grapples with the ongoing weather, energy and water crises that have placed unprecedented strain on the state's entire power grid.

Back-to-back record-breaking winter storms with temperatures sometimes dropping into the single digits have slammed into Oklahoma, causing rolling blackouts and water shortages, and making roads nearly impossible to navigate in some areas.

Throughout Cherokee Nation tribal lands in the northeastern part of the state where more than 141,000 Cherokee Nation citizens reside, the freezing temperatures have left some of the most vulnerable people facing dire conditions for much of the week.

President Biden's COVID-19 czar Jeff Zients told governors on Tuesday that the weekly vaccine supply going out to states is increasing by more than 20% to 13.5 million doses this week, Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, announced.

Psaki also said the supply going directly to pharmacies will double to 2 million this week.

Before taking office, Biden promised to improve and streamline Trump's Operation Warp Speed and pledged to get 100 million vaccine doses into arms in the first 100 days of his administration.

Pages