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.

After more than a year of telling Americans to cover their faces and keep their distance whenever they're in public, the Centers for of Disease Control and Prevention is now advising that masks aren't necessary in most indoor spaces, as long as someone is fully vaccinated.

"Now is the moment" to relax the guidance for vaccinated Americans, said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said on Thursday.

She credited a drop in infections, effective vaccines and availability of the shots to nearly everyone who wants one.

Traffic on and below a major bridge over the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tenn., could be halted for several days or longer, causing significant disruptions to motorists and shipping, officials said Wednesday.

Updated May 4, 2021 at 10:01 PM ET

Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin who was convicted last month of murdering George Floyd filed court documents for a new trial on Tuesday.

His attorney, Eric Nelson, petitioned the court, alleging that Chauvin's constitutional rights were violated when Judge Peter Cahill refused to change the venue of the trial, and that the pretrial publicity deprived the officer of a fair trial.

Residents living on the West Coast don't know when the next earthquake will hit. But a new expansion of the U.S. earthquake early warning system gives 50 million people in California, Oregon — and now Washington — seconds to quickly get to safety whenever the next one hits.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 8:30 PM ET

Chicago has released video footage showing the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo, more than two weeks after the 13-year-old was killed during a foot chase in the Little Village neighborhood.

A graphic and disturbing video captures what police have described as an alleyway confrontation between Toledo and an officer identified as Eric Stillman in the early morning of March 29.

Derek Chauvin's defense attorney made little headway with witnesses William Smock, an emergency medicine physician with specialized training in forensic medicine, and Daniel Isenschmid, a forensic toxicologist, on Thursday afternoon.

Both experts agreed with much of what had been said by pulmonary specialist Martin Tobin earlier in the day in the murder trial of Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who is charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state legislature has gone a "step way too far," after the House and Senate on Tuesday voted to override his veto on a bill banning gender-affirming treatments for transgender minors in the state.

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.

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.

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