tony gonzalez journalist
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Online portfolio and blog by Tony Gonzalez, family issues reporter for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville. I married my high school sweetheart, Katie, a designer and bookbinder. I like juggling, maps, baseball, and bullmastiffs.

Two years at The Tennessean, July 2011 to present. Three years reporting and editing at The News Virginian, 2008 to 2011. Editor of college and high school newspapers. Internships at The Star Tribune, The Detroit News, and The Toledo Free Press. Chips Quinn Scholar 2007.

Tennessee Associated Press Managing Editors 2012 statewide Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, as well as the Freedom of Information award, for Department of Children's Services project.

Gannett company-wide award 2012 for Watchdog Journalism

Associated Press Managing Editors 2010 International Perspective First Place for "The Borders Within," as well as Public Service Honorable Mention for investigation into troubled children's psychiatric hospital

2009 and 2010 winner, with staff, of the Virginia Press Association's highest award: the Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service.

Virginia Press Association 2008, 2009, and 2010 awards for crime, investigative, breaking news, and feature writing

2011 Robert Novak Fellow

Michigan Collegiate Press Association "Journalist of the Year" 2008

Chips Quinn Scholar, Class of 2007

Civil Rights Project DCS project
Borders Within Multimedia
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
After 10 years, Amber Alerts issued sparingly in Tennessee
By Tony Gonzalez
The Tennesssean

In one case, a 52-year-old man sped north out of Georgia, his 4-year-old daughter tossed carelessly in the back among his belongings.

In the other, an 11-year-old girl who had been visiting her father walked into Old Hickory Mall in Jackson while he slept in his car. When he woke up, he told police, she was gone.

Two different cases, two different outcomes — and a side-by-side illustration of what can happen when children disappear. One occurred more than a decade ago, before Tennessee turned to a nationwide system known as Amber Alerts; the other more recently.

The program, named for Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was abducted and murdered in Texas in 1996, has become the go-to method for pursuing missing children in cases considered the most dangerous. State officials set the alerts in motion with tremendous selectivity — they’ve used it in Tennessee for only 80 cases involving 101 children in ten years, but that’s only a fraction of the 100,000 kids who have gone missing since it became available as a law enforcement tool.

When they do, the children are almost always ... 

Read the full story at

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