Michelle Billman

News Director

Michelle Billman (formerly Bliss) moved to the Silver State from North Carolina where she led the award-winning public radio newsroom in Wilmington. During her time down South, Michelle earned two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for her coverage of local politics and the water contamination scandal at Camp Lejeune. She also completed her master's degree in creative writing from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Here in Reno, she's garnered two news awards from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association, which covers 13 Western states, for her reporting on the use of equine therapy for stressed out adults and how one organization in Truckee is helping athletes with life-altering injuries.

When she's not covering a local story, Michelle works on other nonfiction writing projects, which have appeared in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter

Ways to Connect

Ralstonreports.com

Longtime Nevada political reporter Jon Ralston published an essay this week called The Child I Love that shares the intimate story of raising his transgender son. Born as Maddy two decades ago, Ralston's child is transitioning from female to male and now goes by Jake. 

Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Ralston about the story, which appeared in his regular Ralston Reports column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, to learn what the response has been like so far.

Megan Messerly / Las Vegas Sun

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won Nevada at Saturday's state Democratic convention in Las Vegas. Of the 35 pledged delegates that Nevada will send to the National Convention this summer, 20 will support Clinton and 15 will support Bernie Sanders. 

That's because slightly more delegates showed up at this weekend's event in support of Clinton.

Megan Messerly, a political reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, covered the event where tensions were running high.

Alexa Ard

The Obama administration is highlighting Washoe County as a model for how schools should treat transgender students. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The federal government has issued a guiding statement to schools nationwide, recommending they allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identities, or risk losing federal funds. Model policies include those implemented by the Washoe County School District last year.

University of Michigan Medical School

A Reno doctor and eight others were indicted for an alleged drug ring this week involving the illicit sale of prescription painkillers like oxycodone. The situation has been sparking concerns across the region, but addiction is not a new battle for any community.

Georgia Democrats / CC BY-SA 2.0

Nevada Democrats are meeting Saturday for their state convention in Las Vegas. The party's main task is electing presidential delegates. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

Nevada Democrats will send 43 delegates to the national convention in July. During the February caucuses, Hillary Clinton nabbed 13 of them while Bernie Sanders claimed ten. There are also super delegates who are appointed. Right now, more are supporting Clinton. 

Megan Messerly, a political reporter for the Las Vegas Sun, says that for tomorrow, a dozen final delegates are up for grabs.

David Mulder / CC BY-SA 2.0

More children in rural Nevada will have access to healthy foods this summer when school is out of session. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman explains why.

Max Garcia is a 92-year-old Holocaust survivor who visited Reno this week from San Francisco to share his story of suffering starvation and torture while living in multiple Nazi concentration camps.

Garcia's late wife Pat chronicled his experiences in a book that they named after a haunting song that Garcia and other prisoners used to sing:

"Auschwitz, Auschwitz, I cannot forget you as long as I remain alive because when the time comes to die, I cannot die in as much as I've died here so many times."

Erik Hersman / CC BY-SA 2.0

Three Democratic candidates are vying for Nevada's second Congressional seat, held by two-term Republican incumbent Mark Amodei. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman takes a look at who's running to represent that rural district, which has never gone blue.

TMCC

Four finalists vying for the top post at Truckee Meadows Community College are on campus this week. They include leaders of community colleges in Virginia, New York, and Illinois, along with one candidate currently working as the vice president of academic affairs at TMCC.

The four will be participating in public forums and interviews by the search committee over the next few days. That committee will make a recommendation to the board of regents, which will take a vote next week.

Alexa Ard

Medical students in Reno will soon be able to get more hands-on experience in Northern Nevada. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports why.

By summer of 2017, the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno will have more local offerings for what are called clerkships, which students do in their third year, rotating through half a dozen specialties to figure out what they like best. In the past, students have had to leave the area for these opportunities.

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