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

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.

Sacramento County Health and Human Services

In the last month, there have been more than 50 opioid overdoses in Sacramento and Yolo Counties, including 13 deaths, according to the Sacramento Bee. They’re all tied to counterfeit prescription pills sold on the street that contain a powerful drug called fentanyl.

REMSA

In Washoe County, 911 calls and transports to care facilities, like the emergency room, usually peak in the summer during special events. But for some reason, there was a surge of requests for help on Monday, April 4 and emergency responders made more medical transports in one day than ever before. It seemed like a fluke at first, but then it happened again on April 7 with even more transports in one day, 178 to be exact.

nvcourts.gov

A commission charged with repairing Nevada's troubled guardianship system will meet next week to continue voting on several major policy issues before making its final recommendations later this spring.

Guardianships are needed when children don't have parents looking out for them or when adults are unable to properly care for themselves.

unlvrebels.com

The student newspaper for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas says it will change its name by next spring amid claims that the school's "Rebel" moniker is racist since it refers to Confederate soldiers.

Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Jim Hardesty spoke to 43 new judges in Reno Thursday about recent Supreme Court rulings that will undoubtedly have an impact on their work. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has more.

 

Justice Hardesty brought up well-known rulings like Obergefell versus Hodges, which made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. He says trial court judges are now on the front lines for follow up debates:

Daly C. / CC BY-SA 2.0

Last year, motor vehicle deaths were up 8 percent nationwide. The National Safety Council estimates that 38,300 people died on U.S. roads and 4.4 million were injured. In Nevada, roadway deaths were up 14 percent in 2015 compared to the year before.

Deborah Hersman is president of the council. She told our partner KNPR in Las Vegas that there’s no single theory on why deaths have gone up, but the strongest correlation may be with the economy.

Noah Glick

Northern Nevada had an average year for its snowpack, and sometimes being average isn't a bad thing.

Researchers measured 42.1 inches of liquid water on Mt. Rose Friday, which is above median for the end of the season.

"You know, the take home message is that this was a great year compared to the last four," said Jeff Anderson, a hydrologist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. "Fortunately, we didn't dig the hole any deeper for the drought."

Anderson added that last week's surprise spring snowstorm offered a helpful boost, especially out east.

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