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 four 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, how one organization in Truckee is helping athletes with life-altering injuries, and efforts by the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony to preserve their sacred cultural practices.

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

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno is considering controversial vagrancy ordinances that prohibit specific behaviors. Critic argue that the new rules would target the homeless. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno has given tentative approval to a project that would create a pipeline of treated effluent to the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center which houses companies like Tesla and Switch. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to our contributor Bob Conrad if ThisisReno to learn more.

The water is needed for Switch, Tesla and other businesses at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center (TRIC).

Switch brought heavy-hitter “water czar” Pat Mulroy, formerly of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, to testify for the agreement, which mostly met with favor among council members.

Kaitlin Godbey / Travel Nevada

A 200-mile trail from Reno to Gerlach is being proposed to highlight Washoe County’s cultural, historic, and artistic elements. With $75,000 in grant funds from the the National Endowment for the Arts, Washoe County, working with Burning Man, envisions the trail to pass through Reno-Sparks, small towns, and tribal lands into Gerlach.

Joe Sale Photography

Reno is becoming the new home for a large, so-called Space Whale sculpture. Our News Director Michelle Billman chatted with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

The sculpture is a life-size representation of a humpback whale mother and her calf. There were roughly 1,700 individual glass panels installed in this ambitious piece of public art.

The project is paid for out of the city’s portion of room tax funds that go into the city’s arts budget. 

ThisisReno.com

Reno City Council members are voicing frustration at a lack of progress on the issue of affordable housing. Our contributor Bob Conrad covered their last meeting and has the latest update for our News Director Michelle Billman. 

Bob Conrad courtesy of ThisisReno.com

Homeowners in the Wild Creek community are considering legal action to prevent a land transfer that would allow the Washoe County School District (WCSD) to build a high school on the Wildcreek Golf Course. Our News Director Michelle Billman breaks down the details with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.

The homeowners are considering legal action to prevent the Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) from transferring to the Washoe County School District (WCSD) the Wildcreek Golf Course for construction of a new high school.

Washoe County

So far, Washoe County has spent just over $3 million to clean up after historic flooding during the winter, and another $6 million in repair and capital improvement costs still remain to be covered. Our News Director Michelle Billman breaks down the situation with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno.

ThisisReno.com

One bill signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval during the recent legislative session will help preserve the Hillside Cemetery in Reno and all historic cemeteries. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more. 

The law (AB203) restores local government oversight of cemeteries, and it requires a government entity “to make determinations before a cemetery authority may order the disinterment and removal of human remains.”

A Driving Force Behind Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center Retires

Jul 7, 2017
Sally Roberts / NNBW

The Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center has snagged companies like Tesla, Apple, and Switch among about 130 others. 

The massive industrial park opened in the early 2000s, thanks in part to the passion and perseverance of Dean Haymore, who has served as the director of building and community development for Storey County.

Haymore has just retired and he spoke with our contributor Brook Bentley to share some of his insights and memories. 

ThisisReno.com

KUNR contributor Bob Conrad, and his team at ThisisReno, have been examining the issue of homelessness, especially downtown, and reporting on the issue for a new podcast called Solutions.

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