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

coniferconifer / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Washoe County Health District has confirmed the first pregnancy affected by the Zika virus in this area. In a press release, district officials say that a woman traveled to a country with documented Zika virus transmission and then returned to Washoe County.

The case is actually the fourth confirmed instance of Zika virus infection in the county caused by travel.

Twenty-one homeless veterans in Reno will soon have a roof over their heads. Our News Director Michelle Billman has the story.

A few months ago, the apartments at 1560 Mill Street were close to uninhabitable. 

"There were critters in places where critters shouldn't be. There were hypodermic needles in some of the carpeting. These are small, one bedroom units and there were at some places, two or three people living in them."

Nevada Department of Transportation

With the Tesla gigafactory now officially open, we know that more businesses and more people are coming to Northern Nevada. That’s going to put a strain on roadways and transit. To learn what local officials are doing to plan ahead, our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Lee Gibson. He’s the head of the Regional Transportation Commission, or RTC, in Washoe County. 

ThisisReno.com

An attempted traffic stop on I-80 Friday afternoon led to one man being shot dead and a Washoe County Sheriff's deputy in the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Ken Lund/CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency is in charge of coordinating with the cities of Reno and Sparks, along with Washoe County, on land use planning. That includes conversations about resources, like water, and infrastructure, like roads and schools.

“One of the other pieces that we’ve really been prioritizing over the past four years or so is predicting population growth and employment growth and talking about where that’s going to happen in our community,” explains Kim Robinson, the agency’s executive director.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

A tribute video for the slain police officers in Dallas has gone viral. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports that it features a poem performed by a member of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Let's take a listen.

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

The University of Nevada School of Medicine has changed its name to the University of Nevada, *Reno* School of Medicine. Let's turn to our news director Michelle Billman to learn why.

The change sounds like a teeny tweak, but it signifies a major shift away from UNLV in southern Nevada, which is developing its own med school. Spokeswoman Anne McMillin says it also reflects a growing presence in northern and rural Nevada.

Marcus Lavergne

Several agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, have banned off-roading for vehicles in western Nevada because of high fire danger. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The ban is a response to the ongoing drought and tinder-dry vegetation. Charles Moore is chief of the Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District. He says under the rule, vehicles are only allowed on existing paved, gravel, and dirt roads, not anywhere else.

TMCC

The new president of Truckee Meadows Community College has been in office for two weeks now. Our News Director Michelle Billman has the details.

Karin Hilgersom wants to continue capitalizing on the things TMCC is doing well, like working with area employers to tailor classroom lessons to industry needs.

She also wants to expand the school's partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno to grow accelerated learning options for TMCC students.

Chris Vega/courtesy of ThisisReno.com

Electric carmaker Tesla has received and sold about 20 million dollars in transferrable Nevada tax credits as it starts tapping into a hefty incentive package that lured its battery factory to the state.

Tesla confirmed Monday that it sold the credits to casino company MGM in an arrangement first reported by ThisisReno. Bob Conrad runs that online news site and he's also a KUNR contributor.

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