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

Julie Stanley / Moonshine Ink

Squaw Valley has finally received the green light to undergo a major expansion project despite vocal opposition. To learn more, our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Melissa Siig. She’s a reporter for Moonshine Ink, an independent newspaper in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

Marcus Lavergne

Nevada went blue, but America went red. Our News Director Michelle Billman explores what that could mean for the state with Seth Richardson. He's the political reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal.

KUNR: First, Republican Donald Trump clinched the presidency even after most polls showed Clinton ahead near the end...what ultimately turned things around for his campaign?

Catherin

Catherine Cortez Masto has won a nail biter Senate race and will keep the seat of retiring Sen. Harry Reid in Democratic hands. Our News Director Michelle Billman has the story.

The two-term former Nevada attorney general triumphed over three-term Republican Rep. Joe Heck. Political analyst Precious Hall says it came down to Heck's decision to drop his support for the now president-elect, Republican Donald Trump. Heck did so after video footage emerged of Trump discussing how he had groped and kissed multiple women.

Mark / CC BY-SA 2.0

Medical marijuana dispensaries have been popping up across Nevada. Those businesses are eagerly waiting to see if the ballot initiative to legalize recreational pot will pass in the state this election. 

Our contributor Brook Bentley of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly has been covering the medical cannabis industry and shared what she’s been hearing with our news director Michelle Billman.

Northern Nevada is watching the state senate races for districts 13 and 15. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to political analyst Fred Lokken to break down those races.

KUNR: I want to start with district 15. We’ve got Democrat Devon Reese, a Reno lawyer, running against Republican Heidi Gansert and Libertarian David Colborne. What do we know about these candidates?

Alexa Ard

Two years ago, Republicans won the majority in the Nevada Assembly. Now, Democrats have the chance to take it back, if their voters turn out. Let's turn to our News Director Michelle Billman to learn more. She recently spoke to political analyst Fred Lokken to get his prediction on what that chamber could look like post-election.

KUNR: In Washoe County, we’re watching several state assembly races, but before we get into the specifics, let’s talk seat counts.

whitehouse.gov

Vice President Joe Biden stumped for Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Catherine Cortez Masto on Saturday in Reno, reminding voters that what happens in Nevada is critical. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

Biden spoke to several hundred people crowded into the gym at Wooster High School. He began by reminding them that Nevada may very well be the state that decides our next president.

Alexa Ard

Local lawyer Victor Salcido is running for the Reno City Council Ward 1 seat. Lately, he's been putting out a lot of negatives ads about his opponent, incumbent Jenny Brekhus. But after doing some fact-checking, Anjeanette Damon with the Reno Gazette-Journal has found that some of Salcido's ads are not entirely accurate. To learn more, our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Damon. 

Image courtesy Jay Kolbet-Clausell / ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno has removed 68 benches from downtown using money from its blight fund. Officials say the project is in response to complaints of panhandling. 

Our reporter Bob Conrad has been covering this story for ThisisReno and says the reaction he's received from local advocates for the homeless has been overwhelmingly negative. It's also created some real questions.

Alexa Ard

The Nevada legislature will convene Thursday to continue evaluating a large public funding package for a new NFL stadium in Las Vegas. Joe Schoenmann with KNPR's State of Nevada joins our News Director Michelle Billman to share the latest.

The Nevada State Senate voted on Tuesday to forge ahead with a plan to provide $750 million of public money to a stadium that may house the NFL’s Raiders.

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