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 exploring new rules for cannabis facilities in order to address the issue of nuisance odors. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

It’s an attempt to get regulations in place when they become permanent, said City Code Enforcement Manager Alex Woodley. “(The ordinances will) replicate what Las Vegas passed.”

A student at Truckee Meadows Community College is one of the victims who was killed during the Las Vegas shooting Sunday. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports.

His name is Austin Meyer and he was at the country music festival celebrating his 24th birthday with his fiancée, Dana Getreu, who is a student at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Meyer was in the transportation technologies program at TMCC, which is a small cohort of students who work together closely. Kyle Dalpe is the dean of technical sciences and had to break the news to Meyer's classmates.

Karen Rubio works for Truckee Meadows Community College, helping recruit high school students to the school. She's a first-generation college grad who started at TMCC before transferring to UNR.

While in school at age 20, Karen became pregnant. Then, during the pregnancy, her mother died unexpectedly.

“At that point, it was the first time I said, ‘I’m just going to give up.’ I was like, ‘What am I trying to do? I’m eight months pregnant.’ I was going through a lot,” she remembers.

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.

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