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

Washoe County recently conducted a citizen survey on quality of life in the area. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn about the results.

 

KUNR: What did the county learn from this study? What are residents saying about the local quality of life?

The Orvis School of Nursing at UNR started out with just 12 students and 5 faculty. Now, 60 years later, the school has about 300 students each year. The school's dean is Dr. Patsy Ruchala, and she sat down with assistant professor Emily McClure to share some of her memories about the profession.

Emily McClure: So, Dr. Ruchala, over your timeframe of being a nurse, how have you see the transition of nursing from when you first graduated to you as dean of the Orvis School of Nursing?

www.adl.org/education

Nurit Stites is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor. She visits classrooms around Washoe County to share her family’s story with young people, and she spoke with our News Director Michelle Billman about her work.  

Stacey Montooth, RSIC

Johni Bill is a member of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony who just opened her own salon called Alluring Beauty in Sparks. Colony spokeswoman Stacey Montooth says Johni is a role model for other Native American entrepreneurs, who can face unique challenges. Montooth spoke to our contributor Brook Bentley of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly to explain why.

Eric Norris / CC BY-SA 2.0

A bill that would mandate fluoridating the water in Truckee Meadows is receiving heavy opposition. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more. 

KUNR: Who is proposing this bill and what reasons have they given?

ReubenGBrewer / Wikimedia Commons.

One bill in the Nevada legislature aims to protect small waste haulers against the exclusive contracts that many cities have with larger companies. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more. 

TMRPA

There’s not enough affordable housing in Washoe County…and more and more residents are getting priced out of owning their own homes.  That’s according to a study by the Truckee Meadows Regional Planning Agency. Kim Robinson is the organization’s executive director and Jeremy Smith is GIS coordinator. They talked to our news director Michelle Billman about their findings. 

MICHAEL COGHLAN / FLICKR / CC BY-SA 2.0

On Friday, Nevada's First Lady Kathleen Sandoval presented Assembly Bill 472, which would make several changes to the state's juvenile justice system. The governor's proposed budget includes $1.5 million to support the legislation, if it's approved by lawmakers. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Kathleen Sandoval to learn more about the reforms being considered.

During our conversation, Nevada’s First Lady highlighted three key components to the legislation, describing them as:

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno spent considerably more money on its annual address than neighboring municipalities. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno first reported the story and has been receiving a slew of comments on social media about it.

Some say the money was well spent since Reno is trying to attract new businesses to the area and raise its profile. Others say it's fiscally irresponsible. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Bob to learn more.

City of Reno

The City of Reno has selected Sabra Smith Newby as its new manager. Our News Director Michelle Billman talks to Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more about the city’s newest leader, who will start next month.

KUNR: Bob, what do we know about Sabra Smith Newby?

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