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

House Republicans have recently rolled out their much anticipated proposal to change the Affordable Care Act. At this point, it’s unclear if it’ll pass.  

To understand the potential impact of the proposal on Nevadans, Reno Public Radio’s Anh has been talking with people in the community to see how Obamacare has already been affecting health care providers and local businesses. News Director Michelle Billman sits down with Gray to learn what people have been saying.

Washoe County Libraries

Hélène Berr is often referred to as the Anne Frank of France. A traveling exhibit based on her personal diary is now open at the Northwest Reno Library. There will be an opening reception Thursday night from 6-8 pm.

TMCC

Truckee Meadows Community College has now inaugurated its tenth president, Karin Hilgersom. Friday’s ceremony comes as economic leaders across the state look to community colleges for help with bolstering Nevada’s skilled workforce. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Hilgerson to learn more about her priorities for the school over the next few years.

KUNR: Karin, welcome to the program.

Karin Hilgersom (KH): Thank you! I’m delighted to be here.

Ken Lund (CC BY-SA 2.0)

For the first time since the Great Recession, the City of Sparks is creating a strategic plan for arts and culture. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The city is home to the Sparks Heritage Museum, a new venue called the Restless Artists Theatre, and The Generator, a maker-space where many Burning Man artworks are crafted.

Francine Burge, with the city, says this is not the first attempt to create a long-term vision.

parks.nv.gov

Governor Brian Sandoval has announced his proposal to create two new state parks, including the Walker River State Recreation Area. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman explores what this could mean for Lyon County.

For the first time in generations, this park would provide public access to more than 12,000 acres of ranch land, specifically 28 miles of the East Walker River. The area is home to deer, mountain lions, and sage grouse, and it's filled with juniper and pinyon trees.

UNR

Ming Li Wu is a senior at the Davidson Academy and she'll be giving a talk at Saturday's Tedx event in Reno. It's a live, local version of the international Ted Talk program, which aims to share meaningful ideas through compelling speeches.

Wu met up with our News Director Michelle Billman to chat about her experience as a spoken word poet, which will play a large part in her talk. She shared some of her work as well. Let's take a listen. 

KUNR: Ming Li, thanks for joining me today.

University of Nevada, Reno

Albert Lee teaches voice and opera at the University of Nevada, Reno. On Saturday, he'll be delivering a talk for Tedx, a local, live version of the popular TED talks program, which strives to share powerful ideas.

Lee can't divulge too much about his topic, but he did meet with our News Director Michelle Billman to share some of the life experiences that have led him to this opportunity, including his work mentoring college students. 

KUNR: Albert Lee, thanks for joining me.

Michelle Billman

State and local officials have been assessing flood damage in Northern Nevada, taking aerial tours of the region and inspecting on foot. Our News Director Michelle Billman joined the group as they visited downtown Reno to get the latest.

Cortez Masto Becomes First Latina Senator

Jan 3, 2017
catherinecortezmasto.com

Catherine Cortez Masto has been sworn in to the U.S. Senate, becoming Nevada's first female in the upper chamber of Congress and the nation's first Latina senator. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports. 

The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District now has equipment on every engine that will perform chest compressions for people suffering from cardiac arrest. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the details. 

Providing chest compressions is tough work. When done manually, it requires multiple paramedics to switch off every two minutes.

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