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

Gloria Steinem is in Reno to promote her new book, but she also stopped by the Latino Research Center at the University of Nevada, Reno Tuesday. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports.

Steinem spoke with about two dozen first-generation Latina students at UNR to campaign for Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. She says this is the first election she's seen that could be swayed by their vote.

Frank de Kleine / CC BY-SA 2.0

We recently reported on the first case of a zika pregnancy in Washoe County. To learn more about what this means for the community, our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Dr. Jim Wilson, who heads the Nevada Center for Infectious Disease Forecasting at the University of Nevada, Reno.

ThisisReno.com

Reno Manager Andrew Clinger will finish his time at city hall early next month. While an investigation into allegations of misconduct continues, city council has voted to approve a separation agreement with Clinger. It provides him with about $230,000, mostly in severance.

“I think this is giving him a special treatment that’s above and beyond what is specified in the contract we have for him, and I cannot support the motion,” said councilwoman Jenny Brekhus, who voted against the agreement.

Councilwoman Naomi Duerr voted “yes.”

Catherine Cortez Masto Campaign

A  University of Nevada, Reno professor says his comments were presented out of context in a political ad criticizing Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Catherine Cortez Masto. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports.

Northern Nevada Business Weekly

A new hotel in downtown Reno held its grand opening last night. It's a Courtyard by Marriott located near the Aces baseball stadium and the Truckee River.

Reporter Brook Bentley with our media partner Northern Nevada Business Weekly says the opening represents a larger shift in downtown accommodations.

"The Courtyard by Marriott is joining the trend with properties like the Whitney Peak Hotel and the Renaissance Marriott in being non-gaming  facilities located in downtown Reno," Bentley explains.

ThisisReno.com

Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger has resigned, effective October 9, amid allegations of professional misconduct including sexual harassment.

Renown Health has a received $7.5 million  from the William N. Pennington Foundation to hire and retain pediatric doctors. 

On average in the U.S., there are 15 pediatricians for every 100,000 people, but in Reno, there are less than 10 pediatricians per that many residents.

That shortage is even more profound when you look at more specialized care.

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. 

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