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, the newsroom has been earning news awards under her leadership, including two regional Edward R. Murrow awards for reporting on Tesla's impact on Northern Nevada and the ongoing drought. Her team has also earned several awards from the Associated Press Television and Radio Association, which covers 13 Western states, for hard news reporting, best use of sound, best spot news, and other categories. 

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

After a month-long celebration of the arts in Reno, Artown is wrapping up this week. The festival includes a variety of events showcasing local treasures, including the massive pipe organ housed in downtown Reno at Trinity Episcopal Church. At a lunchtime concert there, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss found the pews packed with a hundred eager listeners.

Organist Angela Kraft Cross has been playing for most of her life—she began at age ten, transitioning from the piano.

Reno has recently added 25 solar-powered trash compactors to the downtown corridor. After this trial run, many more could be popping up around town.

“Rather high-tech,” is how Sarah Polito, a spokesperson for Waste Management of Nevada, describes the compactors.

“Think mission impossible style, if you will,” Polito says. “There are laser beams within the compactor.”

State officials have confirmed the first positive sample of the West Nile Virus in northern Nevada this year. KUNR's Michelle Bliss spoke to State Veterinarian Anette Rink about this public health issue. Read the story here.

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