Michelle Bliss


Michelle 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.

When she's not covering a local story, Michelle is often working on other nonfiction writing projects, which have appeared in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Outside of writing, Michelle enjoys watching Hokie football games, eating at diners, and hiking with her husband Scott and their three pups: Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.  In April of 2014, Michelle and Scott welcomed a new addition to the Bliss family: a baby girl!


Business + Economy
10:36 am
Wed November 26, 2014

EDAWN says region could see 50K new jobs in next five years

Mike Kazmierski is president of EDAWN, the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
Credit EDAWN

At a town hall event last week, one economic development expert in Reno said the region could see up to 50,000 new jobs in the next several years, largely thanks to Tesla. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details on that hefty projection.

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Local Stories
10:18 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Reno food pantry sees surge of new families

Volunteers prepare boxes of food to give out at St. Vincent's food pantry in Reno.

For the past month, St. Vincent's Food Pantry has seen a surge of new families showing up at its doors each day. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss stopped by the organization's busy headquarters in downtown Reno this week to learn more about this growing local need.

Volunteers at the pantry's warehouse are always busy this time of year. While some are hauling pallets of canned and nonperishable food around on forklifts, others are assembling the hundreds of boxes given out to families in need each day.

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3:54 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Program teaches low-income Reno teens how to save

Low-income, working teens participate in the MyPath program.
Credit MyPath

A program helping low-income, working teens learn how to save their paychecks and budget their finances is rolling out this summer in Reno. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details.

NOTE: This story and interview originally aired on KUNR in April of 2014.

The My Path program started in San Francisco five years ago and is now expanding into Reno.

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Politics and Policy
10:30 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Nevada maintains highest percentage of unauthorized immigrants

President Barack Obama
Credit The White House

The number of unauthorized immigrants in Nevada has dropped by roughly 20,000 people between 2009 and 2012. That's according to a new study just released from the Pew Research Center. Despite that decline, Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that Nevada still has the highest percentage of this population nationwide.

More than 7 percent of Nevada residents, or about 210,000 people, are in the country illegally. Other states with a large share of  unauthorized immigrants include California, Arizona, and Texas. 

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Business + Economy
3:03 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Experts say housing prices could spike with influx of Tesla workers

Long-term trends show Nevada's housing market is recovering from the recession, but one economic analyst says that what the market really needs now is some stability over the next few years. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that's not likely with Tesla preparing to set up shop.

Housing prices and new construction have been up across the state, but Jeremy Aguero, with the economic research firm Applied Analysis, says Nevada's housing market could really use a brief respite.

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Local Stories
5:23 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Earthquake expert says Reno is not ready for its next big shake

Graham Kent leads the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at UNR.

Since July, a swarm of several hundred earthquakes has been shaking up an area of desolate wilderness in the northwestern corner of the state. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that even though Reno is dodging that bullet, one expert from the University of Nevada, Reno says it's a good reminder that the city is not prepared for a major earthquake.

This event resembles the Mogul swarm of 2008, which caused some costly property damage to homes in northwestern Reno and ultimately piqued with a magnitude 5 quake.

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"Beyond the Headlines"
11:59 am
Fri November 7, 2014

A veteran explains why returning to civilian life is so hard

Wounded warriors cycling around Mammoth Lakes.
Credit Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra

Transitioning out of the military can be uniquely challenging, especially for veterans dealing with an injury or illness. That's why a nonprofit in Mammoth Lakes, California is planning to open a National Wounded Warrior Center in 2016. The group is called Disabled Sports Eastern Sierra, an adaptive sports school for disabled athletes.

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4:01 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Washoe School Board gets two fresh faces

Education leadership in Washoe County has seen several changes just this week as an interim superintendent took the helm and voters elected two first-time trustees. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that after several months of turmoil for the school board, the district is finally entering a new chapter.

Nick Smith beat out board President Barbara Clark by almost 30 percentage points, while Veronica Frenkel narrowly defeated Jim Shaw.

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12:29 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Traci Davis now at the helm of Washoe Schools

Traci Davis is now the interim superintendent for Washoe County Schools, following the departure of Pedro Martinez.

Pedro Martinez left the post of superintendent for Washoe County Schools this week, marking the end of a tumultuous series of events over the past several months that has prompted intense scrutiny of the board of trustees from the community. As the district closes this rocky chapter, Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss caught up with Traci Davis, the new interim superintendent to learn more about her background and priorities moving forward.

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Politics and Policy
4:52 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Washoe Dems respond to Republican landslide

The Washoe Democratic Party gathered at a pizza joint in Reno to watch the election results come in.

As Republicans were celebrating last night, more than a hundred Washoe democrats gathered at a pizza joint in Reno. Despite the number of concession speeches their candidates ended up making throughout the evening, crowd members managed to keep up their energy and optimism.

"We really don't get down in the dumps. We just pull up our boots and start working on the next election."

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