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!


1:44 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sparks Middle School continues to heal

It's been almost a year since 12-year-old Jose Reyes opened fire at Sparks Middle School last October, killing a teacher and himself, and injuring two other students. Reno Public Radio's Esther Ciammachilli reports that as the community continues to heal, a federal grant is providing the school with ongoing support.

A $700,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education will pay for trauma therapists to continue working with students and their families. They're keeping in touch with students who are no longer in the building as well.

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Local Stories
10:58 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Bike path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor in the works

This is a rendering of a typical scenic vista on the envisioned bike path from Incline Village to Sand Harbor.
Credit Tahoe Fund

An envisioned bike path connecting Incline Village to Sand Harbor State Park is officially in the works, now that the Tahoe Fund organization has met its goal of raising $750,000 in private donations for the project.

Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that meeting that goal means more than $12 million in public funding from local, state, and federal governments will now be triggered.

This project will be the next section of the Lake Tahoe Bikeway, a long-term project to build a path around the entire lake spanning more than 70 miles.

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Local Stories
5:22 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

WCSD Superintendent won't accept 25K settlement from trustees

Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez
Credit WCSD

Washoe County School District Superintendent Pedro Martinez will not accept the $25,000 offered by the board of trustees to settle a lawsuit regarding the board's breach of contract for improperly firing Martinez back in July before quickly reinstating him. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss spoke to Martinez's attorney Bill Peterson to learn why the superintendent is turning down the board's offer.

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Local Stories
4:47 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Liberian faith leader in Reno sounds call for help with ebola crisis

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

While the World Health Organization is reporting more than 2,200 deaths from the ebola outbreak in West Africa, Reverend Father Elijah Bobby Washington is stuck in the United States, here in Reno, unable to fly home to Liberia.

Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss spoke with Father Bobby to get the latest update on the deteriorating conditions in his home country.

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Local Stories
10:50 am
Wed September 10, 2014

UNR tries new approach for treating suicidal students

Area colleges, including UNR and TMCC, have been hosting events for suicide prevention week, including backpack campaigns to symbolize the roughly 1,100 college students who commit suicide in the U.S. each year. UNR is also starting a pilot program to try a new treatment option for suicidal students called CAMS.
Credit Truckee Meadows Community College

The counseling center at the University of Nevada, Reno is rethinking how to treat its suicidal students. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that this semester the center is hosting a trial study for a new approach in the hopes of saving more young lives.

As students meet with UNR counselors at the center, white noise machines in each doorway keep their conversations private. Behind some of those closed doors, students are seeking help because they’re thinking about or preparing to take their own lives.

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Local Stories
12:19 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Pilot dies at Reno Air Races

Lee Behel died Monday after crashing his plane during a qualifying event for the Reno Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport.
Credit www.aafo.com

A pilot has died after crashing his plane at the Reno National Championship Air Races at Reno-Stead Airport Monday afternoon. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that the tragedy is a painful reminder of the event’s 2011 crash that killed 11 people, most of them spectators in the grandstand.

Lee Behel was a racing veteran from San Jose who flew planes in both the Air Force and the Nevada National Guard. He was also the father of two sons.

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Local Stories
9:51 am
Mon September 8, 2014

Public safety in Incline Village: Washoe County Sheriff candidates have different views

Washoe County Sheriff's Office.

The crime rate in Incline Village has been falling for the past several years, but Chuck Allen, a candidate for sheriff in the November election, says that fact is misleading. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports.

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Energy and Environment
4:15 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Nevada will create protection plan for native bees

Photo from www.agriview.com.

State wildlife officials say they are concerned that climate change and urbanization might diminish the native bee population. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports the Nevada Department of Agriculture is putting together guidelines to protect these important pollinators of natural plants.

Jeff Knight is the state’s entomologist. His job is primarily to keep the bad bugs out and to monitor the ones that are vital to the local environment.

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Local Stories
5:46 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway nearing completion

Credit Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway

An effort to connect Lake Tahoe and Pyramid Lake with a 116-mile trail for bicyclists is getting closer to completion. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway recently opened its newest section in California along the Truckee River.

With a new section of bikeway now open in Nevada County, California, the project is seventy-five percent complete. It's a combination of paved roads, existing dirt trails, and sections of new trails, with funding coming from both federal programs and private donations.

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12:48 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

State reprimands WCSD for missing deadline to change special education policy

State officials are telling the Washoe County School District it must change the way it handles Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, for special needs students. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that some funding for the district could be at stake if the issue is not addressed swiftly.

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