Michelle Bliss

News Director

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 works on other nonfiction writing projects, which have appeared in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter

Ways To Connect

Drone America

Our series Putting Out The Fire has been exploring new ways of fighting and preventing devastating wildfires, which are a major threat to Nevada and California during this fourth year of drought. In this segment, Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss explores how high-tech cameras and drones are rewriting the rules of firefighting.

Mike Richards is CEO of Drone America, a small company on the forefront of changing how emergency responders can fight fires. He likens the drones of tomorrow to comic-book superheroes of the past.  

www.reid.senate.gov

The National Clean Energy Summit is Monday in Las Vegas. Democratic Senator Harry Reid says that rooftop solar power and the growing pains of that industry will be a major topic of discussion.

"We have electricity that's produced and then sent to the consumers on power lines," Reid explains. "That's a model that was developed by Westinghouse and Edison. Well, that was before the Model T Ford. Now, we have a new world where consumers can produce their own electricity. They don't have to depend on a power company to do that."

Five Talents

Reno resident and visual storyteller Jessi LeMay recently returned from a stint in South Sudan, where she collected the stories of the everyday Sudanese people she encountered. 

LeMay traveled to the Warrap State of that country with an organization called Five Talents, which fights poverty in developing countries. She’s gave a talk Friday night at Sundance Books in Reno about her experience and joined Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss for an overview.

Washoe County Schools are opening their doors Monday to 63,000 students as K-12 classes get underway. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss has the details on two district-wide changes going into effect this school year.

One big change is that all kindergartners in Washoe now have access to free full-day schooling. The state legislature approved funding to roll this out statewide a year from now, but the Washoe County School District has decided to offer it at every elementary school now.

democrats.org

Nevada has been chosen to host the first Democratic presidential primary debate, which will take place in October. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss explores why.

The Democratic National Committee made the announcement Thursday that Nevada will be among six states to host these primary debates. 

Fred Lokken teaches political science at Truckee Meadows Community College and has been studying state politics for decades. He says Nevada is one of about seven states that will ultimately decide America's next president.  

Julia Oversloot-Berg

During the Holocaust, people often turned a blind eye to the horrific fate of their Jewish neighbors and acquaintances. But there were also many who took it upon themselves to save Jewish men, women, and children, despite the grave danger it placed upon them and their families.  Yad Vashem in Jerusalem--the world's center for researching and documenting the Holocaust--has deemed these heroes as the Righteous Among The Nations. A traveling exhibit to honor them has landed at the University of Nevada, Reno and will be up through August 27th.

Doors To Recovery

Artown is drawing to a close this week, but Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that the community impacts of one project, the Doors To Recovery exhibit, will extend far beyond the month-long festival.  

Simon Williams / The Nature Conservancy in Nevada

This spring, a team of architecture professors and students partnered with the Nature Conservancy to build a tiny public park covering the area of a single parking space in downtown Las Vegas. The structure is called a parklet and it’s a place where urban and natural worlds collide. 

The Nevada treasurer's office heard hours of public comment Friday on a new law that allows families to spend public education dollars on private school tuition. 

In the last legislative session, lawmakers approved SB302 which creates a program for education savings accounts. Those accounts will offer families a credit each year that can go toward the cost of a school of their choice.  But there's a catch. In order to qualify for the money, students must first be enrolled in public school for 100 days. 

angelfire.com

A new law is requiring Washoe County and the City of Reno to offer what's called automatic aid for their fire services so that the closest engine responds to a blaze despite jurisdiction. The two are negotiating that now and must have a plan in place by October, but they’re also still fighting in court about their failed merger several years ago.

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