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

Reno-Sparks Indian Colony Language and Culture Program

For the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, preserving cultural traditions involves every generation. Along with capturing the memories of elders, they must also compete for the attention of Native American kids living in a modern world. That’s why there’s powwow club. Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss has more for the final segment of our series Taking Back History. 

About a dozen dancers, mostly teens, are in their gym clothes building up a sweat as they furiously step to the beat. They’re getting a workout, but it’s more than that.

RSIC Language and Culture Program

Like many Native American tribes across the country, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony is in a critical state of language loss. Only a handful of colony elders can speak the Great Basin languages of Paiute, Washoe, and Shoshone.

For our series “Taking Back History,” Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss looks at how the colony is trying to save these languages and why they haven’t been passed down. 

 

Nevada State Museum / allaroundnevada.com

Sherry Rupert heads the Nevada Indian Commission and has been working for the past decade to preserve the site of the Stewart Indian School in Carson City. Thanks to some of the laws passed during this recent legislative session, the project is now getting support and funding. To tell us more about the school and its history, Rupert spoke to Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss.  

A new law passed after the recent legislative session will cut down on the routine shackling of children in Nevada courtrooms. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Nevada has joined a growing national movement to rethink what's called presumptive shackling of kids in court. Dr. Shawn Marsh is with the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, based in Reno. He's seen children as young as ten in handcuffs, shackles, and belly chains.

The Truckee Meadows Water Authority is now using drought reserves to meet customer demand.

Usually, surface water from the Truckee River provides 90 percent of what area customers use, but since river flows are so low, the authority has now tapped into its upstream drought reserves in Boca Reservoir. 

"We actually anticipated being in this position several weeks ago," says Bill Hauck, senior hydrologist for the agency, "but the rain we had in May brought a significant amount of rainfall which found its way to the river. It basically enhanced our supply by several weeks."

Sierra Front Wildfire Cooperators

9 a.m. Monday Update:

With more than a thousand personnel working to put out the Washington Fire, the blaze is now 45% contained. Officials with the U.S. Forest Service say that the fire threat to Markleeville has diminished and firefighting efforts were helped over the weekend by higher humidity, lower temperatures, and light rains. 

State Highway 4 is now open from Markleeville to Ebbetts Pass for through traffic. Highway 89 to Monitor Pass and to Wolf Creek Road remains closed. 

8 p.m. Friday Update:

There's a need for almost 400 nursing home beds for veterans across the state. That's according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. As that need continues to grow, Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that momentum and funding are also growing for the first veterans nursing home in Northern Nevada. 

Reynolds School of Journalism

Every year, the Pew Research Center releases its State of the News Media report which looks at the rapidly changing landscape of American journalism. This year’s report found that 39 out of 50 top news websites actually have more of their traffic coming from mobile devices than desktop computers.

After speaking to Latino leaders in Las Vegas Thursday, Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton stopped in Reno to talk about veterans issues. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

Instead of giving a formal speech, Clinton held a roundtable at a VFW in Reno with local panelists who voiced their concerns for veterans in Nevada.

"I think that there are two words that should never be in the same sentence," said Democratic State Senator Pat Spearman, "and that's 'homeless veteran.'"

TMCC

Truckee Meadows Community College will be offering bachelor's degree programs for the first time starting next year. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports.

One degree will be in emergency management and homeland security. The other will be in logistics operations management, which includes everything from manufacturing to warehousing to sustainability practices. 

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