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!


Politics and Policy
12:24 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Washoe sheriff candidates differ on how to bolster police presence

Chuck Allen (left) and Tim Kuzanek are both running for Washoe County Sheriff. Kuzanek brings institutional knowledge while Allen brings an outside perspective.
Credit Chuck Allen and Tim Kuzanek campaign photos

Both candidates for Washoe County Sheriff agree that the community presence of local law enforcement must grow, but Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports they offer different pathways for making that happen if elected in November.

At a debate Thursday night in Reno, hosted by KNPB and the Reno Gazette Journal, candidates Chuck Allen and Tim Kuzanek faced off in advance of the upcoming election.

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1:50 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

TMCC is preparing students for Tesla jobs

Students in the CNC (Computer Numerical Control) certificate program at TMCC.

Now that Tesla will be setting up shop in Storey County to make batteries for its electric cars, Truckee Meadows Community College is planning to develop more programs for skilled high-tech workers.  Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that the school will build on what it already has to offer.

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Local Stories
11:54 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Multimedia exhibit to feature Reno's divorce history

Photo courtesy of Special Collections Department, University of Nevada, Reno.

For much of the 20th century, Reno was a household name notorious for quickie divorces. Historians with the University of Nevada, Reno have just received a nearly $80,000 grant to preserve this part of local history.

For nearly six decades, Reno was known as the “divorce capital of the world” with people from all over the globe traveling to the Biggest Little City to end their marriages.

Several Nevada historians, including Mella Harmon, are seeking to document that time, which lasted from around 1910 through the end of the sixties.

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Local Stories
11:13 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Washoe's public transit stunted by funding woes

RTC's Fleet and Facilities Manager David Carr stands in a maintenance bay at the Villanova Bus Maintenance Facility that's too small for the agency's newer electric buses and a tight squeeze for the older vehicles, too.

Right now, public transit in Washoe County is operating at service levels comparable to the ‘90s, and officials with the Regional Transportation Commission say they only have enough money to keep running as is.

Reno Public Radio’s Michelle Bliss reports that securing funding down the road for expanding services and renovating aging infrastructure remains a major question mark, one that could affect everything from economic development to quality of life.

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Local Stories
11:10 am
Tue September 23, 2014

RTC forms special committee to address future funding

The RTC's Blue Ribbon Committee is charged with figuring out creative and new ways to pay for unmet transit needs in Washoe County as federal funding remains unstable.
Credit Regional Transportation Commission

Reno transportation officials say they can't keep up with community needs without more funding. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the Regional Transportation Commission has formed a special committee to come up with a plan for creating new funding sources before the legislature starts back up in February.

Right now, the RTC is operating at transit levels comparable to the 90s. That's partly because federal funding decreased significantly during the recession and has not bounced back.

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1:36 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

KUNR's new Grammar Girl segment

Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty

We are debuting our new Grammar Girl segment with author Mignon Fogarty, the creator of the Quick and Dirty Tips Network. Once a month, Mignon will explore the many intricacies and quirks of the English language with Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss. 

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11:06 am
Thu September 18, 2014

UNR has big plans for expansion

In the next seven years, the University of Nevada, Reno has big plans for expansion. At Wednesday's State of the University address, President Marc Johnson said the school will be hiring more faculty and constructing more buildings to keep up with record enrollment.

Reno Public Radio's Michelle Bliss attended the speech and has these details.

By 2021, UNR plans to hire at least 250 tenure-track faculty members to teach a projected 22,000 students. The school's current head count is just under 20,000--its highest enrollment ever.

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Local Stories
4:16 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Washoe Sheriff's Office will no longer honor ICE detainers

Washoe County Detention Facility
Credit Hyytinen Engineering

The Washoe County Sheriff's Office will no longer hold people in jail based solely on requests from federal immigration authorities. Reno Pubic Radio's Michelle Bliss reports that the change comes after a federal judge's recent ruling in Oregon.

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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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