Bob Conrad

Contributor and Media Partner

Bob Conrad, PhD, APR is a media professional with more than 20 years of experience in journalism, public relations, marketing and publishing. He's the co-founder of ThisisReno.com, a locally owned and operated online news website. The site won the 2011 Judge's Choice Award from the Sierra Nevada Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, as well as a Silver Spike Award from the same organization.

Bob completed his doctoral dissertation in 2011 from the University of Nevada, Reno, where he researched how the news media cover higher education institutions[gradworks.umi.com] in times of crisis, taking a look at the differences among blog content, traditional news media and niche news media. 

He has also authored a number of articles, publications and a few books. Bob's previous PR blog received an “Editor’s Pick” from the U.K. Journalism.co.uk[Journalism.co.uk]and his work has been featured in Information Week, Bulldog Reporter, eSkeptic, PRSA’s TACTICS and others.

In 2015, Bob was selected to train at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism's Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

 

Women and children in red shirts stand outside of a hospital building holding protest signs.
Trevor Bexon of This Is Reno

Some of the nurses at St. Mary’s Hospital in downtown Reno demonstrated in front of the facility last week to express their concerns about working conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bob Conrad is publisher of This Is Reno and he was there covering the protest. He shared what he learned with KUNR’s News Director Michelle Billman.

There are two black bears, one is cub and the other is larger and older. There is tall, green grass in the front and blurry trees in the background.
Neal Herbert / National Park Service

The Nevada Supreme Court recently overturned a lower court’s ruling on a defamation case filed by a biologist who works for the Nevada Department of Wildlife, or NDOW. The suit was filed against the manager of a Facebook page that’s critical of NDOW’s policies regarding the treatment of bears in the Eastern Sierra. The state supreme court struck down the biologist’s defamation case, so now it’s headed back to Washoe County Second Judicial District Court.

A landscape photo with a paved road on the left side and gravel, sagebrush and hills on the right side.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

The Truckee Meadows Public Land Management Act, formerly known as the Washoe County Lands Bill, is back before Congress. It would allow federal land in Nevada to be sold to local government for development and conservation projects. The proposal has received support from the cities of Reno and Sparks, as well as Washoe County, but it has also faced public criticism.

A photo of doors with a sign that says, 'Washoe County School District.'
Lucia Starbuck

The Washoe County School District (WCSD) is facing several lawsuits from former employees. ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad has been following this issue. He sat down with KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck to break down what the people involved are up against.

A vacant lot with a church in the background.
Lucia Starbuck

A 20-story hotel might be built in downtown Reno along the Truckee River. But a building this tall would produce a giant shadow. That has people of different interests worried. ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad spoke with Lucia Starbuck about the city’s decision on the hotel proposal.

Cannabis plants under green light.
Vera Samburova/DRI

The same chemicals that give cannabis its distinct smell may be contributing to air pollution and affecting human health. Recent tests of four cannabis grow facilities in Nevada and California found that the plants naturally release compounds that, when they accumulate in the air, create smog.

A body of water with a pipe in the forefront and street signs with water surrounding them.
Bob Conrad / ThisisReno

Different solutions have been proposed to reduce water levels from the flooded Swan Lake in Lemmon Valley, a battle that has been affecting nearby residents since 2017. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke with ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad about what’s been done, what can be expected, and how some residents are feeling.

Hemp plants growing out of dirt.
Nevada Department of Agriculture

CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, can be found in the cannabis plant. Products containing CBD are easily accessible, but regulations remain unclear on selling these products in Washoe County. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talked to ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad about this issue.

A whale sculpture made out of stained glass panels.
Bob Conrad / ThisisReno

The Space Whale, which is currently located by the BELIEVE sign on Reno’s city plaza, may need to find a new home soon. The sculpture's lease is up at the end of this month. ThisisReno’s Bob Conrad, who has been following this story, met with KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck to discuss what the possible next steps are.

Washoe County School Bus
Carla O’Day

Washoe County School District (WCSD) has a critical shortage of school bus drivers. The unemployment rate is low in the Reno-Sparks area, at 3.2 percent, and there is fierce competition for qualified employees. The district is seeking qualified people in the community to apply for school bus driver positions.

Truckee Meadows Community College is canceling its lease at its Keystone Avenue Performing Arts Center. As first reported in ThisisReno last year, TMCC is not renewing its lease at the Keystone location for financial and safety reasons. Although considered by the college as far back as 2015, TMCC President Karin Hilgerson surprised faculty last year by quietly deciding not to renew the lease. 

Barriers stand up against a body of water.
Bob Conrad / This is Reno

Washoe County commissioners are taking steps to contain Lemmon Valley’s Swan Lake to a specified boundary, although county staff have cautioned that a solution to flooding in that area hasn’t been identified and funding questions remain. To learn more, KUNR’s News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Bob Conrad, the publisher of ThisisReno, to learn more about this issue.

Amrtrak train tracks along Truckee
ThisisReno

Last May, 22-year-old Aaron Salazar was found severely injured along the train tracks in Truckee. While his recovery continues, Amtrak has released little information about its ongoing investigation into what happened.

For the latest update, KUNR's Michelle Billman checked in with Bob Conrad, publisher of ThisisReno, who has kept in touch with Salazar and his family.

Reno City Flag
ThisisReno

The lawsuit against the City of Reno for the alleged harassment and retaliation against two former employees is continuing, and new revelations are still emerging. Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been following this story and gave an update to KUNR News Director Michelle Billman.

Washoe County School District Administrative Building on a sunny day.
Carla O’Day of ThisisReno

A former administrator at Hug High in Reno has been vocal about her battle with the Washoe County School District for her job. Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been following this story and spoke to KUNR News Director Michelle Billman about recent developments.

Brown water from the Truckee River floods a staircase so that only the railings are visible.
Ty O'Neil

The Washoe Board of County Commissioners has approved language for a ballot measure that would increase property taxes for Truckee River flood mitigation. Voters will decide in November. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

Amtrak tracks near Reno
Photo Credit: ThisisReno

The parents of a 22-year-old Amtrak passenger who was found critically injured near the train tracks in Truckee are disputing Amtrak's conclusion that he likely tried to kill himself. Amtrak Police Chief Neil Trugman told reporters earlier this week that Aaron Salazar's injuries appear to be the result of an attempted suicide. Salazar's family members fervently disagree and say they are concerned that the incident may have been a hate crime since Aaron is gay.

Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been covering this story. He spoke with our News Director Michelle Billman to share the latest details.

ThisisReno.com

The homeless shelters in Reno are full, with lines out the door, and temperatures are dropping. Our contributor Bob Conrad has been covering this issue for a ThisisReno podcast called Solutions. In the latest episode, he spoke with Reno Councilwoman Neoma Jardon about her efforts to build a tiny home village to help some of the city's chronically homeless residents. This is an excerpt of their conversation.

Waste Management

Some Reno business owners, like Mark McKinnon, are getting letters telling them that they are in violation of city ordinances because they are not using the company Waste Management to haul their trash and recycling. Our contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno has been reporting on this situation and gave the latest update to our News Director Michelle Billman.

The actions mark an effort to solidify Waste Management’s exclusivity as the area’s waste hauler.

ThisisReno.com

The City of Reno is exploring new rules for cannabis facilities in order to address the issue of nuisance odors. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more.

It’s an attempt to get regulations in place when they become permanent, said City Code Enforcement Manager Alex Woodley. “(The ordinances will) replicate what Las Vegas passed.”

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