Bree Zender

Morning Edition Host and Reporter

Bree Zender is KUNR's award-winning Morning Edition host, news anchor, and reporter. You may have also heard her on NPR's All Things Considered, NPR's Here & Now, and KQED's The California Report.

Bree grew up in between a rural and urban divide. She often hopped between the urban centers of Western Washington like Seattle and Bellingham, and her rural logging hometown, Deming. She learned to love the complexities of these worlds—the beautiful and the ugly. Her appreciation of these rich life textures inspired Bree to become a journalist.

She started her radio career as an intern at Montana Public Radio in Missoula, after graduating from the University of Montana with degrees in theatre and journalism. From there, she moved to San Luis Obispo, California to serve as KCBX-Central Coast Public Radio’s midday host and reporter from 2016 to 2017.

Bree is currently pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Nevada, Reno, focusing on media innovation.

When she’s not on the radio, she is usually hiking or rock climbing. She lives in Reno with her cat, Pete.

A desert landscape with a road heading toward the horizon
Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

Though Nevada has a fair amount of cities, vast parts of the state are a sea of sagebrush, with very few towns. And as the Nevada State Democratic Party gears up for its caucuses on Saturday, Democrats in the state’s many rural counties are facing significant hurdles with the caucus system. 

A picture of Pete Buttigieg shaking hands with voters.
Noah Glick

Early voting is underway for Nevada's caucus, and candidates are making their way to Northern Nevada to stump. In the past week alone, our area has seen campaign visits from all, with the exception of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii.

Trei Brundrett / Flickr/Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)/Edited

After the chaos of the Iowa caucuses, Democrats in the next caucus state of Nevada are anxious.

Three kids playing on a swing set.
Raul Lieberwirth / Flickr, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Those who are ordered to pay child support in Nevada now have more of a range as to how much they pay under an evaluation from a judge. The changes, that went into effect this month, are meant to give judges more latitude to determine how much a parent is able to pay.

A gondola moves up the mountain
Steve Jurvetson / Flickr, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Two Tahoe-area ski resorts can move forward with their plans to build a massive gondola connecting the properties together.

Four AFSCME union members stand as one reads a statement.
Daniel Clark / The Nevada Independent

Ahead of the Nevada Democratic caucus, speculation over which candidate union members are going to stand behind is mounting. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, union members make up nearly 15 percent of the state’s workforce.

Person holds an Iowa presidential preference card.
Phil Roeder / Flickr / Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Iowa democrats were thrown for a loop in their caucus reporting on Monday, due to coding errors on their app.

Caucus participants in Ankeny, Iowa.
Clay Masters / Iowa Public Radio

Results for the Iowa Democratic caucus have yet to be released, due to complications with the newly developed precinct reporting app that was used. Coding issues and minimal training led to widespread confusion across the state.

The Nevada State Democratic Party is planning to use a similar app-based system for its Feb. 22 caucus. Looking ahead, third-in-line Nevada caucus participants are raising red flags — especially in light of the new app being used for the first time in the state.

Vote here sign in front of a caucus site.
Erik Hersman / Flickr, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

We're days away from the Iowa Democratic Caucuses, and weeks away in Nevada. At the Nevada Democratic Party’s Reno office, about 25 volunteers are learning how to run a caucus event. On Feb. 22, they will show up at their precinct and help organize the votes.

Census taker walking up to the front door of a residence.
U.S. Census Bureau

The 2020 U.S. Census kicked off this month and Census Bureau representatives are bolstering their recruitment efforts in Nevada.

Bear stands on log with a cub.
Frank van Manen / U.S. Geological Survey

In the lower 48 states, grizzly bears used to roam across much of the West, but now, they’re confined to areas mostly in Montana and Wyoming. They’re considered endangered.

The U.S. government has recently agreed to review their endangered status, due to a controversial lawsuit which ultimately aims to build a plan to eventually bring grizzly bears to more places, including the Sierra Nevada.

2020 is almost here and that means a new decade is underway. Before we welcome in the New Year, KUNR’s Bree Zender and Stephanie Serrano traveled around Reno to see how the last decade went for people here in Northern Nevada. 

Bree Zender

With a wide Democratic field, many presidential candidates are struggling to connect with voters ahead of the 2020 Nevada Caucuses. The race is saturated. 

Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

With this past winter storm, prescribed burn season is ramping up in Northern Nevada and throughout the Sierra. 

Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

Researchers say forest fires are typically good for rebooting the health of forests, but a new study published in the journal Ecosphere says that high-intensity wildfires are dramatically changing the plant habitat structure of forests in the Sierra Nevada. 

Bree Zender / KUNR Public Radio

Reno is celebrating its first Indigenous Peoples' Day today, after the City Council unanimously voted to drop Columbus Day in favor of a holiday that celebrates Native American peoples, rather than honor a figure that for many represents a violent history of colonization in North America. 

Bridget Bennett/NPR

MGM Resorts agreed to pay 800 million dollars last week to settle thousands of liability claims related to a 2017 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, which killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. This month marks two years since the tragedy, and the trauma continues to affect the lives of the survivors. 

Bree Zender

When I was a little girl, my grandfather, whom we call Papa, would sit us on his lap and tell us bear stories. He grew up in Montana, and being around bears was (and still is) a part of life there. 

Bree Zender

A federal lawsuit was filed earlier this year by an anti-legal brothel lawyer, claiming sex trafficking is rampant in the businesses. While brothel owners deny this, the suit aims to ban brothels in Nevada. Now, a prospective defendant is looking to add himself to the suit. KUNR Reporter and Host Bree Zender spoke with News Director Michelle Billman about this latest wrinkle.

Bree Zender

I’m at one of the few places in Nevada where you’re not likely to find a local: The Las Vegas Strip. And I’ve got a quiz for the tourists here. 

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