Bree Zender

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.

An old building with blue sky.
Ed Bierman / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a lot of uncertainty about what classrooms are going to look like in the fall, if students are going to be in classrooms at all. The University of Nevada, Reno recently sent in its fall plans to the state’s Department of Education to be finalized.

A gondola moves up a mountain over a skiier
Steve Jurvetson / Flickr/Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Editor's Note: This story has been updated. The original version referred to Squaw Valley Ski Resort throughout the article even though the name change would impact the entire company of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

In the weeks since the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man in Minneapolis, there’s been a broad reckoning with various kinds of racism in the U.S. This cultural shift has led some government, businesses and community members across the county to take down or rename landmarks with ties to various kinds of racism.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7:08 p.m. | July 21, 2020

Three New COVID-19 Deaths In Washoe Co.
By Noah Glick

The Regional Incident Command is reporting three new deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday. That brings the total deaths from the virus countywide to 105.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

6:38 p.m. | July 14, 2020

State Leaders Urge Continued Vigilance Against COVID-19
By Noah Glick

State officials are urging the public to continue its vigilance in the fight against COVID-19, as more than 1,100 new cases are reported Tuesday.

A fire and smoke on the side of a mountain.
Image from ALERTWildfire Greater Tahoe cameras on Twitter @nvfirecams

As of 5:01 p.m. on July 13, 2020, KUNR is no longer actively updating this blog.

5:00 p.m. | July 13, 2020

Investigators have determined the cause of the Numbers Fire, burning south of Gardnerville.

Fire burns at dusk on a foothill
Luke Flynt / Unsplash

Reno saw one of its first major wildfire events of the dry season this past weekend with the Poeville Fire. And with the pandemic going on, agencies across the West are having to rethink how to fight fires while fighting the novel coronavirus.

Smoke casts a shadow on a sunset behind a stadium
Bree Zender / KUNR

KUNR is providing updates on the Poeville Fire. Click here for more information. For the most current information about the Poeville Fire, visit @TMPFD and @HumboldtToiyabe on Twitter.

Hundreds evacuated from neighborhoods north of Reno Saturday as the Poeville Fire burned multiple structures. 

Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District officials said on Sunday morning the fire had charred approximately 3,500 acres. As of Sunday morning, firefighters had built containment lines around 10 percent of the burn area. More high wind gusts and dry conditions are expected through late Sunday.

Sirens atop law enforcement vehicle
Aaron Anderer / Flickr Creative Commons

As thousands are demonstrating against a pattern of police brutality toward Black people in the U.S., Congress is working to find legislative solutions to reform law enforcement.

Catherine Cortez Masto is one of the Democratic senators from Nevada and the former state attorney general. She spoke with KUNR’s Bree Zender on Wednesday about what can be done on the federal level.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7:23 p.m. | June 23, 2020

Nevada Sees Another Record Day Of COVID-19 Cases
By The Associated Press

Orange cat looking to the right of the photographer.
alexunderwood910 / Flickr Creative Commons

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, animal shelters across the U.S. saw a rise in demand for adoptions. This includes shelters in Northern Nevada and the Eastern Sierra.

Police Chief speaking at Town Hall
Screenshot / Town of Truckee Council TV via YouTube

The Truckee Police Department announced Thursday that its chief, Rob Leftwich, will retire.

This comes after Leftwich faced public criticism after sending a controversial email to other Town of Truckee employees, in which shared his perspective on the Black Lives Matter movement. In it, he claimed George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man killed by police in Minneapolis, was "not innocent."

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7:32 p.m. | June 16, 2020

Nevada Reports Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Case Jump
By Lucia Starbuck

People waiting in a line next to orange cones to vote.
Paul Boger

6:16 p.m. | June 19, 2020
By Bree Zender

The mail-in ballots for Nevada's primary election have all been counted as of Friday. Northern Nevada filtered out many state assembly candidates in the process, as well as those running for a couple of seats in the U.S. Congress. 

A man wearing a suit is speaking at a podium.
Nevada Attorney General's Office

Monday marks two weeks since 46-year-old George Floyd was killed while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Former police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. Floyd was pronounced dead shortly afterward.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

7:08 p.m. | June 9, 2020

Nevada Reports Highest Spike Of New COVID-19 Cases
By Lucia Starbuck

Map of Nevada's U.S. Congressional District 4
U.S. Department of the Interior / Wikipedia Commons

U.S. Congressional seats are up for election this year. And in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Steven Horsford is campaigning after recently admitting to having an affair outside of his marriage with a congressional intern who did not work for him.

The Nevada State Legislature building.
Alexa Ard / KUNR

Amid the pandemic, it’s election season. The Nevada Legislature is expected to gavel in early 2021, and right now, we are headed into the primaries. Paul Boger spoke with KUNR’s Bree Zender, to give an outlook on the June 9 primaries.

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

10:10 p.m. | May 26, 2020

Nevada Can Enter Phase 2 Of Reopening Process Friday

By Michelle Billman

Sheriff's vehicle sits near a large crack in a highway
Nevada Department of Transportation

Officials are looking for damage in and around the unincorporated area of Mina, Nevada, after a 6.5 magnitude earthquake nearby struck just after 4 a.m. Friday morning. 

An illustration of an ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

8:23 p.m. | May 19, 2020

Washoe Co. Health Officials Say More Cases Indicate Community Spread
By Danna O'Connor

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