Lucia Starbuck

Report for America Corps Member

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member with Report for America focusing on community reporting and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is from Reno and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in cinema and media studies. Local community issues are her passion, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, a lack of access to healthcare, protests and challenges facing vulnerable communities in northern Nevada.

Lucia contributed to KUNR’s coverage of hateful expressions, including anti-Semitism, at the University of Nevada, Reno, produced in 2019, which won a regional Edward R. Murrow award in the Best Continuing Coverage category and first place in the Associated Press Television and Radio Association (APTRA) broadcast contest for Continuing Coverage. She co-created and contributed to a series about the Reno Rodeo’s 100th anniversary called Spurs & Mud: A Century of Rodeo, which won first place from APTRA in 2019 for Best Sports Coverage. In 2020, she was awarded the Robert Laxalt Distinguished Writer Award from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

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

6:11 p.m. | November 25, 2020

UNR To Go Remote After Thanksgiving Break, Over 1,000 Positive Cases Reported
By Lucia Starbuck

The University of Nevada, Reno will be going to full remote learning after Thanksgiving break. The university’s president, Brian Sandoval, announced the decision back in early October to reduce the risk of infections from holiday traveling.

The image is dark except for four candles in a row going diagonally across the image. The candle second to the front is the only one in focus.
Rawpixel / Adobe Stock

In Washoe, over 250 residents have died due to COVID-19. And 65 of those deaths were reported in the last 30 days. That accounts for a quarter of all total COVID-19 deaths in the county. The region’s coroner is concerned funeral homes are nearing capacity.

A landscape with hills and smoke filling the sky.
Bureau of Land Management California via Twitter

As of 4:55 p.m. PT on November 23, 2020, KUNR is no longer actively updating this blog. You can find information about this fire on Inciweb.

This blog included earlier updates from the Pinehaven Fire near Caughlin Ranch in Reno, Nev., from Tuesday, Nov. 17. For updates related to that fire, please visit our live blog

An older man looks beyond the camera. He’s touching the bottom of his blue surgical mask. He is wearing a silver wedding ring. There is a blue curtain behind him.
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 cases in Nevada were identified just this month alone. During a press conference Sunday, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced he’s imposing tighter restrictions for the next three weeks, calling it a “pause” — not a full shutdown.

A landscape with trees, hills and houses with smoke filling the air.
Jon Humbert

Editor's Note: As of Saturday, Nov. 21, KUNR is no longer actively updating this blog. For the most current information about the Pinehaven Fire, visit @RenoFireDept and @RenoPolice on Twitter or the City of Reno's website.

A long wall that’s waist high that says Bishop Manogue Catholic High School. There is a fence behind the wall that blocks access to a parking lot in the background.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Limiting social gatherings has been challenging as COVID fatigue and social isolation set in during the pandemic. As KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck reports, public health measures aren’t being followed by everyone.

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

6:50 p.m. | November 17, 2020

Washoe County Reports Two COVID-19-Related Deaths, 230 New Cases
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County reported two COVID-19-related deaths on Tuesday, a woman and man in their 80s, both with underlying health conditions. There are now 222 COVID-19-related deaths in the county.

Officials are also reporting 230 additional cases of COVID-19 today and 102 recoveries.

KUNR 2020 election blog. An illustrated silhouette of the state of Nevada with a red and blue striped background.
Crystal Willis / KUNR

As of Nov. 17, this blog will no longer be updated. For related articles, please visit our 2020 election webpage.

KUNR’s 2020 Election Blog is a space for updates throughout Election Day and night, as well as short articles based on conversations our reporters have had with community members and local stakeholders to provide greater context to the election process. Because of the heavy reliance on mail-in voting this election due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there may not be final results for some races on election night in 2020. We will post results and updates to this blog as they come in.

Two rows of beds with beige blankets and covered in plastic. A sign above the area reads, “Parking. Upper Levels” with an arrow pointing to the right. There is also the letter “G.”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Update, published Friday, Nov. 13, at 5:52 p.m. PT.

Several COVID-19 patients are already receiving treatment at the Renown alternative care site located in the hospital’s parking garage. Amid the surge in cases, the site opened up earlier this week to keep hospital beds available for other medical emergencies.

A close up and side profile of an older man’s face. He’s touching the bottom of his blue surgical mask. He is wearing a silver wedding ring.
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

As Nevada experiences a surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Steve Sisolak and City of Reno officials are doubling down on their public health messaging. And as KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck reports, officials are wrestling with how to control the spread of infections.

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

5:14 p.m. | November 10, 2020

Washoe County Reports Four COVID-19-Related Deaths, Testing Only Available For Symptomatic Residents
By Lucia Starbuck

Washoe County reported four COVID-19-related deaths today, including four men, one in his 70s, two in their 80s and one in his 90s. Officials also reported 263 new cases of COVID-19 and 265 recoveries.

A woman in a beanie holds a sign that says, “Stop the steal.” There are people holding American flags across the street behind the woman.
Ty O'Neil / This Is Reno

Over the weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden was elected as the 46th president of the United States, but some people in Northern Nevada took to the streets to protest the election results. 

A man in a red mask and blue gloves sits in front of a table with a stack of paper ballots on the table and plexiglass in front of him.
Bob Conrad / This Is Reno

Nevada's top law enforcement official says the state's decision to release election results methodically is part of an effort to prevent voter fraud. The remarks by Nevada's Democratic Attorney General Aaron Ford came the same day officials with President Donald Trump's reelection campaign told reporters they were filing a lawsuit to stop election officials from counting “improper votes.”

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

5:17 p.m. | November 3, 2020

Washoe County Report
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County reported almost 250 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. Health officials are also reporting just over 100 recoveries. There are now over 2,400 active cases and over 14,100 total cases of COVID-19 in Washoe County.

Three men wearing masks. The two men on the left are looking off camera. The man on the right is wearing a suit and looking at the camera.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Democrats are criticizing Vice President Mike Pence for holding a campaign event while COVID-19 cases are surging in Washoe County.

A sign outside that says, “Reno Tahoe International Airport,” with a sign beneath it in the grass that says, “RENO,” in large letters.
Trevor Bexon

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to hold an in-person event at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport on Thursday, sparking COVID-19 concerns as Washoe County sees widespread transmission of the virus.

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

5:50 p.m. | October 27, 2020

Nevada Task Force, Washoe County To Meet After Virus Surge
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada coronavirus task force has called an emergency meeting with the Washoe County Health District to address the county's plan to manage an increasing surge in confirmed coronavirus cases. 

A man sitting behind his computer waves to someone off camera. He is wearing a mask that says, “Vote.”
Trevor Bexon

Nevadans will get to vote on five ballot initiatives this election, ranging from same-sex marriages to renewable energy and voting rights, which all aim to change the state’s constitution. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talked to Sondra Cosgrove, the president of the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Nevada, to break down the questions you can expect on your ballot.

Exterior of a building. There is a sign on a light pole that says, “City of Sparks “Serving you” from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mon-Fri.”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

There are two open seats up for grabs on the Sparks City Council. Candidates are addressing several issues including growth and police reform as the Sparks Police Department faces criticism in recent months. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck sat down with This is Reno publisher Bob Conrad to discuss the races, and what he learned from the candidates at a recent forum he hosted.

A black building with white letters that say, “Reno City Hall.”
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

There are four seats open on the Reno City Council this election. This Is Reno recently held a forum where the candidates expressed how they would address the issues facing the city, including homelessness and housing, along with police reform. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck checked in with Bob Conrad, the publisher of This Is Reno, to hear what the candidates had to say.

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