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.

KUNR

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak issued the formal proclamation to call the Nevada Legislature into a special session beginning on Wednesday, July 8 at 9 a.m. to address the historic budget shortfall. This is the 31st Special Session in Nevada’s history.

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

8:00 a.m. | July 9, 2020

The Bureau of Land Management said the Numbers Fire, burning near Gardnerville, has charred 17,400 acres. Firefighters have built containment lines around 20 percent of the burn area.

Governor Steve Sisolak sits at a podium at the state legislature.
Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno

Lawmakers in Nevada are slated to gavel into a special session Wednesday morning to address a looming budget crisis. According to a report released by the Governor’s Office, Nevada is looking at a $1.2 billion deficit in the state’s general fund. 

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

7:36 p.m. | July 7, 2020

Nevada Reports Nearly 900 Additional Cases Of COVID-19, Officials Discuss Limitations Of Contact Tracing
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 876 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. There are now nearly 550 COVID-19-related deaths in Nevada, and there have been close to 384,000 COVID-19 tests performed. The growing number of cases in the state is causing challenges related to contact tracing.

A white sign that says, "For Rent," in red.
Shane Adams / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a directive that gradually lifts the moratorium on evictions starting this week. The eviction moratorium has been in place since late March to protect Nevadans from housing insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck talked to Deonne Contine, the executive director of Washoe Legal Services, about what tenants can expect moving forward.

People lay face up on a concrete steps and hold posters that are shaped like tombstones. The poster in the front reads, "In Loving Memory of Miciah Lee 1/5/20."
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

As a warning, some of the content in this story may be considered disturbing and unsuitable for some readers.

Washoe County District Attorney Christopher Hicks determined that a Sparks Police officer-involved shooting on Jan. 5, 2020, which killed a young Black man named Miciah Lee, was justified under Nevada law.

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

7:51 p.m. | June 30, 2020

Nevada Reports More Than 500 Additional COVID-19 Cases
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 562 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. There are now 507 COVID-19-related deaths in Nevada. There have been nearly 323,000 COVID-19 tests performed in the state.

People lay face up on a road and hold posters that are shaped like tombstones. The poster in the front reads, "In Loving Memory of Miciah Lee 1/5/20."
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

Dozens of protestors gathered in front of the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office Friday to demand an investigation into an officer-involved shooting in Sparks earlier this year, which killed a young Black man.

There is a red ball in the forefront, a tricycle and playground house in the middle, and a tan building in the background.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR

Washoe County has officially opened the doors to Our Place to Grow, a shelter for unhoused families with children in Sparks. Units for women will be opening soon as well. The county provided $2 million for the facility, which is run by the homelessness advocacy nonprofit called Reno Initiative for Shelter and Equality, also known as RISE. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck spoke with the executive director, Benjamin Castro, about what sets Our Place to Grow apart from other shelters.

A man faces forward with a mask hanging on one ear. There's a sign behind him that reads, "NO SHIRT. NO SHOES. NO MASK. NO SERVICE."
Eric Marks / This Is Reno

Nevada has seen a surge in COVID-19 cases and a steady increase in hospitalizations for the virus since the state entered phase two of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s reopening plan. In an effort to curb the spread, the governor signed a directive Wednesday that requires people to wear masks while in public, effective Friday. KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck covered the governor’s press conference this week for our media partner This Is Reno, and has the details.

Sign in front of assisted living facility
Lucia Starbuck / This Is Reno

Arbors Memory Care is an assisted living center in Sparks for seniors with Alzheimer's or dementia. In the span of about a month, 14 residents at the facility died from COVID-19. KUNR’s Anh Gray and Lucia Starbuck discuss what led to this outbreak.

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

A building that says, 'Reno Events Center.' There is a man walking in front of the building and a line of people near the entrance.
Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio

During the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 300 houseless individuals have been sleeping at the Reno Events Center, but the makeshift shelter is slated to close at the end of June. Washoe County and City of Reno officials are working on securing a place for those staying at the facility to sleep next.

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

A row of orange lockers.
Ty O'Neil

Gov. Steve Sisolak signed a directive on Tuesday, which will allow K-12 schools and facilities to reopen, with restrictions, for summer activities, effective immediately; however, those facilities are not required to reopen. KUNR’s Michelle Billman talked to our reporter Lucia Starbuck to break down what we know at this point.

On the right is a tractor being operated in focus. On the left is a man who is blurry, standing next to three shopping carts filled with stuff.
Isaac Hoops / This Is Reno

Houseless individuals are more at risk of contracting COVID-19, and this week, authorities in Reno and Sparks swept through and cleared out two different campsites, dispersing unsheltered individuals into the community.

The Mountain West News Bureau’s Noah Glick checked in with KUNR’s Lucia Starbuck, who covered these cleanup activities for our media partner This Is Reno, to learn what impacts these actions may have.

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

Law enforcement standing by on Virginia Street. Rioters running in different directions as tear gas fills the street.
Ty O'Neil / This Is Reno

As a warning, this story includes graphic images and videos containing violence that may be disturbing, along with inappropriate language.

Organizers of the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday afternoon in Reno have denounced the violence that took place later that evening after the peaceful protest had ended. 

Lucia Starbuck was on the scene reporting for This Is Reno, and witnessed the events that unfolded at City Hall. She recounted what she saw with KUNR’s Anh Gray.

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

8:24 p.m. | June 2, 2020

More Than 176,000 COVID-19 Tests Performed Statewide
By Lucia Starbuck

There's a sign near a sidewalk that says, 'Lakeside,' and there's grass and trees in the background.
Screenshot / Google Maps

Coverage of novel coronavirus is supported by the Mick Hitchcock, Ph.D., Project for Visualizing Science, a science reporting project from the Reynolds School of Journalism.

Editor's Note: On the morning of May 7, KUNR aired the following story and reported that there have been 86 confirmed COVID-19 cases at Lakeside Health and Wellness as of May 6. The data came from a Nevada Department of Health and Human Services database. After the story aired, the number on the database was updated on May 7 to 81 confirmed cases at Lakeside Health and Wellness.

KUNR reached out to the state health department for clarification and received the following email response: "Thank you for your email and question on the Lakeside Health and Wellness case information. The total of 81 is the confirmed case count. There was a reporting error that has been caught and corrected."

Thirty-seven people in Washoe County have died from COVID-19. More than half of those deaths are linked to one facility.  KUNR’s Anh Gray and Lucia Starbuck discuss what they’ve learned so far about the novel coronavirus outbreak in Washoe County.

Pages