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.

Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Robin Titus are standing in an auditorium. They are looking at printed documents together.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

The 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature is over. Lawmakers adjourned sine die early Thursday morning after spending a week passing several resolutions and pieces of legislation meant to address a litany of policy issues. Noah Glick spoke with KUNR’s Paul Boger and Lucia Starbuck, who were in Carson City and covered the session in its entirety.

KUNR

The 32nd Special Session of the Nevada Legislature adjourned sine die early Thursday, August 6, after lawmakers spent a week passing several resolutions and pieces of legislation addressing policy issues.

A man holds a sign that says, "Blue Lives Matter."
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Lawmakers in Nevada are rolling back protections granted to law enforcement officers under investigation. The protections were just put into place last year. Law enforcement agencies and progressive groups both denounced the bill. 

A sign on the ground that says, "Ban Chokeholds," covered in spotted shade from a tree.
Ty C. O’Neil / This Is Reno / Nevada News

Black Lives Matter protests have erupted across the country, and in Nevada, and with them, demands for police reform. In response, lawmakers in Nevada have approved a bill meant to change how law enforcement officers in the state handle arrests, but activists say there’s more to be done.

A man in a tan suit and mask is cleaning a hand rest on a podium with a wipe.
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Gov. Steve Sisolak has announced that Nevada is entering a long-term COVID-19 mitigation strategy, instead of a phased approach. It will allow for individual counties to assess high-risk businesses and come up with a plan to address outbreaks.

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

8:06 p.m. | July 28, 2020

Nevada Reports More Than 1,000 Additional Cases Of COVID-19
By Lucia Starbuck

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,105 additional cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. The department reported 20 additional COVID-19-related deaths statewide. There are now nearly 759 COVID-19-related deaths in Nevada, and there have been nearly 586,000 tests performed in the state.

Two rows of long, curved tables with people in professional attire, wearing masks, sitting in front of them. The point of view is from above and to the side.
David Calvert / Nevada Independent

Lawmakers in Nevada ended their special session to address the state's massive budget shortfall over the weekend, passing just five bills in 12 days. To help us break down that legislation, and what it means for the state, we turn now to KUNR's Paul Boger and Lucia Starbuck, who covered the session in its entirety.

KUNR

3:19 p.m. | July 20, 2020

Lawmakers Approve Hundreds Of Millions In Cuts To Address Massive Budget Hole
By Paul Boger

After 12 days of budget presentations, partisan debate, and emotional pleas from residents, lawmakers in Nevada finally ended the 31st Special Session late Sunday evening.

As part of their final act, lawmakers approved a massive budget bill known as AB3. The omnibus bill formally reduces the state budget of nearly every state agency.

Los legisladores durante la Sesión Especial de la Legislatura de Nevada en Carson City, Nevada.
Trevor Bexon / The Nevada Independent

Read in English.

Nevada gasta cerca de un tercio de su presupuesto general en programas de salud pública como Medicaid y servicios de salud mental. Pero, para afrontar el enorme déficit presupuestario creado por la lucha contra la pandemia COVID-19, los legisladores deben eliminar cerca de doscientos treinta y tres [233] millones de dólares de los servicios utilizados para la salud pública.

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 mother sits with her three toddler sons, posing for a photo.
Jennifer Cantley

Nevada spends about one-third of its general fund on public health programs like Medicaid and mental health services. But, in order to address a massive budget shortfall created by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, lawmakers must cut around $233 million from public health services.

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.

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.

Pages