Michelle Billman | KUNR

Michelle Billman

News Director

Michelle Billman is the news director at KUNR Public Radio in Reno, Nevada where she oversees a scrappy crew of multimedia storytellers. She’s a transplant from the East Coast, where she earned degrees in creative writing and English from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Virginia Tech.

Under Michelle’s direction, and in close partnership with Noticiero Móvil, KUNR has become an early adopter within public media for providing Spanish digital content to its local audience in an effort to start addressing language access gaps. This initiative has been recognized with a national Edward R. Murrow award for innovation and a Public Media Journalists Association award for collaboration.

Working with developing reporters is important to Michelle, which is why she established an internship program at KUNR for students at the Reynolds School of Journalism. Under her editorial guidance, college reporters have earned national and regional awards. She’s also served as a mentor for NPR’s Next Generation Radio program and helps run the KUNR Youth Media program for high school students in Washoe County.

Outside of radio, Michelle is usually busy chasing her toddler, Alex, or doing art projects with her first grader, Nora. Michelle also enjoys working on nonfiction writing projects, which have appeared in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter

Ways to Connect

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

5:47 p.m. | February 24, 2021

Nearly 8% of Washoe County Fully Vaccinated
By Lucia Starbuck

About 579,000 COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in Nevada. More than 12% of Nevadans have received their first shot and almost 6% have received both doses.

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

5:44 p.m. | February 23, 2021

COVID-19 Hospitalizations In Nevada Continue To Decline
By Lucia Starbuck

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are continuing to decline in Nevada. 

There are currently under 600 people hospitalized for confirmed or suspected COVID-19 compared to the beginning of the month when we saw about twice as many patients.

An image from inside the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
Brian Wilkins / Creative Commons, CC BY-NC 2.0

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.

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

6:00 p.m. | February 16, 2021

New Daily Case Average In Nevada Now Below 500
By Michelle Billman

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Nevada since the start of the pandemic has surpassed 289,000, but the average of new daily cases over the past two weeks has now dipped just below 500. The state also reported 13 new deaths related to the virus Tuesday, and the death toll across Nevada is now 4,733. 

An image of Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson.
David Calvert / The Nevada Independent

Here are your local news headlines for the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

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

5:22 p.m. | February 9, 2021

Washoe Reports Lowest New Daily Cases On Tuesday Since Mid-June
By Lucia Starbuck

New daily COVID-19 cases have been declining in Washoe. 

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

7:40 p.m. | February 2, 2021

COVID-19 Cases And Hospitalizations Decline in Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Nevada.

On average, statewide, there have been fewer than 1,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 over the last two weeks. For comparison, that average was around 1,500 about a week and a half ago.

An image of the Capitol Building in Carson City, Nev.
Alexa Ard

Here are the local news headlines for the morning of Monday, Feb. 1, 2021.

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

7:02 p.m. | January 26, 2021

Nevada Records Fewer Than 1,000 New COVID Cases Two Days-In-A-Row
By Paul Boger

Health officials in Nevada confirmed fewer than 1000 new cases of COVID-19 for the second day in a row on Tuesday.

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

6:50 p.m. | January 19, 2021

One In Five People Getting Tested For COVID Are Testing Positive In Nevada
By Lucia Starbuck

The test positivity rate in Nevada continues to be high. The rate has been hovering at around 20% since early December. This means, about one in five people getting tested are testing positive.

A screenshot of Gov. Steve Sisolak
Screenshot courtesy of Gov. Sisolak's YouTube channel

These are your morning news headlines for Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021.

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

5:39 p.m. | January 12, 2021

Nevada Surpasses 250,000 COVID-19 Cases
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada hit a milestone in the pandemic. The state surpassed a quarter of a million COVID-19 cases since March. The state’s death toll is more than 3,500. 

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

6:12 p.m. | January 5, 2021

Washoe County Reports 24 COVID-19-Related Deaths Since Start Of New Year
By Lucia Starbuck

There have been two dozen COVID-19 deaths in Washoe County in just the first five days of the new year so far. More than 500 lives have been lost since the start of the pandemic in Washoe County, and more than 3,200 statewide.

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

10:20 p.m. | December 29, 2020

Washoe County Reports 14 COVID-19-Related Deaths
By Lucia Starbuck

The nation is continuing to grapple with the post-holiday COVID-19 surge.

6:55 p.m. | December 22, 2020

‘It’s All About Our Individual Behavior For The Month Of January,’ Health Officials Warn
By Lucia Starbuck

Some frontline personnel received their first dose of the Modera COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday, including staff with REMSA and members of the Nevada National Guard who have been a part of the state’s COVID-19 response. But officials argue we won’t see an impact on the current cases until much later.

5:26 p.m. | December 15, 2020

Washoe County Report
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County reported six COVID-19-related deaths Tuesday. The individuals are aged between their 70s and their 90s. Each individual had underlying health conditions. The new death total is 378.

9:21 p.m. | December 8, 2020

Washoe County To Receive 3,655 Doses In Initial Shipment Of COVID-19 Vaccine
By Lucia Starbuck

Nevada is slated to receive 164,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in December.

Washoe will receive 32,000 doses.

5:05 p.m. | December 1, 2020

Washoe County Report
By Jayden Perez

Washoe County reported seven deaths today caused by COVID-19. The deceased included five males and two females whose ages ranged from their 40s to their 90s. The new death total is 285.

4:50 p.m. | November 24, 2020

Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve Pleads With Residents To Follow New COVID-19 Restrictions, ‘Our Businesses Are Holding On By a Thread’
By Lucia Starbuck

In Nevada, nearly a quarter of all COVID-19 cases were identified this month, pushing Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak to impose new restrictions. The governor is calling it a “pause” — not a full shutdown.

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

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