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

Julia Oversloot

Local resident Julia Oversloot is the author of Decency and Luck: Two Dutch Couples During World War II. It's the story of her parents, who helped a Jewish family hide during the war. They were honored by the Yad Vashem Holocaust center in Israel back in 1975 as being what is called Righteous Among The Nations. Julia will be sharing their story at the Northwest Reno Library on Wednesday, April 5, at 5 pm.

Oversloot says her parents were just everyday people who chose to do the right thing.

House Republicans have recently rolled out their much anticipated proposal to change the Affordable Care Act. At this point, it’s unclear if it’ll pass.  

To understand the potential impact of the proposal on Nevadans, Reno Public Radio’s Anh has been talking with people in the community to see how Obamacare has already been affecting health care providers and local businesses. News Director Michelle Billman sits down with Gray to learn what people have been saying.

Washoe County Libraries

Hélène Berr is often referred to as the Anne Frank of France. A traveling exhibit based on her personal diary is now open at the Northwest Reno Library. There will be an opening reception Thursday night from 6-8 pm.

TMCC

Truckee Meadows Community College has now inaugurated its tenth president, Karin Hilgersom. Friday’s ceremony comes as economic leaders across the state look to community colleges for help with bolstering Nevada’s skilled workforce. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke with Hilgerson to learn more about her priorities for the school over the next few years.

KUNR: Karin, welcome to the program.

Karin Hilgersom (KH): Thank you! I’m delighted to be here.

Ken Lund (CC BY-SA 2.0)

For the first time since the Great Recession, the City of Sparks is creating a strategic plan for arts and culture. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

The city is home to the Sparks Heritage Museum, a new venue called the Restless Artists Theatre, and The Generator, a maker-space where many Burning Man artworks are crafted.

Francine Burge, with the city, says this is not the first attempt to create a long-term vision.

parks.nv.gov

Governor Brian Sandoval has announced his proposal to create two new state parks, including the Walker River State Recreation Area. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman explores what this could mean for Lyon County.

For the first time in generations, this park would provide public access to more than 12,000 acres of ranch land, specifically 28 miles of the East Walker River. The area is home to deer, mountain lions, and sage grouse, and it's filled with juniper and pinyon trees.

UNR

Ming Li Wu is a senior at the Davidson Academy and she'll be giving a talk at Saturday's Tedx event in Reno. It's a live, local version of the international Ted Talk program, which aims to share meaningful ideas through compelling speeches.

Wu met up with our News Director Michelle Billman to chat about her experience as a spoken word poet, which will play a large part in her talk. She shared some of her work as well. Let's take a listen. 

KUNR: Ming Li, thanks for joining me today.

University of Nevada, Reno

Albert Lee teaches voice and opera at the University of Nevada, Reno. On Saturday, he'll be delivering a talk for Tedx, a local, live version of the popular TED talks program, which strives to share powerful ideas.

Lee can't divulge too much about his topic, but he did meet with our News Director Michelle Billman to share some of the life experiences that have led him to this opportunity, including his work mentoring college students. 

KUNR: Albert Lee, thanks for joining me.

Michelle Billman

State and local officials have been assessing flood damage in Northern Nevada, taking aerial tours of the region and inspecting on foot. Our News Director Michelle Billman joined the group as they visited downtown Reno to get the latest.

Cortez Masto Becomes First Latina Senator

Jan 3, 2017
catherinecortezmasto.com

Catherine Cortez Masto has been sworn in to the U.S. Senate, becoming Nevada's first female in the upper chamber of Congress and the nation's first Latina senator. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports. 

The Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District now has equipment on every engine that will perform chest compressions for people suffering from cardiac arrest. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the details. 

Providing chest compressions is tough work. When done manually, it requires multiple paramedics to switch off every two minutes.

TMCC

Truckee Meadows Community College is getting a $10,000 grant to bolster its support for students recovering from substance abuse. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman has the details.

ThisisReno.com

Investigation reports on the allegations against former Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger were released this week, shedding some light on the events that led to his resignation. Our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to contributor Bob Conrad of ThisisReno to learn more. 

Alexa Ard

The City of Reno has released two investigation reports on misconduct allegations against former City Manager Andrew Clinger, which were made by three female employees. Our News Director Michelle Billman reports that the documents don't show evidence of sexual harassment, but they do highlight an unprofessional work environment.

Existing home sales in Sparks are up...by a lot. That's according to a monthly report from the Reno/Sparks Association of Realtors.

Our contributor Brook Bentley of the Northern Nevada Business Weekly says that last month, there was an 11 percent increase from the sales made in October, but the jump year-over-year is much larger.

gov.nv.gov

Nevada's juvenile justice system has reduced its reliance on incarceration, but it's still lacking in performance data and mental health services. Our News Director Michelle Billman has details.

Alexa Ard

The Washoe County School Board will decide Tuesday on a multi-million dollar proposal to renovate facilities and move forward on a plan to build a few new schools. Reno Public Radio's Michelle Billman reports.

Noah Glick

Last week, a 14-year-old student was shot by a school police officer at Hug High in Reno. Local police have reported that the boy, named Logan Clark, was armed with at least one knife and did not follow the officer's verbal commands.

Julie Stanley / Moonshine Ink

Squaw Valley has finally received the green light to undergo a major expansion project despite vocal opposition. To learn more, our News Director Michelle Billman spoke to Melissa Siig. She’s a reporter for Moonshine Ink, an independent newspaper in Truckee and North Lake Tahoe.

Marcus Lavergne

Nevada went blue, but America went red. Our News Director Michelle Billman explores what that could mean for the state with Seth Richardson. He's the political reporter for the Reno Gazette-Journal.

KUNR: First, Republican Donald Trump clinched the presidency even after most polls showed Clinton ahead near the end...what ultimately turned things around for his campaign?

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