Show cover of This Is Reno Radio

This Is Reno Radio

This Is Reno Radio is a podcast from Reno, Nevada featuring news, interviews, analysis and more. The host is Bob Conrad, This Is Reno's publisher and editor.


Double dipping and big spending in the Biggest Little City, part 1
This episode is our first podcast in more than a year. Kristen Hackbarth and Bob Conrad discuss the recent This Is Reno investigation Kristen did into spending at Reno City Hall. After months of digging, getting public records and combing through large amounts of information, we published a voluminous ten-part series about what we found.This Is Reno subscribers got access to this podcast before anybody else. If you value local, independent journalism and appreciate Kristen’s extensive work in this series, please consider becoming a paying subscriber.  Subscribers get access to all articles and extra benefits, such as getting behind-the-scenes information, like this podcast, before anyone else.In this two-part podcast, we discuss how we approached this story, what we found and what prompted us to start looking into city council spending in the first place.Read the series: the show
43:16 3/8/24
Double dipping and big spending in the Biggest Little City, part 2
This episode is the second podcast in a two-part series. Kristen Hackbarth and Bob Conrad discuss the recent This Is Reno investigation Kristen did into spending at Reno City Hall. After months of digging, getting public records and combing through large amounts of information, we published a voluminous ten-part series about what we found.This Is Reno subscribers got access to this podcast before anybody else. If you value local, independent journalism and appreciate Kristen’s extensive work in this series, please consider becoming a paying subscriber.  Subscribers get access to all articles and extra benefits, such as getting behind-the-scenes information, like this podcast, before anyone else.In this two-part podcast, we discuss how we approached this story, what we found and what prompted us to start looking into city council spending in the first place.Read the series: the show
43:13 3/8/24
Edward Coleman discusses Reno’s new Black Community Collective
Edward Coleman is the executive director of a new Reno nonprofit called the Black Community Collective. In today’s show we discuss why he started the collective and why it is needed in the greater Reno community. We also discuss some of his recent efforts including his work on the City of Reno’s charter committee – and what he thought of how the Reno City Council responded to that committee’s proposals in August. This show is also available on KWNK Community Radio in Reno.Learn more about the Black Community Collective online: https://thebcc1.orgSupport the show
30:00 11/19/22
A brain-health clinic is helping revolutionize mental health treatment
The testimonials that Epic Brain Centers of Reno provide are hard to believe. Some of the anecdotes include those diagnosed with depression seeing results in few treatments. Other testimonials show people quickly recovering from conditions such as addiction and anxiety. For this episode, I visited the Epic Brain Centers clinic in Reno. The clinic and the technology it uses are potentially revolutionary. Similar brain health treatments are being conducted across the country, unrelated to Epic Brain Center in Reno, including at the Mayo Clinic. Those clinics are also reporting remarkable results.Included on today's show are Epic Brain Center's Jordan Scott and Judi Kosterman, who is the cofounder of the Brain Health Leadership Foundation. They walk us through the technology they use, what patients experience and how the non-invasive treatment is helping people with various conditions.For more about Epic Brain Centers, visit them online at The Foundation is at the show
30:00 11/4/22
Reno Food Systems is growing a vision
Lyndsey Langsdale helps to run the Reno Food Systems farm on Mayberry Drive. The nonprofit operation has been in business since 2018. For today’s show we talk with Lyndsey about her vision for the farm. I visited Reno Food Systems in the fall as the farm was still harvesting produce, volunteers and staff were weeding and the farm was preparing for the winter. Lyndsey describes the purpose of the farm being a “vibrant, resilient, and just local food system cultivated by an empowered community.”She gave me a tour of the farm and explained the operation. Visit Reno Food Systems online at: the show
30:00 10/16/22
Addiction treatment facility needs more resources to meet community demands
One of the Reno area’s few substance use, and gambling, addiction treatment facilities is the Bristlecone Recovery Center. The nonprofit is named after bristlecone pine, a tree found in Nevada, Utah and California.The center uses this analogy: This remarkable tree can fully regenerate itself, even on the brink of death. Just like the Bristlecone Pine, the people who seek help at our facility for addiction, gambling, and mental health issues have experienced negative environments, weathered many storms and come dangerously close to death. On today’s show we talk with Peter Ott. He is the executive director of the center and he speaks candidly about the realities of addiction in the Reno area. He also discusses his hopes for the future of the community.Learn more about Bristlecone at you for listening to the show on KWNK Community Radio at 97.7 FM and on your favorite podcast player. Subscribe and listen to the show here: https://thisisreno.buzzsprout.comSupport the show
30:00 9/30/22
What Reno can learn from the Netherlands
The Dutch Cycling Embassy came to Reno in September. They were here to discuss how the Netherlands became bike centric and to help the Biggest Little City’s cycling efforts. The Truckee Meadows Bicycle Alliance helped organize the Embassy’s visit.For this episode, we spoke with people who attended the Think Bike workshops, as well as members of the cycling embassy, including Margot Daris and Dick Vanveen.The group hosted a discussion at Craft where they played the "Together We Cycle" documentary about how the Netherlands became the country with the highest use of bicycles in the world.  David Grife with the Nevada Department Transportation and Scott Gibson with the Washoe County Regional Transportation Commission both give their perspectives on the visit from the Dutch team. Support the show
30:00 9/18/22
Dying ducks and seniors getting shafted
The heat of summer is one of the causes for why ducks and geese are dying at area ponds.In this show, we hear from a wildlife veterinarian  who explains why botulism is suspected in the regional water bodies, and how that is impacting waterfowl.We also hear from an advocate for local senior citizens. She said people were taken by surprise when they learned the city of Reno was making plans to lease out a senior gathering space to a local nonprofit.Also, acting Chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education, Dale Erquiaga, responds to faculty concerns about evaluations of Nevada campus presidents.Faculty said campus presidents are not getting the regular evaluations that the public deserve. Support the show
30:00 9/4/22
Meet the new superintendent of Washoe County schools
Dr. Susan Enfield has been in Reno for just short of two months, and already she is making changes to the Washoe County School District.As the new superintendent of schools, Enfield has generated optimism by saying in part she wants the district to own its mistakes and celebrate its successes.In this show, we chat with Enflield about the future of the district and what she hopes to accomplish. The This is Reno radio show can be heard on Sunday mornings on KWNK Community Radio at 97.7 FM on your favorite podcast player. Listen below and subscribe here: https://thisisreno.buzzsprout.comSupport the show
30:01 8/19/22
The successes and challenges of being downtown Reno ambassador
If you’ve been to downtown Reno in the past few years, you have most likely seen the ambassadors in action. They wear blue shirts with the downtown Reno partnership logo and are often seen providing assistance to people.They are also charged with cleaning up downtown. That includes litter control, graffiti removal and weed abatement. The group touts major successes since the ambassadors began working the streets of Reno, including things such as the amount of human and animal feces removed from streets.The downtown Reno ambassadors were formed in 2018 as part of the downtown Reno business improvement district. That district is funded by fees levied on businesses and property owners downtown, including residents.Yvonne Deslongchamp works with the Downtown Reno Partnership as an ambassador. In today’s show we discuss the successes and challenges she faces providing assistance to some of Reno’s most needy and marginalized members of our community. The This is Reno radio show can be heard on Sunday mornings on KWNK Community Radio at 97.7 FM on your favorite podcast player. Subscribe and listen here.Support the show
30:00 8/6/22
Federal lands transfer on hold, the downtown bike track and a robot mixologist
A man in a chicken outfit was recently protesting at U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei’s Reno office. He was one of about 20 who gathered in protest of an amendment by Amodei to the defense authorization bill in Congress. The protesters said more than 350,000 acres transferred from federal ownership would devastate wildlife habitat and amount to a land and water grab. In this episode show we hear from some of those protesting – as well as from the Congressman. We also hear from Dayo McIntosh, who brought her new business to Reno. Yateo, the business, features beauty products and a robot that blends essential oils.Reno City Manager Doug Thornley joins us to answer questions about the Virginia Street bike and micro-mobility project. There have been a number of questions and allegations about how the Virginia Street micro mobility changes came to be in recent months. Bike advocates for years have been pushing for similar bike amenities on Center Street, one block to the east. Thornley tells us what’s next for the project.Listen to This Is Reno radio on KWNK 97.7 Community Radio on Sunday mornings.Sponsor: Truckee Meadows Water Authority is a podcast sponsor of ThisIsReno in support of locally focused journalism and to promote conservation in our community. To view summertime watering days and other important water resource management topics visit the show
30:00 7/25/22
A renewed love for local music
The pandemic tore apart the ability for people to collaborate on music. But it also forced artists to work together in other ways. One local musician and educator seized the opportunity to change how music is written and performed. Trombonist Paul Fleming started a new local nonprofit during the pandemic. Renew Music is seeking to present classical, brass and jazz in ways that are more accessible to people. That’s while maintaining musical integrity and encouraging audience members to participate in how music affects them.Paul explains the mission of the nonprofit plus his goals as a musician and educator to transform how we experience new and different forms of music. Visit to learn more.Support the show
30:00 7/8/22
Behind Reno’s whip ban, an interview
Fil Corbitt is one of Reno’s most talented and better known podcasters. In a recent episode of The Wind podcast, Fil explored last year’s decision by the city of Reno to ban whips from downtown. I speak with Fil in this episode about the ban and what they found. Also, the Washoe County board of commissioners recently approved a resolution that grants the county manager the authority to provide county employees with public relations and legal support. Up to $150,000 worth.Washoe County Manager Eric Brown explains what’s been happening and what kinds of threats county employees have received.Support the show
30:00 6/24/22
“There’s nothing to keep teachers in the classroom”
Public education is facing a protracted crisis. From lack of funding and bureaucracy to politicized attacks on teachers and staff, Washoe County, much like the rest of the country, is also no stranger to public education controversy.For this show, I spoke with Calen Evans. A ten-year teacher, he is now the president elect of the Washoe Education Association. That’s the group that represents more than 3,500 teachers in the county.Evans said he hopes to take the association in a more active direction under his tenure. In this show we talk about what he hopes to accomplish, the union’s endorsements for school board candidates and challenges facing the school district.We also talk about the future of public education in Washoe County.This show is sponsored by Truckee Meadows Water Authority reminding you to water on your address's designated watering days in order to conserve water. Visit for details.Support the show
30:00 6/4/22
A psychiatric treatment facility is opening in a Reno neighborhood
A recent public comment at a Reno City Council brought up an issue that took many people by surprise.  The reason: A residential psychiatric facility is opening in a Reno neighborhood. That is of course creating a lot of questions for nearby residents.But opposition to the facility also drew considerable negative responses. People commenting online condemned what they called NIMBY-ism and ableist attitudes by the neighbors who expressed concern.For this episode we hear from one of the neighbors about why she is concerned. We also check in with Reno City Manager Doug Thornley about why such facilities can and do come to neighborhoods in Nevada.Listen below and on KWNK 97.7 Community Radio. Subscribe here on most major podcast apps: the show
30:00 5/22/22
City of Reno cracks down on trivia games at local bars
Local business DJ Trivia has for nearly a decade been hosting games at local bars. But the City of Reno recently decided those games qualify as live entertainment. As a result, a handful of bars have been forced to quit hosting the games – or get an expensive cabaret license.In this episode we hear from two of the business owners impacted by the city’s recent crackdown on trivia games. Also: The recent leak of a U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling could overturn the longstanding Roe v. Wade decision that gave women the right to choose to have an abortion. The potential change to Roe v. Wade drew swift rebuke in Reno as dozens gathered at the federal courthouse to express their outrage. We chat with the ACLU’s Holly Welborn and Lilith Baran to talk about what the potential overhaul will mean for NevadansSpeaking of the ACLU, the civil liberties organization recently sued the state of Nevada for continuing to list cannabis as a schedule 1 controlled substance. That listing by Nevada’s board of pharmacy, according to the ACLU, violates the Nevada Constitution in part because the state has legalized cannabis for recreational and medicinal use.Sadmira Ramic with the ACLU explains the reason for the lawsuit.Support the show
30:04 5/6/22
Photojournalist Ty O’Neil on covering the Ukrainian war
This Is Reno photojournalist Ty O’Neil recently returned from Ukraine where he was covering the conflict with Russia. In this episode, we have a very special guest host. Lucia Starbuck interviews O’Neil about his recent visit to Ukraine to cover the Russian invasion. They discuss what he saw, the challenges he faced and how Ukrainians treated an independent journalist trying to cover the conflict.His startling imagery was published in a series of photo galleries and articles on This Is Reno.Listen to the podcast online here or on all major podcast apps. We also are on KWNK 97.7 FM community radio on Sunday mornings.Support the show
30:01 4/23/22
Higher ed spats leave Nevada universities and colleges without a chancellor
Shouting, interruptions and threats marked a heated meeting of the Board of Regents on April first. The regents are the Nevada System of Higher Education’s governing board. They met to approve a $610,000 severance with Chancellor Melody Rose.Rose wanted to leave her position as chancellor after she filed a voluminous complaint against certain regents.Regents argued and interrupted one another during the meeting. They ultimately approved the severance. Rose had only been in the position since June of 2020On this week’s episode is a breakdown of the April 1 regents meeting. I also speak with a University of Nevada faculty member, Amy Pason, about Nevada’s higher education system. We get her perspective on what happened with the regents, and what’s in the wake of the resignation of Chancellor Melody Rose. Listen to this show Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on KWNK 97.7 FM, Reno's community radio station: the show
30:01 4/8/22
Washoe County beats down illegal voting resolution
Washoe County recently fended off a major proposal to overhaul election laws. The resolution was advanced by County Commissioner Jeanne Herman, and it would have forced people off voter rolls if they did not vote, mandated hand counting of ballots and would have required armed government agents to oversee polling locations.The resolution was widely determined to be illegal, costly and unnecessary given voting protections already in place. But that didn’t sway dozens of people to push for it during a day-long meeting. They were met by even more people speaking against the measure.On this week’s episode we break down what happened at the county meeting and why Herman’s proposal failed so dramatically. We also cover why members of the Sparks Fire Department issued a vote of no confidence against their fire chief. Our show is also broadcasting Sundays on KWNK Community Radio. Support the show
30:09 3/25/22
Black Wall Street rising
Reno’s Black Wall street was founded in 2020. The nonprofit was formed to meet the needs of black and underserved people of color in the Reno Sparks area. The group is regularly hosting classes, outreach events and helping people in need. In this episode, three of the key people behind Black Wall Street Reno -- Chandra Mask, Romar Tolliver and Donald Griffin -- tell their story.This episode also features the Everything That I Need from Reno band Last One Down. The song is from their single of the same name available on the major music apps.Support the show
30:02 3/13/22
Biden administration wants to undo landmark ruling that found criminal immigration law unconstitutional
Lauren Gorman is a federal public defender in Reno. Last year she battled the federal government and won.The case involved a man who illegally re-entered the United States from Mexico after having already been deported. Gorman said the law criminalizing re-entry into the U.S. was based on blatant racism and violates the equal protection clause of the Fifth Amendment. The reason: The laws criminalizing re-entry specifically targeted Mexicans and had been codified in federal laws since 1929. Chief Judge for the District Court of Nevada, Miranda Du, agreed with Gorman’s arguments. Du found those laws unconstitutional, but the federal government – President Joe Biden’s Justice Department – has since appealed.In this episode, Gorman explains the case in detail – and where it’s headed.This episode also features a new tune by Reno artist Kat Heart from Loud As Folk. Support the show
30:07 2/25/22
The return of the lands bill, sort of
The Truckee Meadows Public Lands Management Act is reportedly being drafted by U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen, and Sparks Mayor Ed Lawson says he’s pushing for the bill to get entered into Congress as early as this year. The bill was discussed in early 2020 with a public meeting. Reception, however, was widely negative. In this episode, I interview Lawson about what has been happening with the bill. Trustee reflects on school board serviceA former school board trustee has a new book out, which has already received a best-seller status on Amazon. Kurt Thigpen’s book, “How to Win an Election: An Essential Guide to Campaigning During Adversity,” covers his electoral success in 2020. Thigpen reflects on his time serving as a trustee for the Washoe County School District in a climate of political belligerence and hostility.Cares Campus crimeThe Nevada Cares Campus opened under the city of Reno’s lead last year and has since been plagued with allegations of rampant crime and drug use. It is now overseen by Washoe County and operated by the Volunteers of America.Ben West, the head of security for Washoe County, said a number of challenges persist at the campus. A lack of adequate staffing is among the biggest problems.This episode also features a new song by Bryan McPherson. McPherson’s new release, “How to Draw Everything” comes out on Valentine's Day.Support the show
30:08 2/11/22
Reno’s housing challenges persist
Housing issues continue to be a concern for many Reno residents. Reno’s cost of living continues to rise and some community leaders say something needs to be done. We went to the Economic Development Authority’s state of the economy event in January and heard more.This show features EDAWN’s Mike Kazmierski discussing housing and homeless issues. We also check in with a mental health expert who has concerns about a federal that, he says, is negatively impacting mental health professionals. Last, COVID-19 continues to sicken people in Northern Nevada. Health officials are reporting record numbers of new cases spurred by the highly contagious omicron variant. Illnesses from omicron tend not to be as serious, but the Washoe County District Health Officer explains why increasing case counts are drawing concern.  Support the show
30:08 1/31/22
Local experts answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines
We recently spoke with the leading experts in the Washoe County community about the COVID-19 vaccines. This discussion dispels some of the myths about the vaccines as well as covers some information that is not yet known. Our panelists were: Heidi Parker, executive director of Immunize Nevada where she leads and engages a diverse coalition of staff, volunteers, member organizations and funders so they are passionate about vaccines and access to preventive health care across Nevada’s rural, urban and frontier communities.Jennifer Wheeler, chief pharmacy officer for Community Health Alliance, has been practicing pharmacy since 2002, starting as a technician and eventually graduating pharmacy school. Dr. Trudy Larson, dean at the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno. Dr. Larsen is on the Governor’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team.Heather Kerwin, epidemiology program manager for the Washoe County Health District. Much of her work is focused on deep diving into complex data and distilling it into understandable information. Dr. Marie McCormack is a family medicine physician at Northern Nevada Medical Group. She has 28-plus years of experience in family medicine and has served in various leadership roles both in market and in rural communities in Nevada.The Mask On, Move On campaign paid to advertise this event.Support the show
42:51 4/24/21
University of Nevada President Brian Sandoval: his vision and legislation affecting Nevada higher education
Former Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval took over as president of the University of Nevada last year and quickly made the decision to shut down much of the in-person instruction due to COVID-19. In this podcast, Jeri Davis and Bob Conrad ask Sandoval about what he’s been doing in the past six months as president, as well as his vision for the university’s future. He answers questions about some of the legislation affecting Nevada higher education, including a new version of a bill he vetoed as governor in 2017.Support the show
14:13 4/17/21
Dr. Alicia Barber talks development and the Powning District
Reno historian, Dr. Alicia Barber, discusses with us some of the big development issues facing Reno, including what changes are planned for the Powning District. She writes The Barber Brief on Substack.Support the show
16:22 4/9/21
Cathy Woods to get $3 million settlement from City of Reno after wrongful conviction
Cathy Woods spent more than 35 years in prison for a murder in Reno she did not commit. Michelle Mitchell, a University of Nevada student, was murdered just across from the UNR campus in 1976.Local prosecutors went after a woman named Cathy Woods as the main suspect. Three years after Mitchell’s murder, Woods confessed to the crime. However, she suffers from schizophrenia, and DNA evidence ultimately exonerated her. She was released from prison in 2015. Evidence shows the real killer is -- likely -- Rodney Halbower, who is already serving time in prison. For this episode, we speak with former Reno Police Lieutenant J. Andre Boles, who is now a true crime writer. Boles has two books about true crime in Reno, Nevada. His latest is Monster on Gypsy Hill, about the Gypsy Hill murders committed by Halbower.Since this interview was conducted, Woods is set to receive $3 million in a settlement with the City of Reno. Settlements have already been made with Washoe County, the State of Nevada and Shreveport, Louisiana. Total settlements will top $10 million dollars.Her attorney issued the following statement: "Although there is no amount of money that could possibly compensate Cathy Woods for what she suffered as a result of being wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for over 35 years for a crime that she did not commit, the compensation will help her recover from this terrible ordeal."Support the show
19:48 8/12/20
Reno Reflects on Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter is an international movement that has emerged in the Biggest Little City. BLM demonstrations have been held in the past few years, often in the wake of national incidences of violence against Black people at the hands of law enforcement. On May 30, a peaceful BLM demonstration was followed by rioting and vandalizing by a much smaller group that split off from the main protest. What happened in the weeks to come was the creation of art meant to depict, visually, the struggles many in the Biggest Little City face because of their skin color. For this episode, Jeri Davis and Bob Conrad interview muralist Joe C. Rock about the art now covering up vandalized portions of Reno City Hall. We also hear from David Gamble Sr. as he reads from his son's essay about growing up Black in Reno.Support the show
07:00 7/4/20
Reno responds to George Floyd's death
George Floyd was killed at the hands of Minneapolis Police on May 25th. Four police officers have been charged for his death. Those charges include murder and manslaughter. Floyd’s death triggered reactions around the world, including here in Reno. Don Dike Anukam attended the rally reporting for This Is Reno. We hear from one of the rally organizers and go to the the Reno Police station where rioting began. Don also takes us into City Hall the morning after it faced hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages from vandals.Lucia Starbuck also contributed to this report.Support the show
07:01 6/11/20
Care facility in Sparks faces state investigation after patient deaths, COVID-19 spike
An effort to recall Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has failed. The effort came nowhere near close to the needed signatures to succeed. For this episode, Don Dike Anukam interviews Wayne Thorley with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office.Hundreds of businesses in the greater Reno area faced complaints from employees. Lucia Starbuck spoke with Craig Madole with the Nevada Chapter of the Associated General Contractors. Lastly, Lucia has been investigating the COVID-19 outbreak at Arbors Memory Care in Sparks. Six staff members and 32 residents tested positive for COVID-19, and three residents died. We discuss her reporting and what she's discovered.Don Dike Anukam and Lucia Starbuck contributed to this episode.Support the show
07:00 5/23/20