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Washoe Life

Author: Washoe County

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Washoe Life is where we connect with community members in Washoe County, NV to hear their stories and speak on topics that affect you.
33 Episodes
May is Older Americans Month, and we are joined by Kay Bonzer, a volunteer at the Washoe County Senior Center. Kay began volunteering when her husband passed away three years ago, and she discovered purpose, community, and just a fun way to spend her time. Learn about the Senior Center and Senior Services, and help us commemorate Older Americans Month.  
Longtime Nevada newsman Richard Moreno shares tall tales, hoaxes, and practical jokes from the Old West in his latest book, “Frontier Fake News.” From Mark Twain to Dan DeQuille, Nevada has had more than its share of jokesters and clever conmen, and Moreno is the expert in Nevada history and trivia.  
Washoe County has a new horticulturist/arborist, Luke Sorenson, and for this bonus episode on Arbor Day, he shares tips on what grows here in Washoe County, what our growing climate is like, and his favorite places to enjoy the beauty of Washoe County’s flora.  
A liver for Lavender

A liver for Lavender


Lavender McKillip is a funny, witty, insightful teen whose life was extended by the donation of a liver. While we celebrate National Donate Life Month, Lavender’s mom, Theresa, shares the gratitude she feels every day toward the family who lost their child and saved hers.  
Regional Medical Examiner and Coroner Dr. Laura Knight gives us a peek into her day as a Medical Examiner, and describes the gift of life that can come out of the tragedy of death. Then Monica Myles with the Nevada Donor Network shares how easy it is to register as an organ donor, and the importance of doing so. This is a life-saving episode you don’t want to miss.  
It was only eight short years ago that women were allowed to serve in combat positions in the military. 1st Lt. Courtney McKimmey is only the second woman to serve in her Cavalry position at the Nevada Army National Guard and shares her insight on equality in the service and in life. We’ve come a long way, baby, but it’s taken a long time to get here.  
Melissa Shaffer’s 21-year-old son, Hayden, brings light, joy, and humor to her life. His diagnosis of Down Syndrome came as a surprise when he was a baby, but she soon learned to lean on her support system and cherish the joy of life. Melissa and Hayden share with us their lives and stories to commemorate World Down Syndrome Day.  
“DEIB” is not just a buzz phrase in HR circles, but also is a strategic approach to fostering work environments where people are appreciated, and all viewpoints are welcomed.  Diaz Dixon, local diversity expert and consultant, shares his insight on those tough conversations around discrimination, equality, and first impressions. 
Valentine’s Day is a day of love or just a really great excuse to go out for dinner, and we are joined this month by two local foodies who give us the scoop on their favorite restaurants. Be sure to follow BLC Bites & Bevs, and Hungry in Reno for the latest and greatest on Washoe County’s culinary scene.  
Death, Taxes, Berms

Death, Taxes, Berms


One of the inevitable things of life in northern Nevada is those dreaded snow berms. Community Services Department Roads Maintenance Worker Pete Lange shares his perspective from the driver’s seat of a snowplow, and explains why those berms sometimes just can’t be avoided and how to share the road to keep everyone safe in a snowstorm. 
A New Year and new season of “Washoe Life” is here, and we’re joined by the National Weather Service’s Meteorologist Chris Smallcomb. Chris describes the weather pattern we’re in now and how this fits into northern Nevada’s climate patterns. Spoiler alert: flood and drought cycles are more normal than you (or we) realize.
Ted Moore, host of “Paranormal NV,” returns for a bonus episode to talk about his favorite haunts in Washoe County. This special Halloween episode is the season finale of the first season of Washoe Life.  
Teresa Aquila has served Washoe County as a sworn deputy for 45 years and continues to work for the Sheriff’s Office. She’s a mechanic, author, radio host, lifelong volunteer for numerous community programs and she is chair of her neighborhood Citizen Advisory Board. Prepare to be inspired to step up and serve as Theresa shares what motivates her to give back to her community.  
University of Nevada Reno President Brian Sandoval has dedicated his career to public service as a legislator, attorney general, federal judge, governor, and now university president. Once a student at UNR, he now has big plans for his alma mater, including a prestigious ranking in the Association of American Universities.  
The Great Reno Balloon Race takes to the skies above Rancho San Rafael Regional Park this weekend, but did you know that it takes hundreds of volunteers and even the federal government to pull this event off? Executive Director Pete Copeland and Flight Director Katie Griggs share what goes into planning an event that welcomes 120,000 people every year, and why they keep coming back.  
Washoe County has a very special relationship with Burning Man, as Matthew “Chef” Kwatinetz explains in this episode of “Washoe Life.” Chef is on the Board of Directors for Burning Man Project and Senior Director of Nevada Operations, and he is an advocate for ensuring that the community of Gerlach benefits from the annual city built on the neighboring playa.  
Jessica Locke is a local mom of four whose life took a turn when she was faced with a threat and decided to learn self-defense. She now competes in and teaches martial arts, and shares her story about learning new things, testing one’s limits, and making the whole experience a family affair. Oh, and on top of that, she is an author who just released an e-book on dispelling myths about homeschooling.
Guy Clifton is about as Nevadan as it gets. He literally wrote the book “You Know You’re a Nevadan If...” and the longtime newsman shares stories from his life growing up in Gabbs, Nevada, and covering decades of news at the Reno Gazette-Journal.
Dragon Lights

Dragon Lights


The Dragon Lights festival lights up the night sky at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park through Aug. 12. Wander through the exhibits of larger-than-life lantern sculptures and interactive displays. Washoe County Parks Superintendent Colleen Wallace-Barnum and Huiyuan Liu with Tianyu Arts & Culture Inc. Talk about the festival, the beautiful park venue, and how to enjoy this immersive cultural experience.  
Artown, the 31-day celebration of all things arts and culture, sweeps into town on July 1, and we are joined by the talented vocalist Khalilah Cage. Cage is featured in the song “Heartbeat to Heartbeat, Eye to Eye (From Reno With Love)” and shares her experience recording that song with other local musical powerhouses. Sit back and enjoy the musical peek into this year’s Artown celebration.  
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