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PHOTOS: Reno year in review for 2019


This is Reno celebrated 10 years of local online news in 2019, reporting on Reno-area government, business, entertainment, events, and topics important to those living in Reno and northern Nevada. From breaking news to colorful special events, This Is Reno was there to document and report.

Some of Reno’s biggest stories this year included school district legal battles, affordable housing and homelessness, and political candidates. Take a look back at this year’s coverage in this gallery of images highlighting some of our most memorable stories, as compiled by This is Reno photographer Ty O’Neil.

Revelers rang in 2019 in frigid, 20-degree temperatures in downtown Reno. While the cold conditions kept many of the celebrators indoors for much of the evening, Virginia Street swelled with onlookers as it got closer to midnight on New Year’s Eve. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

After a four year absence, Kenny Loggins returned to Reno in January 2019 with his band for a night of stories and song. The show ramped up and up to a fever pitch, topping off with “Footloose,” which had just about the whole room up on its feet. Photo: Nick McCabe. Full story.

Steve Sisolak took the oath of office Jan. 7, 2019 to become the 30th governor of the State of Nevada. Sisolak is the first Democratic governor since Bob Miller left the governor’s mansion in 1999. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

Governor Steve Sisolak delivered his first State of State address just nine days into his tenure. He noted new state milestones, such as Nevada being the first female majority legislature in America for its 80th session. Photographer Ty O’Neil chose this image to represent that milestone, and the hope that it gives to girls aspiring to leadership roles. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

The third annual women’s march was Jan. 19 in downtown Reno and brought together hundreds of women that marched from the Reno Arch to the Reno City Plaza. Photographer Ty O’Neil chose this image to highlight the scale of the event, but felt that the individual to the right of the frame gave the image a more personal feel. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

The annual Homeless Youth Point In Time Count Jan. 24, 2019, in continued efforts to better understand the number, status, and needs of the Reno area’s homeless youth community. Great Clips had six volunteers on hand offering free haircuts. Photographer Ty O’Neil emphasizes that photographing youth homeless is a sensitive issue, and this photograph was chosen because it doesn’t reveal their identity. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

A Reno Police officer and his canine companion stand guard at the State of the City Feb. 5 at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center. Local leaders touted job growth, area athletes, and financial accomplishments, and pledged to work on addressing the housing crisis. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story

Thousands flocked to The Generator for the Punk Rock Flea Market, which drew more than a dozen bands, highlighted the maker space, and even featured car smashing. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

“We’re getting slaughtered, but we’re having a great time,” said one competitor at the 2019 Reno/Tahoe Winter Senior Games. Photographer Andrea Laue chose this image of a competitor ready to return a ball during mixed doubles pickleball because it shows determination and competition don’t cease with age. Photo: Andrea Laue. Full story.

February 2019 brought the sixth annual Skate Jam at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor, an event that featured live music and competition. The motion in this image captures the feeling of the event at a decisive moment, and the film grain, black and white photographic treatment hark back to the days of early punk photography. Photo: Bob Conrad. Full gallery.

A competitor poses during the NPC Mother Lode Finals competition on April 13, 2019 at the Grand Sierra Resort. The sport of bodybuilding is part physique and part stage presence, and this image represents both along with beautiful framing. Photo: Andrea Laue. Full gallery.

“If you have never been to a Sammy Hagar show and you love rock and roll, I highly recommend it,” says music reviewer Nick McCabe. Sammy Hagar played the first show on his tour for 2019’s “Space Between” album at Grand Sierra Resort. Photo: Nick McCabe. Full story.

With the help of Nevada Division of Forestry and the Sugar Pine Foundation, volunteers took to the hills to plant one-year-old seedlings in the burn area of 2016’s Little Valley Fire. Photographer Ty O’Neil noted that reforesting these areas will be a long and slow process, but volunteers eagerly continue their efforts. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

Motorcyclists raced through some of the toughest terrain Northern Nevada has to offer in May 2019 at Endurofest, part of the AMA Extreme Off-Road Series. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

There are two things spectators can count on nearly every year at the Reno River Festival: whitewater and plenty of action. 2019 didn’t disappoint. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

The five stars of The Illusionist Experience at The Row each have impressive resumes full of television appearances and awards of recognition in their fields. Their family-friendly show features plenty of audience interaction. Photo: Nick McCabe. Full story.

Spring arrived in late May at the Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge, creating an oasis for birds of all types and stunning vistas. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

The annual Summer Salute Car Show endured rain for a second year in a row, but still raised funds for Veterans Guest House. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

A Downtown Reno Ambassador asks an individual sleeping downtown if he needs help. The image, taken but not used for an article on redevelopment of the Downtown CitiCenter, shows two sides of downtown Reno’s major news theme for 2019. Local leaders are working to improve, promote and enhance downtown through the services of Downtown Ambassadors. But their efforts are challenged by a continued lack of affordable housing and increasing number of people living homeless, creating a crisis that has continued to escalate. Photo: Bob Conrad. Read more.

Senator Bernie Sanders has made several campaign visits to Reno to rally progressives. Rather than take the usual photos with campaign signs, podium and stage, photographer Ty O’Neil captured several images before Sanders took the mic. Security chastised him for taking this image, but O’Neil feels that it’s important to also show politicians as people, rather than idols, especially in today’s political climate. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

A June 2019 concert in the park was more than just a photo opportunity for This Is Reno. It was a change to shine a light on the impact of medical debt on American households. The concert raised funds for Margot Choltco, a local mother undergoing treatment for invasive cancer and saddled with crippling medical bills. Her life partner Brad Bynum performed with his band, Elephant Rifle, and is seen here serenading his toddler at Wingfield Park. Photo: Bob Conrad. Full story.

Nevada Storm, a women’s football team in the Women’s Football Alliance, in their final practice before a season playoff game. Part of being a news photographer is opening people’s eyes to the unseen. Photographer Andrea Laue told the story of Nevada Storm through more than just sports action shots. Photo: Andrea Laue. Full story.

Hundreds of cattle, clouds of dust, and days on horseback doing the hard work of a cowboy are all a part of the annual Reno Rodeo Cattle Drive. But the days are punctuated with moments of calm, as captured here with a 6 a.m. sunrise. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

As the Reno Rodeo marked its 100th year, photographer Ty O’Neil chose to photograph several events using an 88-year-old camera lens to reimagine the rodeo in its early years. The story and images circulated internationally after running in This Is Reno, giving recognition to photographer Ty O’Neil for his unusual take on photojournalism. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

This photo of steer wrestling appeared twice in This Is Reno photo galleries, first in general Rodeo event photos and second in an article about animal care at the Rodeo. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

Youth competitors prepare to take part in the “pony races” event at the Reno Rodeo. Photographer Ty O’Neil noted that Reno Rodeo audiences tent to laugh at this event, yet as a photographer on the ground it is apparent that it is one of the most brutal competitions at the rodeo. This image was taken to show the seriousness of these young competitors. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

A student of High Desert Montessori School at a meeting to speak about the great teachers she had lost when the school did not renew several teacher contracts. While not used with the story, photographer Ty O’Neil felt it was important to share. Drama regarding children’s education in Reno has become a staple in the news and in This Is Reno reporting, and this image looks at who is really impacted by the drama: students. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

The vegan miso ramen bowl at Haru. Restaurant reviews have become a staple in This Is Reno reporting. The mark of a good food photograph is if it makes the viewer hungry. Now tell me you’re not. Photo: Kaitlin Young. Full review.

UNR’s Argenta Hall had a small explosion July 5, causing a fire and second explosion shortly after. It was the second explosion that caused significant damage to Argenta and Nye halls. Eight people suffered minor injuries. Here, media are touring the damage with Reno Police. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

Caren McNamara, founder and CEO of Conscious Container, with bottles waiting to be processed at the Great Basin Brewing Taps & Tanks facility in Reno. For this feature, the photographer used portraiture and context in one image, a great example of using environment to enhance an image and story. Photo: Andrea Laue. Full story.

Thousands of participants turned out to celebrate at the 2019 Northern Nevada Pride Parade and Festival, including local politicians and presidential hopefuls. Photo: Andrea Laue. Full story.

Dave Matthews Band performed at Lake Tahoe in September 2019. Photographer Nick McCabe noted that the crowd response was so enthusiastic he had to stand on barricades and blindly take photos with his camera in the air to capture images of the show. Photo: Nick McCabe. Full story.

Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the University of Nevada, Reno in his second of three visits to northern Nevada in 2019 for his 2020 presidential campaign. Photo: Trevor Bexon. Full story.

The Global Climate Strike made its way to Reno in September 2019, with youth gathering at multiple locations in northern Nevada to draw attention to climate change. Photo: Trevor Bexon. Full story.

Businesses in Lincoln County saw an economic opportunity and took advantage of the “Storm Area 51” event that became a viral sensation to create “Alienstock 2019.” Several thousand turned out for the festivities. Photo: Trevor Bexon. Full story.
Northern Nevada had its share of visits from presidential hopefuls in 2019, including one from Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind. Photo: Trevor Bexon. Full story.

Reno Little Theater kicked off it’s 85th season with the comedy “Harvey.” Here, Myron Freedman portrays the character of Dr. Chumley. Photo: Bob Conrad. Full story.

What’s the Halloween season with a little fake blood? The Zombie Thriller Dance was held in Downtown Reno on Saturday, October 26. Photo: Andrea Laue. Full story.

Conditions along the Truckee River have worsened throughout 2019 with a number of homeless camps in the area. The Riverfront 1000 Walking Tour brought locals to the riverfront to see the impacts firsthand, and some participants came armed. Photo: Trevor Bexon. Full story.

Día de los Muertos brought out thousands to enjoy the colorful celebrations along Wells Avenue and at the University of Nevada, Reno. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

The Elko High School band competes at UNR’s Mackay Stadium during the Sierra Band Crusade. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

Krēm’s distinctive soft serve cones and fun colors, both in food and decor, are an Instagrammer’s dream, as noted by photographer Kaitlin Young. Photo: Kaitlin Young. Full story.

Military personnel look up to watch a flyover from a Nevada Air Guard C130 at the Veterans Day Parade in downtown Reno. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full gallery.

A Washoe County Search and Rescue team member waits for a horse to approach before attempting to put a halter on it. The activity was part of a November training for first responders on handling horses during an emergency, such as a wildfire. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story:

The Christmas Tree Lighting at the Summit mall has become a holiday tradition for many, and controversial for holiday purists since it takes place before Thanksgiving. Hundreds turned out for the celebration, which is one of many in northern Nevada inspiring holiday cheer. Photo: Ty O’Neil. Full story.

Ty O'Neil
Ty O'Neil
Ty O’Neil is a lifelong student of anthropology with two degrees in the arts. He is far more at home in the tear gas filled streets of war torn countries than he is relaxing at home. He has found a place at This Is Reno as a photojournalist. He hopes to someday be a conflict photojournalist covering wars and natural disasters abroad.