My name is Melissa and I’m a longtime journalist who has worked in newsrooms across the country.

As the business reporter at The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, California, I currently cover a range of issues and industries like cannabis, real estate, development, and hospitality.

Photo credit: Vickie Connor

Previously, I worked with the nonprofit journalism program Report for America as their social media and newsletter editor. Before that, I covered politics and government for the Associated Press out of their Phoenix bureau. I’ve also lived in Los Angeles where I wrote about civil litigation and judicial news for Law360, a paywalled news site for lawyers and law firms (I also sold wedding gowns, but that’s another story).

I’m also an experienced arts and culture writer who loves to geek out about performance venues, the songwriting process, and streaming trends. I previously wrote about the intersection of technology and music while freelancing for Forbes.

Prior to moving to the California, I spent four years covering government and politics in Pennsylvania. At the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I covered transportation and urban policy — plus state election cycles in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

I also tracked the run-up to the state legalizing medical marijuana with a series of stories about the grassroots lobbying efforts, largely led by the parents of sick children and other patients, and the science behind the plant.

Before exploring Pittsburgh, I covered the Pennsylvania legislature and Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration. There, I was a member of the Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association, the nation’s oldest press corps — and I believe I was the first-ever reporter to use Instagram from the press room!

While life has serendipitously brought me to the West Coast, I am proud New York state native who grew up in Rochester, New York, a Great Lakes city known for Kodak, Genny beer, and freezing winters. I graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper journalism and music history, and spent the early years of my career at The Daily Messenger in Canandaigua, New York.

Reporting from a press conference on a rural Pennsylvania farm, circa 2012.
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