Sing Off!

Apr 6, 2017
Courtesy of Exit 245

Remember that 2012 Anna Kendrick movie, Pitch Perfect, about a capella singing groups facing off? This weekend in Harrisonburg, you can listen and watch in real life as 10 local community and university groups sing to win -- all for a good cause. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

It’s not so much a statement about the health care system, or a model for how it should be fixed. Instead, it’s more like a doctor just arrived at his own approach, sidestepping convention and filling a niche. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz visited the clinic of one general practitioner working outside the health insurance system.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Tuesday marked 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. gave what is considered his “most controversial speech” -- against the war in Vietnam. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports how some in Harrisonburg yesterday honored that message.

Courtesy of Sam Droege, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Several bee species are becoming conservation concerns, with populations declining across the country. Some scientists have been setting bee traps from Charlottesville to northern Virginia to find where they are and why they're dying out.  WMRA’s Miranda Bennett joins the search for one species, the 'rusty patched' bumblebee.

Are elections rigged? That’s the question before the courts in recent cases about gerrymandering, the process of carving up district lines for political advantage. Last week, a Richmond Circuit Court judge ruled against a group challenging eleven of Virginia's districts for disenfranchising black voters, and favoring Republicans.  Another case on the issue is still pending.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler talked to redistricting reform proponents who are also trying to find a solution by working with state lawmakers.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz gets the recollections of a former classmate of Michael "MJ" Sharp, whose body was found March 27th in the Democratic Republic of Congo, after he disappeared while working for the United Nations.... Bonnie Barrineau reviews the final days of an art exhibition at JMU's Duke Gallery featuring the work of social activist Ben Shahn.... Christopher also explores the role of service dogs.... and two Virginia Public Radio reports detail the practice, called Direct Primary Care, of some doctors who bypass the insurance system, and the trend of people leaving Virginia for other states.  Plus, Our Island Universe!

Courtesy of Laura Katzman

An exhibition centering on the artwork of Ben Shahn has attracted a stream of visitors to James Madison University.  Shahn advocated for the downtrodden from the 1930s through the 1960s. WMRA’s Bonnie Barrineau reports.

Revealing the Unseen

Mar 30, 2017

On this episode of Our Island Universe: How Dr. Andrea Ghez and her team uncovered conclusive evidence of a supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy.

Jana Asenbrennerova/Courtesy of MCC

On Monday, the bodies of United Nations worker and Eastern Mennonite University graduate Michael Sharp, a Swedish colleague and their Congolese interpreter were found two weeks after they and their Congolese motorbike drivers went missing in the Democratic Republic of Congo. News of Sharp’s disappearance and death has stirred memories of his antics and mischievous ways, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

It's the 100th episode of Second Look!  And we celebrate this milestone with a look back at some of WMRA's more compelling stories from 2016.  Emily Richardson-Lorente introduces us to one classroom in Charlottesville using the building game 'Minecraft' as an educational tool.... Jessie Knadler remembers the day last March that Staunton residents gathered to record for posterity their 'Staunton Stories'.... Jordy Yager tours one Habitat for Humanity home in Charlottesville being built in part by its new resident, a refugee from  Burma.... and, Jordy also observed while Charlottesville residents pretended to be 'poor for a day,' in Piedmont CASA's Poverty Simulation last April.

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