Courtesy of the Democratic campaigns

You might have seen the hashtags #GarrettMustGo or #OneTermTom: that means competition is in the air. This year, four Democratic candidates are running to challenge Tom Garrett for the fifth congressional district of Virginia in November.  The Democrats met last Saturday at Buford Middle School for a debate.  WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini put together these profiles.

Addiction has devastated hundreds of cities, small towns, and suburbs across America, including major swaths of Appalachia.  How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.

On this week's Second Look, we've got team coverage of the March 14 student walkouts protesting gun violence, at Rockbridge and Broadway High Schools, the University of Virginia, and even a private grade school in Harrisonburg – those reports from WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz, Jessie Knadler, and Emily Richardson-Lorente.

Jessie Knadler

A new welding school in Buena Vista has been awarded $200,000 from the state. The grant will allow the school to help close a critical shortage of skilled welders across the country. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler heads to Buena Vista to take a look at the new wave of welders who will fill a growing need for skilled tradesmen in the future.

Rockbridge County High was one of thousands of schools across the country where students walked out of their classrooms to honor victims of the Parkland massacre yesterday.  WMRA's Jessie Knadler filed this report.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

Yesterday, students at UVa participated in the nationwide walkout to honor the victims of the Parkland school shooting and propose gun control measures. WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente was there.

Jesse Huxman

The United Way has started discussions with local nonprofits and others to come up with solutions to help those in the Harrisonburg area struggling to make ends meet. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This week on Wednesday, one month after a shooter killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students, teachers, school administrators, parents and allies are slated to walk out of school to demand that Congress pass legislation to address gun violence. A number of schools in the area are recognizing that walkout and call – in their own ways, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Calvin Pynn

The second annual International Women’s Day March in Harrisonburg took place Saturday.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz pulls together some guidelines on how you can help when you see a panhandler (besides handing over cash)...  Peter Jump reports on the CVille Biohub, a Charlottesville group organized to promote biotechnology companies, and how UVa is involved.  And, as the regular session of the General Assembly ends, time to look at the unresolved issues they’ve left on the table, with political analyst Jeff Shapiro.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In January, after WMRA aired a report about panhandlers, many listeners wanted to know more about the services available to them, and about the best way to respond or help. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz took those questions to some of the people working on the front lines.

Peter Jump

The CVille Biohub, a Charlottesville group organized to promote biotechnology companies, has counted more than 50 life sciences startups with more than 1800 employees in the city and surrounding counties. WMRA’s Peter Jump looks at some of the ingredients helping propel startups in Charlottesville to national prominence.

On this week's Second Look... WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz was curious how Mandy McCarthy spent the $100 she got from a "Secret Santa" Harrisonburg cop around Christmastime, so he did a follow-up interview with her.  He also tracks the American kestrel.  Marguerite Gallorini attends the second Charlottesville meeting exploring the possibilities of Charlottesville government, and Calvin Pynn reports on a discussion of DACA, Dreamers and Democracy at JMU with Isabel Castillo.  And, Virginia politics!

Courtesy City of Charlottesville

On Saturday, March 3, 'Liberation and Freedom Day,' organized by the University of Virginia and the City of Charlottesville, marks 153 years since Union troops liberated the area. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has this preview.

Calvin Pynn

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program was at the center of this month’s “Democracy in Peril” session Tuesday, Feb. 27 at James Madison University.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In the week before Christmas, the Harrisonburg Police Department sent out officers with cash, to play Secret Santa and spread holiday cheer one one-hundred dollar bill at a time. One recipient said that earlier in the day she had prayed for money – and we wanted to know how getting it has impacted her. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

League of Women Voters of the Charlottesville Area

What form of government might Charlottesville choose, if citizens could start from scratch?  WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini reports on the second of two public sessions, held Sunday (Feb. 25) and sponsored by the League of Women Voters and Charlottesville Tomorrow.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jordy Yager has a report on the first affordable housing summit in Charlottesville... Marguerite Gallorini talks with one of the co-authors of a big new nationwide study into the effects of winter de-icing for freshwater life, and even our drinking water.  She also browsed the exhibits at the "Memories Matter" fair, a gathering of personal African-American artifacts in Charlottesville.  And, we step back for a look at Virginia politics!


A recent study focused on a water pollutant that we all know very well: salt. In particular, de-icing salts used during the winter. Over the years, the pH level of many streams across Virginia – and the nation – have become more and more basic, endangering aquatic life. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini reports.

Marguerite Gallorini

In an effort to preserve local African-American history, Monticello and the Jefferson School’s African American Heritage Center, and more than a dozen other partners, organized the second annual community history fair in Charlottesville called “Memories Matter.”  WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has the story.

Jordy Yager

Charlottesville officials are attempting to craft a strategy to fight an affordable housing crisis. On Friday, the city hosted its first-ever housing summit, bringing together dozens of stakeholders for a day-long attempt to find common ground. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this report.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz brings us the story of employees at Cargill who accuse the Dayton plant of punishing them for trying to organize... and Christopher also brought us, frankly, a story we really needed to hear this week – a profile of a World War Two veteran pilot who now, in his 90s, helps save lives by flying medical patients for treatment.

Courtesy of John Billings

At the ripe young age of 94, World War II pilot John Billings is still flying, and with a copilot friend, transporting medical patients to treatments. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

David Kreider via Facebook

Local activists and union organizers have filed a charge against Cargill in Dayton for retaliating against employees because of their union activities. They say that Cargill is not living up to its own code of conduct. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

2016 photo by Christopher Clymer Kurtz

This week advocates for alternative transportation fuels gathered in Washington, D.C. to network and meet with Congressional staff and other officials. Harrisonburg’s Alleyn Harned was there and spoke with WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz.

Courtesy of the Miller Center

Chris Christie, the former New Jersey Governor and Republican presidential candidate, visited the Miller Center Monday to discuss his bid for the Republican nomination, and what he thinks of the first year of the Trump presidency. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has this report.

Courtesy League of Women Voters of the Charlottesville Area

After the events in Charlottesville last August, many citizens wanted to be informed on how local government works, and how it might be structured differently in the future. The local League of Women Voters and Charlottesville Tomorrow teamed up to provide an educational discussion on the matter, divided in two events this month. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini attended the first one yesterday afternoon.

Women of Interest

Feb 11, 2018

On this week's Second Look, we revisit some of the Women of Interest we profiled last summer, including Harrisonburg’s mayor, a pioneering pastor in Charlottesville, a Valley midwife who means business, and an 82-year-old bookkeeper in Verona with more stamina than the Energizer Bunny.

Following an extensive national search, we are delighted to announce that Matt Bingay has been selected for the position of Executive Director and General Manager of WMRA and WEMC, effective February 10, 2018.

Courtesy of Point Made Films

A month-long community conversation about racism is going to take place in Charlottesville. And it starts Friday, February 9, with the screening of the documentary, I’m Not Racist… Am I?. The screening is happening, with the filmmakers present, at the Paramount Theater in Charlottesville. Some local schools, universities and libraries are also hosting the film, followed by public conversations about racism with the help of trained facilitators. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has this report.