News

Record Setting Astronaut Peggy Whitson

Apr 27, 2017
NASA

On this episode of Our Island Universe: We celebrate NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, who now holds the record for time spent in space by an American astronaut. 

Emily Richardson-Lorente

We’ve known for a long time that the Human Papilloma Virus can cause cervical cancer in women. But increasingly, HPV is causing cancers further up the body, in the throats of people infected with the virus. And the largest group of patients? Middle aged men. Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story of one Virginia man dealing with the consequences.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

HPV infections are leading to an increasing number of cancers in both men and women. There’s a vaccine that can address that, but most people in Virginia aren’t getting it. In fact, compliance rates for HPV vaccination are so low here and throughout the U.S., that the National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Centers call it “a serious public health threat.” WMRA’s Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story.

Jessie Knadler

A Church in Staunton was the site of the 7th Annual Virginia Liars Contest‑--yes, a liars’ contest at a church – over the weekend, where weavers of whoppers had eight minutes to spin fantastical fibs for a crowd. The best whopper won $100, a golden shovel and a bag of manure. WMRA's Jessie Knadler was there to take in the tall tales and learn more about the fine art of storytelling.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini gets us up to date on the latest with the fight over the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville.... Jessie Knadler chases down an arepa truck in Rockbridge County, run by two brothers from Venezuela.... and Jordy Yager brings us two stories from last August detailing the effort by the stewards of Shenandoah National Park to go green(er), and of the Park's visiting sound artist.  Plus, Our Island Universe!

Jessie Knadler

Two brothers from Venezuela bring a staple food item from their native country, arepas, to rural Virginians from the window of their beat-up food truck. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler caught up with the brothers to find out what it’s like being immigrants hustling for the American dream in the age of Trump.

Why Science Literacy Matters

Apr 19, 2017

On this episode of Our Island Universe: The state of science literacy today and why it matters to our society as a whole.

Charlottesville City Council voted 3-2 on Monday to sell to the highest bidder the Robert E. Lee statue that has been the subject of so much controversy.  In February, Council had voted by the same margin to remove the monument from Lee Park – a controversial vote that spurred a lawsuit against the City Council, limiting its action for now.  WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini reports.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini (she's back!) has a review of the week at the Tom Tom Founder's Festival.... Christopher Clymer Kurtz explores the chilling effect that President Trump's immigration policies may be having on enrollment at EMU's Summer Peacebuilding Institute.... Jordy Yager has the story of an African-American slave who helped build UVa, and finally got his name on a building last week.... and, we revisit some of the highlights in our Refugees in Virginia series.

What Happened to the Martian Atmosphere?

Apr 13, 2017
NASA / Wikipedia Commons

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Uncovering the clues to the disappearance of the Martian atmosphere.

Marguerite Gallorini

It’s billed as a week of innovation and art, with Charlottesville itself as the canvas.  The sixth annual Tom Tom Founders Festival is happening this week in Charlottesville. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has the story.

NPR reported last week that President Trump’s travel ban is having a “chilling effect” on international student enrollment at universities across the country. In Harrisonburg, that’s also true when it comes to potential participants in peacebuilding coursework. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler takes us to the fringe, and Staunton's annual Shenandoah Fringe Fest, and she reports on the fight over gerrymandering in Virginia.... Miranda Bennett explores why bee species in Virginia are declining... Christopher Clymer Kurtz attends a 50th-anniversary celebration in Harrisonburg of Dr. King's 'Beyond Vietnam' speech, and he tours the clinic of one doctor operating outside the nation's health insurance system.... and, we discuss the week that was in Virginia politics.

Courtesy Fringe Festival

Staunton is known for its eclectic art scene and nowhere is that captured better than at the two day Shenandoah Fringe Festival that kicks off this weekend in the Queen City.  So-called “Fringeketeers” showcase their work in a demonstration of the town’s artistic muscle.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler caught up with the festival’s “Grand High Poobah” Carmel Clavin for a preview.

The Quest to See a Black Hole

Apr 6, 2017
Wikipedia Commons

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Efforts are underway to observe the super-massive black hole at the center of our Galaxy.

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.

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