A group of mental health service providers in the Staunton area have pooled their resources to push for the creation of a new facility aimed at treating people in crisis.  In our final report in a series on mental health care in Virginia, WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this report.

On this episode of Second Look.... May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so WMRA's Jordy Yager takes a look at the new mental health court dockets in our area, as well as the progress Virginia has made over the last few decades in identifying and treating mental illness....  In a report for Virginia Public Radio, Jessie Knadler reports on new guidelines to help ER staff deal with the growing problem of opiate addiction, and we’ll hear from some Virginia lawmakers who are pushing Congress to have a say in America’s involvement in the Middle East… and Our Island Universe, too!

Cuba Bound

May 27, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Peter Van Acker, and his wife Susan, have traveled all over the world. They recently went to Cuba because they wanted to experience the island before the expected flood of tourists changed things there too much.

Babylonian Astronomers

May 27, 2016

On this episode of Our Island Universe: How astronomers in ancient Babylon used complex math to predict the movement of the planets.

Jordy Yager

A new approach to handling mentally ill criminals employs a special court docket to keep them out of prison and get them into treatment.  As part of our investigation into the state of mental health care in Virginia, Jordy Yager has this report.

Courtesy Western State Hospital

Mental health services in Virginia progressed leaps and bounds over the last 40 years. But many experts argue that more needs to be done.  May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so WMRA’s Jordy Yager caught up with some veterans of the system to get a sense for how we’re doing, in this first of a series of reports on the state of mental health care in Virginia.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler finds one general store in the tiny town of Middlebrook that is not only surviving, but thriving....  Christopher Clymer Kurtz dives into the government's new definition of "chronic homelessness," and how it's affecting clients and caregivers on the ground.... Brit Moorer takes us on a canoe tour of the Rivanna River in Charlottesville.... and Jordy Yager learns what one local NAACP leader is saying about race, protest and privilege.

On this episode of The Spark: Anastasia Suslaev came to America at the age of 10, knowing two words of English. Since then she'd gotten her undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite, her Masters from JMU, and she's just about to become a certified nurse midwife.

Brit Moorer

If you’ve had trouble finding an outfitter to take a trip on the Rivanna River near Charlottesville, one local couple has launched a business to fill that gap, and help explorers take advantage of the physical, and aesthetic, features the river offers. WMRA’s Brit Moorer reports.

On this episode of Our Island Universe: When it comes to searching for life in the Universe... what are basic components we're looking for?

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In January the government’s new definition of “chronically homeless” took effect. The agency says this new definition, which has been years in the making, will aid in eliminating chronic homelessness by 2017, two years after an earlier deadline for that same goal. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports that when it comes to defining chronic homelessness, however, little seems definite.

In our region, the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline has aroused controversy.  So has another proposed natural gas line through Southwestern Virginia.  A new study takes a look at local costs of the pipeline that would stretch from West Virginia to a compressor station in southern Virginia. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this report.

About 30 people came to hear local NAACP leader Dr. Rick Turner speak in Charlottesville on Sunday evening about racial discrimination. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this report.

Jessie Knadler

Before urban sprawl and big box stores, folks in rural communities did their shopping at the local general store. Many of these stores have disappeared from the rural landscape, but one in the town of Middlebrook in Augusta County is not only surviving, it’s thriving.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler paid a visit and has this report.

On this week's Second Look, Bob Leweke talks with Brad Zinn, the News Leader reporter who led a six-month investigation into the scope of child sexual abuse in Virginia... Jessie Knadler explores what some local craft beer lovers are calling a "sellout": Anheuser-Busch InBev's acquisition of the Devil's Backbone brewery in Nelson County; and she also takes a look at a new approach to the feral cat problem in Rockbridge County.  Also, one VCU researcher is studying the remaining pockets of school segregation in the South.  And, we've got this week's Our Island Universe.

A Poet Emerges

May 13, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Part two of our conversation with Scott Price. Scott had never wanted anything but a career in the Army. Then a back injury took his career, his marriage failed, and he lost his identity… but thanks to poetry, he’s now starting to rebuild his life.  

Racing Through Space

May 13, 2016

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Even when you are sitting still, you are hurtling through space at an amazing speed!

Devils Backbone, the eight year old craft brewery headquartered in Nelson County, was recently bought for an undisclosed sum by global beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. Now, some Virginia fans of the scruffy indie brand are questioning whether the label has sold out. Jessie Knadler sat down with CEO Steve Crandall to find out what’s in store for the Virginia brewery.

Music Feeds Us

May 11, 2016
Courtesy Music Feeds Us

What’s for dinner?  Most of us look in the fridge, the freezer, and go from there.  But for many in our area, deciding what to eat is a daily struggle.   Violist Fitz Gary is among those using music to help, as WMRA’s Kimberlea Daggy reports.

Children as Prey

May 9, 2016
Nashville designer Merry Eccles

The News Leader in Staunton spent six months investigating the scope of child sexual abuse in Virginia, for an in-depth report into the problem.  It's called Prey: Sexual Predators are Hunting Our Children.  Bob Leweke spoke with the lead reporter on the series, Brad Zinn.