News

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

If you like food, or beer, or wine, or live music, arts and crafts vendors, or supporting a local charity just by having a fun time in a beautiful place on a warm, sunny day… then Saturday, April 16th is going to be right down your alley. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz has the story.

Jessie Knadler

Is climate change affecting Virginia's vineyards, or is it just crazy Spring weather? The balmy February and March encouraged plants to bud early, only to be damaged or killed by the bitterly cold temperatures of last week. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler talks to two winemakers in Rockbridge County about techniques and strategies they employ to keep up with shifting weather patterns.

On this episode of Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz explores interfaith relationships, both at the level of church, mosque and synagogue, and within one interfaith family.... We look at Virginia's latest jobs numbers (they're good).... and we've also got the latest installments of The Spark and Our Island Universe.

Finding Your Voice

Apr 8, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Dick Orange has always loved to sing. So when he moved to the Charlottesville area after a long career as a teacher and school administrator, Dick decided to make singing his second, full-time career.

Where Did We Get All This Water?

Apr 8, 2016

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Water, water everywhere... but where did it all come from?

Our April 5th Books and Brews featured Music journalist Preston Lauterbach, author of Beale Street Dynasty and The Chitlin' Circuit. About 75 people came out to hear Preston speak at Pale Fire Brewing Company in Harrisonburg. Many also stayed to hear blues musician Austin Shifflett.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In a world of polarized religion and politics, forming authentic relationships across faith boundaries can be a challenge. Yesterday we heard about local religious groups supporting each other at an institutional level; today, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz looks at one Harrisonburg family’s personal embrace of two faith traditions.

For millennia, people have used religion to divide, as well as unite. Current national rhetoric and hateful discourse stemming from fears of terrorism has often equated Islam, the religion of a quarter of the world’s population, with a slippery enemy. But this negativity is far from universal. In this first of a two-part series about local interfaith relationships, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports that over the years many people and churches in Harrisonburg have reached out to show support for minority religious communities.

On this edition of Second Look, WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente takes us on a comprehensive tour of Sweet Briar College one year after it almost closed.... WMRA's Dan Easley talks with JMU professor Paul Bogard about his latest efforts to raise awareness of the effects of light pollution.... and we have reports from Virginia Public Radio on a guest worker victory in a Charlottesville court, a Virginia Tech survey of health care attitudes, and the prospects for a raise in Virginia's minimum wage.  And, on Our Island Universe.... what's "eating" Pluto?

On this episode of The Spark: Author Preston Lauterbach says he likes history that has a soundtrack – hence his first two books: The Chitlin’ Circuit and the Road to Rock ’n’ Roll, and Beale Street Dynasty: Sex, Song and the Struggle for the soul of Memphis. 

What's Eating Pluto?

Apr 1, 2016
NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Recent images from Pluto show a curious area that looks like a giant bite mark... and the culprit might be methane ice.

The John C. Wells Planetarium at JMU is holding a week-long series of events designed to raise awareness of light pollution and of the steps we can take to end it.  WMRA's Dan Easley spoke with one of the event's founders, Dr. Paul Bogard, who has also written a book on the subject.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

This month marks the one year anniversary of Sweet Briar College’s near-shut down.  In the first part of this report, we heard from students and faculty who are just happy to be back at work on the college’s Amherst campus. Today, we return to take a closer look at how Sweet Briar is adapting to ensure its single-sex survival in a coed kind of world. WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

One year ago, Sweet Briar College shocked its students, faculty and alumnae by announcing that the 114 year old school would be closing — and quick — due to financial difficulties. But after a massive social media campaign and a successful lawsuit, the college is still kicking one year later. WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente visited the campus in Amherst.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler hears from Staunton residents who braved snow on the last day of winter to help create a sort of city scrapbook.... she also attended an anti-KKK rally in Lexington... and explained the science behind marijuana's medicinal "Entourage Effect."  We also have a look at the effort of some Charlottesville officials to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from a city park, and we'll sift through the archives for Bob Leweke's interview with Paula Poundstone.

Kai Degner, "Hello Harrisonbug"

On this episode of The Spark: Meet industrial hemp farmer Rick Trojan, who has been traveling across the country in the, “Hemp Bus,” advocating for the production of Hemp.

Life on Ceres?

Mar 25, 2016
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/ASI/INAF

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Will we find life on Ceres?

Jessie Knadler

One component of marijuana has been gaining a lot of attention lately as a healing agent, treating everything from epilepsy to PTSD to arthritis. A law just passed in Virginia allows this component, known as cannabidiol, or CBD, oil, for the treatment of epilepsy. But medical marijuana proponents say that CBD on its own is actually not that effective as a healing agent. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores what really is doing the healing and why it’s so politically noxious.

Jessie Knadler

Numerous Ku Klux Klan leaflets were found on people’s lawns in a neighborhood in Lexington over the weekend of March 13th.   On Monday, March 21, Lexington residents turned out for an anti-KKK peace rally, and WMRA’s Jessie Knadler was there.

Jessie Knadler

How do you capture a town’s “It” factor at any given moment in time? Planners in Staunton came up with a clever idea. Think, Antiques Roadshow dosed with ample civic pride.  Staunton residents braved the cold and snow on the last day of winter and offered all sorts of interesting, quirky, momentous Staunton memorabilia — providing a sort of “scrapbook of the community.” WMRA’s Jessie Knadler was there.

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