News

The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed three cases of Zika virus disease in the state. Just over a month ago McGaheysville’s Heather Baker learned she was Virginia’s first. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz called Heather last week, for an update.

On this week's Second Look, we continue to learn about our refugee neighbors with WMRA's Jordy Yager.... Sefe Emokpae takes us on a listening tour of a new Virginia Folklife Program exhibit featuring eastern Virginia's gospel music.... plus, some General Assembly news, and this week's episode of Our Island Universe.

On this episode of The Spark: Rusty Noesner retired two years ago after six years in the Navy. He spent five of those years as a Navy Seal, including a year of combat duty in Afghanistan. These days he lives in Harrisonburg, where he is working on slowing his head down and figuring out what he wants to do next with his life.

In honor of Black History Month, the Google Cultural Institute unveiled an online, interactive collection of more than 80 curated exhibits featuring artwork, artifacts and archives of the nation’s African American history. One of those 80 exhibits came from the Virginia Folklife Program and features the unique sounds of eastern Virginia gospel. WMRA’s Sefe Emokpae gives us a listen.

Leap Day!

Feb 26, 2016

On this episode of Our Island Universe: Why do we have a leap day and how do we keep track of our leap years?

Courtesy Tim Leroux

Lots of immigrants to the U-S are not technically refugees under the law, but nevertheless seek refuge here. It’s a population that mostly flies under the radar, but whose work has been vital to U.S. interests abroad. WMRA's Jordy Yager has the next installment of our series on Refugees in Virginia.

Courtesy Mohammed Eitta

For many refugees, faith provides continuity in a world that is otherwise upended. In our latest installment of WMRA’s special series, Jordy Yager looks at how two religious institutions in Charlottesville have helped Muslim and Christian refugees assimilate to life in America.

On this week's edition of Second Look, #RefugeesinVirginia rolls on, as WMRA's Jordy Yager introduces us to the doctors doing very special work treating the unique medical needs of their refugee patients in Charlottesville, and Jordy also discovers a new program there that's training newcomers for work, with the promise of a job at the other end.... and WMRA's Jessie Knadler has the story of the big employer near Harrisonburg that hires lots of refugees, and even helps pay for them to learn English.  We also explore how the death of Antonin Scalia might affect former Governor Bob McDonnell's corruption appeal... and, we've also got this week's installment of Our Island Universe.

On this episode of The Spark: As we heard in part one of Martha's conversation with now-retired Sara Robinson, she was an early woman cracker of the glass ceiling.

This week we hear that Sara, who was raised in the small Virginia town of Elkton, still carries her small town childhood around in her heart. Her latest book of poems, Sometimes the Little Town, juxtaposes photographs of small town life taken by her father, Hobby Robinson, with the poems those photographs inspired her to write.

Jessie Knadler

Harrisonburg is a designated resettlement area, accepting up to 200 refugees each year.  Many of them find employment at one of the big poultry processing facilities in the area, an industry requiring a lot of manual labor and not a lot of English. WMRA's Jessie Knadler spoke to the head of the Perdue facility in Bridgewater to get a sense of the benefits and challenges of this workforce dynamic.

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