Jessie Knadler

Last month, the Senate voted on legislation that would have enforced even stricter background checks on refugees from Syria and Iraq. The bill failed by only five votes, but it underscored an increasingly common narrative in some parts of the media – that asylum seekers from Middle Eastern countries potentially pose a threat. What doesn’t get as much attention are all the people in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond who want to help refugees if and when they arrive.  In the third installment of our series, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores what it means to be a volunteer.

Mary Plank

In our second installment on refugees in Virginia, WMRA’s Jordy Yager takes a look inside a new non-profit group in Charlottesville that pairs Americans with refugee families in an effort to strengthen community by doing something revolutionary… being a good neighbor.

Books & Brews, Feb. 2

Feb 2, 2016

On Tuesday, February 2nd, author Michael Signer discussed his book, "Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father." An estimated 130 people came out to hear him speak.

Jessie Knadler

The world migration crisis has brought more attention to the plight of refugees.  But global terrorism and other concerns have fueled a national debate over whether America’s promise of welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution can be maintained. In the first of a month-long series on refugees, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler looks at who is being resettled in the Shenandoah Valley, who’s helping them, and whether local communities are welcoming them.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In just a few weeks, Zika has gone from being a little known virus to a rather infamous one. The disease, new to the Western Hemisphere last year, is being closely watched internationally, and the World Health Organization has declared its spread a global public health emergency. Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first case of the Zika virus disease here in Virginia, in McGaheysville. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

We devote much of this week's Second Look to action in the General Assembly, where legislators debated concealed carry and cops in classrooms.  We also meet the Virginia Tech researcher who may be saving Flint, Michigan's water supply.... and we've got this week's episodes of The Spark and Our Island Universe, too!

Michael Oreskes is NPR's Senior Vice President of News and Editorial Director. He leads an award-winning team of journalists and seasoned newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and multi-platform storytelling.

Oreskes has 40 years of professional journalism experience, ranging from reporter to senior managing editor, and expertise in shepherding the transition of traditional media to multi-media enterprises. He joined NPR in 2015 following seven years with The Associated Press.

A Man of Many Hats

Jan 29, 2016

On this episode of The Spark: Author, lawyer, and new Charlottesville mayor, Michael Signer... does a lot. This week on the Spark he talks with Martha about what drives him.

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