This week, WMRA's Kara Lofton posted the next in our "Clean Virginia" series, with a look at the legacy of Mercury contamination in the Shenandoah Valley.... and she also looked at the death and resurrection (at least for now) of a small, private college -- Sweet Briar.  Bob Leweke also had a conversation with Nancy Insco, an advocate and case-worker for women getting out of prison, and the News Leader's Patricia Borns, about the conversation that newspaper hosted, called "Roadmap to Re-Entry," in Staunton earlier in the week.

Courtesy of Dave Fritz, executive editor of the News Leader

On Wednesday evening, June 24, the News Leader in Staunton fostered a community conversation at Staunton’s city hall.  The gathering was called “Roadmap to Re-entry,” and was a follow-up to the paper’s reporting in March on the struggles that many incarcerated women face when they’re released from prison.  Bob Leweke spoke with the News Leader’s Patricia Borns, and with Nancy Insco, CEO of the Institute for Reform and Solutions in Staunton, an agency that works with these women.  I asked Insco about her takeaway from this first session.

New Horizons Arrives!

Jun 26, 2015
Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

In this episode of Our Island Universe, we anticipate the arrival of the New Horizons mission to Pluto and new discoveries at the edge of our solar system.

Learn more about NASA's New Horizons mission to Pluto, arriving in orbit July 14, 2015.

Shanil Virani, Director of the John C. Wells Planetarium in Harrisonburg, VA.

Jim McLean, Executive Editor of KHI News Service, oversees the KHI News Service. From 2005 until 2013, McLean coordinated all communications activities at KHI as Vice President for Public Affairs. The position he now occupies was created as part of a strategic initiative to solidify the editorial and operational independence of the KHI News Service.

Kara Lofton

When Sweet Briar, a small women’s college in central Virginia, abruptly announced it was closing in March, students and alumnae fought back against the decision. Last week, the alumnae association formed to save the school (aptly called “Save Sweet Briar”) won the battle to keep the school open, at least temporarily, and now they'll have an assist from a former Bridgewater College president. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

A fish consumption advisory has been in effect for more than three decades on the South River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River from Waynesboro to Front Royal.  In the next installment of WMRA’s series called “Clean Virginia,” Kara Lofton takes a look at why the advisory is still in place and what is being done to remedy the long-standing contamination.

Great American Campout

Jun 24, 2015

On Saturday, Virginia State Parks, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, will host the Great American Campout, which includes special events, workshops and activities for the whole family. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on whether people in nearly three-dozen states, including Virginia, who rely on the federal health insurance marketplace, can continue to receive subsidies from the federal government.  The case, known as King versus Burwell, is one of the most serious challenges to the Affordable Care Act.  WMRA’s Kara Lofton takes a look at what might happen in Virginia if the justices rule that the subsidies are illegal.

Caitlin Dickerson is a reporter with NPR's Investigations Team. She contributed reporting to NPR's coverage of the 2014 Ebola outbreak, with stories about the ethics of deploying an experimental vaccine to contain the disease in West Africa, and U.S. military efforts to combat Ebola domestically. She also contributed to NPR's New Boom series that explored the Millennial generation's impact on America.

Edith Chapin is the acting Executive Editor of NPR News. In this role, which she assumed in 2015, Chapin oversees all desks and reporters, and helps set the agenda for the entire News division.

Previously, Chapin was the senior supervising editor of the NPR News International Desk. She managed a team of correspondents based outside the United States committed to bringing listeners dynamic stories of the world's people, politics, economy, and culture.