Bob Leweke

News Director / Morning Edition Host

Bob Leweke is WMRA's News Director and Morning Edition host.

Before coming to public radio in 2003, Bob had worked for The Roanoke Times as a circulation manager and writer.  He later became a member of the communication faculty at Pikeville College in Kentucky, and at Bridgewater College in Virginia.  Bob holds degrees in communication and political science from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In his hours away from WMRA, Bob enjoys music, cycling, reading and movie-watching, and spending time with his family doing all of the above.  You can follow him on Twitter @WMRAbob.

Ways To Connect

This week, Scott Lowe toured the 20-year-old Virginia Quilt Museum, containing centuries-old quilts.... Kara Lofton brought us new water consumption guidelines for athletes, and the views of opposite sides over the Confederate flag.... and Jessie Knadler finds out why the cash-strapped Buena Vista Police Department spent nearly $50,000 on a new drug-sniffing dog.

WMRA’s Kara Lofton took a tour of Harrisonburg's booming food trucks, which are so popular they have their own parks.... Jessie Knadler exposes the invasive bug killing Virginia's hemlock trees, and explores solutions.... And we revisit Kara's story of a same-sex married couple fighting for parenthood rights.  Plus, this week's installment of The Spark.

WMRA's Kara Lofton was busy again this week, with a conversation with Trent Wagler of the Steel Wheels about the "roots" of Red Wing... she also reported on an appeals court victory by the EPA and Chesapeake Bay activists, and on Virginia's air quality as part of "Clean Virginia"... and she explained the connection between the University of Virginia and the New Horizons mission to Pluto... and, finally, we replay Andrew Jenner's "Pipeline Air Force" story, which is now the winner of an Outstanding Feature Reporting award from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters.

Welcome WMRA's Amy Loeffler to the newsroom.  She posted a story about what could be the hot new thing for gastronomes in Virginia agriculture:  Truffles.... Kara Lofton posted the next installment of our "Clean Virginia" series.... and, because it's Independence Day weekend, we dip into the archives from the "Becoming American" series.  And, in this week's Spark segment, Martha Woodroof talks with former Bridgewater -- and soon-to-be Sweet Briar – College president Philip Stone.

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.

This week we took a deep look at a struggling wind power project proposed for the shores off Virginia, and Kara Lofton took the measure of honeybee health in Virginia, plus a "moon art" project involving a JMU art professor, and a teenager doing her part to find homes for stray dogs.

WMRA's Kara Lofton brought us the stories of: new 3-D human tissue bioprinters at UVa; the legacy of coal-fired power on Virginia's water health; aerial yoga in Charlottesville; and a new park plan in Harrisonburg.  And Andrew Jenner told the story of one couple resisting Dominion surveyors in Nelson County, and Andrew and Brent Finnegan have teamed up for a deep look into reality itself -- and whether there really could be wild mountain lions in Virginia.

Agriculture is one of the leading causes of pollution in Virginia’s waterways.  WMRA’s Kara Lofton has the first in our occasional series on “Clean Virginia,” with a tour of one farm aiming to protect the water that runs through it....  Jessie Knadler gets us up to date on the Natural Bridge Zoo, now reopened for business.... Kara also took us to the roller derby to meet Charlottesville's Derby Dames.... and we've got this week's installment of The Spark.

During the month of June, this WMRA series will explore the state of Virginia's unique environment, specifically its water, air and soil.  How does agriculture affect our drinkable water, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  How well are we doing cleaning up industrial pollutants such as mercury?  Are decades-old problems, such as acid rain and runoff from coal-fueled power plants, getting solved?  How clean is the air we breathe?

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