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 2015 and 2016, the readers of the Daily News-Record voted him “Best Radio Personality.”

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.  He also tries to keep the beat as the drummer for WMRA's house band, The Sustainers.  You can follow him on Twitter @WMRAnews.

On this week's Second Look, stories about Shenandoah National Park.  Park officials and visitors celebrated the National Park Service's 100th anniversary this year, but firefighters also had to battle the second-largest blaze in the park's history in April.  We also talk to one author, an avid hiker and lover of the park, who in her explorations discovered the park's troubled history.  WMRA's Jordy Yager and Christopher Clymer Kurtz tell this week's stories.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente peers behind the screen to find out what makes the annual Super Gr8 Film Festival in Harrisonburg so special.... Jessie Knadler gets the view behind the Valley's poultry industry, on the sometimes dangerous line of a processing plant all geared up to churn out Thanksgiving turkeys.... and, this week's episodes of The Spark and Our Island Universe.

On this week's Second Look, a pinwheel of election-day voices with WMRA's Jessie Knadler, Christopher Clymer Kurtz, Emily Richardson-Lorente and Jordy Yager.... also, WMRA's Calvin Pynn covers the pre-election day NORML rally in Harrisonburg.... Jessie Knadler explores the wide gulf between city and rural voters in Rockbridge County.... and Jordy Yager has the latest on the debate over the Lee and Jackson statues in Charlottesville.

Virginia Results

Nov 9, 2016

Although Virginia voters favored giving Hillary Clinton the state's 13 electoral votes, Donald Trump has won the election and will be the 45th president.  Voters split on the two ballot questions regarding amendments to the state constitution.  And, Republicans will represent the 5th and 6th districts (still) in Congress.  Find statewide, and local, results here.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jordy Yager takes a look back at April's Rocky Mount fire, the second largest blaze in the recorded history of Shenandoah National Park, and he discovers how the forest is recovering.... Sefe Emokpae explores the history of black disenfranchisement in Virginia.... Jordy reports on Gold Star parent Khizr Khan's appearance at the Miller Center.... and, Bob Leweke talks with the director of the Winthrop poll on his late-October survey of likely Virginia voters.

The latest public opinion survey of likely voters in Virginia, conducted by a South Carolina research initiative led by political scientist Dr. Scott Huffmon, shows Democrat Hillary Clinton with a 5-point lead over Republican Donald Trump.  Winthrop Poll Director Huffmon says, “With several negative ‘October surprises’ coming out and affecting both candidates, we have seen a tightening of the race in national polls. However, while Clinton’s lead in Virginia has shrunk from its highest point, she still leads Donald Trump in the Commonwealth.”  Bob Leweke spoke with Dr. Huffmon about the results, just one week before Election Day.

On this week's Second Look, a bit of Bob Leweke's interview with 6th District Republican incumbent Bob Goodlatte that we didn't hear on the air, regarding the Affordable Care Act.... also, Marguerite Gallorini wonders what some of her fellow French compatriots are thinking about our American election.... and, Emily Richardson-Lorente introduces us to a group of Rwandans who are sharing their art and music with schoolkids in Virginia.

Beth Breeding

Incumbent Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, running for a 13th term in Congress, sat down for an interview with Bob Leweke to talk about his campaign. Leweke spoke with Kai Degner, Mr. Goodlatte's Democratic challenger, in September.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Sefe Emokpae has a review of two related exhibits at UVa's Special Collections Library, one of which, Shakespeare's First Folio, is only on display until this last week of October... Jordy Yager attended last week's planning commission meeting in Buckingham County, dominated by opponents of a proposed compressor station there... and, Jessie Knadler takes an in-depth look at how Mary Baldwin is changing, growing, and adapting to survive in the 21st century... and, we top it off with this week's Our Island Universe!

On this week's Second Look Bob Leweke talks with the two candidates for the open 5th District congressional seat in Virginia, Republican Tom Garrett and Democrat Jane Dittmar.... we also get a report on stalled legislation in Congress to reform the nation's criminal justice system.... and, Our Island Universe!

WMRA continues our series of conversations with candidates for Congress with a focus on the open Fifth District seat.  The Fifth District covers all or part of 21 counties east of the Blue Ridge, and includes the cities of Charlottesville, Bedford and Danville.  It extends from the North Carolina border all the way up to northern Virginia near Manassas.  The seat is currently held by Republican Robert Hurt, who is stepping down after this term.  Jane Dittmar is the Democrat who would like to replace him.

WMRA continues our series of conversations with candidates for Congress.  The Fifth District covers all or part of 21 counties east of the Blue Ridge, and includes the cities of Charlottesville, Bedford and Danville.  It extends from the North Carolina border all the way up to northern Virginia near Manassas.  The seat is currently held by Republican Robert Hurt, who is stepping down after this term.  Tom Garrett is the Republican who would like to take his place.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler has the latest on how national news and a new study is affecting protests against the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.... Christopher Clymer Kurtz looks at the competing claims over drinking raw milk.... Sefe Emokpae has a report on a private detention facility for illegal immigrants in Farmville.... we dip into the archives for a visit with the VMI engineering professor who teaches his students the old practice of timber framing.... and, we've got this week's Our Island Universe.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler recounts the ups and downs of how Natural Bridge became a State Park.... WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz talks with author and avid hiker Sue Eisenfeld about her journey into the painful past of Shenandoah National Park, and how she made peace with it.... also, host Bob Leweke talks with 6th District Democratic challenger Kai Degner about his campaign.... plus, we've got this week's Our Island Universe!

Bob Leweke

Former Harrisonburg Mayor and Councilmember Kai Degner sat down with Bob Leweke to talk about his campaign to unseat 6th District Republican Bob Goodlatte in this year's election.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini talks to French emigres, working here in Virginia, for their views of the American work ethic and our approach to vacation time.... Also, we revisit some compelling stories from our Refugees in Virginia Series, from high school, the doctor's office and on the road by bicycle!

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini explains some pretty complex science, and how researchers at the University of Virginia have recently discovered a link between the immune system (which fights off disease), and social behavior (especially disorders such as autism).... Also, we learned this week that more and more schools in Virginia are serving more and more breakfasts to students, so we revisit Jordy Yager's reporting on Food Insecurity in Virginia.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz explores whether or not there really have been more bear encounters this year, and if so, where....  Jessie Knadler has a two-part investigation into the alleged criminal malfeasance at Rockbridge social services....  Sefe Emokpae gives us a tour of the new “Landscapes of Slavery and Segregation” exhibit in Charlottesville....  and we’ll hear what one political scientist told some UVa students last week about climate change, courtesy of Jordy Yager.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jordy Yager gets a (ahem) charge out of the latest effort to combat climate change in Shenandoah National Park -- a brand new electric car charging station at Big Meadows.  Also, Jessie Knadler joins some high school students in Buena Vista for a little non-sugary drink taste test, part of a statewide campaign to encourage kids to lay off the soda pop.  We've also got The Spark and Our Island Universe!

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler gets us caught up on the damning report citing mismanagement and possible criminal malfeasance at Rockbridge Social Services, and a resulting special grand jury investigation.... In celebration of the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, we hear again some of the sounds that sound artist Dianne Ballon is collecting at Shenandoah National Park, near Skyline Drive.... and, a chocolatey episode of The Spark!

Pages