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, 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!

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini brings us a few voices from her tiny hometown of Saint-Loup, France, a microcosm of the global refugee crisis.... Jordy Yager brings us the sounds of sound-reporting, with sound artist-in-residence at Shenandoah National Park Dianne Ballon (it's kind of "meta," isn't it?).  Plus, this week's installments of The Spark and Our Island Universe!

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente sits in a class at the Darden School of Business that instructors hope will push students out of their comfort zones, just like real life does.... WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz explores the future of greenways for walkers and cyclists in Harrisonburg.... and, Christopher also leads us through the recent active shooter drill with emergency personnel in Harrisonburg, paired with a report from 2015, as Andrew Jenner attends last year's Citizens Police Academy.... and we've got Our Island Universe, too!

On this week's Second Look, we go hunting for Pokemon in Harrisonburg with admitted non-gamer, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz.... We'll also go deep underground into an old train tunnel under Afton Mountain, soon to be a new trail for cyclists and walkers, with Jordy Yager.... Marguerite Gallorini will have a review of the recent Chihamba arts and culture festival in Charlottesville.... and, Emily Richardson-Lorente has a preview of the giant mural near the UVa grounds that combines paint with the poetry of UVa's poet, Rita Dove, due to be finished this week.

On this week's Second Look, our special correspondent Kara Lofton has the sounds of some of the lesser-known bands that you may have missed at the Redwing Roots Music Festival.... We also tour two mostly-forgotten, historically black cemeteries in Lexington and Charlottesville with WMRA's Faith Pinho and Sefe Emokpae.... We survey the battlefields in Congress over the displaying of the Confederate battle flag, and in the courts over Gov. Terry McAuliffe's order restoring rights to felons.... and, we've got space for Our Island Universe, too!

On this week's Second Look, we hear from Jordy Yager about the young men and their mentors who make up the award-winning Central Virginia chapter of 100 Black Men of America.... Christopher Clymer Kurtz has a preview of Doah Fest, a musical festival near Luray.... the possible reform of laws that allow police to seize and keep property without a conviction.... some surprising federal data about the demographics of parts of Virginia including Lexington.... an interview with Meg Gruber, president of Virginia's Education Association.... and Our Island Universe, too!

2015 WMRA Award-Winners

Jul 2, 2016

On this week's special edition of Second Look, we celebrate the story-telling that won first place awards from the Virginia Association of Broadcasters for 2015:  Kara Lofton's story about the Charlottesville trauma workers who began the trend of taking a "pause" after the death of a patient (First Place, Outstanding Feature Reporting).... and Jordy Yager's series on Food Insecurity in Virginia (First Place, Outstanding News Series).  Congratulations to both!

On this week's Second Look, we revisit WMRA's Jessie Knadler's discovery that the sunscreen you've got in your beach bag may be helping to kill the world's coral reefs.... We also boat along part of the so-called "Looper" trail, on the Rappahannock.... Brit Moorer, in her last story for WMRA, takes a tour down the Rivanna.... We try to figure out what's taking Congress so long to pass Zika legislation.... And, a round-up of some Virginia news from the past week.

On this week's Second Look... With the exception of Christopher Clymer Kurtz's preview of the June 22-23 Wind Symposium at JMU, this week's show is a repeat of the June 12 show, which was pre-empted by NPR coverage of the mass shooting in Orlando.

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