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 episode of Second Look, we focus on the Harrisonburg backyard fight club known on YouTube as "Streetbeefs," with a report from Christopher Clymer Kurtz, and an in-depth profile of the fight club's founder, Chris Wilmore with Martha Woodroof.... Also, a few of the "18 Stories of War" at EMU.... why Virginia's rules on bars may change.... and, Our Island Universe (hint: is there a bigger, badder new planet in our solar system?)

On Thursday morning, Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency for Virginia, in anticipation of this weekend's expected winter storm.  Around 2 feet of snow may accumulate between Friday afternoon and Saturday night.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13th, Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivered his State of the Commonwealth address to the General Assembly.  On this week's Second Look, we bring you highlights from that speech, plus the Republican response.

Harrisonburg police on Monday evacuated students and staff from Spotswood Elementary School due to a bomb threat.  Students were loaded onto buses and taken to Harrisonburg High School, where parents were asked to pick them up from the auditorium.

WMRA's Sefe Emokpae introduces us to the non-profit in Charlottesville that provides a safe space for victims of human trafficking.... Virginia Public Radio's Sandy Hausman has the details on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's trip to Cuba, and on State Sen. Creigh Deeds' lawsuit targeting state health agencies after the death of his mentally-ill son in 2013.  Also, we've got this week's installments of The Spark and Our Island Universe!

WMRA brought you nearly 150 stories in 2015 from right here in our part of Virginia.  But what were the most listened-to, the most popular, the most compelling stories of the year?  We have room for four of them, and here they are!

Here's the statement from Augusta County schools on Friday's closure.  We also take a look at the letter from Christian leaders expressing solidarity with the Muslim community in the Shenandoah Valley, with WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz.... Amy Loeffler explains the economic (and gastronomic) importance of local food systems.... Virginia Public Radio reports on Gov. Terry McAuliffe's budget proposals, and on a new program for drug offenders that de-emphasizes prison.... and, we've got this week's episode of The Spark.

WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz introduces us to next year's recipient of a custom-designed bike from James Madison University engineering and kinesiology programs, and to the professor who received the first bike and got the whole program started....  Plus, Virginia Public Radio's Sandy Hausman reports on the group that is helping to preserve land in nine counties in Virginia, on the college presidents getting paid the most, and on Gov. Terry McAulliffe's proposal to cut corporate tax rates in Virginia.  We've also got this week's Spark segment, and Our Island Universe.

WMRA reported this week on the "Postcard" from Harrisonburg to the Paris climate summit and on the new Artisans Trail (with Christopher Clymer Kurtz), and on Martin O'Malley's visit to Charlottesville (Jordy Yager)... we also have Virginia Public Radio reports on a new film that state officials hope will raise awareness of Virginia's growing heroin problem, and on one local delegate who already says he's running for Attorney General in 2017.  Add Bob Leweke's interview with Paula Poundstone, and Our Island Universe, and you've got this week's Second Look!

You probably know comedienne and writer Paula Poundstone best from laughing along with her on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me here on WMRA.  But she’s making a pretty serious argument these days against the mobile devices – the smartphones, tablets and computers – that most of us can’t seem to do without, and she argues these devices are actually damaging our childrens’ brains.  That’s where Bob Leweke's conversation with her started.

During this Thanksgiving holiday, we take a look at the people who have trouble providing reliable food for themselves and their families, with WMRA's Jordy Yager's extensive look at Food Insecurity in Virginia.

We have an extended report by Kara Lofton on the UVa-Guatemala Initiative, an effort by a group of doctors in Charlottesville to provide aid to Guatemala's overcrowded, underfunded health care system.... Jordy Yager gets Eric Cantor's thoughts on politics, tolerance and Congress.... Brit Moorer gets a demonstration of the "MadiDrop," a tablet its inventors hope will help purify water in the world's poorest places.... and Emily Richardson-Lorente introduces us to the teachers who are working to get girls excited about STEM.

Step onto (or into) the Front Porch Roots Music School with WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente....  Jessie Knadler has the lowdown on the shady side of sunscreen -- it may be killing the world's coral reefs, according to a study from a Virginia lab.... Virginia Public Radio has the report on waste in the state's Medicaid benefits, and on Dominion's vision for the future of power in Virginia, and how it may rely on more nuclear power.... and we go way out into the universe, and way back in time to the Big Bang, with Our Island Universe.

Arrested?  Your mugshot may get published.  Want to get it out of publication?  Pay a hefty fee to the publisher.  And that's perfectly legal, if not entirely ethical, under the First Amendment and the Freedom of Information Act.  Kara Lofton reports on "Crime Times".... We also look at why there was NO change in state senate seats this election season, and how online voting might help raise turnout.  Plus, The Spark (with mule thoughts and mule body language), and Our Island Universe looks at our ever-expanding universe.

Republicans retain control of Virginia's General Assembly.  No seats for the State Senate will change hands in the next session -- the GOP retains a 21-19 majority.  In the House of Delegates, Republicans will hold a nearly two-thirds majority.

Polling places are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, November 3rd.  On the ballot are candidates for the state Senate and House of Delegates, and for numerous local City and County offices.  To find out where to vote, and who's on the ballot, click here.

Find a full list of candidates for statewide offices here.

WMRA's Jordy Yager posted two reports from the Charlottesville area this week, serving up the final installment of our five-part special series on Food Insecurity, and attending a conference aimed at changing the conversation about, and among, young black men.... Jessie Knadler sniffed out the latest research on stink bugs, now an October fixture in Virginia.... and Virginia Public Radio's Sandy Hausman takes a look at the reaction of college professors to the rise in campus shootings.  We've also got this week's Our Island Universe!

In this special one-hour show, hear Bob Leweke's interviews with each of the candidates for the 26th state Senate district, Democratic challenger April Moore, and Republican incumbent Mark Obenshain.... Tag along with Jordy Yager and a Meals on Wheels volunteer bringing meals, and a human touch, to the homebound in Charlottesville.... Visit a grade-school classroom with Kara Lofton, where restorative justice practices are used to build trust and deal with conflict.... and, catch the radio re-broadcast of the televised debate between Moore and Obenshain from October 13th on WHSV-TV3.

Senator Mark Obenshain is the Republican incumbent representing the 26th state senate district of Virginia, and up for re-election in November.  His challenger is Democrat April Moore.  Sen. Obenshain sat down with Bob Leweke and talked about his campaign.

April Moore is a Democrat running to unseat incumbent Republican Senator Mark Obenshain in the 26th state senate district of Virginia.  She sat down with Bob Leweke and talked about her campaign.