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, where he taught public speaking, mass media law, communication theory and other courses.  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 plays the drums for The Sustainers, a Harrisonburg blues-rock cover band.  You can follow him on Twitter @WMRAnews.

WMRA Daily 3/7/18

Mar 7, 2018

Harrisonburg and Winchester’s daily newspapers are changing hands in a sale announced Tuesday…  The state Senate passes a bill against so-called “sanctuary cities”… And we have some guidelines for how to approach, and best help, panhandlers….

WMRA Daily 3/6/18

Mar 6, 2018

Charges are dropped against a Charlottesville woman for confronting the Ku Klux Klan during their rally on July 8th… while Congress fiddles on DACA, Virginia state legislators are also refusing to act on the Dreamers’ access to in-state tuition… and, we follow the production of biomedical inventions, from idea to the marketplace, and how UVa helps the whole process along….

WMRA Daily 3/5/18

Mar 5, 2018

Tim Kaine is favored by Virginians to retain his Senate seat this year over any Republican challengers, and a majority strongly disapproves of President Trump, in a poll released Monday… The taint of Harvey Weinstein has reached the University of Virginia… and, Virginia Democrats are renaming their annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner….

On this week's Second Look... WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz was curious how Mandy McCarthy spent the $100 she got from a "Secret Santa" Harrisonburg cop around Christmastime, so he did a follow-up interview with her.  He also tracks the American kestrel.  Marguerite Gallorini attends the second Charlottesville meeting exploring the possibilities of Charlottesville government, and Calvin Pynn reports on a discussion of DACA, Dreamers and Democracy at JMU with Isabel Castillo.  And, Virginia politics!

WMRA Daily 3/2/18

Mar 2, 2018

One Virginia Republican congressman says he’s not responsible for controversial Twitter activity… the Virginia General Assembly begins to wrap up work for its official session, as the state’s Supreme Court issues several rulings… And, this weekend the city of Charlottesville and UVa will mark the 153rd anniversary of Liberation Day in Charlottesville, when Union troops ended the war there….

WMRA Daily 3/1/18

Mar 1, 2018

Charlottesville suffers defeats in the wake of last August’s violence, including the failure of all the resulting bills the city advocated for in the General Assembly regarding guns and crowd control, and the city has been forced to remove the black shrouds covering two Jim Crow-era monuments… Meanwhile, a bill barring so-called “sanctuary cities” in Virginia advances….

WMRA Daily 2/28/18

Feb 28, 2018

A judge orders the tarps covering two Civil War statues in Charlottesville be removed, even as the city tries to get rid of the statues… a prominent local leader of the movement to protect the Dreamers discusses DACA, and what it’s meant for her, at JMU… and, even as West Virginia teachers continue their strike, Virginia’s lawmakers are still divided over a teacher pay raise….

WMRA Daily 2/27/18

Feb 27, 2018

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke fights a subpoena related to last August’s violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville… State lawmakers pass a big utility re-regulation bill that critics say could hike your electric bill in the future… And, Virginia’s distillers may get a break with a bill written by someone who also happens to own a distillery….

WMRA Daily 2/26/18

Feb 26, 2018

Charlottesville residents explore how a different form of government might work – reverting to being a town instead of a city, creating a ward system, that sort of thing – in the second of two public sessions… A utility regulation bill that could soon affect your electric bill continues to make progress in the General Assembly… As does another measure to keep schools from shaming students if they can’t pay for lunch…

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jordy Yager has a report on the first affordable housing summit in Charlottesville... Marguerite Gallorini talks with one of the co-authors of a big new nationwide study into the effects of winter de-icing for freshwater life, and even our drinking water.  She also browsed the exhibits at the "Memories Matter" fair, a gathering of personal African-American artifacts in Charlottesville.  And, we step back for a look at Virginia politics!

WMRA Daily 2/23/18

Feb 23, 2018

The General Assembly votes down one option for improving Interstate 81… Meanwhile, both chambers must agree on budget numbers, but they’re still half a billion dollars apart… And Medicaid expansion is still uncertain….

WMRA Daily 2/22/18

Feb 22, 2018

UVa says hundreds of patients’ medical records were hacked in 2015 and 2016… Lawmakers in Richmond are trying to balance the books, but the numbers aren’t adding up, not yet… And, just when you think you’ve gotten used to stink bugs, there’s a new invasive insect species in town….

WMRA Daily 2/21/18

Feb 21, 2018

Police charge a 13-year-old boy in Harrisonburg with making threats to two city middle schools, one day after a similar incident in Norfolk, one week after the Parkland, Florida mass shooting… In the General Assembly, utility rates, tax law and menstrual equity are debated… And, a new study raises the alarm about road salt used in the winter….

WMRA Daily 2/20/18

Feb 20, 2018

Hearings continue over the taking of land for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline… In the wake of the mass school shooting in Florida, police investigate social media threats to public schools in Harrisonburg and Augusta County… And, the second annual “Memories Matter” fair in Charlottesville revives some very personal African-American histories….

WMRA Daily 2/19/18

Feb 19, 2018

Both houses in the General Assembly released their proposed budgets Sunday, and the House budget includes two things the Senate’s version does not – a pay increase for teachers, and funding for Medicaid expansion… meanwhile, in Charlottesville, leaders wrestle with the worsening affordable housing shortage….

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz brings us the story of employees at Cargill who accuse the Dayton plant of punishing them for trying to organize... and Christopher also brought us, frankly, a story we really needed to hear this week – a profile of a World War Two veteran pilot who now, in his 90s, helps save lives by flying medical patients for treatment.

WMRA Daily 2/16/18

Feb 16, 2018

Only one of the many gun control bills proposed in the General Assembly has survived… but some form of Medicaid expansion looks more likely… and, we profile a Woodstock World War II vet who is still flying, and saving lives….

WMRA Daily 2/15/18

Feb 15, 2018

Two state Senate bills target the traffic problem on I-81, and just make it under the Crossover Day deadline… a fifth Republican throws his hat into the ring to challenge Senator Tim Kaine this November… and, current and former employees at the Cargill plant in Dayton allege abuse by the company….

WMRA Daily 2/14/18

Feb 14, 2018

Virginia state legislators pass Crossover Day with some big issues, including Medicaid expansion and oversight of electric monopolies, remaining unresolved… other bills are passed addressing sanctuary cities and suspensions of grade-school children…. Meanwhile, city officials in Charlottesville deal with too many deer….

WMRA Daily 2/13/18

Feb 13, 2018

The company behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is suing a property owners association in Nelson County over land for the pipeline… a new law may save you money on your electric bill after all… and, former New Jersey governor and Trump supporter Chris Christie visits the Miller Center in Charlottesville….

WMRA Daily 2/12/18

Feb 12, 2018

Charlottesville residents learn how their local government works, and its limits… the state Supreme Court denies an elderly Staunton man’s appeal of his first-degree murder conviction… and, why are some rural residents stringing up coyote carcasses?

Women of Interest

Feb 11, 2018

On this week's Second Look, we revisit some of the Women of Interest we profiled last summer, including Harrisonburg’s mayor, a pioneering pastor in Charlottesville, a Valley midwife who means business, and an 82-year-old bookkeeper in Verona with more stamina than the Energizer Bunny.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jordy Yager has the latest on the Police Civilian Review Board about to be born in Charlottesville, after months of political wrangling.  He also heard reflections from Pete Souza on photographing President Barack Obama during his two terms in office.  Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports on the work being done by some local churches to provide cheese to local food banks, while helping struggling dairy farmers.  They call it the Cheese Ministry.  We also review the week in the General Assembly.

WMRA Daily 1/31/18

Jan 31, 2018

Poultry workers in Dayton protest Cargill’s labor practices… A coalition of conservation groups has gone to court to challenge federal regulators' decision to approve the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline … and, a bill to expand Medicaid advances in the General Assembly, but it contains work requirements that Democrats oppose….

WMRA Daily 1/30/18

Jan 30, 2018

The Tebow Bill goes down in defeat again in the General Assembly… Virginia Republicans say they’re willing to talk Medicaid expansion, but only with work requirements for recipients… and, President Obama’s photographer remembers his days on the job in a talk at UVa….

WMRA Daily 1/29/18

Jan 29, 2018

Two deputies will not be charged for shooting a man to death last year in Culpeper County… the Atlantic Coast Pipeline clears two more regulatory hurdles in West Virginia and North Carolina… and, Governor Northam continues to push the Trump administration to exempt Virginia from offshore drilling….

On this week's Second Look, officials say you may indeed be seeing more panhandlers in your area – a function of homelessness, hunger, social isolation, mental health and civil rights… and cities are limited in restricting their activity.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz has the story.  Also, Marguerite Gallorini visited Charlottesville’s sister city and its 17th century citadel in France over the holidays, and we’ll hear what she found.  We also survey a busy week in Virginia politics.

WMRA Daily 1/26/18

Jan 26, 2018

You could call it another version of “Kill Bill.”  It was a busy week for the General Assembly, as bills promoting gun control, Medicaid expansion, marijuana legalization, and driver’s licenses for the undocumented all died in committees… But we get away from it all with a tour of Charlottesville’s French sister city, and the citadel of Besançon….

WMRA Daily 1/25/18

Jan 25, 2018

One local hospital asks young children not to visit, as the health system deals with the worst flu season in years… In General Assembly news, lawmakers wrangle with making sure that future elections are not determined by the luck of the draw, and take steps toward expanding the use of medical marijuana….

WMRA Daily 1/24/18

Jan 24, 2018

Pipeline opponents launch a “citizens surveillance” group to monitor the Atlantic Coast Pipeline… In response to last year’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia’s attorney general proposes making “domestic terrorism” a state crime… and, state legislators debate giving driver’s licenses to undocumented residents….

Pages