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, 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.  You can follow him on Twitter @WMRAnews.

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.

We've got Jordy Yager's third installment of our series on Food Insecurity in Virginia, with a focus on hungry kids.... the unlikely path to behind-the-scenes fame taken by a pair of videographers, through music videos, in Charlottesville, with Emily Richardson-Lorente... an exploration of the cohousing movement, with Kara Lofton... and Virginia Public Radio reports on the debates over guns, and over the proposed natural gas pipeline, in Virginia.

This week's show includes one story from the previous week (the October 4th show was knocked off the air by a technical glitch!) -- we include Jordy Yager's first two installments of our "Food Insecurity in Virginia" series....  and, two stories at the intersection of economics and the environment, one by Jessie Knadler on the fast-growing Sigora Solar of Waynesboro, and one by Kara Lofton on Harrisonburg's new "single-stream" trash and recycling collection program.

WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente spends some time with young (she's only 19!) entrepreneur LeiLei Secor, making a big splash (and some big bucks) with her Etsy shop.... Jordy Yager serves up his first story for us, with the first in a series on food insecurity in Virginia.... plus, this week's episode of The Spark and Our Island Universe.

With heavy rains forecast for today and tonight, and potential flooding, and then more rain possible from Hurricane Joaquin this weekend, emergency management officials remind Virginia residents to prepare.

Emily Richardson-Lorente files her first story from Charlottesville, about the i.Lab at the Darden School of Business.... Also at UVa is a new experiment called the Compassionate Schools Project, and Kara Lofton checks that out.... And Jessie Knadler visits the outdoor classroom of Col. Grigg Mullen, Jr., who is bringing timber framing back, for the purpose of teaching his civil engineering students.

This week, Jessie Knadler got an update on solar power co-ops in the Shenandoah Valley, growing fast.... Brit Moorer filed her first report for WMRA with a visit to classrooms in Albermarle County Schools where the Maker Curriculum is building knowledge from creativity.... and Kara Lofton attended the most recent active shooter drill at UVa's Medical Center.

It's a special edition of the show, devoted to the complete version of "Schrödinger's Cougar," as Andrew Jenner and Brent Finnegan explore the science, and the myth, of the Eastern mountain lion in Virginia.

WMRA's Kara Lofton filed three stories this week with datelines from Charlottesville, to Richmond, to Harrisonburg.  First, she talked to the project team at the Center for Open Science about their big Reproducibility Study....  She also sat in on a meditation and yoga class for the inmates at the Goochland Women's Correctional Facility.... And she attended the early morning vigil for journalist Alison Parker.....

Jessie Knadler explores the new horizon of stem cell therapy for the family pet... Kara Lofton checks in with two Methodist pastors suspended for officiating the weddings of two same-sex couples... and we've got this week's episodes of The Spark and Our Island Universe.

Another story that hit close to home for many of us was the murder of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, reporters for WDBJ TV, on August 26, while they were doing their jobs.  There are links through the WDBJ website to memorial funds in their honor.  To find out more, click here.

Sefe Emokpae tells us what the Music Resource Center in Charlottesville has been up to during its 20 years, and Emily Richardson-Lorente takes a seat in the audience at the Garage, a different kind of music venue there.... Also, Kara Lofton filed two stories, one of which went viral big time: first, her account of "The Pause," a relatively new practice among trauma and emergency medical workers after the death of a patient, and then a look at local "Nones," particularly millennials, who are increasingly checking the "None" box for religious affiliation.... We also step into the Wayback Machine to Day 1 of the WMRA Newsroom, for Andrew Jenner's first WMRA story, one year ago.

Sefe Emokpae takes us to a winery near Charlottesville that's trying hard to stand out in Virginia's wine country... Kara Lofton concludes our "Clean Virginia" series with a look towards the sun... and because there may be a mountain lion roaming around Milwaukee, what better excuse to revisit "Schrodinger's Cougar"?  Also, this week's Spark.

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.

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