Martha Woodroof

The Spark Host


5:17 pm
Tue February 8, 2011

Western State Hospital

Staunton – The Tucson shootings highlighted the need to improve mental health services nationwide.

Western State Hospital has long been Virginia's "last resort" for the severely mentally ill, but thanks to new drug therapies and recovery-focused treatment plans, today's hospital bears little resemblance to the place once known as Western Lunatic Asylum.

Martha Woodroof offers this update.

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2:35 pm
Fri May 28, 2010

VMRC 26th District Candidate Forum

Harrisonburg, VA – Martha Woodroof moderated the 26th District Candidate Forum at VMRC Friday, May 28th.

Democrat Kai Degner and Independent Carolyn Frank were in attendance, Republican Tony Wilt did not attend.

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One Person's Voice
4:37 pm
Wed November 4, 2009

Robert Brandon Smith III

Charlottesville – Democrats all over the country felt the heat in in the recent local and state elections.

In Central Virginia, Democratic incumbent David Toscano faced a challenge from Independent Party candidate Robert Brandon Smith the Third. One of the most remarkable things about Smith's candidacy was the fact that he is homeless.

Smith ultimately lost his bid for the 57th district seat but he did garner 21% of the vote.

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One Person's Voice
8:25 am
Thu October 1, 2009

Jessica Penner

Harrisonburg, VA – In this installment of WMRA's One Person's Voice, you'll meet Jessica Penner, a young woman who was born with a disease that causes bony growths on one side of her body.

In 2003, Jessica's doctors discovered that complications had developed with a previously-treated brain tumor.

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One Person's Voice
3:02 pm
Fri September 11, 2009

Soula Pefkaros

Harrisonburg, VA – Ms. Pefkaros grew up in Miami, graduated from Boston College, then stayed on in Boston as part of a community running a soup kitchen. After her work at the soup kitchen, she spent a year working in Latin America.

Ms. Pefkaros will soon graduate from Eastern Mennonite University with a master's degree in conflict transformation.

Soula Pefkaros is a photographer, and her show on eco-farming hangs in the downstairs gallery of Harrisonburg's Clementine Cafe.

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One Person's Voice
6:07 pm
Wed July 8, 2009

Jawan Shir

Harrisonburg, VA – Twenty-four-year old Jawan Shir is a citizen of Afghanistan.

He has lived through the Soviet occupation of his country and has been jailed by the Taliban.

Jawan is now in this country on a Fulbright scholarship, studying at James Madison University and WMRA's Martha Woodroof recently sat down with him to hear his story.


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One Person's Voice
10:36 am
Thu June 11, 2009

Charles Johnston Churchman, Jr.

Bridgewater – At the suggestion of WMRA listener Lorie Merrow, reporter Martha Woodroof spent time with Charles Johnston Churchman, Jr. who's an active member of the group Veterans for Peace.

Mr. Churchman was born in 1929, raised on the family farm near Staunton, has a masters in English from the University of Virginia, and served in the Korean War.

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One Person's Voice
6:23 am
Wed June 3, 2009

Dorothy Rosen

Augusta County, VA – Dorothy Rosen's family has been farming the Shenandoah Valley since the Valley was the frontier.

Although Ms. Rosen has 2 older brothers, when her mother died in 1970, she left the family's Augusta County house and land to Dorothy.

Since then, Ms. Rosen has run a prize winning cattle operation on her own... along with raising 2 children.

WMRA listener Laura Thurman worked with Dorothy Rosen on land conservation easements, to ensure her farm will remain a farm.

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One Person's Voice
5:28 pm
Tue May 12, 2009

Tommie Branch

Harrsonburg, VA – Tommie Branch grew up in Franklin County, one of seven children who slept in one bed.

An African American, he lived through grinding poverty and blatant racism that he now writes songs about.


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One Person's Voice
3:59 pm
Tue April 28, 2009

Inman Majors

Harrisonburg, VA – Novelist Inman Majors teaches creative writing at JMU.

Major's is a Tennessean by birth. His uncle was legendary University of Tennessee football coach Johnny Mayors, and his father had a forty year career as a lobbyist in Nashville.

Inman Major's grew up in Knoxville, and his third novel, The Millionaires, is steeped in the changing South of his childhood. The book is a sprawling story of family and greed.

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