WMRA News

Kara Lofton

A fish consumption advisory has been in effect for more than three decades on the South River and the South Fork of the Shenandoah River from Waynesboro to Front Royal.  In the next installment of WMRA’s series called “Clean Virginia,” Kara Lofton takes a look at why the advisory is still in place and what is being done to remedy the long-standing contamination.

Great American Campout

Jun 24, 2015

On Saturday, Virginia State Parks, in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation, will host the Great American Campout, which includes special events, workshops and activities for the whole family. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on whether people in nearly three-dozen states, including Virginia, who rely on the federal health insurance marketplace, can continue to receive subsidies from the federal government.  The case, known as King versus Burwell, is one of the most serious challenges to the Affordable Care Act.  WMRA’s Kara Lofton takes a look at what might happen in Virginia if the justices rule that the subsidies are illegal.

This week we took a deep look at a struggling wind power project proposed for the shores off Virginia, and Kara Lofton took the measure of honeybee health in Virginia, plus a "moon art" project involving a JMU art professor, and a teenager doing her part to find homes for stray dogs.

Jazz in June

Jun 19, 2015

Friday, June 19, is the annual Jazz in June fundraiser benefiting the Harrisonburg Explore More Discovery Museum. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

Honeybees are a vital component of the production of many crops, ranging from okra, to kiwis, to cotton.  But across America the bees are disappearing in a phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder.  As part of our series on Virginia’s environment, WMRA’s Kara Lofton takes a look at the factors affecting bee health, how bees are doing in Virginia and what’s being done to save them.

Kara Lofton

In the United States, 56% of dogs who enter animal shelters are euthanized, according to the American Humane Society. But one Rockingham County teen is fighting that statistic, one dog at a time. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

Almost all of the equipment humans send to space eventually becomes inoperable and is left in space as “junk.” But what if some of that material could be redeemed – or at least remain as an indefinite testament to human beauty and culture -- not trash? WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports on an art project headed for the moon, and the role of one JMU sculptor.

WMRA's Kara Lofton brought us the stories of: new 3-D human tissue bioprinters at UVa; the legacy of coal-fired power on Virginia's water health; aerial yoga in Charlottesville; and a new park plan in Harrisonburg.  And Andrew Jenner told the story of one couple resisting Dominion surveyors in Nelson County, and Andrew and Brent Finnegan have teamed up for a deep look into reality itself -- and whether there really could be wild mountain lions in Virginia.

Courtesy of Nancy Kassam-Adams

One of the selling points for backers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is its job-creation potential – and there’s one group already reaping the benefits: lawyers. Pipeline builder Dominion recently filed more than two dozen lawsuits against landowners who don’t even want the company on their property to survey, and dozens more are to come. WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports.

On Saturday, Common Grounds Healing Arts in Charlottesville will host its third annual sit-a-thon at the Jefferson School City Center in Charlottesville. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

With rare exceptions, we are all dependent on power plants to generate electricity for all facets of American life -- plants owned and operated by large companies such as Duke Energy Corporation and Dominion Virginia Power. But what effect does that dependency have on the world around us?  And what is being done to prevent contamination of the resources we need to survive? In Part 3 of our series "Clean Virginia," WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Courtesy of the Plan Our Park Committee

Harrisonburg City Council Tuesday evening voted to accept the Plan Our Park Conceptual Master Plan, allowing the next steps for the downtown park project to move forward. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

When most people think of yoga, they think of yogis on sticky mats practicing poses while grounded firmly on the studio floor. What they don’t think of is a type of yoga that has traded mats for AntiGravity hammocks, in which students spend most of the class suspended several inches from the floor. But that is exactly what one will find in Charlottesville’s new aerial fitness studio called DreamFlight Virginia. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Kara Lofton

Three weeks ago, the University of Virginia acquired two state-of-the-art 3-D bioprinters from Switzerland. The printers will eventually print tissues that could be used to treat patients with conditions as diverse as burns to diabetes to organ failure. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Agriculture is one of the leading causes of pollution in Virginia’s waterways.  WMRA’s Kara Lofton has the first in our occasional series on “Clean Virginia,” with a tour of one farm aiming to protect the water that runs through it....  Jessie Knadler gets us up to date on the Natural Bridge Zoo, now reopened for business.... Kara also took us to the roller derby to meet Charlottesville's Derby Dames.... and we've got this week's installment of The Spark.

Kara Lofton

For some, the words “roller derby” bring to mind the 2009 movie “Whip It” starring Ellen Page. Those a little more familiar with the sport might think of women in dramatic makeup and crazy clothing crashing into each other on a flat race track. But for the women of Charlottesville’s Derby Dames, the words “roller derby” are much more synonymous with strength, confidence, competition, fun and above all, camaraderie. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

The embattled Natural Bridge Zoo, which was shut down by the State Game Commission back in March, is once again open for business. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler has the story.

It’s been a long three months for Karl and Debbie Mogensen, owners of the Natural Bridge Zoo. In March, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries suspended the zoo’s license to exhibit wild animals. The state agency used a USDA inspection report from January to conclude that, “many of the animals are confined under unsanitary and inhumane conditions.”

Saturday is the 27th annual Clean the Bay day sponsored by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Climate Change Films

Jun 2, 2015

For the first two Tuesdays in June, the Climate Action Alliance of the Valley is partnering with other local organizations to screen two environmental films: Merchants of Doubt and Wisdom to Survive. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

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