WMRA News

Kara Lofton

Less than a week after the shootings at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe announced plans to remove the Confederate flag emblem from Virginia vanity license plates. The announcement was met with an outcry from some, and applause from other Virginians. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports on differing views of the flag.

This Saturday, for the first time, the Shenandoah Valley Pride Festival will be held in downtown Harrisonburg. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Jessie Knadler

The Buena Vista Police Department has a brand new $46,000 drug dog. That may seem like a lot of money for a single animal, particularly for a town undergoing serious financial strain. WMRA's Jessie Knadler went to Buena Vista to meet the newest member of the force.

In response to two deaths in the United States from over-hydration last summer, new guidelines were developed for water consumption during athletic activities. WMRA’s Kara Lofton talked to the UVa physician who chaired the team of 16 international experts who produced the final recommendation.

The Virginia Quilt Museum in Harrisonburg is now in its 20th year.  Some of the quilts in its collection are centuries old.  Preparations are in full swing for the museum’s first-of-its-kind seminar called “Civil War Quilts,” on July 24th and 25th.  WMRA’s Scott Lowe recently took a tour and met the museum’s new executive director.

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.

Jessie Knadler

You might not be able to pinpoint any identifying details of the Eastern Hemlock.  But you’ve definitely seen them because they’re all over the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains, and they range into the deep South, way up into eastern Canada, and as far west as Wisconsin. And chances are if you’ve seen one recently, it’s dead. Or in the process of dying.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler has the story.

Kara Lofton

The first Harrisonburg food truck registered in 2006. Now, nine years later, 22 food trucks - ranging in product from grilled cheese to Mexican to lobster rolls to barbecue - operate in the city. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

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.

Kara Lofton

Wednesday night, July 8th, Valley artists and creative thinkers gathered in James Madison University’s makerspace to discuss how to attract and keep creative people in the Valley.  WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

NASA image

Nearly ten years ago, NASA launched the New Horizons Mission to Pluto. And next Tuesday, July 14th, the spacecraft will reach its closest approach to the dwarf planet before passing by and continuing on to other icy formations far beyond what we have explored before. WMRA’s Kara Lofton talked with two University of Virginia scientists involved with the mission.

Kara Lofton

In the last segment of our series called "Clean Virginia," WMRA’s Kara Lofton looked at the impact the Clean Air Act has had on Virginia’s waterways. This week, she takes a second look at the law and discusses the impact the act has had on the air itself.

Courtesy of Martin Perna

Music festivals are a staple of summertime entertainment across America. One of those festivals nearby, not far from Winchester, is the All Good Festival, happening this weekend. WMRA's Amy Loeffler reports on what sets it apart from other music festivals.

Earlier this week, The Environmental Protection Agency and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation celebrated a federal appeals court decision to uphold the legality of the CBF’s multistate cleanup effort. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports on the ruling’s effect on Virginia.

Courtesy the Steel Wheels

In 2012, the Steel Wheels, a Harrisonburg-based Americana band, founded the popular Red Wing Roots Festival. This year’s event at Natural Chimneys Park in Augusta County will start on Friday, July 10th. WMRA’s Kara Lofton talked to Trent Wagler, the band’s lead singer, banjo player and guitarist about the three-year-old festival.

Welcome WMRA's Amy Loeffler to the newsroom.  She posted a story about what could be the hot new thing for gastronomes in Virginia agriculture:  Truffles.... Kara Lofton posted the next installment of our "Clean Virginia" series.... and, because it's Independence Day weekend, we dip into the archives from the "Becoming American" series.  And, in this week's Spark segment, Martha Woodroof talks with former Bridgewater -- and soon-to-be Sweet Briar – College president Philip Stone.

Kara Lofton

In 1979, researchers at the University of Virginia launched the Shenandoah Watershed Study. Among other things, the study tracked the impact of the Clean Air Act on watersheds -- and wildlife such as trout -- across much of western and central Virginia. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Virginia Truffles

Jun 30, 2015
Amy Loeffler

For thousands of years Black Perigord truffles have been the purview of European cuisine, specifically of France and Spain. But a perfect storm of enthusiasm, demand, and production could soon make Virginia a source for truffle production.  WMRA’s Amy Loeffler has the story.

This week, WMRA's Kara Lofton posted the next in our "Clean Virginia" series, with a look at the legacy of Mercury contamination in the Shenandoah Valley.... and she also looked at the death and resurrection (at least for now) of a small, private college -- Sweet Briar.  Bob Leweke also had a conversation with Nancy Insco, an advocate and case-worker for women getting out of prison, and the News Leader's Patricia Borns, about the conversation that newspaper hosted, called "Roadmap to Re-Entry," in Staunton earlier in the week.

Courtesy of Dave Fritz, executive editor of the News Leader

On Wednesday evening, June 24, the News Leader in Staunton fostered a community conversation at Staunton’s city hall.  The gathering was called “Roadmap to Re-entry,” and was a follow-up to the paper’s reporting in March on the struggles that many incarcerated women face when they’re released from prison.  Bob Leweke spoke with the News Leader’s Patricia Borns, and with Nancy Insco, CEO of the Institute for Reform and Solutions in Staunton, an agency that works with these women.  I asked Insco about her takeaway from this first session.

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