WMRA News

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.

Kara Lofton

When Sweet Briar, a small women’s college in central Virginia, abruptly announced it was closing in March, students and alumnae fought back against the decision. Last week, the alumnae association formed to save the school (aptly called “Save Sweet Briar”) won the battle to keep the school open, at least temporarily, and now they'll have an assist from a former Bridgewater College president. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

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.

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