WMRA News

During the month of June, this WMRA series will explore the state of Virginia's unique environment, specifically its water, air and soil.  How does agriculture affect our drinkable water, and the health of the Chesapeake Bay watershed?  How well are we doing cleaning up industrial pollutants such as mercury?  Are decades-old problems, such as acid rain and runoff from coal-fueled power plants, getting solved?  How clean is the air we breathe?

Kara Lofton

Agriculture is one of the leading causes of pollution in Virginia’s waterways.  WMRA’s Kara Lofton has the first in this occasional series on “Clean Virginia,” which will focus on pollution in our water, air and soil, and efforts over decades to clean it up.

[Sound of walking through grass]

On Bobby Whitescarver’s farm in Swoope, cattle graze contentedly on lush pastures beside lazy streams. The whole atmosphere is almost poetic. But it didn’t used to be that way.

We meet a few of the growing number of male nurses, and find out why they make more money than female nurses, in a report by Kara Lofton....  Luanne Austin takes us to a truck stop medical clinic in Raphine, run by the "Country Doctor of the Year".... and Rebekah Greenfield unpacks the "Suitcase Clinic," which provides mobile health care for the homeless in Harrisonburg.  And, we learn how to photograph the night sky in this week's installment of The Spark.

This week in the WMRA region:  WMRA's Kara Lofton attended a forum, part of a series, to discuss mental health and substance issues in Harrisonburg.... Bob Leweke spoke with News Leader reporter Laura Peters, who broke the story of hundreds of voicemails to a Child Protective Services office in Augusta County being deleted last year.... The Natural Bridge Zoo was shut down in March for multiple infractions, and Jessie Knadler took a look.... and Scott Lowe rode Interstate 81 with a member of Virginia's Safety Service Patrol.

Alex Manness (Great Southeastern Imagining)

On Saturday, May 23, Harrisonburg will be one of 16 municipalities nation-wide to host a regional “Imaginings” event sponsored by the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Scott Lowe

You may be planning to hit the highway for this Memorial Day weekend.

Jessie Knadler

In the second half of our series about the closing of the Natural Bridge Zoo, we explore what sometimes happens to all the animals once a zoo loses its license, and we take a look at the exotic animal trade.

Kara Lofton

Earlier this week, members of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Way Coalition, NAACP, and interested community partners gathered in a downtown Harrisonburg municipal building to discuss social problems involving substance abuse and mental health. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Monday’s forum, called Broken Systems, Broken People, was the third such event and was cosponsored with the local NAACP.

The Child Protective Services office that serves Augusta County, including Staunton and Waynesboro, is under scrutiny in recent days for deleting hundreds of voicemails in its system.  (Note: this story has been updated with a statement from the Shenandoah Valley Social Services office in Verona, released after this interview aired on WMRA.  See below.)

Jessie Knadler

Karl Mogensen, 76, has owned and operated the Natural Bridge Zoo for 42 years. But as of early March – the month he typically opens for the season -- the Zoo lost its license to exhibit wild animals.

WMRA's Kara Lofton reports on a youth-oriented community farm in Augusta County...

Jessie Knadler

School is almost out at Rockbridge County High School. But one innovative math teacher gave his students a lesson in geometry that pays homage to the area’s rural heritage.

Kara Lofton

What should be protected speech?  What is hate speech?

Luanne Austin, courtesy of the Black Heritage Project

Many of us may consider Black History only during the month of February.

Courtesy Office of the Attorney General

A new legal opinion from Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says local governments can restrict and even prohibit fracking through their zoning laws.

Project Grows in Augusta County is a youth-oriented community farm.

WMRA's Andrew Jenner tagged along during the 20th Citizen Police Academy in Harrisonburg....

Sefe Emokpae

The Virginia Arts of The Book Center is asking for help for a special project that’s more than a decade in the making.

Scott Lowe

The Arts Council of the Valley oversees much of the effort to foster the arts in the Harrisonburg area.

Kara Lofton

As you probably already know, Sunday is Mother’s Day.

Pages