WMRA News

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In a world of polarized religion and politics, forming authentic relationships across faith boundaries can be a challenge. Yesterday we heard about local religious groups supporting each other at an institutional level; today, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz looks at one Harrisonburg family’s personal embrace of two faith traditions.

For millennia, people have used religion to divide, as well as unite. Current national rhetoric and hateful discourse stemming from fears of terrorism has often equated Islam, the religion of a quarter of the world’s population, with a slippery enemy. But this negativity is far from universal. In this first of a two-part series about local interfaith relationships, WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports that over the years many people and churches in Harrisonburg have reached out to show support for minority religious communities.

On this edition of Second Look, WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente takes us on a comprehensive tour of Sweet Briar College one year after it almost closed.... WMRA's Dan Easley talks with JMU professor Paul Bogard about his latest efforts to raise awareness of the effects of light pollution.... and we have reports from Virginia Public Radio on a guest worker victory in a Charlottesville court, a Virginia Tech survey of health care attitudes, and the prospects for a raise in Virginia's minimum wage.  And, on Our Island Universe.... what's "eating" Pluto?

The John C. Wells Planetarium at JMU is holding a week-long series of events designed to raise awareness of light pollution and of the steps we can take to end it.  WMRA's Dan Easley spoke with one of the event's founders, Dr. Paul Bogard, who has also written a book on the subject.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

This month marks the one year anniversary of Sweet Briar College’s near-shut down.  In the first part of this report, we heard from students and faculty who are just happy to be back at work on the college’s Amherst campus. Today, we return to take a closer look at how Sweet Briar is adapting to ensure its single-sex survival in a coed kind of world. WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

One year ago, Sweet Briar College shocked its students, faculty and alumnae by announcing that the 114 year old school would be closing — and quick — due to financial difficulties. But after a massive social media campaign and a successful lawsuit, the college is still kicking one year later. WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente visited the campus in Amherst.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler hears from Staunton residents who braved snow on the last day of winter to help create a sort of city scrapbook.... she also attended an anti-KKK rally in Lexington... and explained the science behind marijuana's medicinal "Entourage Effect."  We also have a look at the effort of some Charlottesville officials to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee from a city park, and we'll sift through the archives for Bob Leweke's interview with Paula Poundstone.

$240,869.72... the most ambitious on-air fundraising goal ever attempted on WMRA, and you made it happen!

With more than 80% of our spring goal raised with our More News, Less Noise approach, we then finished with 3 days and 8 hours of traditional fundraising. Your generosity also eliminates the June drive and we will now spend the next six months fundraiser-free on WMRA.

Jessie Knadler

One component of marijuana has been gaining a lot of attention lately as a healing agent, treating everything from epilepsy to PTSD to arthritis. A law just passed in Virginia allows this component, known as cannabidiol, or CBD, oil, for the treatment of epilepsy. But medical marijuana proponents say that CBD on its own is actually not that effective as a healing agent. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores what really is doing the healing and why it’s so politically noxious.

Jessie Knadler

Numerous Ku Klux Klan leaflets were found on people’s lawns in a neighborhood in Lexington over the weekend of March 13th.   On Monday, March 21, Lexington residents turned out for an anti-KKK peace rally, and WMRA’s Jessie Knadler was there.

It's the final giveaway of the WMRA Spring Fundraiser and when we reach our $240,869.72 goal, we're giving away a $1,000 gift certificate to Shenandoah Bicycle Company in Harrisonburg.

Jessie Knadler

How do you capture a town’s “It” factor at any given moment in time? Planners in Staunton came up with a clever idea. Think, Antiques Roadshow dosed with ample civic pride.  Staunton residents braved the cold and snow on the last day of winter and offered all sorts of interesting, quirky, momentous Staunton memorabilia — providing a sort of “scrapbook of the community.” WMRA’s Jessie Knadler was there.

On this week's edition of Second Look, WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente takes us to one classroom in Albemarle County where students are enjoying a unique educational version of the popular videogame Minecraft.... In Virginia news, we look at two studies -- one looking at how pipelines might affect property values, and another at trends on college campuses.... and, we meet two photographers documenting a very diverse part of Virginia.  Plus, Our Island Universe and The Spark!

Emily Richardson-Lorente

If you’ve got middle schoolers, chances are you’ve heard of Minecraft. It’s a video game with blocky graphics, a single level and no story line. But it’s also an obsession for millions of kids — and many adults — who will happily spend hours digging for resources, building houses and fighting off monsters. If that sounds to you like just another on-screen waste of time, WMRA’s Emily Richardson-Lorente has some good news for you.

This week, thousands of people will come to Charlottesville for the 22nd annual Virginia Festival of the Book. As WMRA’s Sefe Emokpae reports, this year’s event is expected to be the biggest yet.

Staunton Stories

Mar 14, 2016
Wikipedia Commons

Saturday, March 19, the Staunton Downtown Development Authority is kicking off their 20th anniversary by hosting Staunton Stories, a one day event to celebrate and document life in Staunton. 

On this weekend's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler talks to those who still feel left out of Virginia's slowly changing laws restricting the use of marijuana extracts for medicine.... We talk to Virginia lawmakers about the prospects of a Trump nomination.... And we turn the pages of a book that explores the punishment of a black woman a century ago.... We've also got The Spark and Our Island Universe!

Stephen Voss for NPR

Join WMRA for an afternoon with NPR All Things Considered co-host Ari Shapiro.  

News Director Bob Leweke will be interviewing Ari Shapiro, live on stage, Saturday, April 9th at UVa's Ruth Caplin Theater. The conversation begins at 1pm and is free and open to the public.

Last year, Virginia allowed patients with epilepsy to possess certain medical marijuana oils. Earlier this week, the General Assembly voted to allow these oils to be manufactured and distributed in state so epileptic patients – but only epileptic patients – can get them without crossing state lines. But the laws still leave patients suffering from other diseases feeling marginalized. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores what some are calling “medical discrimination."

There's one more Amazon Echo to giveaway and it will happen as soon as we reach $190,000.

Pages