WMRA News

More than 1 out of every 4 residents in Harrisonburg and Charlottesville live in poverty. Saturday, May 23, a non-profit is offering those who don't live in poverty, a chance to experience the struggles their poorer neighbors go through on a daily basis.

Sefe Emokpae

It was standing room only at a recent city council meeting in Charlottesville where the debate over whether or not to remove the Robert E. Lees statue in Lee Park continued. WMRA's Sefe Emokpae went to the meeting and spoke to leaders on both sides of the controversial issue. 

Please bear with us as we replace the WEMC transmitter. 

WEMC 91.7 FM is off the air at the moment as our engineers are installing a new transmitter and will hopefully be broadcasting again soon. If all goes well, we will be back on the airwaves before the day is over.

In the meantime, please listen online to our stream.

WEMC Stream

On this episode of Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler examines the effect of Virginia's topsy-turvy spring weather on local vineyards, and whether climate change might be a factor.... Jordy Yager has a follow-up to our Refugees in Virginia series, with a look at one Burmese family literally making a new home for themselves in Charlottesville, with some help from Habitat for Humanity....  plus Christopher Clymer Kurtz's report on why Saturday, April 23 is going to be mediation pioneer Larry Hoover’s Day in Harrisonburg.... We've also got the week's statewide news... and Our Island Universe!

Jordy Yager

For the hundreds of refugees who resettle in Virginia, home is a place they’ve left behind. For an update on our series on refugees, WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this story about what it takes to build a new home, here in America.

This year in Harrisonburg, April 23 will have a new name: Larry Hoover Day. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

If you like food, or beer, or wine, or live music, arts and crafts vendors, or supporting a local charity just by having a fun time in a beautiful place on a warm, sunny day… then Saturday, April 16th is going to be right down your alley. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz has the story.

Jessie Knadler

Is climate change affecting Virginia's vineyards, or is it just crazy Spring weather? The balmy February and March encouraged plants to bud early, only to be damaged or killed by the bitterly cold temperatures of last week. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler talks to two winemakers in Rockbridge County about techniques and strategies they employ to keep up with shifting weather patterns.

On this episode of Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz explores interfaith relationships, both at the level of church, mosque and synagogue, and within one interfaith family.... We look at Virginia's latest jobs numbers (they're good).... and we've also got the latest installments of The Spark and Our Island Universe.

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.

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