WMRA News

On this week's edition of Second Look, #RefugeesinVirginia rolls on, as WMRA's Jordy Yager introduces us to the doctors doing very special work treating the unique medical needs of their refugee patients in Charlottesville, and Jordy also discovers a new program there that's training newcomers for work, with the promise of a job at the other end.... and WMRA's Jessie Knadler has the story of the big employer near Harrisonburg that hires lots of refugees, and even helps pay for them to learn English.  We also explore how the death of Antonin Scalia might affect former Governor Bob McDonnell's corruption appeal... and, we've also got this week's installment of Our Island Universe.

Jessie Knadler

Harrisonburg is a designated resettlement area, accepting up to 200 refugees each year.  Many of them find employment at one of the big poultry processing facilities in the area, an industry requiring a lot of manual labor and not a lot of English. WMRA's Jessie Knadler spoke to the head of the Perdue facility in Bridgewater to get a sense of the benefits and challenges of this workforce dynamic.

Jordy Yager

Many immigrant newcomers, including refugees, take hourly-paid jobs in the service industry here.  That includes people who in their home countries were restaurant managers, or doctors, or engineers.  In the next installment of our series on Refugees in Virginia, WMRA's Jordy Yager finds one new project in Charlottesville that helps train people for specific work, with the assurance of a job at the other end.

March 5th, in honor of National Listening Month, please join WMRA reporters Jordy Yager and Jessie Knadler, along with WMRA News Director Bob Leweke for a discussion of WMRA's special series Refugees in Virginia

Courtesy of Fern Hauck

Those who come here seeking asylum from violence in other countries, often suffer from years of poor -- or even nonexistent -- medical care.  In the next installment of our series on Refugees in Virginia, WMRA's Jordy Yager introduces us to one such patient, and the doctors at the University of Virginia who focus on the special needs of asylum-seekers.

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jordy Yager and Jessie Knadler continue our Refugees in Virginia series, with a focus on children.... Jessie also got a preview of this year's Mock Convention (Mock Con) at W&L (to see who they chose as this year's Republican nominee, click here).... and, Virginia Public Radio reports on a Republican proposal in the General Assembly to give a tax break to parents whose kids don't go to public school.

Jessie Knadler

Remember high school?  Even if those were great years for you, there were certainly times when you felt a little lost, or left out.  Imagine going to high school in another country, with another language, and another culture.  Oh, and you may also be carrying trauma from some horrific things you witnessed in your home country.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler has the story of a Harrisonburg High School program that pairs refugee students with others who have been there.

Courtesy of Mary Plank

Sometimes, one reason that refugees flee their home countries is to ensure the safety of their children, so that they may have a future. In the fourth installment of WMRA’s special series on refugees, Jordy Yager looks at the community of people in Charlottesville working towards that end.

Jessie Knadler

Every four years, students at Washington and Lee University in Lexington stage a Mock Convention – or “Mock Con” as it’s known – to predict who the party currently out of power in the White House will nominate to run for president of the United States. With Donald Trump expected to win today in New Hampshire, students are inching closer to a final prediction, to be announced at the Mock Convention this weekend. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler sat down with the leaders of Mock Con, as it’s called, to talk about this 108-year-old tradition, how students go about arriving at a prediction, and what it says about the GOP.

On this weekend's Second Look, we compile our first three installments in our series on Refugees in Virginia, by Jessie Knadler and Jordy Yager.... and, Christopher Clymer Kurtz talked to the woman with the first confirmed case of imported Zika in Virginia.

Jessie Knadler

Last month, the Senate voted on legislation that would have enforced even stricter background checks on refugees from Syria and Iraq. The bill failed by only five votes, but it underscored an increasingly common narrative in some parts of the media – that asylum seekers from Middle Eastern countries potentially pose a threat. What doesn’t get as much attention are all the people in the Shenandoah Valley and beyond who want to help refugees if and when they arrive.  In the third installment of our series, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores what it means to be a volunteer.

Mary Plank

In our second installment on refugees in Virginia, WMRA’s Jordy Yager takes a look inside a new non-profit group in Charlottesville that pairs Americans with refugee families in an effort to strengthen community by doing something revolutionary… being a good neighbor.

Jessie Knadler

The world migration crisis has brought more attention to the plight of refugees.  But global terrorism and other concerns have fueled a national debate over whether America’s promise of welcoming those fleeing violence and persecution can be maintained. In the first of a month-long series on refugees, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler looks at who is being resettled in the Shenandoah Valley, who’s helping them, and whether local communities are welcoming them.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In just a few weeks, Zika has gone from being a little known virus to a rather infamous one. The disease, new to the Western Hemisphere last year, is being closely watched internationally, and the World Health Organization has declared its spread a global public health emergency. Just last week, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first case of the Zika virus disease here in Virginia, in McGaheysville. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

We devote much of this week's Second Look to action in the General Assembly, where legislators debated concealed carry and cops in classrooms.  We also meet the Virginia Tech researcher who may be saving Flint, Michigan's water supply.... and we've got this week's episodes of The Spark and Our Island Universe, too!

  On this episode of Second Look, we focus on the Harrisonburg backyard fight club known on YouTube as "Streetbeefs," with a report from Christopher Clymer Kurtz, and an in-depth profile of the fight club's founder, Chris Wilmore with Martha Woodroof.... Also, a few of the "18 Stories of War" at EMU.... why Virginia's rules on bars may change.... and, Our Island Universe (hint: is there a bigger, badder new planet in our solar system?)

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

When you think of “war,” which war comes to your mind? How far removed are you from that war? How has war impacted your work? These are the questions asked of 18 people in a project currently on display at Eastern Mennonite University.  WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

On Thursday morning, Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency for Virginia, in anticipation of this weekend's expected winter storm.  Around 2 feet of snow may accumulate between Friday afternoon and Saturday night.

Courtesy Chris Wilmore

A new documentary called “Guns to Gloves” has been making the rounds on social media, and getting a lot of buzz in the Shenandoah Valley.  It was posted by the New York Times earlier this month.  In that video, we meet a man in Harrisonburg who is engaging in a unique, but perhaps time-honored – method of dispute resolution, staging fistfights in his backyard. And as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports, the organizers of these fights have had to get used to LOTS of attention.

On Wednesday, Jan. 13th, Gov. Terry McAuliffe delivered his State of the Commonwealth address to the General Assembly.  On this week's Second Look, we bring you highlights from that speech, plus the Republican response.

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