WMRA News

Sefe Emokpae

When it comes to risk of injury, football ranks as one of the most dangerous among mainstream sports. For the past several years, a pair of biomechanical engineers at the University of Virginia have been seeking the best and most innovative ways to prevent injuries through the design of safety equipment. WMRA’s Sefe Emokpae has this report.

We've got Jordy Yager's third installment of our series on Food Insecurity in Virginia, with a focus on hungry kids.... the unlikely path to behind-the-scenes fame taken by a pair of videographers, through music videos, in Charlottesville, with Emily Richardson-Lorente... an exploration of the cohousing movement, with Kara Lofton... and Virginia Public Radio reports on the debates over guns, and over the proposed natural gas pipeline, in Virginia.

On Saturday, Oct. 17, University of Virginia students will be hosting a fundraising event for Parkinson’s disease. Emily Richardson-Lorente has a preview.

Kara Lofton

Cohousing, or living in an intentional community while still retaining your own home, is a trend that has recently begun taking off in Virginia. WMRA’s Kara Lofton talked to one of the organizers of the Harrisonburg Cohousing initiative (which is still in the planning stages) and visited an active cohousing community in Blacksburg.

Jordy Yager

One of the most hidden faces of food insecurity is that of the hungry child. In the third part of our series on Food Insecurity, WMRA’s Jordy Yager looks at how Charlottesville City schools and several groups are attempting to help kids eat better, more regular meals, and to learn good eating habits.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

There’s a good chance you’ve never attended a concert at the Garage in Charlottesville, in part because it’s literally a one-car garage and easy to overlook. But now you can experience a bit of the Garage’s magic online, via a website that features its bands performing in iconic locations around town. The videos are eye-catching and creative, and the producers behind them may surprise you. Emily Richardson-Lorente has that story.

This week's show includes one story from the previous week (the October 4th show was knocked off the air by a technical glitch!) -- we include Jordy Yager's first two installments of our "Food Insecurity in Virginia" series....  and, two stories at the intersection of economics and the environment, one by Jessie Knadler on the fast-growing Sigora Solar of Waynesboro, and one by Kara Lofton on Harrisonburg's new "single-stream" trash and recycling collection program.

Kara Lofton

In August, Harrisonburg adopted a single stream collection program, which removes the need for residents to sort their own waste. WMRA’s Kara Lofton took a detailed look at the new program and reports.

Jordy Yager

Although the rates of hunger in the countryside are a little lower than those for urban residents, rural hunger presents its own unique problems.  The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank operates a series of Mobile Food Pantries throughout rural Virginia, providing food for thousands of people in hard-to-reach areas. In the second installment of our special series on food insecurity in Virginia, WMRA’s Jordy Yager visits two of these rural pantries and speaks with the people who run them, and the people they serve.

Jessie Knadler

As the solar movement gains traction in Virginia, one installation company, Sigora Solar out of Waynesboro, is experiencing particularly explosive growth – some 1,200% over three years. This has earned it a ranking as one of America’s fastest growing companies of 2015.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler heads to Waynesboro to find out more about the company that seeks to be more, way more, than your neighborhood solar installer.

WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente spends some time with young (she's only 19!) entrepreneur LeiLei Secor, making a big splash (and some big bucks) with her Etsy shop.... Jordy Yager serves up his first story for us, with the first in a series on food insecurity in Virginia.... plus, this week's episode of The Spark and Our Island Universe.

With heavy rains forecast for today and tonight, and potential flooding, and then more rain possible from Hurricane Joaquin this weekend, emergency management officials remind Virginia residents to prepare.

This year, for the 5th year in a row, star gazers are invited to attend the Central Virginia Star Party. Emily Richardson-Lorente has a preview.  UPDATE from the organizers:  "With the threat of flooding, we have decided that for everyone’s safety, we have to cancel tomorrow's Star Party. Although we will not be able to reschedule this event, we are actively brainstorming other ways to showcase our beautiful night skies."

Jordy Yager

The number of people who lack reliable access to food continues to rise in Virginia.  In the first report in a series this month, WMRA’s Jordy Yager talks with some of those affected by food insecurity and how several organizations are fighting to end it.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

With college back in session, many students are working part-time jobs on campus to help pay the bills. Waiting tables, running registers, maybe reshelving books at the university library. But one UVa student has followed a different path. WMRA’s Emily Richardson-Lorente went to meet her.

Emily Richardson-Lorente files her first story from Charlottesville, about the i.Lab at the Darden School of Business.... Also at UVa is a new experiment called the Compassionate Schools Project, and Kara Lofton checks that out.... And Jessie Knadler visits the outdoor classroom of Col. Grigg Mullen, Jr., who is bringing timber framing back, for the purpose of teaching his civil engineering students.

Jessie Knadler

Civil engineers build roads, bridges, canals; heavy-duty stuff. It’s what you’d expect to learn at a school with a strong engineering program, like at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. One civil engineering professor there has taken the construction process way back for his cadets – we’re talking thousands of years – by teaching them how to timber frame, in the process exposing them to a much wider world. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler has the story.

Courtesy of Meghann Clem

In partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky, The University of Virginia has launched the Compassionate Schools Project, a program they tout as “the most comprehensive study ever undertaken of a 21st century health and wellness curriculum.” WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Courtesy Harrisonburg International Festival

On Saturday, Sept. 26th, Harrisonburg will celebrate its 18th annual International Festival at Hillandale Park. But for the third year, another event, called the Harrisonburg International CommUNITY Celebration, will surround the festival and combine food, music, film and children’s activities in a two-week-long celebration of Harrisonburg’s vibrant and diverse culture. WMRA’s Kara Lofton reports.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

Start-ups are a big deal these days – notable successes include Uber, AirBnB and Snapchat – and business communities, and even universities, want to get in on the action. The Virginia Business Incubation Association from the University of Mary Washington lists 39 incubators throughout Virginia, and one of those is at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. It’s called the i.LAB. WMRA’s Emily Richardson-Lorente spent some time there.

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