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May 25, 2015

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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.