WMRA News

WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz introduces us to next year's recipient of a custom-designed bike from James Madison University engineering and kinesiology programs, and to the professor who received the first bike and got the whole program started.... Plus, Virginia Public Radio's Sandy Hausman reports on the group that is helping to preserve land in nine counties in Virginia, on the college presidents getting paid the most, and on Gov. Terry McAulliffe's proposal to cut corporate tax rates in Virginia. We've also got this week's Spark segment, and Our Island Universe .

Thank You!

Dec 12, 2015

With just 5 days of our non-invasive More News, Less Noise December fundraiser, we made the $85,000 goal. Your generosity and support helped us meet that goal well ahead of our Tuesday, December 15 deadline. Thank you!

Photo courtesy of Rylie Power

For some, a bicycle means an affordable and environmentally friendly way to commute. For others, it’s the excitement of speedy descents down rugged mountain trails. But for one JMU professor, being able to ride a bicycle meant he could be an athlete -- and now, for one Harrisonburg teen, it’s a promise of independence. WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

WMRA reported this week on the "Postcard" from Harrisonburg to the Paris climate summit and on the new Artisans Trail (with Christopher Clymer Kurtz), and on Martin O'Malley's visit to Charlottesville (Jordy Yager)... we also have Virginia Public Radio reports on a new film that state officials hope will raise awareness of Virginia's growing heroin problem, and on one local delegate who already says he's running for Attorney General in 2017. Add Bob Leweke's interview with Paula Poundstone, and Our Island Universe , and you've got this week's Second Look !

Jordy Yager

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley paid a visit to the University of Virginia on Tuesday evening to try and drum up support for his presidential bid. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this report.

You probably know comedienne and writer Paula Poundstone best from laughing along with her on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me here on WMRA. But she’s making a pretty serious argument these days against the mobile devices – the smartphones, tablets and computers – that most of us can’t seem to do without, and she argues these devices are actually damaging our childrens’ brains. That’s where Bob Leweke's conversation with her started.

Courtesy Artisans Center of Virginia

Harrisonburg and Rockingham County artisans literally are being put on the map with a new guided network for tourists, and curious locals. It’s called the Artisan Trail, and WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz has the story.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz

Today marks the beginning of a meeting in Paris of world governments to try to strike a global agreement on climate. While heightened security in Paris has led to the cancellation of the Global Climate March planned there, global climate movement organization 350.org says that throughout the world other Global Climate Marches are taking place, including in Harrisonburg. WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

WMRA and WEMC Holiday Specials for 2015

During this Thanksgiving holiday, we take a look at the people who have trouble providing reliable food for themselves and their families, with WMRA's Jordy Yager's extensive look at Food Insecurity in Virginia.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

As you sit down to your Thanksgiving meal this week, you probably won’t want to think about how that golden turkey got to your table, or what kind of life it lived. But there’s a farm here in Virginia raising a breed of turkeys whose lives actually seem pretty idyllic. And for that, they (we?) give thanks. Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story.

Thousands of tourists visit Natural Bridge each year – it’s where Rockbridge County got its name. But the Park is in financial trouble after being purchased by a Roanoke-based healthcare executive last year. WMRA‘s Jessie Knadler heads out to Natural Bridge to learn more about what happens when a man with good intentions throws himself into an industry he knows little about.

We have an extended report by Kara Lofton on the UVa-Guatemala Initiative, an effort by a group of doctors in Charlottesville to provide aid to Guatemala's overcrowded, underfunded health care system.... Jordy Yager gets Eric Cantor's thoughts on politics, tolerance and Congress.... Brit Moorer gets a demonstration of the "MadiDrop," a tablet its inventors hope will help purify water in the world's poorest places.... and Emily Richardson-Lorente introduces us to the teachers who are working to get girls excited about STEM.

Emily Richardson-Lorente

Despite the fact that jobs in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields pay better than average (33%) and have lower unemployment rates, women are significantly underrepresented in those fields. There’s a variety of theories about how to solve this disparity, but one Charlottesville teacher thinks that getting girls interested in “STEM” subjects early on can be a big help. WMRA’s Emily Richardson-Lorente has the story.

Brit Moorer

Research at the University of Virginia has evolved into much more than just numbers and data. The MadiDrop, a new disinfecting water tablet, has the potential to help millions of people in developing countries. WMRA’S Brit Moorer explains how it came about and how researchers plan to use just one small tablet to change the world’s water crisis.

Kara Lofton

In the second of two reports, WMRA’s Kara Lofton takes a detailed look at the current Guatemalan healthcare crisis and the attempt of one UVA physician to provide some relief.

Kara Lofton

For medical professionals in the U.S. today, Spanish-language proficiency and cultural sensitivity are invaluable. WMRA’s Kara Lofton looks at one University of Virginia program that’s attempting to teach these skills through a partnership program in Guatemala.

Jordy Yager

Eric Cantor was in Charlottesville on Friday, speaking to students at UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. The former House Majority Leader weighed in on the current presidential landscape, the importance of tolerance in America, and the state of the House of Representatives. WMRA’s Jordy Yager has this report.

Step onto (or into) the Front Porch Roots Music School with WMRA's Emily Richardson-Lorente.... Jessie Knadler has the lowdown on the shady side of sunscreen -- it may be killing the world's coral reefs, according to a study from a Virginia lab.... Virginia Public Radio has the report on waste in the state's Medicaid benefits, and on Dominion's vision for the future of power in Virginia, and how it may rely on more nuclear power.... and we go way out into the universe, and way back in time to the Big Bang, with Our Island Universe .

Even though we’re heading into winter, it’s a good time to think about sunscreen. A new study finds that the sunscreen most of us slather on contains an ingredient that is killing coral reefs around the world. The lead author of the study lives in Amherst County, and WMRA’s Jessie Knadler spoke to him to get the lowdown on the shady side of sunscreen.

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