Bob Leweke

News Director / Morning Edition Host

Bob Leweke is WMRA's News Director and Morning Edition host.

Before coming to public radio in 2003, Bob had worked for The Roanoke Times as a circulation manager and writer.  He later became a member of the communication faculty at Pikeville College in Kentucky, and at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where he taught public speaking, mass media law, communication theory and other courses.  Bob holds degrees in communication and political science from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In 2015 and 2016, the readers of the Daily News-Record voted him “Best Radio Personality.”

In his hours away from WMRA, Bob enjoys music, cycling, reading and movie-watching, and spending time with his family doing all of the above.  He also plays the drums for The Sustainers, a Harrisonburg blues-rock cover band.  You can follow him on Twitter @WMRAnews.

WMRA Daily 4/20/18

12 hours ago

The three Republicans vying to challenge Senator Tim Kaine this fall meet in another debate… Virginia will get nearly $10 million to fight the opioid battle… How do first responders – cops, fire fighters and so on – train to deal with, and serve, people with autism?

WMRA Daily 4/19/18

Apr 19, 2018

White supremacist propaganda sprinkled around Charlottesville neighborhoods… some Democrats in the General Assembly are calling on the governor to hit the brakes on the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines…  Could the answer for Puerto Rico be solar power?  A local benefit concert is raising money toward that end….

WMRA Daily 4/18/18

Apr 18, 2018

The Republican-led House of Delegates approves its version of the state budget, again expanding Medicaid to low-income Virginians… Next week, high school students are encouraged to register to vote… You have an extra day to file your federal taxes, and we’ll take a look at the tax burden that Virginians bear….

WMRA Daily 4/17/18

Apr 17, 2018

The photographer who captured the moment a terrorist plowed through a crowd of counter-protesters in Charlottesville last August has won the Pulitzer Prize for his work… those severe storms on Sunday may have contributed to a small plane crash, and the pilot’s death, in Crozet… and, a Shark Tank-like competition comes to Lexington….

WMRA Daily 4/16/18

Apr 16, 2018

Parts of Virginia suffer damage from the thunderstorms that rolled through Sunday night… Just as the Tom Tom Founders Fest begins to wind down, a statue of Thomas Jefferson is vandalized on the UVa campus… Senator Tim Kaine says he will vote against Trump’s pick for Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo….

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Jessie Knadler brings us two animal-related stories: the third in our series on autism, with a look at animal therapies... and, goat yoga.  'Nuff said.  Christopher Clymer Kurtz also gets in on the animal act with his deep report on reactions to Harrisonburg's decision to reject Anicira's bid to take over shelter services from SPCA.

WMRA Daily 4/13/18

Apr 13, 2018

Those monster fee increases proposed last year for Shenandoah National Park and others?  Yeah, not so much… The admission fee is going up $5, not $40… Is Republican Congressman Dave Brat in Virginia’s 7th District in danger from a possible blue wave?  We also explore how useful animals can be in therapies for children with autism….

WMRA Daily 4/12/18

Apr 12, 2018

Even after losing its bid to take over Harrisonburg’s animal shelter services, Anicira says it’s pleased with the result… In Richmond, supporters of Medicaid expansion filled the state Senate gallery Wednesday… And one local state Senator says he thinks the votes are there….

WMRA Daily 4/11/18

Apr 11, 2018

Harrisonburg will continue to use the SPCA as an animal shelter, rejecting a bid by Anicira… Virginia lawmakers return to Richmond today – can they come to agreement on expanding Medicaid, and a budget?  And, forget cat-cow… GOAT yoga has made its way to Rockbridge….

WMRA Daily 4/10/18

Apr 10, 2018

One neo-Nazi group agrees not to return to Charlottesville, after its involvement in last August’s violence… John Cleese and Dan Rather are among the attractions for this week’s Tom Tom Founders Fest… What can Virginia learn from the two-thirds of the other states in the country that expanded Medicaid under Obamacare?

WMRA Daily 4/9/18

Apr 9, 2018

A Republican state Senator flips on Medicaid expansion in Virginia, raising the possibility of a budget agreement… U-S Senator Tim Kaine visits Harrisonburg as part of his re-election kick-off… Motorcycle rider deaths are way up, and some riders blame car drivers with cell phones….

On this week's Second Look, WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz takes a look at how thousands of students with autism are being served in Virginia’s public schools.  It's the second installment in that series.  He also spoke with one of the activists who was among the nine arrested for trespassing at the Cargill plant in Dayton on Wednesday.  On Thursday, CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta spoke to a packed house at the Forbes Center, and Calvin Pynn was there.  And Jordy Yager checks in on a Spring break camp for girls in Charlottesville.  Plus, Virginia politics!

WMRA Daily 4/5/18

Apr 5, 2018

Nine protesters arrested at the Cargill plant in Dayton trying to support workers’ rights to unionize… Harrisonburg city staff recommend against turning animal shelter services over to Anicira…. How are Virginia’s public schools serving students with autism?  Our series continues….

WMRA Daily 4/4/18

Apr 4, 2018

Valley activists say they are carrying on MLK’s work by supporting local poultry workers…  State regulators question whether the big electric utility overhaul passed by lawmakers this year is constitutional… UVa researchers learn more about why some babies and not others die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome….

WMRA Daily 4/3/18

Apr 3, 2018

Senator Tim Kaine kicks off his re-election campaign this week, with appearances around the state… A massive Confederate battle flag appears near Interstate 64 outside Charlottesville… A Virginia Tech administrator who marched with Martin Luther King,  Jr. remembers him, 50 years after his death….

WMRA Daily 4/2/18

Apr 2, 2018

Democratic Senator Mark Warner changes his position on guns, now calling for restrictions on assault-style guns and ammunition magazines…  The Library of Virginia is way behind in cataloging documents, and is failing to answer Freedom of Information requests…  A “place-based” education advocate visits JMU….

On this week's Second Look, we kick off our month-long series on autism with Jessie Knadler's story about six-year-old Emmett, who is autistic, and whose mom is among those taking special ed classes at Mary Baldwin University, which now provides an undergraduate major in autism studies.  Jessie also surveys the effect of a nationwide crackdown on new refugee arrivals on one Harrisonburg agency that helps resettle them.  Also, stories on place-based education, a doctor’s office where no insurance card is necessary, invasive plants, and snapping turtles!

WMRA Daily 3/30/18

Mar 30, 2018

In a blow to Dominion, Virginia’s highest court says big electric users can shop around for renewable energy… Since Trump took office, federal efforts to crack down on predatory lending have all but ended… And we kick off our month-long series on autism, with a look at new approaches to treating children with the condition….

WMRA Daily 3/29/18

Mar 29, 2018

A proposed new green space park near Harrisonburg’s farmer’s market takes another step forward… Federal regulators deny a request by Atlantic Coast Pipeline builders for more time to cut down trees… And, a new UVa study reveals the disparities of wealth and income across Virginia….

WMRA Daily 3/28/18

Mar 28, 2018

The former chief of police for a small town in Augusta County has been relieved of duty for allegedly stealing Hydrocodone… Charlottesville housing officials get some help from their counterparts in Harrisonburg… And, environmentalists demand that Governor Northam call for a more stringent environmental review for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines….

WMRA Daily 3/27/18

Mar 27, 2018

Two men are sentenced to jail time for repeatedly removing the black tarps covering Confederate monuments in Charlottesville… UVa researchers begin testing a drug that they hope will save the lives of many lung transplant recipients… And a group in central Virginia declares war on non-native plants, and wants to recruit you and your neighbors in the battle….

WMRA Daily 3/26/18

Mar 26, 2018

A head-on collision in Winchester kills two people… UVa prepares to host a debate featuring the Republican candidates to challenge Senator Tim Kaine… And, new ballot rules from the state board of elections, hoping to avoid another confusing election like 2017’s….

On this week's Second Look, Bob Leweke interviews award-winning author and journalist Sam Quinones about what he learned traveling the country in his investigation of the origins of the opioid crisis... Marguerite Gallorini has profiles of the candidates in the fifth district, where four Democrats are vying for the opportunity to unseat incumbent Republican Tom Garrett.  Meanwhile, one Virginia inmate is suing the state over prison food.  We also have our weekly look at Virginia politics.

WMRA Daily 3/23/18

Mar 23, 2018

An inmate sues over prison food… Policymakers debate whether new Virginia laws encouraging teaching colleges to produce teachers in four years instead of five or six are actually a good idea… And, is gambling money making its way into Virginia schools?

WMRA Daily 3/22/18

Mar 22, 2018

Governor Northam’s budget throws down a Medicaid challenge to the General Assembly… Local governments are pressing the governor to make major changes to a new cell tower bill… The perjury charge against white nationalist Jason Kessler has been dismissed….

WMRA Daily 3/21/18

Mar 21, 2018

Governor Northam is set to kickstart negotiations with state lawmakers today over the budget, in advance of their reconvening in April… A federal appeals court hears arguments over pollution from coal ash in the Hampton area… And rural areas in Virginia are losing population, but what does that mean for the state?

WMRA Daily 3/20/18

Mar 20, 2018

Home prices are climbing in Virginia… One of the few bills Governor Northam has rejected was a proposal from Harrisonburg Senator Mark Obenshain to cap lawyer’s fees… And we have profiles of the Democrats vying to unseat Republican 5th District Representative Tom Garrett….

WMRA Daily 3/19/18

Mar 19, 2018

Two of the main Republican contenders to challenge Democrat Tim Kaine met in a debate over the weekend… Charlottesville will begin streaming city council meetings live on Facebook, part of the city’s new effort to be more transparent in its public business… And, award-winning author Sam Quinones discusses the origins America’s opiate epidemic….

Addiction has devastated hundreds of cities, small towns, and suburbs across America, including major swaths of Appalachia.  How that happened is the riveting story of Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.

On this week's Second Look, we've got team coverage of the March 14 student walkouts protesting gun violence, at Rockbridge and Broadway High Schools, the University of Virginia, and even a private grade school in Harrisonburg – those reports from WMRA's Christopher Clymer Kurtz, Jessie Knadler, and Emily Richardson-Lorente.

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