Bridget Manley

Harrisonburg Blast Caused By Gas Leak, Officials Say

Harrisonburg fire officials have determined that the explosion and fire Saturday morning in a group of businesses just south of JMU was the result of a natural gas leak inside the building. WMRA's Bridget Manley reports.

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Bridget Manley

Questions still remain in an explosion in Harrisonburg Saturday that rocked the city and was felt for miles. WMRA’s Bridget Manley has this report.

OCP website

The pandemic has complicated this year’s fundraising for Our Community Place.  Instead of a separate fall Gala and Christmas Concert fundraiser, OCP will hold both at the same time this weekend. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn has this preview.

Randi B. Hagi

A lot of the traditional Halloween festivities are cancelled this season due to the pandemic, but there are still a few COVID-safe ways to get your thrills in this fall, including a ghost tour in Staunton. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi took the tour, and has this report on why the Queen City might just be a little more spooky than other places.

Wavley Groves

Private property owners in Staunton learned last week that they would not get federal disaster aid for the estimated $3 million in damage caused by floods in early August.  But friends and neighbors are stepping up.  And the trauma caused by losing a business, something all too common for entrepreneurs during this pandemic, can lead to an opportunity for personal growth.  WMRA's Jason Barr reports.

Calvin Pynn

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic will close at the end of the year, after serving uninsured adults in the area for more than three decades. Staff and volunteers are spending the final months making sure the clinic’s patients won’t be left behind. WMRA's Calvin Pynn reports.

Randi B. Hagi

One Harrisonburg neighborhood reported several sightings of black bears last week.  And while the streets and backyards have been quiet for a few days now, autumn is prime time for urban bear activity. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Calvin Pynn

As universities in our area experiment with in-person learning and bringing students back to campus during the pandemic, communities that support and surround those campuses also live with the realties that come with an influx of students. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Caitlin Shaffer / Johan Burch

The Black Lives Matter movement, like the Civil Rights movement and social justice movements before it, has inspired new music that expresses the political and emotional moment. Musicians in the Shenandoah Valley are among those creating original music that captures the many facets of this movement. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

In a news press release Friday morning 9/25/20, the Virginia Governor's office announced that Governor Northam and First Lady Northam have tested positive for COVID-19.  Governor Northam is experiencing no symptoms. First Lady Pamela Northam is currently experiencing mild symptoms.

The Governor and First Lady are working closely with VDH and the Richmond Heath Department to trace their close contacts. The work of the Governor’s office continues remotely and uninterrupted.

Updated at 1:47 p.m. ET

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lay in state Friday at the U.S. Capitol, the first woman and the first Jewish person to be given that honor in the nation's history.

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The Latest from NPR

Rush Limbaugh is giving an update on his stage 4 case of lung cancer, saying that despite some success in treating the disease, recent scans showed the cancer has progressed. "It's not dramatic, but it is the wrong direction," Limbaugh told listeners to his conservative radio show.

Updated at 12:27 p.m. ET

The Justice Department on Tuesday filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google alleging the company of abusing its dominance over smaller rivals. It's the federal government's most significant legal action in more than two decades to confront a technology giant's power.

The pandemic has changed a lot about how we vote this year, including when we may find out who won.

It's possible — because some rules have changed, and some haven't — that Nov. 3 could come and go without a clear answer as to who the next president will be.

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A podcast about songs created by The Steel Wheels and commissioned by fans during the 2020 Pandemic. This podcast is a creative collaboration with WMRA.

NPR Updates: Protests For Racial Justice

Six months after driver Kyle Larson was suspended for uttering a racial slur, NASCAR announced he's been reinstated and is eligible to return to the sport in January.

Larson, 28, was dropped from his racing team and quickly lost sponsors after saying the N-word in April while playing a video game that viewers could follow along. NASCAR moved to bar him indefinitely and ordered him to attend racial sensitivity training.

In the early 1980s, Mary Ann Tellas was majoring in biology at Indiana University, and for the first time, she had a class taught by a Black professor.

As a young Black woman, Tellas says having a professor of her own race gave her the confidence to speak up in class and pursue a career in science. Now, she's a high school biology teacher in Indianapolis.

"I always felt as though, gosh, you know, there's nobody like me in my classes. Nobody looks like me," Tellas says. "I don't want to say it changed my life, but it did give me some perspective."

Updated 4:27 p.m. ET

Excavation crews are breaking ground on Monday at a new site in Tulsa, Okla., in an effort to find the remains of Black victims of one of the nation's bloodiest race massacres.

This will be the second such excavation led by the city this year, as it tries to determine where the estimated 150 to 300 victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre were buried.

Historians say white mobs targeted the area of the city known as Black Wall Street, killing Black residents and looting and burning businesses, homes and churches to the ground.

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Coronavirus Live Updates

Updated at 9:00 a.m. ET

Researchers in Britain are preparing to start a controversial COVID-19 "human challenge" study in which dozens of healthy volunteers will be exposed to live coronavirus in an effort to speed up vaccine development.

Medical research was an early casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After cases began emerging worldwide, thousands of clinical trials unrelated to COVID-19 were paused or canceled amid fears that participants would be infected. But now, some researchers are finding ways to carry on in spite of the coronavirus.

How's this for an October surprise? Despite a significant rise in COVID-19 cases in many parts of the country, it appears that more people are flying on commercial jetliners than at any time over the last seven months.

More than one million people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration at airport security checkpoints Sunday. It's the first time the TSA's daily traveler count has topped the one million mark since March 16.

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The WMRA Daily brings you each day's local, regional and statewide news, including WMRA feature stories.

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