Coronavirus Live Updates

Rebekah Jones, the data scientist who helped create Florida's COVID-19 dashboard, has turned herself in to police, in response to an arrest warrant issued by the state.

Jones is charged with one count of "offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement Monday.

Last spring, the pandemic stole Maddie Harvey's job on campus in the Dean of Students office. She was finishing up her senior year at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn., and without the income from her job, she wasn't going to have enough money to pay her upcoming tuition bill.

"It was definitely a very vulnerable situation that I was in," says Harvey, "it's not easy to talk about when you're struggling, especially knowing that so many people were struggling at one time."

Cheers erupted in hospital wards across India on Saturday as a first group of nurses and sanitation workers rolled up their sleeves and got vaccinated against COVID-19, at the start of what's likely to become the biggest national vaccination campaign in history.

India aims to vaccinate 300 million people by July, though it could take an additional two or more years to inoculate all nearly 1.4 billion Indians. The shots are voluntary. Hospitals and clinics have been setting up and rehearsing for weeks.

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Randi B. Hagi

High school basketball teams in the area started playing games last week in a season shortened and restricted by the pandemic. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

For members of Luminous Voices, a professional choir ensemble in Alberta, Canada, rehearsing and performing safely during the pandemic has meant getting into their cars, driving to an empty parking lot and singing with each other's voices broadcast through their car radios.

This "car choir" solution is one that college music professor David Newman — an accomplished baritone himself in Virginia — came up with so that ensembles could sing and "be" together.

Matt Bingay

At a time when most organizations were preparing to manage the holidays, WMRA scrambled to address an almost catastrophic failure on the main signal serving Charlottesville and surrounding areas.

On December 16, 2020, a winter storm blanketed the area with snow and ice. Not an unusual event in and of itself, but that's where this tale begins. Sometime in the following 36 hours, as melting began, a large chunk of ice fell from an upper structure on our Castle Rock tower and struck the WMRY 103.5fm antenna with enough force to bend it out of shape. 

Even before last year’s omnibus police reform bill passed the General Assembly, Charlottesville had already begun to form a police civilian review board, or PCRB.  It began meeting last summer.  The new statewide rules bolster the authority of such boards.  As part of an occasional series on local police reform, WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi has this report on how the Charlottesville board is working.

For more than 100 years, two statues representing Virginia have stood at the U.S. Capitol: one of George Washington and another of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

But early Monday, the Lee statue was removed from the National Statuary Hall's collection. It's expected to be replaced by a statue honoring civil rights activist Barbara Johns.

Sentara RMH

The first round of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was shipped out to hospitals across Virginia this week, and frontline healthcare workers at Sentara RMH got their doses on Thursday. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with the first person there to receive the vaccine.

The pandemic sent lots of us home for work in late March, and many workers have settled into that routine as the pandemic worsens.  The upheaval in our schedules and our everyday lives has also affected our canine friends.  So how can we help our dogs adjust when we head back to the office?  WMRA’s Jason Barr reports.

ShenanArts

Like most local theater companies, ShenanArts in Staunton has had to think outside the box to reach audiences this holiday season. WMRA’s Mike Tripp takes us behind the scenes for a glimpse at their latest production, in a form that your grandparents might well recognize.

Leah Pence

On Monday, Virginia’s 13 presidential electors met in Richmond to certify Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect.  The Democrat who represented the 6th district, covering much of the Shenandoah Valley, was Leah Pence, who also serves on Luray’s town council.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke spoke with her and asked her to describe the process, and who the electors are.

Bridgewater Retirement Community

We're all navigating the holiday season amidst a pandemic. Senior citizens may have to be especially creative during this time, as the virus makes it particularly dangerous for them to attend worship services, shop, and see their families. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

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President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Gary Gensler to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission and Rohit Chopra to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a statement from Biden's transition team Monday morning.

The pair's selection marks a triumph for progressives who have pushed for more aggressive oversight of the financial industry.

Gensler is a top financial regulator known for taking on big banks and trading houses after the Dodd-Frank financial reforms enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

Rebekah Jones, the data scientist who helped create Florida's COVID-19 dashboard, has turned herself in to police, in response to an arrest warrant issued by the state.

Jones is charged with one count of "offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks and electronic devices," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement Monday.

From the March on Washington in 1963 up until his assassination in 1968, the FBI engaged in an intense campaign to discredit Martin Luther King Jr. and his work. Film director Sam Pollard chronicles those efforts in the new documentary, MLK/FBI.

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Books & Brews, Jan. 27th, at 3pm

Author Mary Lyons, and a small panel, discuss the history and use of the newly reopened Blue Ridge Tunnel.

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

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