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Updated June 17, 2021 at 3:52 PM ET

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul says it is suffering from a major COVID-19 outbreak that has largely confined staff to their quarters and is disrupting many of its operations. Earlier this week, the embassy announced that it was suspending in-person visa interviews for Afghans who had worked for the U.S. military.

It's been a little more than a month since adolescents as young as 12 became eligible in the United States to receive the Pfizer vaccine against COVID-19, and nearly all reports have been positive: The vaccine is very effective in this age group, and the vast majority of kids experience mild side effects, if any — the same sore arm or mild flulike symptoms seen among adults who get the shot.

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A local Habitat for Humanity chapter and a solar energy non-profit are teaming up Friday (June 18) with a virtual workshop on the benefits of solar energy for Habitat homeowners.

Shared with permission from Amy Voss-DeVito

As part of WMRA’s partnership with StoryCorps in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia, we’re sharing a conversation today between sisters, Amy Voss-DeVito and Beverly Harrison.

Recorded on June 5th, 2021 as part of the WMRA StoryCorps  in the Valley and Central Virginia partnership, we’re sharing a conversation between Christine Jones in McGaheysville, who is the Virginia chapter leader of the non-profit organization, Free Mom Hugs and Ashley Saunders in Broadway, who founded a Facebook group for Parents & Allies of LGBTQ Students in Rockingham County.

StoryCorps

WMRA is currently partnering with StoryCorps in the Valley and Central Virginia to gather stories from our communities, and on the first day of recording, June 2, 2021, Sabrina Burress spoke with her two sons, Tay Burress and Manny Chapman.

Randi B. Hagi

The Central Shenandoah Health District is getting COVID-19 vaccines into rural areas with mobile vaccination clinics, starting with Monterey and McDowell in Highland County. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

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Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor and longtime fixture of Democratic politics, won the party’s nomination Tuesday in his quest for a second term in office.

COVID-19 vaccines are now widely available around Virginia.  But some vulnerable communities face more hurdles in getting the shots.  Local agencies and non-profits are trying to help. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Tim LaPira

Francis Fukuyama and UVa’s Larry Sabato are among roughly 100 scholars who signed a 'Statement of Concern' published online this week.  It’s a response to Republican-led efforts around the country to restrict voting rights.  And they support a bill in Congress called the ‘For the People Act’ that would protect voting rights nationwide.  The statement also calls for the end of the filibuster in the Senate.  Dr. Tim LaPira, a political science professor at JMU, also signed that statement.  WMRA's Bob Leweke asked him to describe the threat as they see it.

CREDIT SANDY HAUSMAN/RADIO IQ

Earlier this month a rock slide closed one of the main roads connecting communities east and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Crews are now working sun up to sun down, but officials say Route 250 over Afton Mountain won’t re-open until mid-June.

Virginia Public Radio’s Sandy Hausman reports on why repairs are taking so long, and why we could be seeing many more slides in the future.

Tristan Spinski

With spring bird migration in full force in the Shenandoah Valley, WMRA’s Chris Boros spoke with Dana Moseley, a JMU professor who studies birds that make the valley their home and the human noise pollution that affects their feathered lives.

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SHOW LOW, Ariz. (AP) — A driver in a pickup truck plowed into bicyclists during a community road race in Arizona on Saturday, critically injuring several riders before police chased the driver and shot him outside a nearby hardware store, authorities said.

Juneteenth celebrations are underway across the United States, commemorating the 156th anniversary of the date that is often considered the end of chattel slavery in the country.

Events this year come two days after President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, which is the latest national holiday to be recognized since Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1983.

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