Strict Security Measures In Place Across The Nation Ahead Of Inauguration Day

Updated 4 p.m. ET Law enforcement officials are bracing for possible serious security breaches and violent assaults ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's swearing-in next week. State and federal officials are taking no chances as the countdown begins for Inauguration Day. The heightened security comes after a violent siege at the U.S. Capitol last week from pro-Trump extremists that resulted in the death of five people and forced lawmakers into hiding. The FBI is seeing "an extensive amount of...

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Coronavirus Live Updates

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.

On April 12, 1955, a wave of public relief resonated across the United States as news arrived of a vaccine that could successfully prevent polio — one of the most feared diseases in the U.S. at the time, causing "more than 15,000 cases of paralysis a year," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Next week marks one year since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the first coronavirus case in the United States.

Dr. Robert Redfield, the outgoing CDC director, has been heading the federal public health agency's response to the pandemic from the start.

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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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U.S. Capitol Police say they arrested the driver of a truck who presented unauthorized inauguration credentials at a security checkpoint near the Capitol and was in possession of a loaded handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police said Wesley Allen Beeler was arrested shortly after 6:30 p.m. Friday night after stopping at a checkpoint.

Authorities said one officer noticed several firearms-related decals on Beeler's truck, including one that said, "If they come for your guns Give 'Em your bullets first."

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President-elect Joe Biden has compared the challenges he faces coming into office to those faced by Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he became president in 1932. And like FDR, Biden wants to meet the moment with bold action and an ambitious legislative agenda that includes most urgently passage of his proposed $1.9 trillion pandemic economic relief package.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

For more than a year and a half, President-elect Joe Biden campaigned promising to undo several Trump administration policies on Day 1 of his presidency, and now his team is filling in the details of that and more as he prepares to take office.

Biden's incoming chief of staff, Ron Klain, on Saturday laid out in a memo the executive orders the new president will issue on Jan. 20 and in the early days of the new administration.

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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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