Bridget Manley

In-Person, Online, Hybrid? Schools Decide, And There's No Perfect Choice

Back-to-school time has never been like this. As reports emerge of rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in children , local school systems have made tough choices and even changed plans to keep children safe and educated. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

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Mike Tripp

The new chairman of Staunton City’s school board made history last month.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp has this profile of Kenneth Venable.

Bridget Manley

Universities and colleges continue to tweak and fine tune their re-opening plans as the days count down to the start of fall semester classes.  And some faculty want more say in re-opening in the midst of this pandemic.  WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

One of the consistent demands coming out of this summer's protests is that police departments across the country change the way they interact with mental health crises in the community.  And police have their own mental health to protect in a stressful job. In the next installment of WMRA’s Mental Health Matters series, Randi B. Hagi reports.

Calvin Pynn

Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Luray on Saturday calling for the mayor's resignation after he shared a racist post on Facebook. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

In 2017, after the deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, a special fund was established by the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation.  They released a report detailing how the Heal Charlottesville Fund was able to help the community.  WMRA’s Chris Boros spoke with the foundation’s CEO Brennan Gould and Chris asked her to describe how the fund got started.

Virginia's Supreme Court has granted a request from Gov. Ralph Northam to temporarily stop evictions proceedings, extending protections for tenants who can't pay their rent through the beginning of September.

In a 4-3 ruling Friday, the court agreed to a moratorium on eviction proceedings through Sept. 7, declaring that public safety concerns due to the coronavirus pandemic constituted a "judicial emergency."

WMRA will be adding some new programs to our schedule starting Saturday, August 15.

Kirsten Beachy

Tens of thousands of people across the world, including some folks in our area, are competing in something called the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, or GISH. Teams complete unusual tasks – such as balancing potatoes into a cairn, or planting trees – and upload photos of their work to earn points. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Courtesy of Crissanne Raymond

Earlier this week in our Mental Health Matters series, we spoke with local mental health professionals and trainers about the need for suicide prevention services throughout the pandemic. In this follow-up report from WMRA's Randi B. Hagi, we hear from a mother who lost her son to suicide earlier this summer.  (This story may be difficult for some listeners to hear.)

National Institute of Mental Health

The social isolation, economic instability, and concerns about wellbeing resulting from the pandemic have spurred an increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety in many of us. And with those mental health symptoms comes an increase in suicidal thoughts for some.  That worries local mental healthcare providers and trainers. In the next part of our Mental Health Matters series, WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

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Mental Health Matters: Special News Series

During this time, our mental health is under unprecedented strain. In this special series, WMRA explores access to mental health services, and how therapies have adjusted to the current crises.

The Latest from NPR

New York City's museums and cultural institutions will be allowed to open up again later this month, for the first time since being temporarily shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the city's museum can open back up again beginning Aug. 24.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

A sweeping purge of executives at U.S. government media outlets widened this week.

At least six of the top 10 executives at the U.S. Agency for Global Media were removed from their posts on Wednesday. Critics say the housecleaning threatens to destroy the firewall meant to separate government news entities from the White House. They warn it could turn broadcasters such as the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe into distributors of propaganda on behalf of the Trump administration.

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NPR Updates: Protests For Racial Justice

Artist and photographer Nadiya Nacorda has been documenting her siblings for nearly a decade. Her new photo book, A Special Kind of Double, features images of her brother Khaya and sister Thandiswa growing up. Time isn't marked by special occasions or birthdays, but instead the in between moments of life.

Newly released officer-worn body camera video is giving a fuller view of the tense scene in which George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on Memorial Day. In it, bystanders clamor for officers to check Floyd's vital signs as Officer Derek Chauvin holds his knee on the man's neck.

The video, from former Officer Tou Thao, shows another vantage of Floyd's arrest as well as Thao's interactions with a crowd of bystanders. The recording was released by a judge's order in Hennepin County, Minn.

Dolly Parton expressed her support for Black Lives Matter in an interview with Billboard, saying that while she hasn't attended any marches this summer, she supports the protest movement and its push for racial justice.

"I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen," she told the magazine. "And of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!"

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Coronavirus Live Updates

New York City's museums and cultural institutions will be allowed to open up again later this month, for the first time since being temporarily shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the city's museum can open back up again beginning Aug. 24.

We got a gift from a friend this week—a true note of grace in discordant times. You may know our friend: Amy Dickinson, who writes the advice column "Ask Amy", and is a panelist on "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me."

Amy grew up singing in the choir of the Freeville United Methodist Church in Freeville, New York, where her grandmother was the organist and choir director.

Amy is still in that choir today.

As students return to the campus of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign this month, they will be tested for COVID-19. And, then they'll be tested, again.

"We are requiring testing two times per week for access to campus facilities. This is for students, faculty, and staff," explains Rebecca Lee Smith, an associate professor of epidemiology.

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