Momentum For Coronavirus Relief Bill Builds, But Time Short As Parties Work On Deal

After months of partisan stand off on Capitol Hill over the size and composition of another round of coronavirus relief, key signs of progress emerged as the House and Senate moved closer to a possible deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., spoke by telephone Thursday afternoon — notable because the two top leaders hadn't spoken about legislation addressing the pandemic since the election. Up until Thursday they had been blaming at each...

Read More

Coronavirus Live Updates

South Korea's capital recorded its highest-ever number of new coronavirus cases, 291, on Thursday, while nationwide there were 629 cases — the largest total in nine months. Amid criticism of the government's recent handling of the pandemic, it is considering tightening public health restrictions.

That criticism — that the government has been too timid in tacking the current third-wave of infections — follows international praise for South Korea's aggressive response to the initial outbreak in February.

Deborah Rosenthal starts her virtual kindergarten class on Zoom every morning with a song — today, it's the Spanish version of, "If You're Happy and You Know It." Her students clap along. There's a greeting from the class mascot (a dragon), yoga, meditation and then some practice with letter sounds: "Oso, oso, O, O, O".

The United Kingdom gave emergency approval this week to a COVID-19 vaccine and plans to begin rolling it out next week. Though Russia had previously approved a vaccine, the U.K. is the first country where regulators approved a vaccine that is backed by transparent science. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider granting its regulatory approval next week.

Pfizer and BioNTech (a German company), which developed the vaccine, say it is 95% effective based on the latest clinical trial involving 43,000 subjects.

See More Stories
Randi B. Hagi

In October, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law an omnibus police reform bill that establishes a number of state-wide standards for law enforcement training, equipment, and conduct. But how much will actually change for local residents and officers, and where should we go from here? WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

WMRA & WEMC Holiday Programming 2020

Nov 27, 2020

WMRA Holiday Programming

Saturday, December 19:

12pm  Acoustic Café Holiday Special
WMRA’s Tina Owens will spin holiday favorites from the acoustic folk music world.  Join us to hear your favorite holiday music done acoustically.

3pm  All Songs Considered for the Holidays
Holiday songs from NPR Music.  New for 2020.

Anna's House

Stuart Hall School in Staunton is phasing out its elementary grades, but a group of teachers has joined together to open their own school to fill the need.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp reports.

Furious Flower Poetry Center

The arts keep thriving, even in a time of social upheaval and a pandemic.  This year, there have been several new volumes, anthologies, and collections of Black poetry.  WMRA’s Jason Barr looks at the relevance of such work today, and throughout our history.

A new podcast is available on our website called We Made You A Song – it’s a collaboration between WMRA and Harrisonburg’s The Steel Wheels - detailing the band writing and recording songs that were commissioned by fans of the band during the pandemic.  WMRA’s Tina Owens recently spoke with the group’s lead singer and host of the podcast Trent Wagler.  She asked him to describe how this idea was created.

Wildlife Center of Virginia

The Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro provides emergency healthcare to native wildlife – from sparrows, to eagles, to baby bears -- that are brought in sick, injured, or orphaned. The Center just held its 25th annual conference, taking it online for the first time. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Calvin Pynn

A team of engineers and students at James Madison University has outfitted a golf cart to drive itself.  And it’s not meant for the golf course.  The autonomous cart is designed to help transport elderly passengers safely across retirement communities. The group test drove the cart on campus this week, and WMRA’s Calvin Pynn took it for a ride.

Calvin Pynn

Artists have been hit hard by the pandemic.  They haven't just lost out on gallery sales, but they've also lost the experience of their work being seen in-person. Several arts organizations in Central Virginia have been working to change that. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

The Staunton Creative Community Fund is starting a hybrid program to help Shenandoah Valley businesses create jobs and compete at a national level.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Bridget Manley

Just as public schools have had to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, private schools faced the same challenges to safe instruction.  They also faced shrinking revenue and tightening budgets. WMRA’s Bridget Manley has this report.


The Latest from NPR


Health care workers first, along with residents and staff of nursing homes. Those people should receive the COVID-19 vaccine before anyone else, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday.

U.S. employers sharply scaled back their hiring last month, as the coronavirus pandemic put new pressure on restaurants, retailers and other businesses.

The Labor Department said Friday employers added just 245,000 jobs in November, down from a revised 610,000 in October.


Sheep Spotted Roaming Hotel Hallways In Wales

58 minutes ago

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit

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

NPR Updates: Protests For Racial Justice

If you have the sense you're seeing fewer women on TV than you encounter in everyday life, a new study by the Nielsen company may offer an explanation.

The study is titled "Being Seen On Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV."

Researchers at Nielsen, the company which also provides TV viewership ratings, looked at the top 100 TV shows each in broadcast, cable and streaming, excluding sports, movies and animated shows.

The largest and most influential arts advocacy and service organization in the country has responded to sharp criticism over its lack of diversity and commitment to help arts groups lead by and for people of color. Americans For The Arts (which is also one of NPR's financial supporters) conceded that the steps they've taken towards "racial and cultural equity" "have not been enough."

AFTA serves the arts sector in a variety of ways including lobbying Congress, conducting surveys of the sector, training, panels and the like.

As the nation grapples with issues of racial injustice and social inequality, lawmakers on Capitol Hill are pushing to remove the so-called slavery loophole from the United States Constitution.

With the adoption and ratification of the 13th Amendment 155 years ago, the practice of slavery formally ended in this country, but it did not strip away all aspects of involuntary servitude.

See More Stories

Stay Connected

Take WMRA and WEMC with you anywhere you go