Bob Leweke

News Director / Morning Edition Host

Bob Leweke is WMRA's News Director and Morning Edition host.

Before coming to public radio in 2003, Bob had worked for The Roanoke Times as a circulation manager and writer.  He later became a member of the communication faculty at Pikeville College in Kentucky, and at Bridgewater College in Virginia, where he taught public speaking, mass media law, communication theory and other courses.  Bob holds degrees in communication and political science from Virginia Tech, and a doctorate in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  In 2015 and 2016, the readers of the Daily News-Record voted him “Best Radio Personality.”

In his hours away from WMRA, Bob enjoys music, cycling, reading and movie-watching, and spending time with his family doing all of the above.  He also plays the drums for The Sustainers, a Harrisonburg "rock & soul" cover band.  You can follow him on Twitter @WMRAnews.

WMRA Daily 4/16/21

Apr 16, 2021

According to one report, Virginia ranks dead last among states in processing unemployment claims, and a new lawsuit seeks remedies…  On the 14th anniversary of the deadly mass shooting on Virginia Tech’s campus, Senator Kaine reintroduces legislation to reduce gun violence…  Since its artistic director resigned earlier this year under a cloud of allegations, the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton has embraced change – with a new model led by the actors….

WMRA Daily 4/15/21

Apr 15, 2021

New info about the pandemic, including the extension of a so-called ‘warmline’ to provide mental health services, and why hair loss is sometimes an effect of getting COVID-19…  Ranked-choice voting may be coming soon to Virginia…  How Virginia’s unemployment rate varies around the state….

WMRA Daily 4/14/21

Apr 14, 2021

Virginia joins a nationwide pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, after six people developed serious blood clots after getting the shot, and one woman in Virginia died.*  Meanwhile, providers continue to administer the Pfizer and Moderna shots, and officials say they’re safe.  In one sign that we’re recovering from the pandemic, Virginia’s tax revenue is up almost 20 percent compared to last year….  *An earlier version of this podcast incorrectly reported that six people had died after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.  The only reported death so far is the woman in Virginia.  We regret the error.

WMRA Daily 4/13/21

Apr 13, 2021

We’re all in Phase 2 now, as the Charlottesville-area health district offers COVID vaccines to everyone over 15…  Harsh reactions to that December police stop in the small town of Windsor, as the governor calls for an investigation, the attorney general demands police records, and Senator Warner expresses outrage at how cops treated a uniformed Army officer…  Virginia is one step closer to providing more relief from inland flooding…

WMRA Daily 4/12/21

Apr 12, 2021

A massive, mobile free medical clinic returns to Harrisonburg…  The Omni Charlottesville Hotel sues the city over its tax bill…  Do political endorsements, such as the one that Terry McAuliffe got from Governor Northam last week, really make a difference with voters?

WMRA Daily 4/9/21

Apr 9, 2021

The health district serving much of the Shenandoah Valley says that all people 16 and older may now get a COVID-19 shot, that’s Phase 2…  Governor Northam endorses his predecessor, former Governor McAuliffe, to be his successor…  More stimulus money will be coming to local airports, and private schools….

WMRA Daily 4/8/21

Apr 8, 2021

Virginia becomes the first southern state to legalize marijuana, and that will be effective July 1st…  If you’ve been receiving unemployment benefits, you’ll soon have to prove to the state that you’re looking for work, as a pandemic-era exemption ends…  After the State Police shot a Black Charlottesville teen to death, the N-A-A-C-P and Virginia’s attorney general agree to more transparent investigations into police killings in the future….

WMRA Daily 4/7/21

Apr 7, 2021

You know who candidates think is the front-runner in a race from who gets piled on in a debate, and Tuesday night that was former Governor Terry McAuliffe, and we have a review…  The board mulling a decision to expand the Middle River Regional Jail puts off that decision, while activists and former inmates protest…  We continue our series on COVID-19 in Virginia’s prisons….

WMRA Daily 4/6/21

Apr 6, 2021

Retired Valley delegate and JMU prof Pete Giesen has died…  An exception is being carved out for the ban on guns at state buildings…  We have the first in a two-part series on COVID-19 in Virginia’s prisons….

WMRA Daily 4/5/21

Apr 5, 2021

Pandemic-related restrictions on in-person events, including those that help prospective college students apply for federal aid, led to a big drop in applications for that aid, especially among low-income students who really need it…  Dominion Energy asks regulators to let it make higher profits, but critics say the company already overcharges customers…   State lawmakers will reconsider a bill on facial recognition technology when they meet this week….

WMRA Daily 4/2/21

Apr 2, 2021

The city of Charlottesville can take down two confederate statues that sparked a years-long legal fight, and the violent Unite the Right Rally in 2017, thanks to a state Supreme Court ruling...  After one free clinic closed down last year, Harrisonburg will soon get a new one…  Governor Northam proposes a quarter-million dollars for an investigation into the state inspector general….

WMRA Daily 4/1/21

Apr 1, 2021

The CDC has extended a moratorium on evictions, but struggling renters have to apply for aid…  Governor Northam signs voting rights legislation that’s unique in southern states…  In Part 2 of our outside education series, we’re outside on the campus of JMU with a journalism professor and his students….

WMRA Daily 3/31/21

Mar 31, 2021

With the governor’s support, and the General Assembly’s approval, it looks like you may be able to legally possess pot in Virginia on July 1st…  32 – that’s the record number of candidates running for statewide offices this year…  In the first of a series on outdoor education, we visit a school near Charlottesville where the students are spending almost all their time outside….

WMRA Daily 3/30/21

Mar 30, 2021

The CDC extends the eviction moratorium into the summer, and Virginians struggling with rent may be able to get financial aid…  Municipal elections will be held in May, for the last time in the commonwealth…  Why are Virginia politicians reluctant to limit campaign donations, and what are the prospects for reform next year?

WMRA Daily 3/29/21

Mar 29, 2021

Governor Northam and other Democrats say they will push to move up the date for pot legalization…  Democrats are also forming an Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus…  We also begin a series of reports on why campaign finance reform failed in this year’s General Assembly….

WMRA Daily 3/26/21

Mar 26, 2021

Health officials report the first cases of a highly contagious coronavirus variant from California in Virginia (keep wearing that mask)…  Hundreds of students walk out of classes at Washington & Lee in favor of getting rid of the ‘Lee’ part of the name, but some alumni are strongly opposed to any changes…  Governor Northam wants to speed up the pace of pot legalization….

WMRA Daily 3/25/21

Mar 25, 2021

Virginia is the first southern state to abolish the death penalty, and we have that story and a conversation with the governor…  Spring has sprung, and it’s not only winter that is in the rearview mirror, but also some pandemic-related restrictions, as local universities, and Shenandoah National Park, start to open up more…  Seen a bald eagle lately?  According to new data, bald eagle populations have quadrupled in the lower 48 states….

WMRA Daily 3/24/21

Mar 24, 2021

Governor Northam eases more COVID-related restrictions, and maybe we’ll get to go see a concert or attend a summer music festival soon, but in the meantime, keep wearing that mask…  That could be one reason we haven’t seen any flu outbreaks this season…  March is brain injury awareness month, and one Valley delegate has sponsored a change in Virginia law governing our approach to those with brain injuries….

WMRA Daily 3/23/21

Mar 23, 2021

College students and their parents know the acronym FAFSA – the application for federal aid for students – and now there’s a new program to help…  VCU hires an outside firm to review the school’s Greek culture after the death of Adam Oakes…  When will all the jobs that Virginia lost due to the pandemic come back?

WMRA Daily 3/22/21

Mar 22, 2021

A Harrisonburg cop is accidentally shot and wounded by another cop trying to corral a wayward cow…  Governor Northam signs more bills into law…  How are Virginia officials responding to acts of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?...  Are take-out cocktails, an invention in response to the pandemic, now a permanent feature?

WMRA Daily 3/19/21

Mar 19, 2021

An Army vet from Fishersville is identified as one of the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th…  A Harrisonburg solar nonprofit has partnered with the Central Valley Habitat for Humanity to install solar panels on local homes...  Five state schools in Virginia – including UVa, VMI and Longwood -- can trace their roots back to the days when enslaved Americans helped build them, and there is an effort to repair a small amount of that damage….

WMRA Daily 3/18/21

Mar 18, 2021

Governor Northam releases guidelines for graduation ceremonies this spring, and in response JMU says it will allow small in-person ceremonies in May…  Northam also urges Virginians to condemn racist acts and violence, after the killings of six women of Asian descent and two others in Atlanta …  A year after Virginia put the ERA over the top, the House of Representatives votes in favor of ratification, but its fate in the Senate is less certain….

WMRA Daily 3/17/21

Mar 17, 2021

With an assist from the governor, Virginians with past felony convictions may soon be eligible to vote…  As some parts of the state get set to move into the next phase of vaccinations, we take a look back one year ago, as Virginia started to lock down in response to the pandemic…  It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and we’ve got something special from the Blue Ridge Irish Music School….

WMRA Daily 3/16/21

Mar 16, 2021

Unemployment in Virginia was down slightly in the first month of 2021, but there’s still a long way to go to regain pandemic job losses…  The governor and first lady join more than one in five Virginians in getting a COVID shot…  Meanwhile, the governor wanted all school systems to offer some in-person learning by Monday – so, how’s that going?

WMRA Daily 3/15/21

Mar 15, 2021

Virginia marks two grim milestones – more than 10,000 Virginians have now died from COVID-19, and Sunday was the one-year anniversary of the first victim…  An end to a ban on abortion coverage, a change in local elections, and dozens of other bills are now law…  After months of infighting, the Virginia GOP agrees on a convention with dozens of locations around the state….

WMRA Daily 3/12/21

Mar 12, 2021

An early report from an independent team investigating VMI finds numerous incidents of racial slurs and sexual harassment…  Gemeinschaft is a home for men just out of prison, and the group now has a new home for women in Harrisonburg…  Virginia teachers get new training on how to explain the commonwealth’s complicated racial history….

WMRA Daily 3/11/21

Mar 11, 2021

Virginia’s NAACP asks the attorney general to investigate the state police killing of a Black teenager from Charlottesville…  One bill the governor is considering would shed light on racial disparities…  We check in with dozens of nurses being trained at UVA to give COVID vaccines….

WMRA Daily 3/10/21

Mar 10, 2021

Virginia officials strike a hopeful tone about COVID vaccines and school re-openings, but there are still many people resistant to getting a shot…  As the body of VCU freshman Adam Oakes is laid to rest, the school’s president says a review of Greek life there will be wide-ranging…  Meanwhile, controversy over Virginia’s parole board continues to simmer, as an employee of the state’s government watchdog agency files a lawsuit….

WMRA Daily 3/9/21

Mar 9, 2021

As more South African variants of the coronavirus are found in Virginia, experts say all the vaccines are effective against them…  Virginia Republicans are still wrestling with how to select their nominees for statewide offices this year, and time is running out…  We talk with journalist Connor Towne O’Neill about his research into Confederate monuments – he’s our next Books & Brews guest….

WMRA Daily 3/8/21

Mar 8, 2021

If you’ve driven I-64 east of Charlottesville, chances are you couldn’t have missed seeing a giant Confederate battle flag, but that’s about to change…  Virginia is about to become the first state in the South to enact zero-emissions vehicle legislation…  We meet an advocate for lung cancer survivors in Harrisonburg….