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 7/31/20

Jul 31, 2020

It’s official -- most students in Charlottesville and Albemarle County will start fall instruction online…  Virginia’s government watchdog agency says it finds support for allegations about the state parole board, but blacks out almost the entire report…  In the next installment of our series on Mental Health Matters, we continue our discussion of suicide prevention with one Charlottesville mother’s personal story of loss….

WMRA Daily 7/30/20

Jul 30, 2020

As the coronavirus surges in Charlottesville, the school system signals a move to online-only instruction to begin the fall, following a similar decision by Harrisonburg and other school systems...  What happens in hospitals if flu season piles on top of the COVID-19 pandemic?...  How do people in communities with Confederate statues relate to them?

WMRA Daily 7/29/20

Jul 29, 2020

State officials take additional steps to combat a surge of COVID-19 in Hampton Roads, particularly among young people…  A giant hologram of the image of George Floyd covers the Lee monument in Richmond, kicking off a tour of the new project that will follow the path of the Freedom Riders almost 60 years ago…  All the stressors from the pandemic – isolation, unemployment, uncertainty, fear – can lead to an increase in suicidal thoughts, and we talk to local suicide prevention experts, next in our Mental Health Matters series….

WMRA Daily 7/28/20

Jul 28, 2020

As schools and colleges wrangle with whether and how to restart instruction in the fall, COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Virginia…  That includes a spike in the Charlottesville area, where tighter social restrictions are going back into place this weekend…  The state’s high school athletic league postpones fall sports, including football, until at least next winter….

WMRA Daily 7/27/20

Jul 27, 2020

Richmond police again use tear gas against protesters for racial justice…  A Lynchburg Republican says the governor is misusing his executive powers during the pandemic…  As the virus crisis wears on, frustrations mount over the state agency everyone loves to hate, the DMV….

WMRA Daily 7/24/20

Jul 24, 2020

A Richmond judge says that the city's Lee statue will stand for now, until he issues a written opinion…  Harrisonburg's housing authority employs federal stimulus money in a new campaign for renters…  People recovering from addiction often rely on group meetings or therapy sessions for support in recovery, so how are they dealing with pandemic-related social restrictions?  It’s the next story in our Mental Health Matters series….

WMRA Daily 7/23/20

Jul 23, 2020

Fair housing advocates say the governor must do more to protect vulnerable Virginians from eviction…  State lawmakers begin hearing testimony on criminal justice reform…  Senator Tim Kaine promotes bills that would prohibit federal agents from making the kind of secret arrests that they’re conducting in Portland, Oregon, and that would rename army bases, including three in Virginia, named after Confederate soldiers…..

WMRA Daily 7/22/20

Jul 22, 2020

A COVID-19 outbreak at the ICE detention center in Farmville seems to have spiraled out of control…  Meanwhile, local school systems start to back off from earlier plans for in-person instruction, and in Harrisonburg most students will be distance-learning…  When lawmakers return to Richmond in August, proposed criminal justice reform will not just be aimed at the police….

WMRA Daily 7/21/20

Jul 21, 2020

Harrisonburg activists join others nationwide in a justice rally for workers…  In the next installment of our special Mental Health Matters series, we explore how some people with mental illness or developmental disabilities are adjusting to the isolation caused by the pandemic…  We return to Bath County to see how residents there are surviving the economic downturn….

WMRA Daily 7/20/20

Jul 20, 2020

As expected, Delegate Nick Freitas is the choice of Republicans to challenge Representative Abigail Spanberger in the 7th…  We check in again with a woman in Harrisonburg whose Mexican-American family has been deeply affected by the spread of COVID-19 in poultry plants…  We also travel to Bath County, where tourism has taken a big hit from the pandemic….

WMRA Daily 7/17/20

Jul 17, 2020

Officials in the Charlottesville area say they want to go back to Phase 2 restrictions, as the rate of infection climbs back up…  On Saturday, Republicans will choose a nominee to take on Democratic Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger – four of the GOP candidates forgot to turn in their paperwork on time…  In the next piece of our Mental Health Matters series, we explore racial disparities, and the struggle for many people of color to find counselors who share their lived experience….

WMRA Daily 7/16/20

Jul 16, 2020

Virginia becomes the first state in the nation to adopt workplace standards to protect essential workers, including those in local poultry plants, against COVID-19…  A federal agency’s final report on the deadly helicopter crash in Charlottesville nearly three years ago blames a lack of training…  Momentum seems to be building to keep local schools online this fall….

WMRA Daily 7/15/20

Jul 15, 2020

Governor Northam says he’s ramping up enforcement of the mask-wearing mandate and physical-distancing measures…  At least some of Richmond’s recently removed Confederate monuments are being stored at a waste water treatment plant...  Activists and some lawmakers say the program that transfers military equipment to local police departments needs to change….

WMRA Daily 7/14/20

Jul 14, 2020

Charlottesville’s mayor says UVa’s plans to reopen in the fall are a “recipe for disaster”…  Meanwhile, the daily average of new cases of COVID-19 are climbing again in much of Virginia…  State lawmakers consider a bill to “ban the box”….

WMRA Daily 7/13/20

Jul 13, 2020

Until recently, there was one place in Virginia – Bath County – where COVID-19 had not spread, but that’s no longer the case…  What guidelines should businesses continue to follow, and what happens if they still cut their staff?...  In the second part of our Mental Health Matters series, we explore how kids and their parents are coping with the pandemic and its effects….

WMRA Daily 7/10/20

Jul 10, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases at Farmville’s ICE detention center has nearly doubled…  Shenandoah County’s school board votes the confederate names out…  You’ve heard of the “freshman 15” – how about the “COVID-19”?

WMRA Daily 7/9/20

Jul 9, 2020

Shenandoah County decides whether to remove confederate names and imagery from its schools…  Meanwhile, Virginia Republicans attack the governor over his guidelines for reopening schools in the fall amidst the pandemic…  Housing officials say renters are still struggling to recover from the economic devastation caused by the pandemic….

WMRA Daily 7/8/20

Jul 8, 2020

Harrisonburg’s mayor, the Democratic challenger to Ben Cline, and Republican Nick Freitas are all given a pass on late filings and will be on the ballot this November…  JMU removes the names of confederate leaders from three campus buildings…  As confederate statues come down, what should replace them?

WMRA Daily 7/7/20

Jul 7, 2020

For the first time, Washington & Lee faculty vote to remove Robert E. Lee from the school's name…  Expensive private schools and some Virginia politicians were approved for loans under the government’s Payroll Protection Program…  We kick off our special series on mental health matters, and explore the pandemic’s dilemma for mental health – as the need for therapies grows, access gets harder with restrictions on social contact….

In a stunning announcement Sunday, the developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline say they are cancelling the controversial project.

WMRA Daily 7/6/20

Jul 6, 2020

Did you have this one on your bingo card for 2020?  The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is canceled…  The daily trend of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia ticked up over the weekend…  Virginia Republicans struggle to adjust to a changing South….

WMRA Daily 7/3/20

Jul 3, 2020

Lots of people are celebrating the decriminalization of pot, but it’s not completely legal, and advocates say penalties still hit Virginia’s Black population hardest…  Meanwhile, incarceration rates in rural Virginia have been spiking for years…  Even as the need for solid, reliable news grows, the down economy has led local newspapers to furlough and even lay off staff, including reporters….

WMRA Daily 7/2/20

Jul 2, 2020

Richmond’s mayor says he’s not waiting anymore, he’s bringing the confederate statues down, and city workers began with Stonewall Jackson…  Virginia considers strict new safety requirements for businesses that are now re-opening…  Some immigrants are concerned about new laws that took effect Wednesday….

WMRA Daily 7/1/20

Jul 1, 2020

Governor Northam pulls back slightly on relaxing bar restrictions, but Virginia still forges ahead into Phase 3, even as more than 500 cases of the coronavirus are reported every day in Virginia…  It’s also the day that hundreds of new laws go into effect in the commonwealth, and we have some highlights…  Virginia’s environmental agency wants to add more fines to the Mountain Valley Pipeline project….

WMRA Daily 6/30/20

Jun 30, 2020

As Virginia gets set to further relax social restrictions due to COVID-19, local cities cancel their big July 4th fireworks displays…  Meanwhile, the number of new cases of the disease in Virginia stay steady at just over 500 per day, on average…  Governor Northam launches a statewide rent and mortgage relief program….

WMRA Daily 6/29/20

Jun 29, 2020

Last week’s criticism of protesters by Charlottesville’s police chief has some other city officials concerned…  Meanwhile, lawmakers in the House of Delegates will hold three meetings on police and criminal justice reform later this summer…  Researchers at UVa conduct lab tests on a new treatment for one of the deadliest types of brain tumors, and they say the results are promising….

WMRA Daily 6/26/20

Jun 26, 2020

Charlottesville Police charge four protesters with vandalism after allegedly spray painting slogans on the street in front of the police department during a protest on Sunday…  Governor Northam launches a new program to help people struggling to pay their rents or mortgages…  Even as the governor says he wants to further relax public restrictions, the number of new cases of COVID-19, and deaths, is ticking back up in Virginia….

WMRA Daily 6/25/20

Jun 25, 2020

A look at state health department data on COVID-19 in local nursing homes…  Now that the primaries are over, what does Virginia’s U.S. Senate race look like?...  Pro-gun activists challenge Virginia’s new background checks law….

WMRA Daily 6/24/20

Jun 24, 2020

In Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats choose a UVa doctor to run against the Republican in the fifth district’s open congressional seat, and Republican Daniel Gade will run against Senator Mark Warner…  Governor Northam says he plans to further relax COVID-19 related restrictions next week, even though new cases have stopped declining...  Virginia's Supreme Court is ending the moratorium on evictions that had been in place due to the pandemic….

WMRA Daily 6/23/20

Jun 23, 2020

JMU says it wants to change the names of three campus buildings that honor confederates, but not the school’s name itself, even though James Madison enslaved more than 100 people…  Confrontations between protesters and police in Richmond continue, and state officials restrict access to the big Lee Statue…  Virginia holds pandemic primary elections….