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 6/22/20

Jun 22, 2020

A 120-year-old confederate statue in Farmville comes down after a unanimous town council vote, cops in Richmond prevent protesters from doing the same to another one there, and protesters in Charlottesville march to defund local police…  In a sign that Virginia is now a blue state, whoever wins Tuesday’s GOP nod to challenge Democrat Mark Warner will likely have an uphill battle…  Goochland High students enjoy a rainy drive-in graduation during a pandemic….

WMRA Daily 6/5/20

Jun 5, 2020

Details to be ironed out, but the statue of General Robert E. Lee in Richmond WILL come down…  Most of Virginia is under more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions beginning today…  Universities have received millions of dollars from the federal government to help during the financial crisis – how are they spending it?

WMRA Daily 6/4/20

Jun 4, 2020

Richmond’s mayor and the governor intend to remove Confederate statues from Monument Avenue – they’ve been there for decades…  Meanwhile, Charlottesville's Police Civilian Review Board will soon be able to get to work…  As Virginia gets set to move into Phase II of relaxed coronavirus restrictions, how are shops in downtown Staunton responding?

WMRA Daily 6/3/20

Jun 3, 2020

Governor Northam says most of Virginia is ready for Phase 2 of reopening after months of business shutdowns due to the pandemic…  We hear the voices of protesters in Richmond, incensed over police use of tear gas, and the mayor’s reaction…  One Confederate monument in Alexandria is no longer a problem -- because it’s not there anymore….

WMRA Daily 6/2/20

Jun 2, 2020

Hundreds of protesters march peacefully in Harrisonburg, an evening after the arrest of hundreds of demonstrators in Richmond…  The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and unrest across the country has lawmakers in Virginia considering criminal justice reform…  Dozens of black alumni of Liberty University suggest President Jerry Falwell Jr. step down after mocking Virginia’s mask-wearing requirement….

WMRA Daily 6/1/20

Jun 1, 2020

Demonstrators protesting police abuse gathered peacefully in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville and Staunton, but there was violence in Richmond over the weekend, and protesters spray-painted several Confederate statues there…  Meanwhile, unemployment in the commonwealth hit a new record last week….  Hurricane Season begins today, and with the coronavirus already stretching emergency resources, the Red Cross of Virginia makes some changes in its preparation….

WMRA Daily 5/29/20

May 29, 2020

UVa says it plans to reopen grounds to students and faculty on schedule in August, but there are still lots of details to work out…  Numbers measuring the impact of COVID-19 show a disproportionate hit in Latino communities, including those in Harrisonburg…  We meet a group of musicians and artists from across Virginia producing original work to protest pipeline construction with livestream concerts twice a month….

WMRA Daily 5/28/20

May 28, 2020

The governor’s mask-wearing mandate goes into effect Friday – meanwhile, Virginia has now lost nearly 1,300 people to COVID-19, a death toll equivalent to the population of Edinburg…  The race for the next governor in 2021 just got a little more crowded…  A historic site north of Farmville that provided land and money for a school for African-American children during Jim Crow is now threatened by plans for a huge garbage dump….

WMRA Daily 5/27/20

May 27, 2020

After weeks of pressure from labor activists to release the data, health officials now say more than 300 cases of COVID-19 have been reported among workers at seven local poultry plants…  Governor Northam issues a statewide mask mandate for indoor public places…  Virginia will decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot on July 1st, but that may not help some offenders  much….

WMRA Daily 5/26/20

May 26, 2020

Local governments will soon get their hands on funding from the federal CARES Act to mitigate economic effects of the pandemic…  As courts reopen, should they continue to collect fines and fees?...  Virginians honor those fallen during war….

WMRA Daily 5/25/20

May 25, 2020

Unemployment spikes to more than 10% in Virginia, and that means that more families are experiencing food insecurity…  Charlottesville’s city manager says it’s time to revisit the removal of Confederate statues…  Now that the unofficial start of summer is upon us with Memorial Day, we have some advice on how to enjoy the outdoors, safely, during a pandemic….

WMRA Daily 5/22/20

May 22, 2020

The number of new jobless claims in Virginia is down again for last week, but still way above average, as the state’s unemployment rate continues to climb…  As Virginia begins to relax virus-related restrictions on businesses, public health experts at UVa warn the state risks a rise in infections…  Even as Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg says it is closing down, the American Shakespeare Center has found new life online….

WMRA Daily 5/21/20

May 21, 2020

The latest casualty from the pandemic and economic downturn is Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, shutting down for at least a year…  Governor Northam says Medicaid expansion is helping low-income Virginians during the COVID crisis…  Should local governments be involved in federal immigration enforcement?

WMRA Daily 5/20/20

May 20, 2020

Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Buckingham County’s prisons make it second in Virginia in number of cases per capita…  Nursing homes in the commonwealth still have trouble obtaining personal protective equipment…  Meanwhile, the number of kids getting routine vaccinations during the pandemic has dropped, and doctors say that could create another problem….

WMRA Daily 5/19/20

May 19, 2020

Virginia’s finance secretary says unemployment is high, but the state may be turning a corner…  One summer program in the Valley aims to help small businesses navigate the new pandemic normal, and what comes afterward…  Meanwhile, medical centers try to map a path to survival through this crisis, in the second part of a report on hospitals and COVID-19 in Virginia….

The Staunton Creative Community Fund is facilitating a virtual Rebuild and Recovery program for small business owners in the Shenandoah Valley who have been hurt by the economic downturn.  WMRA's Bob Leweke reports.

WMRA Daily 5/18/20

May 18, 2020

Almost six out of every ten deaths from COVID-19 in Virginia have been at nursing homes, according to one report…  Meanwhile, courts in Virginia resume hearing non-emergency cases, and that includes eviction lawsuits…  Hospitals in the commonwealth may now resume normal operations, but that doesn’t mean things are back to normal….

WMRA Daily 5/15/20

May 15, 2020

New jobless claims in Virginia were down again last week, but still way high…  Some businesses in some parts of Virginia are re-opening today, and some critics say the governor is loosening restrictions too fast, but meanwhile one sheriff says he won’t enforce the ones that remain…  We have a look at what researchers in Virginia are discovering about drugs to treat the virus….

WMRA Daily 5/14/20

May 14, 2020

A federal report says the state police pilot who died in a helicopter crash near Charlottesville during the Unite the Right rally was not trained for such situations…  A surge of deaths at a nursing home in Luray means that Page County leads Virginia in the COVID-19 death rate by population…  Nevertheless, it’s official – the Governor says many Virginia businesses may partially re-open on Friday, as some of the lawmakers in his own party say that will place many people of color at an unfair risk….

WMRA Daily 5/13/20

May 13, 2020

Governor Northam makes it official – even as new cases of COVID-19 have continued to climb, he says some restrictions will begin to be relaxed this Friday, except in northern Virginia…  Meanwhile, critics say the plan puts communities of color at risk… How is the pandemic aggravating so-called stress injuries, and how we can address them?

WMRA Daily 5/12/20

May 12, 2020

Northern Virginia says it’s not ready to begin relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, and the governor agrees…  We check in with two first-generation JMU freshmen to see how they’re coping with an upended first year in college…  The Harrisonburg - Rockingham Free Clinic has also had to make changes to adapt to the pandemic, and we’ll hear from its executive director….

WMRA Daily 5/11/20

May 11, 2020

The first reported death in Buckingham County from COVID-19 is at a correctional center there…  Governor Northam says Virginia will gradually begin lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions this Friday…  Meanwhile, leaders in Northern Virginia say that region isn’t ready yet….

WMRA Daily 5/8/20

May 8, 2020

There was another decline in new jobless claims in Virginia last week, but that number is still very high…  One advocacy group for low-income Virginians says Governor Northam’s plan to begin re-opening the state for business next Friday is “reckless”…  More than half of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have involved nursing homes or assisted living centers, and now Virginia’s hospitals are offering a new level of cooperation….

Governor Ralph Northam says parts of Virginia may be ready to begin re-opening for business as early as next Friday, May 15th.  The Legal Aid Justice Center in Charlottesville says that’s reckless.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke reports.

WMRA Daily 5/7/20

May 7, 2020

Could some parts of Virginia begin opening up for business earlier than others?...  In addition to businesses, the governor’s closure order also applies to churches, and that has led to a legal challenge…  Local midwives say they’re seeing a surge of interest in out-of-hospital births, as people avoid hospitals out of fear of the new coronavirus ….

WMRA Daily 5/6/20

May 6, 2020

An agreement to allow mail-in ballots without a witness goes through, but so far only for June’s primary elections…  Meanwhile, we have a profile of the Republicans who want to challenge Democratic Senator Mark Warner this November…  How can we keep the new coronavirus from returning in a second or third wave?

WMRA Daily 5/5/20

May 5, 2020

Harrisonburg says it will lay off part-time staff because of the pandemic, predicting a $4 million budget shortfall this year…  Meanwhile, Governor Northam says some businesses in Virginia may be able to open by the end of next week…  In response to having to stay at home, and the empty egg section at the local grocery store, more people are getting their own chickens….

Deanna Reed is Mayor of Harrisonburg.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke spoke with her Monday morning (May 4), and started by asking for her view on why the city has had one of the highest concentrations of COVID-19 reported in Virginia.

WMRA Daily 5/4/20

May 4, 2020

Governor Northam is expected to announce new guidelines today for the state’s eventual reopening, even as the spread of COVID-19 in Virginia is not abating, with the largest single-day increase in deaths for the state during the pandemic over the weekend… Meanwhile, Harrisonburg offers free testing at two locations...  And Friendly City golfers demonstrate in support of continuing city subsidies for the local course….

WMRA Daily 5/1/20

May 1, 2020

A white supremacist pleads guilty to two charges at a federal court in Charlottesville… As new cases of COVID-19 continue to increase in Virginia, and the governor’s stay-at-home and business closure orders are still in place, data from cell phones show Virginians are becoming a little restless… And, we take a deep look at the disease as it spreads in two types of institutions in Virginia – prisons and nursing homes….