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.

Beginning Friday [March 20], Bridgewater Retirement Community is among the facilities limiting access to the public in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke spoke with Crista Cabe at BRC.

WMRA Daily 3/20/20

Mar 20, 2020

A JMU student and a UVa student are among the new cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, as the total climbs to 94 in the Commonwealth…  Governor Northam announces loosened rules for those on Medicaid and new help for small businesses…  Meanwhile, unemployment claims are skyrocketing in Virginia due to the outbreak….

WMRA Daily 3/19/20

Mar 19, 2020

JMU and Bridgewater College now say students should stay away for the rest of the semester, and Virginia colleges are cancelling Spring commencement ceremonies…  Middle River Regional Jail in Verona is releasing some non-violent offenders to mitigate the spread of the virus…  We explore the effects of extended school closures in Virginia, including on SOL testing, and for those students who rely on their schools for meals….

WMRA Daily 3/18/20

Mar 18, 2020

Out of more than 1,000 people tested in Virginia, now 67 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and Governor Northam says businesses, including restaurants, will be barred from serving more than 10 customers at a time…  More people, including students at home from school, are now online, so your Internet service may be slower – we’ll find out what you can do about that…  Why is the president such a frequent target for comedians?

WMRA Daily 3/17/20

Mar 17, 2020

State and local governments, businesses and individuals struggle to deal with the coronavirus outbreak, as Charlottesville reports its first case, and eastern Virginia reports the second death from COVID-19 in the commonwealth…  Meanwhile, Augusta County declares a state of emergency, and Sentara announces the first drive-through screenings in eastern Virginia, and that may come to Charlottesville and Harrisonburg soon….

WMRA Daily 3/16/20

Mar 16, 2020

The first death in Virginia from COVID-19, as the governor closes schools statewide and bans gatherings of 100 people or more…  Meanwhile, some activists are calling for an end to evictions during the outbreak…  Before the days of social distancing and self-quarantining, Harrisonburg’s roller derby team held an open “Derby 101” demonstration for the, well, “derby-curious”….

Virginia health officials on Saturday (March 14) reported the state’s first death from the coronavirus, a man in his 70s in eastern Virginia who died of respiratory failure after acquiring the virus through an unknown source.

WMRA Daily 2/12/20

Feb 12, 2020

Charlottesville Police arrest a man who took a historic marker memorializing the site of slave auctions…  Meanwhile, Tuesday was Crossover Day in the General Assembly, the deadline for any bill to be passed through one chamber for consideration in the other, and we’ll take a look at where some of those bills stand now…  We explore the legacy of Harrisonburg’s controversial “urban renewal” projects in the ‘50s and ‘60s….

WMRA Daily 2/11/20

Feb 11, 2020

One man is reported dead after an accident at a steel plant near Staunton…  In the General Assembly, lawmakers pass a Tenants’ Bill of Rights and move to decriminalize marijuana, but it looks like repealing Right to Work will have to wait for another year….

Courtesy JMU Accounting Dept.

The IRS started accepting tax returns on January 27.  And low-to-middle income filers in our area can get free help preparing and filing their returns at several locations.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke reports.

WMRA Daily 2/10/20

Feb 10, 2020

Tips on how to get free help filing your taxes if you’re a low-middle income taxpayer… The General Assembly advances Governor Northam’s assault-style weapons ban, keeps right-to-work for now, and will soon consider decriminalizing marijuana…  We meet this month’s Books & Brews author, Russ Eanes, who tells us about his amazing journey over the mountains of Spain….

WMRA Daily 2/7/20

Feb 7, 2020

In Richmond this week, lawmakers move bills to protect LGBTQ status, overhaul Virginia’s electric grid, and allow collective bargaining for teachers…  An Urban Forest Strike Team (yup, that’s what it’s called!) will swarm into the Winchester area next week to survey damage from the invasive spotted lanternfly…  A local chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign takes root in the Shenandoah Valley….

WMRA Daily 2/6/20

Feb 6, 2020

A Louisa teenager could be tried as an adult in the murder of an elderly couple…  A former VMI cadet says he was waterboarded and assaulted there and had to leave, and now he’s suing the school…  And, in the General Assembly, measures pass protecting workers, raising the minimum wage, and helping immigrants who move to Virginia, but one part of the governor’s gun control package – a ban on assault-style guns – is stalled….

WMRA Daily 2/5/20

Feb 5, 2020

Lawmakers in Richmond continue a busy week, advancing bills to legalize casinos, repeal right-to-work, end frivolous lawsuits, protect residents in public housing, and safeguard sexual orientation and gender identity…  Monitors in Norfolk say sea levels are rising even faster than expected…  Gun advocate and Culpeper County sheriff Scott Jenkins says there are more guns than citizens – is he right?  Politifact Virginia checks into it….

WMRA Daily 2/4/20

Feb 4, 2020

As lawmakers in Richmond advance a bill that would give Virginia’s localities control over their monuments, a Confederate statue in Harrisonburg is vandalized…  State lawmakers also block one of the governor’s gun control measures, and consider requiring employers to offer paid family leave…  Staunton native and head of the N-I-H Francis Collins will be one of the guests on tonight’s Finding Your Roots show on PBS….

WMRA Daily 2/3/20

Feb 3, 2020

Scientists at UVa are working on a genetic database that could help fight future outbreaks like the coronavirus…  Your local government may soon get the power to impose taxes on plastic bags…  We examine the work of birth doulas, and why some lawmakers in Richmond are pushing for their services to be covered by Medicaid….

WMRA Daily 1/31/20

Jan 31, 2020

Virginia’s attorney general joins a lawsuit against the National Archivist to force him to certify the ERA…  It's a busy week in the General Assembly, with bipartisan efforts on prison reform, plus proposed changes to Virginia elections, gun control, student free press protections, and the so-called right to work law….

WMRA Daily 1/30/20

Jan 30, 2020

A new study finds racial disparity at almost every level of the criminal justice system in Charlottesville and Albemarle County…  In the General Assembly, lawmakers advance gun control, consider allowing assisted suicide, and try to define what milk is…  We have a Politifact Virginia report on the facts surrounding proposed new gun laws….

WMRA Daily 1/29/20

Jan 29, 2020

We review a busy day in the General Assembly, as Democrats undo GOP restrictions on abortion, push to include domestic workers in a minimum wage hike, and press for paid family medical leave…  Meanwhile, the National Archives says it will not certify the ERA, just ratified by Virginia…  Local pastors react to a proposed split in the United Methodist Church over LGBTQ issues….

WMRA Daily 1/28/20

Jan 28, 2020

Two residents of central Virginia are NOT infected by the coronavirus…  Virginia officially becomes the critical 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and now it’s up to the courts…  Teachers rally in Richmond for more school funding….

WMRA Daily 1/27/20

Jan 27, 2020

State health officials are monitoring three possible cases of the new coronavirus in Virginia…  Anti-war activists in Harrisonburg join protests around the world against U.S. conflict with Iran…  A new mural in Charlottesville envisions what monuments might replace two controversial Confederate statues….

WMRA Daily 1/24/20

Jan 24, 2020

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has to help pay for one man’s injuries from the August 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville…  Meanwhile, Charlottesville wants the public's help in naming five new parks…  The General Assembly advances bills to limit payday lending rates, and to require public schools to include free menstrual products in their bathrooms….

WMRA Daily 1/23/20

Jan 23, 2020

Virginia’s Senate passes a controversial “red flag” gun law, over fierce Republican opposition…  Democrats propose loosening restrictions on abortion…  Meanwhile, state legislators are getting rid of outdated laws from the Jim Crow era, as the General Assembly enters its 401st year….

WMRA Daily 1/22/20

Jan 22, 2020

Lots of action in the General Assembly, as the state Senate advances measures to establish a so-called “red flag” gun law, and to replace Lee-Jackson Day with an election day holiday…  Groups supporting workers are excited about their agenda moving through the General Assembly…  State lottery officials say so-called “games of skill” are taking money away from school funding….

WMRA Daily 1/21/20

Jan 21, 2020

Tens of thousands of supporters of gun rights stream into Richmond to voice their opposition to new gun control laws being considered by the General Assembly…  Many other groups avoid the area on what is a traditional rally day at the state capitol….  Meanwhile, JMU kicks off a week-long series of events commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr. with help from former NPR and PBS host Ray Suarez….

WMRA Daily 1/20/20

Jan 20, 2020

A focus on Richmond today, where thousands of gun supporters are expected to converge, and the Governor has declared a state of emergency…  Meanwhile, gun sales are way up in Virginia…  Freedom of the press and access to information are issues that might get more traction this year, now that Democrats have taken control of the General Assembly….

WMRA Daily 1/17/20

Jan 17, 2020

A whirlwind of activity surrounding the gun issue in Virginia, as the FBI arrests three white supremacists headed to Monday’s gun rally at the state Capitol…  A judge upholds the governor’s ban on firearms at that rally…  The Virginia Senate passes several bills that would place further restrictions on firearms….

WMRA Daily 1/16/20

Jan 16, 2020

Three drivers are dead after a tractor trailer crash on I-81 in Harrisonburg that blocked lanes for seven hours…  In Richmond, history is made as the General Assembly votes to ratify the ERA, and Governor Northam declares a state of emergency in advance of next week's pro- and anti-gun rallies at the Capitol…  We explore the history of black lawmakers in Virginia….

WMRA Daily 1/15/20

Jan 15, 2020

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says he has the votes for a new war powers resolution…  In the General Assembly, the ERA is closer to passage, and legislators debate gerrymandering…  Alumni and former teachers fight to save a much-loved elementary school in Rockingham County….

WMRA Daily 1/14/20

Jan 14, 2020

In Richmond, new gun security measures cause long lines, high school students march for a Green New Deal act, and Democrats push paid sick time for low-wage workers – we’ll have a General Assembly update…  Conservationists celebrate new protections for a chunk of land near Mount Jackson called the Knob…  West Virginia renews its Civil War-era invitation for Frederick County, home of Winchester, to join the Mountain State – Frederick County says “no”….