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 4/30/20

Apr 30, 2020

A white supremacist from Florida is expected to plead guilty to making racist threats against a Charlottesville activist… Beginning Friday, elective surgeries and non-emergency dental procedures may resume in Virginia… Friday is the 1st of May, and we’ll have a report on how landlords and tenants are dealing with paying, or not paying, rent during the economic shutdown….

WMRA Daily 4/29/20

Apr 29, 2020

An employee at a Shenandoah Valley poultry plant is dead from COVID-19, as pressure increases on the industry over worker safety… UVA Health cuts back on pay and other benefits in response to lost revenue stemming from the outbreak… Next month, Virginians will head to the polls to vote in local elections….

WMRA Daily 4/28/20

Apr 28, 2020

Advocates for Valley poultry workers hold a car rally to show their support, as a team of federal health officials heads to the Delmarva Peninsula to address concerns at poultry plants there… Meanwhile, a second outbreak in the Harrisonburg area, this one at the correctional facility in Linville, where 25 inmates are now infected… Jessie Knadler is back reporting for WMRA, with a story about Valley residents stepping up to answer the need for face masks….

WMRA Daily 4/27/20

Apr 27, 2020

As the number of new cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, Republican lawmakers and business leaders press Governor Northam to open up Virginia, but policy experts and doctors urge him to extend the period of physical distancing…  JMU plans to reopen campus in the fall…  The Virginia Folklife program in Charlottesville now has a plan that pairs master artists with students online….

WMRA Daily 4/24/20

Apr 24, 2020

New unemployment claims are down from the previous week, but since mid-March nearly a half-million Virginians have filed jobless claims…  Despite the pandemic, there may be a local election near you in just a few days…  We go to one neighborhood in Staunton where, every evening, from kids to seniors, they HOWL against the pandemic….

Elliott Robinson is the news editor at Charlottesville Tomorrow, one of WMRA’s news partners.  Bob Leweke spoke with him about their latest reporting and what’s happening in Charlottesville during the COVID-19 crisis.

WMRA Daily 4/23/20

Apr 23, 2020

A surreal scene in Richmond as lawmakers meet for their one-day veto session, delegates under a tent outside, masks on, no ties, and blaring horns from nearby protesters…  Line workers at Valley poultry plants express fears that new safety measures implemented recently are not enough…  One local family doctor says Harrisonburg may be reporting so many COVID-19 cases because -- maybe -- there’s more testing there, not necessarily because the virus is more prevalent….

Harrisonburg Family Practice

Dr. Greg Jesteadt is a physician at Harrisonburg Family Practice and a clinical professor of family medicine for the University of Virginia.  WMRA's Bob Leweke reached out to him for his perspective, as a physician seeing patients, on the COVID-19 crisis.  Dr. Jesteadt emphasized that his views are his own, and not necessarily those of other physicians at the practice, or at UVa.  Bob began by asking him what he’s seeing in his practice now.

WMRA Daily 4/22/20

Apr 22, 2020

The General Assembly meets for an unprecedented veto session during a pandemic-driven economic crisis…  Harrisonburg’s new high school could be delayed for up to a year due to that crisis…  Does having diabetes put you at increased risk for dying from the novel coronavirus?

WMRA Daily 4/21/20

Apr 21, 2020

The number of new COVID-19 cases is down for the third straight day, but the guidelines call for two full weeks of declining numbers before restrictions are relaxed…  Meanwhile, can your dog or cat catch the disease?...  Stuck inside, lots of Virginians are drinking more, and liquor sales are up even though the bars are closed to patrons, so what’s in YOUR ‘quarantini’?

WMRA Daily 4/20/20

Apr 20, 2020

Governor Northam says Virginia is not ready to begin easing restrictions on businesses, and largely due to a massive outbreak at one nursing home in Harrisonburg, the Friendly City, per capita, now has the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in Virginia…  Meanwhile, 25 kids have tested positive at one juvenile correctional center near Richmond, accounting for a quarter of all cases reported at youth facilities nationwide…  And, we ask an expert to compare today’s pandemic to the 1918 flu outbreak in our area….

WMRA Daily 4/17/20

Apr 17, 2020

Unemployment claims in Virginia last week were still massive, but down a little from the week before…  We profile a new mental health service designed to help during the pandemic, and our COVID minute has some advice for helping your kids through this crisis…  We find out how smoothly Harrisonburg Farmers Market’s transition to online ordering and drive-through pickup worked….

WMRA Daily 4/16/20

Apr 16, 2020

A dubious distinction for Fluvanna County and the city of Harrisonburg, which now rank first and second respectively for the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 per capita…  Governor Northam extends his non-essential business closure order to May 8th…  Harrisonburg’s Farmers Market goes online with a little help from their friends…  Bob checks in again with The Citizen’s Ryan Alessi….

With more than 100 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the city of Harrisonburg now ranks second in Virginia in the number of cases per capita.  That’s according to the latest figures from the Virginia Public Access ProjectThe Citizen is keeping track of how Harrisonburg’s city council is responding, and WMRA's Bob Leweke asked co-founder Ryan Alessi about that story and more.

WMRA Daily 4/15/20

Apr 15, 2020

Nursing homes in Virginia, including one in Harrisonburg, become a focus for the COVID-19 outbreak…  State officials report the first death of an inmate, a woman at a Goochland prison, from COVID-19…  The virus has changed the business landscape, but local shops are adapting, and even reaching out to help those in need….

WMRA Daily 4/14/20

Apr 14, 2020

New models from UVa show physical distancing is helping slow the spread of coronavirus in the state…  In our daily COVID, we compare the effectiveness of hand-washing and hand sanitizer…  We have the first in a two-part report on the health of small business in Harrisonburg….

WMRA Daily 4/13/20

Apr 13, 2020

Now more than 750 new cases of COVID-19 in Virginia, and the first death confirmed by state health officials in the Central Shenandoah Health District…  Governor Northam signed a number of bills Saturday, including anti-discrimination legislation that offers new LGBTQ protections and another measure that gives localities, including Charlottesville, permission to remove Confederate monuments…  Northam has also announced plans to free about 2,000 inmates early due to the pandemic….

WMRA Daily 4/10/20

Apr 10, 2020

Out of now more than 4,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Virginia, most are in northern and eastern Virginia, but the disease is also spiking in our region, with dozens of cases in the Harrisonburg and Charlottesville areas…  Meanwhile, Virginia sets another record in jobless claims…  As Mr. Rogers advised, we look to the helpers, particularly in the Staunton area, as Project GROWS works to provide fresh, locally grown food to those experiencing food insecurity….

WMRA Daily 4/9/20

Apr 9, 2020

As part of an ongoing series with local officials during this crisis, we check in with Winchester Mayor David Smith…  Governor Northam warns lawmakers to expect changes to the state budget when they return to Richmond later this month, and he also moves to push back congressional primaries…  Is the pandemic hitting African-Americans harder in Virginia?  Probably, but unfortunately we don’t have all the numbers….

WMRA Daily 4/8/20

Apr 8, 2020

Researchers now predict Virginia’s COVID-19 deaths will peak on April 22nd, almost a month earlier than previous predictions…  Governor Northam may delay some long-sought Democratic priorities, including collective bargaining for local government workers, until he knows more about the pandemic’s affect on the economy…  I talk shop with Elliott Robinson of Charlottesville Tomorrow….

As part of our ongoing conversations with WMRA's local news partners, Bob Leweke spoke with Elliott Robinson, news editor at Charlottesville Tomorrow.  The conversation started with Elliott's description of their coverage of how local non-profits are dealing with the loss of funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WMRA Daily 4/7/20

Apr 7, 2020

Virginia officials now say wear a facemask if you’re out in public…  Harrisonburg’s Gus Bus, a popular children’s literacy program, moves its reading program to YouTube…  Mary Baldwin University says it will provide temporary housing for people who are homeless…  We talk with Staunton native, now head of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins….

WMRA Daily 4/6/20

Apr 6, 2020

As COVID-19 cases in Virginia pass 2,600, Governor Northam warns of a looming recession and a hit to the state’s budget…  Meanwhile, as unemployment claims skyrocket, renters get a little more bargaining power…  We check in with two local attractions taking creative steps during the outbreak to keep serving the community….

WMRA Daily 4/3/20

Apr 3, 2020

UVA Health joins a national clinical trial for remdesivir, a medicine that may show promise in treating COVID-19…  Meanwhile, last week’s jobless claims in Virginia skyrocket, mirroring the national trend…  As bars and restaurants, many of them music venues, close their doors to practice physical distancing, cancelled gigs are forcing some well-known local musical groups to adapt….

WMRA Daily 4/2/20

Apr 2, 2020

As the Army Corps of Engineers evaluates sites in Virginia for extra hospital beds to deal with an expected surge in coronavirus patients, Governor Northam says the peak in cases may be anywhere from late April to late May…  The Heifetz Institute in Staunton moves its summer youth program online…  If you’re stuck at home, why not plant a garden that welcomes wildlife to your yard?

The Citizen continues to cover not only the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Harrisonburg area, but other stories, too.  WMRA's Bob Leweke asked Citizen co-founder Ryan Alessi what stands out this week.

WMRA Daily 4/1/20

Apr 1, 2020

The Charlottesville area sees its first reported death from COVID-19…  One Harrisonburg karate school pivots to a new business model in response to the outbreak…  In this time of pandemic and social isolation, we have some tips to help calm a racing heart, or a troubled mind….

WMRA Daily 3/31/20

Mar 31, 2020

Virginia’s governor issues a stay-at-home order through early June…  We check in with the mayors of Harrisonburg and Staunton on how their communities are coping with the COVID-19 outbreak…  One activist group in Rockbridge County is working to connect people into a network to help one another during the pandemic….

Governor Northam has ordered Virginians to stay at home, with just a few exceptions, to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. The order is in place until June 10.

WMRA Daily 3/30/20

Mar 30, 2020

The first cases of COVID-19 are confirmed in Augusta County and Staunton…  JMU students pack up and leave campus, but wonder what’s next…  Local food banks issue a call for new volunteers….