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 12/18/20

Dec 18, 2020

We meet the doctor who got the first COVID-19 vaccine at Sentara RMH in Harrisonburg…  A statue of civil rights hero Barbara Johns, the Farmville teenager who became part of the case that outlawed segregated schools in 1954, will replace Robert E. Lee at the U.S. Capitol…  Been working from home this year?  Some tips on how to help your dog adjust when you go back to work at the office….

WMRA Daily 12/17/20

Dec 17, 2020

Thousands of households and businesses in Charlottesville and around the Piedmont were without power overnight after Wednesday’s snow and ice storm…  Governor Northam proposes a budget blueprint with $1.2 billion in investments, including a 2 percent raise for teachers…  We go behind the scenes for a glimpse at a classic holiday stage production, in a form that your grandparents might well recognize….

WMRA Daily 12/16/20

Dec 16, 2020

Five Virginians of color from our history are the finalists to replace the statue of Robert E. Lee at the U.S. Capitol…  Even after the pandemic, unemployment may still be a problem in rural areas of the state…  We meet one of the 13 electors who certified Joe Biden’s win in Virginia on Monday….

Leah Pence

On Monday, Virginia’s 13 presidential electors met in Richmond to certify Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect.  The Democrat who represented the 6th district, covering much of the Shenandoah Valley, was Leah Pence, who also serves on Luray’s town council.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke spoke with her and asked her to describe the process, and who the electors are.

WMRA Daily 12/15/20

Dec 15, 2020

Front-line health care workers at hospitals in the Valley and Charlottesville begin receiving Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine…  Meanwhile, the rate of the virus's spread in Virginia is increasing…  As Virginia casts its 13 electoral votes for President-Elect Joe Biden, Virginia Republicans try to navigate the transition….

WMRA Daily 12/14/20

Dec 14, 2020

Virginia steps up issuing unemployment assistance for some whose benefits had been put on hold…  In addition to killing thousands of Virginians, and sickening many others, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened already existing shortages of housing and food in Virginia…  When the General Assembly meets again in January, lawmakers are expected to address the way that school districts are funded….

WMRA Daily 12/11/20

Dec 11, 2020

Governor Northam announces a new stay-at-home order amidst a coronavirus surge in Virginia…  Meanwhile, inmates and their advocates appeal to state corrections officials to do more to fight outbreaks at local facilities…  How can senior citizens best navigate the holidays during a pandemic?

WMRA Daily 12/10/20

Dec 10, 2020

The state’s higher education council chooses a national law firm to conduct the state-ordered investigation of VMI…  Meanwhile, Virginia reported the highest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases Wednesday, and Governor Northam is expected to announce new restrictions today…  It’s official, former governor Terry McAuliffe wants his old job back, but the political landscape in Virginia has changed….

WMRA Daily 12/9/20

Dec 9, 2020

Virginia reports its two highest daily cases of COVID-19 this week, and as a result health officials say they’ll likely have to scale back on contact tracing…  Meanwhile, the National Guard steps in to respond to a severe outbreak at Middle River Regional Jail…  Virginia’s circuit courts are understaffed, and their workers underpaid, and advocates are pushing for lawmakers to find more money for them….

WMRA Daily 12/8/20

Dec 8, 2020

VMI removes its controversial statue of Stonewall Jackson, now headed to its new home at the New Market Battlefield…  Meanwhile, two of Breonna Taylor’s aunts attended the governor’s ceremonial signing of Breonna’s Law, a statewide ban on the use of no-knock search warrants…  The eight legislators who will serve on the new redistricting commission include two senior members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus….

WMRA Daily 12/7/20

Dec 7, 2020

If you’re a health care worker on the front lines, you could get a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the year…  The 6th District’s Ben Cline joins most other Republicans in Congress in refusing to acknowledge that Joe Biden won last month’s election…  Meanwhile, far-right Republican state senator Amanda Chase says she’ll run for governor as an independent, after the state GOP decides to go with a convention next year instead of a primary….

WMRA Daily 12/2/20

Dec 2, 2020

Even before we know the effect of Thanksgiving gatherings, COVID-19 cases continue to surge in our area, particularly in Harrisonburg…  Email records show that the governor's office worked closely behind the scenes with Virginia's parole board to withhold or censor information about alleged misconduct on the board…  After sweeping police reform passes in Virginia, how much will actually change for local residents and officers, and where should we go from here?

WMRA Daily 12/1/20

Dec 1, 2020

More than 200 inmates at Middle River Regional Jail, and dozens of staff there, test positive for COVID-19…  Some Virginians could begin getting a coronavirus vaccine as early as mid-December…  With legislators set to debate legalizing marijuana next year, we fact-check some claims by the governor about racial disparities in pot arrests…

WMRA Daily 11/30/20

Nov 30, 2020

Fewer Virginians are getting unemployment benefits, but that doesn’t mean more people are working…  Applications are open for those who want to serve on Virginia’s newly created bipartisan redistricting commission…  A movement to preserve mobile home neighborhoods is gaining traction around the state….

WMRA Daily 11/26/20

Nov 26, 2020

All about an organization you may not have heard of, but could be key in distributing COVID-19 vaccines…  Why are so many members of the House of Delegates launching runs for statewide office next year?

WMRA Daily 11/25/20

Nov 25, 2020

Harrisonburg once again has one of the highest concentrations of new COVID-19 cases in Virginia…  Unite the Right Charlottesville organizer Jason Kessler is denied a concealed carry permit…  We tour the newly opened Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail near Afton….

WMRA Daily 11/24/20

Nov 24, 2020

After Stuart Hall School laid off a number of teachers, some of them formed a new school in Staunton…  We explore the history and power of Black poetry in Virginia…  Acoustic Café host Tina Owens gets Trent Wagler of the Steel Wheels to talk about the new podcast, We Made You A Song, produced in collaboration with WMRA….

WMRA Daily 11/23/20

Nov 23, 2020

The Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel finally opens, but you’ll need to bring a flashlight…  Virginia’s unemployment rate has fallen a bit, but still higher than this time last year…  As with almost everything else this year, the 25th annual conference at the Wildlife Center of Virginia went virtual, and that actually enabled more people to attend and learn more about wildlife rescue….

WMRA Daily 11/20/20

Nov 20, 2020

A financial expert tells Virginia lawmakers they could be in for a rough budgeting season next year, due to the pandemic…  Meanwhile, extended unemployment benefits for out-of-work Virginians are ending...  Restaurant owners react to new rules about when they can serve alcohol….

WMRA Daily 11/19/20

Nov 19, 2020

Governor Northam says it would be an act of love to stay away from big family gatherings on Thanksgiving…  As the virus surges in Virginia, Northam says the state is ready to roll out vaccines as soon as they’re available…  We meet one woman on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, dealing with a steadily rising sea level….

WMRA Daily 11/18/20

Nov 18, 2020

Former Speaker of the House Kirk Cox throws his hat into the ring for the governor’s race on the GOP side…  Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, and other areas will receive state grants to help boost tourism, an industry hit hard by the pandemic…  A congressman representing rural southwestern Virginia wants to do more to limit the supply of opioids….

WMRA Daily 11/17/20

Nov 17, 2020

Governor Northam says it’s time to legalize recreational pot in Virginia…  Schools in many parts of the commonwealth are still racially segregated – so, what do we do about that?...  Will wolves return to Virginia?

WMRA Daily 11/16/20

Nov 16, 2020

New social restrictions for Virginia begin today, as COVID-19 continues to spread…  A JMU student is killed by a motorcyclist, who also died in the crash…  For the first time in its history, VMI will have a Black superintendent, at least for a while….

WMRA Daily 11/13/20

Nov 13, 2020

State officials express alarm at a study this week showing that school segregation is getting worse, and another report that schools are seeing declining enrollment…  Meanwhile, state revenues are way up, during a fiscal year when they were expected to drop due to the pandemic…  What does the history of red-lining have to do with today’s city heat maps?

WMRA Daily 11/12/20

Nov 12, 2020

The number of new COVID-19 cases are climbing again in Virginia, more than 1,500 yesterday alone…  School segregation in Virginia is getting WORSE, not better…  We tour an art exhibit in Charlottesville that aims to get artists back in the spotlight….

WMRA Daily 11/11/20

Nov 11, 2020

A teenager is sentenced for murder in Louisa County…  Just like public schools, local private institutions have also had to adjust to the pandemic…  Scholar Ed Ayers explains why it’s so important to understand the history of southern migration….

WMRA Daily 11/10/20

Nov 10, 2020

This year’s marathon special legislative session finally draws to a close, with money approved for an investigation into racism at VMI, plus the passage of legislation to protect people of color from abusive police stops…  The federal government tells the would-be builders of the cancelled Atlantic Coast Pipeline to submit plans to clean up the mess….

WMRA Daily 11/9/20

Nov 9, 2020

Several days after she claimed victory, Abigail Spanberger is finally declared the winner of the 7th…  The General Assembly considers the governor’s amendments to its bills, including new money for a state investigation into racism at VMI…  We profile a Charlottesville organization that guides girls and women interested in tech, and supports them once they’re in….

WMRA Daily 11/6/20

Nov 6, 2020

Builders of the Mountain Valley Pipeline say it will cost much more than planned, and take longer to finish…  In this year of a pandemic, economic distress, and protests for racial justice, background checks for new gun sales are at an all-time high…  Even as the votes continue to be counted in other parts of the country, Virginia’s choice for president was overwhelmingly clear, and we’ll have analysis….

WMRA Daily 11/5/20

Nov 5, 2020

Abigail Spanberger declares victory, but her opponent has not conceded, and they’re still counting ballots in the 7th district…  Now that Virginians approved the amendment creating a redistricting commission, what happens next?...  How are shelters in Harrisonburg and across Virginia preparing for cold weather, in the middle of a pandemic?