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 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….

WMRA Daily 3/27/20

Mar 27, 2020

We explore local responses to the virus outbreak, including school officials in Harrisonburg distributing food to students, an intention to enforce the governor’s physical distancing order in Charlottesville, and new ways to enjoy local theatre offerings online…  We also look at the record-setting spike in jobless claims in Virginia, and what might be in store for the economy in the next few months….

WMRA Daily 3/26/20

Mar 26, 2020

Governor Northam orders hospitals to put off elective surgeries during the pandemic…  Virginia expects some relief from stimulus bills working their way through Congress, but will it be enough?...  Now that many of us are more socially isolated than ever, some are taking in cats for companionship….

WMRA Daily 3/25/20

Mar 25, 2020

Virginia has received the first of two shipments of medical gear from the federal government….  Liberty University bucks the college consensus on campus coronavirus safety…  What can Virginia’s experience with the Influenza Pandemic of 1918 teach us about how to respond to COVID-19?

WMRA Daily 3/24/20

Mar 24, 2020

You may have seen this coming, and now it’s official – the Governor orders K-12 schools closed for the rest of the academic year, and non-essential businesses must close too, including restaurants…  The good news is you can still order curbside takeout or delivery…  We check in with one local bike repair business dealing with new social restrictions, and even welcoming new customers during the outbreak…  We learn about one local non-profit, “Hope Distributed,” and how they’re helping during the outbreak….

One of WMRA’s community news partners is The Citizen, an online news source focusing on Harrisonburg.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke spoke with publisher Ryan Alessi about how they’ve been covering the virus outbreak, including the latest story in The Citizen, an interview with one of the three people in the Harrisonburg area who has developed COVID-19.

WMRA Daily 3/23/20

Mar 23, 2020

Now more than 200 cases of COVID-19 in Virginia…  As the rate of increase in cases jumps, Governor Northam says that’s partly due to increased testing in Virginia…  We check in with how two important parts of the economy are dealing with the requirements of social distancing – real estate and restaurants….

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….