Calvin Pynn

Freelance Reporter

Calvin Pynn is a radio reporter, writer, and photographer based in Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Originally hailing from the New River Valley, his career has been a continuous back and forth switch between radio broadcasting and print journalism. Before earning his bachelors degree in English from Radford University in 2012, Calvin held various positions at the university's radio station, WVRU 89.9, and was also the Arts and Entertainment Editor for RU's newspaper, The Tartan. From 2013 to 2015, he reported for The Southwest Times in Pulaski, VA. He has also contributed articles to The Roanoke Times, The Daily News-Record, and has also volunteered on air for Virginia Tech's radio station, WUVT 90.7, and recently for Staunton's community station, WQSV 106.3.  Calvin's reporting interests include business and technology, art and culture, human interest features, and the wider impact of social justice issues.  In his spare time, Calvin enjoys immersing himself in music - whether it's supporting local bands, going to major concerts, playing guitar, programming electronic music, or just listening to heavy metal. He also enjoys reading, riding his bike, and cooking. 

Calvin Pynn

Harrisonburg’s free clinic closed at the end of 2020.  Nearly one year later, its successor has a permanent home, and it’s meeting pent-up demand. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

After 10 days of fighting and hundreds killed, Israel and Hamas are observing a cease fire.  In Harrisonburg, protesters rallied in solidarity with Palestinians on Saturday. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Senator Tim Kaine visited the Shenandoah Valley Thursday.  He met with aviation business leaders at Blue Ridge Community College and with faculty and staff at James Madison University.  He also met with local officials and volunteers in Broadway to learn more about an effort to repurpose an unused railroad corridor as a multi-purpose trail.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

National Archives

This Friday marks 70 years since students at Moton High School in Farmville, Virginia walked out of class to protest racial segregation in Prince Edward County public schools in a moment.

James Madison University

Several JMU physicists lent a hand to a groundbreaking particle physics discovery that jolted the global science community since last week. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports. Note: WMRA's operating license is held by JMU's board of visitors.

Middle River Regional Jail

The board that oversees the Middle River Regional Jail near Staunton is considering whether to expand the facility, which has become overcrowded in recent years.  But critics say that expanding the jail isn’t the answer. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Gemeinschaft Home provides refuge in Harrisonburg for men rejoining society after incarceration, but that option hasn’t been available for women in the same situation. Now, they have new money for a women’s program, and they’ve been welcoming their first guests at a new house near downtown Harrisonburg.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Sentara RMH

The first round of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was shipped out to hospitals across Virginia this week, and frontline healthcare workers at Sentara RMH got their doses on Thursday. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with the first person there to receive the vaccine.

Calvin Pynn

A team of engineers and students at James Madison University has outfitted a golf cart to drive itself.  And it’s not meant for the golf course.  The autonomous cart is designed to help transport elderly passengers safely across retirement communities. The group test drove the cart on campus this week, and WMRA’s Calvin Pynn took it for a ride.

Calvin Pynn

Artists have been hit hard by the pandemic.  They haven't just lost out on gallery sales, but they've also lost the experience of their work being seen in-person. Several arts organizations in Central Virginia have been working to change that. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

The Staunton Creative Community Fund is starting a hybrid program to help Shenandoah Valley businesses create jobs and compete at a national level.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Democratic Mayor Deanna Reed, newcomer Laura Dent, and Independent incumbent George Hirschmann appear to have won the election for Harrisonburg City Council. However, like most other races in the 2020 election, the results probably won’t be final until later this week. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Karen Lee

Climate activist groups in the Shenandoah Valley have teamed up for a project collecting video testimonials.  It’s an effort to urge voters to consider the environment as they vote in this election season. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

OCP website

The pandemic has complicated this year’s fundraising for Our Community Place.  Instead of a separate fall Gala and Christmas Concert fundraiser, OCP will hold both at the same time this weekend. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn has this preview.

Calvin Pynn

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic will close at the end of the year, after serving uninsured adults in the area for more than three decades. Staff and volunteers are spending the final months making sure the clinic’s patients won’t be left behind. WMRA's Calvin Pynn reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Counter-protesters, some of them members of local militias, weren’t the only people with firearms at recent Black Lives Matter protests in Broadway and Elkton.  One group with the protesters was also carrying weapons.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with some of them, and also got reaction from a criminal justice expert.

Calvin Pynn

Just one week into the Fall semester, JMU announced that all classes will go online for the next month, and residents on campus are being sent home. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn caught up with some of those students.

Calvin Pynn

Senator Mark Warner sat down with Harrisonburg community leaders on Thursday to discuss health care concerns and explore solutions to the pandemic crisis. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Luray on Saturday calling for the mayor's resignation after he shared a racist post on Facebook. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Thousands of workers across the country walked off the job on Monday to demand racial and economic justice for workers.  In Harrisonburg, more than 200 people rallied at Court Square to protest structural racism in the Shenandoah Valley. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The pandemic.  An unemployment crisis.  Daily reckonings with police brutality and systemic racism in America....  These days, people of color are experiencing a special need for mental health care. In the next installment of our series, Mental Health Matters, WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with providers in the valley about how they are addressing that need.

Calvin Pynn

Governor Ralph Northam announced yesterday that Virginia will be the first state in the nation to adopt emergency workplace safety standards in response to COVID-19. These new rules will protect essential workers, including those in the Shenandoah Valley’s poultry plants. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Harrisonburg demonstrators joined global protests over racial injustices in America with a silent march Monday night. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Court Square Theater

The Arts Council of the Valley announced this week that they will suspend operations at Court Square Theater for at least one year due to financial pressures, starting this summer. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with the Council’s executive director Jenny Burden about what the future holds.

Calvin Pynn

The Heritage Oaks golf course has been a contentious topic in Harrisonburg over the past two decades.  An online petition has more than 1000 signatures demanding the city stop subsidizing it, but on Sunday hundreds of supporters took to the course to show they want it to stay. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Calvin Pynn

Poultry workers and their advocates are concerned about working conditions in Rockingham County’s processing plants.  Monday afternoon, advocates held a local car rally to show solidarity for workers, and to send a message to those in power. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Earl Dotter of Oxfam America

The Shenandoah Valley’s poultry processing plants have continued to operate through the pandemic.  They are considered essential businesses under the governor's closure order.  But line workers at those plants have expressed fears that new safety measures implemented recently are not enough. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

In Part 2 of his report on the Harrisonburg Farmers’ Market's transition to a new normal, WMRA’s Calvin Pynn takes us to the Market on its first day back, and how its managers plan to continue operating for the foreseeable future.

Courtesy of Harrisonburg Farmers Market

The Harrisonburg Farmers Market is moving its operations online to keep going during the COVID-19 pandemic. In part one of this story, WMRA’s Calvin Pynn explores how James Madison University’s X-Labs and a group of graduate students helped get them there.