Jessie Knadler

Freelance Reporter

Jessie Knadler is the editor and co-founder of Shen Valley Magazine, a quarterly print publication that highlights the entrepreneurial energy of the Shenandoah Valley. She has been reporting off and on for WMRA, and occasionally for National Public Radio, since 2015. Her articles and reporting have appeared everywhere from The Wall Street Journal to Real Simple to The Daily Beast. She is the author of two books, including Rurally Screwed (Berkley), inspired by her popular personal blog of the same name, which she wrote for six years. In her spare time, she teaches Pilates reformer, and is the owner of the equipment-based Pilates studio Speakeasy Pilates in Lexington. She is mom to two incredible daughters, June and Katie. IG: @shenvalleymag

Virginia's Department of Labor says the jobless rate in the commonwealth surged to more than 10% in April.  The sharp rise in unemployment is creating a lot of new food insecurity.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler checks in with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank to find out how it’s dealing with the growing demand.

Courtesy of Sara Zia

Some people who would otherwise be fine with having a hospital procedure done are now avoiding the hospital out of fear of the novel coronavirus.  That includes some expectant mothers, more of whom are turning to out-of-hospital births. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler talks to local midwives about the surge of baby business, and the challenges they face.

The Wilmer family

There’s an urgent need for face masks as communities up and down the Valley attempt to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. Plenty of individuals and organizations have responded to the call.  WMRA's Jessie Knadler takes a look at this grass roots effort and how it’s brought a region in crisis together.

Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy and her horse recently completed riding the first 400 miles of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline route. The purpose was to bring awareness and attention to the intensely controversial project.  The pipeline would eventually carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia, including Augusta and Nelson Counties.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler caught up with Murphy two days before the duo finally made it back home to their farm in Afton.

Jessie Knadler

Scores of teen wannabe Elon Musks and Sheryl Sandbergs from across the region convened at Blue Ridge Community College early this month to take part in a two-day Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler was there to capture the teen spirit and learn how to think more like an entrepreneur.

Kate Simon Lifestyle Photography

It’s a big weekend for Staunton as the third annual Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival gets underway on Friday.  Originally known as a “Potter Party” before Warner Brothers cracked down, this mega wizardry fan event has taken on a life of its own. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler has more.

Jessie Knadler

Middlebrook General Store has been serving farming families in Augusta County on and off since 1901.  But in August, the iconic hub of this tiny village closed its doors for good. Jessie Knadler has more.

Augusta Health

Hospital food gets a bad rap, but Augusta Health in Fishersville is trying to change that. The hospital has harvested roughly 10,000 pounds of fresh produce so far this year from an on-site farm. It’s part of an initiative to improve the quality of food inside the hospital and raise awareness that good nutrition is the best medicine.   WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

Child welfare advocates in Rockbridge are filing an appeal this week with the Virginia Department of Social Services, or DSS, following the state agency’s decision not to have local board members removed.  Advocates say board members failed to address deep problems inside the Rockbridge Area Department of Social Services. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler has more.

Jessie Knadler

If you’ve spent any time in Staunton this summer you may have noticed the city is peppered with signs that say either ‘Save the Name’… or ‘Change the Name’.  It’s part of the contentious debate over whether to change the name of Robert E. Lee High School, or keep it as is. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler heard from residents – and students – and got some historical perspective, too.

Red Wing Roots

Summertime is the season of music festivals. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler rounds up some great local music events to check out during the hot months.

Richmond Times-Dispatch

Four Democratic challengers seeking the nomination for the Sixth Congressional District agree that the key to beating Republican nominee Delegate Ben Cline in this predominantly conservative region is connecting with Independents and moderate Republicans. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

VDOT

Despite rising gas prices and rain in the forecast, more drivers are expected this Memorial Day Weekend.   And one thing you may notice -- some memorably worded digital safety signs from the Virginia Department of Transportation.  The signs might read, “Signal Intention for Crash Prevention” or “See the Cone … Respect the Zone.”   WMRA’s Jessie Knadler talks to the wordsmiths at VDOT to find out what’s going on with those catchy signs.

Aimee Cayer

With summer around the corner, families are turning toward vacation plans. But travel for those with autism can be a challenge. In the next installment of our series on autism, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores a cruise ship specifically designed for those with special needs …. so the whole family can R&R together.

Jessie Knadler

Like a lot of small to midsize downtowns trying to hang on in the age of Amazon, Lexington has its share of empty storefronts.  In an effort to juice the downtown scene, Main Street Lexington hosted a Shark Tank-like pitch competition Wednesday night in which eight local entrepreneurs competed for $60,000 worth of prize money from the state to grow a new or existing business.  Jessie Knadler filed this report.

Jessica Neal

As part of our recognition of National Autism Awareness Month, all during April WMRA is examining the spectrum disorder and the people affected by it.  Today we explore how animal therapy, specifically using horses and dogs, can help kids with autism.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

Jessie Knadler

Goat yoga – doing yoga with goats -- is having a moment right now.  The West Coast fad has come to our part of Virginia, with Rockbridge County the latest locale to offer stretch sessions with barnyard friends. WMRA's Jessie Knadler drops in on one of these classes to find out what the bleat … is going on.

Kate Simon

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and World Autism Awareness Day is Monday, April 2.  So beginning today WMRA is embarking on a six-part series about this increasingly prevalent developmental disorder. Today, we look at applied behavior analysis – or ABA – a leading intervention for kids with autism, and how Mary Baldwin University is responding to the growing need.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

Church World Service (logo)

Following President Trump’s decision to sharply restrict the number of refugees allowed into the United States, the State Department has informed refugee resettlement offices nationwide to trim operations or even close. One of those offices is in Harrisonburg, which has a long history of refugee resettlement. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler takes a look at how the new policy is affecting Rockingham County.

Jessie Knadler

A new welding school in Buena Vista has been awarded $200,000 from the state. The grant will allow the school to help close a critical shortage of skilled welders across the country. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler heads to Buena Vista to take a look at the new wave of welders who will fill a growing need for skilled tradesmen in the future.

Rockbridge County High was one of thousands of schools across the country where students walked out of their classrooms to honor victims of the Parkland massacre yesterday.  WMRA's Jessie Knadler filed this report.

Looking for stocking stuffers for the local beer drinker in your life?  The one-year-old Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, a route of 14 craft breweries in the region, recently launched a passport program, making it even easier for beer fans to sink local suds over the holidays. WMRA's Jessie Knadler has the details.

Around 30 unaccompanied immigrant children are being held at a juvenile detention center near Staunton.  In Part Two of our report, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler takes a look at how these undocumented youth cope with confinement and trauma.

A class action lawsuit filed by a 17-year-old Mexican boy detained at the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center near Staunton shines a light on what has been described as brutal, inhumane conditions faced by roughly 30 unaccompanied immigrant children confined there.  Their crime?  Entering the United States, often alone, to flee violence south of the border.  WMRA's Jessie Knadler has the first in this two-part report.

All 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for grabs in this election. Will voters in the predominately rural 20th and 24th House Districts double down on Trumpism or reject his policies?  WMRA's Jessie Knadler takes a look at what’s happening in the House races there.

David Kreider

In their ongoing effort to unionize, aggrieved poultry workers in Rockingham County rallied again this month, this time outside the Cargill plant in Dayton. They claim the company willfully violates its own Code of Conduct, as WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

Jessie Knadler

Governor McAuliffe has doubled down on Virginia’s craft brew industry, but some in the business wonder if that sector’s explosive growth has come at the expense of local players -- and if it's sustainable. WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports on the craft brew enterprise in Virginia.

Bookkeeping for Life

Sep 13, 2017
Jessie Knadler

Joyce Herndon is a one-of-a-kind bookkeeper for the Staunton Union Stockyards.  As WMRA’s Jessie Knadler discovered in the latest profile for our Women of Interest series, Herndon is all about vitality, longevity and the value of hard work.

Cities across the country are grappling with removing Confederate symbols. And perhaps nowhere is Confederate past and present more intertwined than in Lexington. Jessie Knadler looks at how the issues that spilled over into violence in Charlottesville last month have been playing out in Lexington for years. 

Dr. Wornie Reed

After the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville last month, many people in the Shenandoah Valley, an area rich in Civil War history, are asking, what now? WMRA’s Jessie Knadler takes a look at unfolding discussions about race across the region.

Pages