Randi B. Hagi

Freelance Reporter

Randi B. Hagi has worked in the downtown restaurant scene, nonprofit sector, in horse care, and as a freelance writer and photographer since graduating from Eastern Mennonite University in 2014. Her work has been published in the Harrisonburg Citizen, Mennonite World Review, and The Mennonite. She also runs a small muscovy duck egg business out of her “farmette” in Hinton. Hagi’s roots are in West Virginia, but she can’t seem to let go of Rockingham County.

Randi B. Hagi

With all Virginia schools closed for the rest of the academic year due to COVID-19, the Harrisonburg City Public Schools have decided to continue the program they started last week to provide bags of free food for all their students under age 18. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

As folks stay home to avoid contracting or transmitting COVID-19, some are turning to fostering cats for companionship, which is good news for nonprofit animal rescue Cat’s Cradle. But others are having to give up their pets, for the same reason. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

As Virginia adapts to life with COVID-19, many local businesses are scrambling to operate in creative ways in an effort to stay open. But one small business owner says that he may stand to gain some customers, thanks to social distancing. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

The Rocktown Rollers, Harrisonburg’s women’s roller derby team since 2009, recently hosted a “Derby 101” at Funky’s Skate Center to give any “derby-curious” folks an opportunity to lace up some skates and get on the track. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

In Part One of this report, Harrisonburg resident Ruth Toliver recalled when her husband’s childhood home on Myrtle Street was destroyed as part of urban renewal projects in the 1950s and ‘60s.  Many homes in the predominantly African-American neighborhood were destroyed, and families uprooted.  Some never came back. In this second report, WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi explores the legacy of that project, more than 50 years later.

From the Sullivan Papers, Special Collections, James Madison University

Randi B. Hagi

On January 3rd, a group of United Methodist leaders publicly announced a plan for the denomination to divide, based on disagreements over same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay people as pastors. If that plan is approved at the denomination’s General Conference this May, it would give regional conferences and individual churches the option to leave and join a new “traditionalist” denomination. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports on how local Methodist leaders are reacting.

Randi B. Hagi

Activist groups gathered in cities around the world on Saturday [Jan. 25] to show their opposition to the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, in which they see the United States as the aggressor, particularly after the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian general. The Shenandoah Valley Antiwar Coalition held one of those rallies in Harrisonburg. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

The Rockingham County school board is considering closing down Linville-Edom Elementary School, in light of the more than $8 million it would cost to renovate the school. Superintendent Oskar Scheikl says the school’s fate will be decided later this spring. In response, a passionate group of parents, staff, and alumni have organized a campaign to save the little school they love. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

A small crowd gathered at the Beth El Synagogue in Harrisonburg on Sunday afternoon to hear from three speakers about the need for statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

A regional network in our area has a humble goal – to resurrect Virginia’s grain economy, from the wheat in our soil to the bread on your table. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

The proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines are slated to carry natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia, and in the case of the Atlantic Coast pipeline, on into North Carolina.  Even as construction has been halted or limited by legal challenges, opposition to those projects remains strong among some residents.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Voters across the Commonwealth were out at the polls today, casting their ballots for the state legislature and local offices.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi filed reports from two Harrisonburg-area districts, one in the city, one in Rockingham County.  And WMRA's Kimberlea Daggy talked with some voters at the precinct where she votes in Augusta County.

Randi B. Hagi

Sixty years ago, a Piedmont airliner crashed into Bucks Elbow Mountain near Crozet, killing 26 of the 27 people on board. Yesterday, one of the plane’s landing gear wheels was returned to rest at the crash site. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

In September, 14 Warren County employees and administrators were indicted by a Warren County special grand jury, as investigations continue into the embezzlement scandal that has rocked the small town of Front Royal.  Among those indicted were all five members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.  In response, local citizens filed a petition for the removal of those supervisors last week.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Nineteen students from around the world gathered at James Madison University in late September for an advanced course in clearing land mines and other weapons from post-conflict areas.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

While fall and winter are typically touted as “flu season,” the flu can strike at any time of year.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

A working group of Virginia’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Commission held a public forum at James Madison University in Harrisonburg Monday [Sept. 16] to discuss the “History of Lynching in Virginia.”  Monday night’s forum was the group’s first public meeting, and will be followed by similar events in Culpeper and Richmond.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Governor Ralph Northam visited Harrisonburg Tuesday afternoon to hear from more than 50 local business leaders, workers, and city and county administrators about the area’s job market. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

According to one report, nearly four in 10 Harrisonburg residents above the federal poverty line still have trouble making ends meet.  That leads to difficult choices -- pay the rent, or buy groceries? Fix the car, or pay for prescriptions? As the number of people facing these questions increases, so does the demand for more affordable housing.  In the second part in an occasional WMRA series on living costs, Randi B. Hagi reports.

J. Brian Garmon / Creative Commons

The Gemeinschaft Home is a nonprofit in Harrisonburg that helps ex-convicts re-enter society.  Their Community Residential Program is open to men coming out of prison with nonviolent criminal records.

Houses in Harrisonburg are selling more quickly and going for higher prices than in the past.  The growth of James Madison University is sometimes cited as the main factor, but there’s more to it than that. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports, in the first of an occasional series on housing in our area.

Randi B. Hagi

Governor Ralph Northam visited the Merck pharmaceutical plant in Elkton Monday (May 6).  He announced the company’s plans to invest up to $1 billion over the next three years to expand its manufacturing facility. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Last week, kinesiology students at JMU attended workshops led by U.S. Paralympians and local wheelchair basketball players.  The students' task:  to learn how their studies in human movement intersect with the lives of those living with physical disabilities.  WMRA’s Randi Hagi reports.