Randi B. Hagi

Freelance Reporter

Randi's writing has been featured in The Citizen, where she's the assistant editor; The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and EMU's Crossroads magazine. She also raises muscovy ducks, chickens, and Katahdin sheep. Her roots are in West Virginia, but she can’t seem to let go of Rockingham County. Check out Randi's latest photo work on instagram at @randi_b_hagi_photography.

Randi B. Hagi

A lot of the traditional Halloween festivities are cancelled this season due to the pandemic, but there are still a few COVID-safe ways to get your thrills in this fall, including a ghost tour in Staunton. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi took the tour, and has this report on why the Queen City might just be a little more spooky than other places.

Randi B. Hagi

One Harrisonburg neighborhood reported several sightings of black bears last week.  And while the streets and backyards have been quiet for a few days now, autumn is prime time for urban bear activity. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Caitlin Shaffer / Johan Burch

The Black Lives Matter movement, like the Civil Rights movement and social justice movements before it, has inspired new music that expresses the political and emotional moment. Musicians in the Shenandoah Valley are among those creating original music that captures the many facets of this movement. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Earlier this summer, hundreds of protesters gathered in Elkton and Broadway for youth-led Black Lives Matter rallies.  At both events, members of local militias and unaffiliated citizens showed up and patrolled around the parks. Some Rockingham County residents expressed alarm about that armed presence at the peaceful rallies, in particular the rally in Broadway.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi has this follow-up report.

Randi B. Hagi

Black Lives Matter protests this summer in the towns of Broadway and Elkton were met with counter-protesters and members of various militia groups. Some local residents have expressed concerns about relationships between the militias and the police departments in those towns. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports in the first of a series.

Randi B. Hagi

How should society deal with someone with mental illness or injury who is threatening or bothering others?  The criminal justice system?  Mental health providers?  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi has the story of one man in Lexington.

The Rockingham County Fair is among the largest in Virginia and has won first place for its agricultural exhibitions for about 20 years running. This year, the fair carried on with agricultural displays and livestock sales, without a lot of other bells and whistles. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

In our last installment of the Mental Health Matters series, we dive into some of the arts-based therapies in our area, speaking to practitioners who use music, visual art, and other methods to help their clients deal with grief, depression, and anxiety. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Music speaks to us. It distracts us from hardship; it expresses emotions that we have trouble articulating. For music therapist Robby McCoubrey, the benefits aren't just in listening to a poignant song, but in making music together.

One of the consistent demands coming out of this summer's protests is that police departments across the country change the way they interact with mental health crises in the community.  And police have their own mental health to protect in a stressful job. In the next installment of WMRA’s Mental Health Matters series, Randi B. Hagi reports.

Kirsten Beachy

Tens of thousands of people across the world, including some folks in our area, are competing in something called the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt, or GISH. Teams complete unusual tasks – such as balancing potatoes into a cairn, or planting trees – and upload photos of their work to earn points. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Courtesy of Crissanne Raymond

Earlier this week in our Mental Health Matters series, we spoke with local mental health professionals and trainers about the need for suicide prevention services throughout the pandemic. In this follow-up report from WMRA's Randi B. Hagi, we hear from a mother who lost her son to suicide earlier this summer.  (This story may be difficult for some listeners to hear.)

National Institute of Mental Health

The social isolation, economic instability, and concerns about wellbeing resulting from the pandemic have spurred an increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety in many of us. And with those mental health symptoms comes an increase in suicidal thoughts for some.  That worries local mental healthcare providers and trainers. In the next part of our Mental Health Matters series, WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

HRHA

Harrisonburg's housing authority is using federal stimulus money in a new campaign for renters. Households with low-income, elderly, or disabled residents can apply.  But during a pandemic-related eviction crisis, the trick is getting landlords to sign on. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

COVID-19 has created a dilemma for mental health.  The pandemic has increased the need for such care.  At the same time, social restrictions have made access to mental health services even more burdensome.  Add to that the economic downturn and the renewed battle for racial justice, and we're looking at a potential crisis of depression and anxiety.  In the first of a series on mental health matters during a pandemic, WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

It’s graduation season – but with most of Virginia in just phase two of reopening, schools are finding alternative ways to celebrate their graduating seniors. Rockingham County Public Schools held their ceremonies at the fairground this weekend, drive-in style. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

The SUN SiNG Collective is a group of musicians and artists from across Virginia producing original work to protest the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. They, along with their parent organization, ARTivism Virginia, are now broadcasting livestream concerts twice a month. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Virginia is preparing to decriminalize possession of an ounce or less of marijuana starting July 1. That means if a police officer finds that amount on your person or in your car for example, you’ll get a written citation and have to pay a $25 fine, rather than being charged with a crime. But some people may find not much has changed in the law, and in their lives.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

Many of us are staying home, but when we do have to make a grocery run, we're also encountering egg shortages at our local grocery stores.  In response, some people are part of a new wave of backyard chicken-herders, buying up chicks at an unprecedented rate. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

The city of Harrisonburg, in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health and Sentara RMH, set up two mobile testing sites on Saturday afternoon to offer free COVID-19 tests to residents of the Northeast and Mosby Court neighborhoods, which were selected to increase testing access in diverse areas. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

The week of March 15, Governor Ralph Northam ordered establishments to serve no more than 10 patrons at a time. Also that week, ABC sales in the Charlottesville and Harrisonburg region were up 57% over the same period last year.  Even without the ability to imbibe in crowded bars, Virginians are still knocking ‘em back. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Courtesy of Jon Henry

The Virginia Cooperative Extension offers a "Shop Smart Eat Smart" initiative to get healthier, fresher foods to shoppers, even amidst the pandemic. Shenandoah County has its first participant in the program. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Courtesy of Melody Eaton

As educators across Virginia adjust to a state of emergency, some programs that rely on hands-on learning face particular challenges in transitioning to digital or remote instruction. The School of Nursing at James Madison University is using virtual clinicals for its nursing student seniors. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Coutesy of Project GROWS.

Farmers and healthcare providers in the Staunton area are teaming up to provide fresh, locally grown food to those in the community experiencing food insecurity. But the need has changed due to the pandemic, and so has the way they help.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

While businesses struggle to adapt to social distancing guidelines in response to COVID-19, one business in the Harrisonburg area -- Brian Mayes Karate -- is “pivoting” instead of “panicking.” WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

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

Pages