WMRA Daily

Weekday Podcast

The WMRA Daily brings you the latest local, regional and statewide news for the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia. 

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(Theme music by Richard V. Pannell)

WMRA Daily 10/20/20

2 hours ago

Harrisonburg fire officials have determined that the explosion Saturday morning was the result of a gas leak.  Virginia lawmakers wrapped up work on the state budget.  A judge in Richmond heard arguments regarding the fate of the Robert E. lee statue on Monument Avenue.  And Govenor Ralph Northam is now considering several dozen bills lawmakers sent during the special session.

WMRA Daily 10/19/20

Oct 19, 2020

The investigation is still ongoing regarding an explosion in Harrisonburg, Saturday morning and many questions still remain… The much awaited budget proposal for Virginia was adopted by the General Assembly late Friday…  A lawsuit seeking to prevent the removal of the Lee Statue in Richmond is scheduled to go to trial… And a recent survey of schools in Virginia yielded some surprising and worrisome news – enrollments are down.

WMRA Daily 10/16/20

Oct 16, 2020

The General Assembly finally nears agreement on a state budget, and new law enforcement reforms…  Our Community Place in Harrisonburg combines its big fundraisers in this year of the pandemic…  We take a haunted tour of Staunton, with masks and safely physically-distanced, of course….

WMRA Daily 10/15/20

Oct 15, 2020

A judge extends voter registration in Virginia, and you now have until midnight tonight…  Bridgewater College will likely lay off 13% of its employees…  We profile GOP candidate for the 7th District, Nick Freitas….

WMRA Daily 10/14/20

Oct 14, 2020

Advocacy groups are suing Virginia to allow two more days of voter registration, after a utility accident shut down the state’s elections portal on the last day to register to vote…  The same members of anti-government domestic terror groups arrested for a plot against Michigan's governor discussed kidnapping Governor Northam, and he points the finger at Trump…  We profile Democrat Abigail Spanberger, running for reelection in Virginia’s 7th District….

WMRA Daily 10/13/20

Oct 13, 2020

At least one death at a nursing home in Staunton is a result of COVID-19…  Meanwhile, a new VCU study suggests the death rate from the coronavirus is much higher than reported...  We learn how the trauma of losing a business, such as from the August floods in Staunton, can lead to an opportunity for personal growth….

WMRA Daily 10/12/20

Oct 12, 2020

James Madison University begins more widespread testing of students for COVID-19, but still won’t come anywhere close to reaching all students…  We take a deeper look at who would serve on a new commission to draw political boundaries in Virginia, should that constitutional amendment pass voters’ muster in November…  We talk with leaders and staff at the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, which is closing after more than three decades of service….

WMRA Daily 10/9/20

Oct 9, 2020

Business owners in Staunton will not get any state or federal money to help pay for the damage from severe flooding in early August…  Public schools, however, will be getting more money from the state’s federal COVID relief fund…  Pollsters in Virginia got 2016’s presidential race right, but what about this year?

WMRA Daily 10/8/20

Oct 8, 2020

After more than three decades, the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic will close its doors for good, another casualty of the pandemic…  As lawmakers in Richmond near agreement on a revised state budget, Governor Northam warns he won’t sign it without flexibility to respond to the pandemic crisis in the coming months…  Meanwhile, Virginia Republicans threaten legal action against Virginia’s inspector general….

WMRA Daily 10/7/20

Oct 7, 2020

The General Assembly’s special session is winding down, and we’ve got an update on what they’re up to…  Two formerly segregated state parks near Farmville are among 12 new sites added this fall to Virginia’s civil rights trail…  Yesterday, we met Democrat Cameron Webb – today, we meet his Republican opponent in the Fifth District, Bob Good….

WMRA Daily 10/6/20

Oct 6, 2020

Harrisonburg animal officials respond to bear sightings in one upscale neighborhood…  The General Assembly’s special session may soon be wrapping up, and we have the latest…  We begin our profile of the Fifth District congressional candidates, and today we’ll meet Democrat Cameron Webb….

WMRA Daily 10/5/20

Oct 5, 2020

The General Assembly now must reconcile its two different versions of the state budget, and moves forward with a sweeping package of laws reforming policing…  Meanwhile, the state’s health department says Farmville’s immigration detention facility is COVID- free, for now…  Virginia politicians are treading carefully around the big case before the Supreme Court over Obamacare….

WMRA Daily 10/2/20

Oct 2, 2020

State regulators refuse to extend the moratorium on utilities cutting off residential service due to the pandemic…  UVa researchers explore ways to make telemedicine more accessible for people in rural areas…  As UVa continues in-person classes, and JMU plans to bring students back next week, we have a report on how Charlottesville and Harrisonburg are trying to balance the need for student money with public safety during a pandemic….

WMRA Daily 10/1/20

Oct 1, 2020

A conservative legal group challenges Virginia’s new law against LGBTQ discrimination…  Virginia’s Senate considers limiting police power to stop and search someone based on a pretext such as the smell of marijuana...  We explore conditions at one federal prison in Virginia, where there’s been a massive COVID-19 outbreak….

WMRA Daily 9/30/20

Sep 30, 2020

A Harrisonburg landlord will pay more than $300,000 to resolve allegations of sexual harassment and racial bias…  Lawmakers are still struggling over whether Virginia can afford sentencing reform…  We meet some young local artists, creating music for, and about, the Black Lives Matter movement….

WMRA Daily 9/29/20

Sep 29, 2020

Some teachers in Virginia are resigning or retiring early, in part due to concerns over the upheaval of education caused by the pandemic…  State health officials roll out more tools to help fight COVID-19…  On the ballot this election season, two amendments to the Virginia constitution, and we’ll explore what they would do….

WMRA Daily 9/28/20

Sep 28, 2020

The Army Corps of Engineers reissues permits for construction of the Mountain Valley Pipeline...  While some Democrats have called for expanding the Supreme Court, Senator Tim Kaine says he prefers that Democrats take the White House and the Senate in November…  More than a month after the special session began, the House of Delegates and the Senate release their budget proposals….

WMRA Daily 9/25/20

Sep 25, 2020

Harrisonburg officials close the high school temporarily after two cases of COVID-19 are confirmed…  A new poll shows Joe Biden with a five-point lead over President Trump in Virginia…  We have a round-up of the week in Virginia politics….

WMRA Daily 9/24/20

Sep 24, 2020

UVa announces new COVID-related restrictions…  Senator Mark Warner and challenger Daniel Gade hold their first debate…  In the final installment of our series about whether armed militias were coordinating with the police at local Black Lives Matter protests, we hear from one retired cop and criminal justice expert….

WMRA Daily 9/23/20

Sep 23, 2020

Just a few days into early voting, tens of thousands of Virginians have already cast their ballots…  Criminal justice reform takes shape in the General Assembly…  A local militia member defends his presence at peaceful Black Lives Matter rallies in Broadway and Elkton….

WMRA Daily 9/22/20

Sep 22, 2020

The only GOP candidate for city council in Harrisonburg goes private on Facebook after sharing material related to conspiracy group QAnon…  Democrats in Richmond are united about civilian oversight of police departments, but divided over similar oversight for sheriff’s offices...  Some Valley residents express concerns about relationships between local militias and the police….

WMRA Daily 9/21/20

Sep 21, 2020

JMU plans to re-open campus to in-person classes on October 5th…  In contrast, Virginia’s community colleges will remain mostly online through the spring…  At least three dozen Virginians have been prohibited from having or buying firearms based on the state’s new “red flag” law….

WMRA Daily 9/18/20

Sep 18, 2020

Early voting begins today in Virginia…  A CDC report says people being held at Farmville’s immigrant detention center are still at risk from COVID-19…  The family of a Charlottesville woman is speaking out about her tragic death and the need to change how we view our doctors and nurses….

WMRA Daily 9/17/20

Sep 17, 2020

UVa finds a cluster of coronavirus cases in a residence hall…  Augusta County’s sheriff investigates an apparent suicide at Middle River Regional Jail…  Lawmakers in the General Assembly reject an effort to require businesses to offer paid quarantine leave….

WMRA Daily 9/16/20

Sep 16, 2020

Governor Northam says voting by mail is safe, as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg offers money for local registrars…  Housing advocates push for an extended eviction freeze…  Census figures show that Virginia is leading the way in health insurance enrollment….

WMRA Daily 9/15/20

Sep 15, 2020

A Charlottesville judge orders the arrest of a white supremacist in Texas involved in the deadly 2017 Unite the Right rally…  More than half a million people have downloaded Virginia’s COVID tracking app…  Who should respond, say, to a trespassing complaint when the offender is mentally ill or injured, and how should the criminal justice system handle that person?  We explore the case of one man in Lexington….

WMRA Daily 9/14/20

Sep 14, 2020

Three years after the deadly Unite the Right rally, Charlottesville residents finally get to cheer the removal of a Confederate statue…  For a while in early September, Harrisonburg was near tops in the nation, but not in a good way, it was in concentrations of new COVID-19 cases…  State lawmakers are wrestling with how to get state access to federal facilities such as the immigration detention center in Farmville, after a huge outbreak there….

WMRA Daily 9/11/20

Sep 11, 2020

After being killed and revived several times, a bill ending qualified immunity for police is rejected by the state senate, and we have a review of other actions in the special session in Richmond…  Despite lingering allegations of sexual assault, Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax says he’s running for governor…  We spend some time with one family, with kids back in school, doing classes from home online….

WMRA Daily 9/10/20

Sep 10, 2020

Nearly half of the on-campus students at JMU are staying there, despite being asked to return home after a coronavirus outbreak…  Republican Bob Good and Democrat Cameron Webb face off in a 5th District virtual forum…  In the General Assembly’s special session, police reform, a utilities repayment program, and a new statewide alert system all advance, and we have a review….

WMRA Daily 9/9/20

Sep 9, 2020

Harrisonburg reports its highest single day of new cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began…  An independent investigation recommends some residents at Farmville’s immigrant detention center be released…  A bill ending qualified immunity is revived, again, in the special General Assembly session…  As Staunton recovers from severe flooding in August, we have a report on the difficulty of getting federal aid….