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 3/31/21

Mar 31, 2021

With the governor’s support, and the General Assembly’s approval, it looks like you may be able to legally possess pot in Virginia on July 1st…  32 – that’s the record number of candidates running for statewide offices this year…  In the first of a series on outdoor education, we visit a school near Charlottesville where the students are spending almost all their time outside….

WMRA Daily 3/30/21

Mar 30, 2021

The CDC extends the eviction moratorium into the summer, and Virginians struggling with rent may be able to get financial aid…  Municipal elections will be held in May, for the last time in the commonwealth…  Why are Virginia politicians reluctant to limit campaign donations, and what are the prospects for reform next year?

WMRA Daily 3/29/21

Mar 29, 2021

Governor Northam and other Democrats say they will push to move up the date for pot legalization…  Democrats are also forming an Asian American and Pacific Islander Caucus…  We also begin a series of reports on why campaign finance reform failed in this year’s General Assembly….

WMRA Daily 3/26/21

Mar 26, 2021

Health officials report the first cases of a highly contagious coronavirus variant from California in Virginia (keep wearing that mask)…  Hundreds of students walk out of classes at Washington & Lee in favor of getting rid of the ‘Lee’ part of the name, but some alumni are strongly opposed to any changes…  Governor Northam wants to speed up the pace of pot legalization….

WMRA Daily 3/25/21

Mar 25, 2021

Virginia is the first southern state to abolish the death penalty, and we have that story and a conversation with the governor…  Spring has sprung, and it’s not only winter that is in the rearview mirror, but also some pandemic-related restrictions, as local universities, and Shenandoah National Park, start to open up more…  Seen a bald eagle lately?  According to new data, bald eagle populations have quadrupled in the lower 48 states….

WMRA Daily 3/24/21

Mar 24, 2021

Governor Northam eases more COVID-related restrictions, and maybe we’ll get to go see a concert or attend a summer music festival soon, but in the meantime, keep wearing that mask…  That could be one reason we haven’t seen any flu outbreaks this season…  March is brain injury awareness month, and one Valley delegate has sponsored a change in Virginia law governing our approach to those with brain injuries….

WMRA Daily 3/23/21

Mar 23, 2021

College students and their parents know the acronym FAFSA – the application for federal aid for students – and now there’s a new program to help…  VCU hires an outside firm to review the school’s Greek culture after the death of Adam Oakes…  When will all the jobs that Virginia lost due to the pandemic come back?

WMRA Daily 3/22/21

Mar 22, 2021

A Harrisonburg cop is accidentally shot and wounded by another cop trying to corral a wayward cow…  Governor Northam signs more bills into law…  How are Virginia officials responding to acts of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders?...  Are take-out cocktails, an invention in response to the pandemic, now a permanent feature?

WMRA Daily 3/19/21

Mar 19, 2021

An Army vet from Fishersville is identified as one of the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6th…  A Harrisonburg solar nonprofit has partnered with the Central Valley Habitat for Humanity to install solar panels on local homes...  Five state schools in Virginia – including UVa, VMI and Longwood -- can trace their roots back to the days when enslaved Americans helped build them, and there is an effort to repair a small amount of that damage….

WMRA Daily 3/18/21

Mar 18, 2021

Governor Northam releases guidelines for graduation ceremonies this spring, and in response JMU says it will allow small in-person ceremonies in May…  Northam also urges Virginians to condemn racist acts and violence, after the killings of six women of Asian descent and two others in Atlanta …  A year after Virginia put the ERA over the top, the House of Representatives votes in favor of ratification, but its fate in the Senate is less certain….

WMRA Daily 3/17/21

Mar 17, 2021

With an assist from the governor, Virginians with past felony convictions may soon be eligible to vote…  As some parts of the state get set to move into the next phase of vaccinations, we take a look back one year ago, as Virginia started to lock down in response to the pandemic…  It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and we’ve got something special from the Blue Ridge Irish Music School….

WMRA Daily 3/16/21

Mar 16, 2021

Unemployment in Virginia was down slightly in the first month of 2021, but there’s still a long way to go to regain pandemic job losses…  The governor and first lady join more than one in five Virginians in getting a COVID shot…  Meanwhile, the governor wanted all school systems to offer some in-person learning by Monday – so, how’s that going?

WMRA Daily 3/15/21

Mar 15, 2021

Virginia marks two grim milestones – more than 10,000 Virginians have now died from COVID-19, and Sunday was the one-year anniversary of the first victim…  An end to a ban on abortion coverage, a change in local elections, and dozens of other bills are now law…  After months of infighting, the Virginia GOP agrees on a convention with dozens of locations around the state….

WMRA Daily 3/12/21

Mar 12, 2021

An early report from an independent team investigating VMI finds numerous incidents of racial slurs and sexual harassment…  Gemeinschaft is a home for men just out of prison, and the group now has a new home for women in Harrisonburg…  Virginia teachers get new training on how to explain the commonwealth’s complicated racial history….

WMRA Daily 3/11/21

Mar 11, 2021

Virginia’s NAACP asks the attorney general to investigate the state police killing of a Black teenager from Charlottesville…  One bill the governor is considering would shed light on racial disparities…  We check in with dozens of nurses being trained at UVA to give COVID vaccines….

WMRA Daily 3/10/21

Mar 10, 2021

Virginia officials strike a hopeful tone about COVID vaccines and school re-openings, but there are still many people resistant to getting a shot…  As the body of VCU freshman Adam Oakes is laid to rest, the school’s president says a review of Greek life there will be wide-ranging…  Meanwhile, controversy over Virginia’s parole board continues to simmer, as an employee of the state’s government watchdog agency files a lawsuit….

WMRA Daily 3/9/21

Mar 9, 2021

As more South African variants of the coronavirus are found in Virginia, experts say all the vaccines are effective against them…  Virginia Republicans are still wrestling with how to select their nominees for statewide offices this year, and time is running out…  We talk with journalist Connor Towne O’Neill about his research into Confederate monuments – he’s our next Books & Brews guest….

WMRA Daily 3/8/21

Mar 8, 2021

If you’ve driven I-64 east of Charlottesville, chances are you couldn’t have missed seeing a giant Confederate battle flag, but that’s about to change…  Virginia is about to become the first state in the South to enact zero-emissions vehicle legislation…  We meet an advocate for lung cancer survivors in Harrisonburg….

WMRA Daily 3/5/21

Mar 5, 2021

Health officials report the first death in Virginia of a child under 10 due to COVID-19…  Senator Kaine wants the COVID relief bill to include mental health protections for health care workers…  Meanwhile, the governor considers marijuana legalization, and that could be one of his most significant legacies….

WMRA Daily 3/4/21

Mar 4, 2021

More than 90,000 doses of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine are now in Virginia…  VCU says it will review all Greek life on campus after the apparent hazing death of a freshman last weekend…  One of the big disappointments for criminal justice advocates in this year’s General Assembly session was a failure to remove mandatory minimum sentences….

WMRA Daily 3/3/21

Mar 3, 2021

Leaders of Greek organizations at UVa shut down social activities, citing 'blatant noncompliance' with COVID-19 rules…  The governor calls for an outside probe into Virginia’s parole board…  Even as the state pushes to get kids back into classrooms, mental health experts say that could be hard for some students….

WMRA Daily 3/2/21

Mar 2, 2021

State Police investigate the shooting death of a Black man by a Culpeper County deputy…  JMU has renamed three of its buildings, and the choices are notable in more ways than one – we hear from some of those who were honored…  Now that the General Assembly has adjourned, we review what lawmakers accomplished, and what’s next….

WMRA Daily 3/1/21

Mar 1, 2021

A police officer in Stanley is shot and killed by a driver during a traffic stop before the officer could get out of his patrol vehicle…  As some social restrictions in Virginia get lifted, health officials say a new single-dose vaccine will start being offered this week…  Big compromises on expungement of criminal records, and marijuana legalization, as the 2021 General Assembly session wraps up….

WMRA Daily 2/26/21

Feb 26, 2021

Virginia receives over $95 million for affordable housing

In the latest state budget, teachers could get a 5% raise

Voters in the commonwealth could get better data about election results

And archaeologists unearth human remains at the historic First Baptist church in Williamsburg

WMRA Daily 2/25/21

Feb 25, 2021

Governor Northam says new cases are down, and vaccinations are up, so it’s time to start lifting social restrictions, at least a little…  65 years after the beginning of massive resistance to desegregation in Virginia, we honor Barbara Johns, who led the walkout in Farmville that eventually became part of Brown v. Board of Education…  Among the action in the General Assembly, lawmakers heavily amend a bill to get students back to in-person learning….

WMRA Daily 2/24/21

Feb 24, 2021

With half a million now vaccinated, the number of Virginians who have succumbed to COVID-19 is now more than the population of Lexington…  Last year, more than 160 Confederate monuments came down in the Old Dominion, and another monument to our racist past – a statue of Harry Byrd – will soon be removed from Capitol Square in Richmond…  Child welfare advocates say the new state budget has good and bad news….

WMRA Daily 2/23/21

Feb 23, 2021

Attorney General Mark Herring sues Libre by Nexus – he says they’re preying on immigrants…  Virginia will be the first state in the south to ban the death penalty…  How close are we to herd immunity?  An expert at UVa answers that question….

WMRA Daily 2/22/21

Feb 22, 2021

JMU honors several prominent Black members of the community in renaming three buildings…  We have a General Assembly round-up…  One of the first surveys of preferences for Virginia governor is out, and not surprisingly, lots of people are undecided….

WMRA Daily 2/19/21

Feb 19, 2021

The health district serving Charlottesville is apologizing for long lines and residents turned away from a vaccination clinic…  A new analysis finds that despite liberalization in pot enforcement, Black Virginians are still being targeted at higher rates than Whites for possession of marijuana…  One Virginia college grad is in charge of making sure that Earth germs don’t contaminate Mars during the Perseverance lander mission….

WMRA Daily 2/18/21

Feb 18, 2021

Governor Northam says Virginia is doing better on vaccinations and COVID case numbers, and touts the new pre-registration website and hotline…  In the General Assembly, Democrats want to make voting easier, and lawmakers are also getting rid of a section of the state constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman….