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 2/17/21

Feb 17, 2021

UVa bans all in-person events and gatherings after a big COVID-19 surge…  The state’s health department launches a new vaccine pre-registration website…  The pandemic has upended just about everything this year, and college admissions is no exception, but some schools have done much better than others….

WMRA Daily 2/16/21

Feb 16, 2021

A local faith leader in the Latino community, after initially being refused a COVID-19 shot at Sentara RMH, speaks out about race and healthcare…  One Harrisonburg church uses a striking visual display to pay homage to those lost to the disease…  In the General Assembly, lawmakers kill bipartisan legislation to beef up state electric rate oversight, move ahead on banning guns at polling places, and make Virginia one step closer to having its own Voting Rights Act….

WMRA Daily 2/15/21

Feb 15, 2021

The state is still in Phase 1B of vaccine distribution, and more than one million Virginians have now received at least the first shot…  But as vaccines ramp up, and new cases of COVID-19 decline, why are some ICU’s maxed out?...  We review news from the General Assembly, where lawmakers are revising the budget, trying to protect license plate data, and working to make pot legalization equitable, among other things….

WMRA Daily 2/12/21

Feb 12, 2021

A slow vaccine rollout for CVS…  The General Assembly has switched from the regular term to its special session…  We have updates on changes lawmakers are considering….

WMRA Daily 2/11/21

Feb 11, 2021

More than one of every five cadets at VMI are in isolation after a spike in COVID-19 cases there…  A company founded by JMU alumni that makes PPE is creating more jobs in Harrisonburg…  We review some of the legislation still being considered in the General Assembly….

WMRA Daily 2/10/21

Feb 10, 2021

The General Assembly’s special session convenes today, and Democrats are on the way to getting rid of mandatory minimum sentences, and passing a resolution that recognizes racism as a public health crisis…  Meanwhile, another Republican throws his hat into the ring for governor, and radical right Senator Amanda Chase, also running for governor, sues her own party….

WMRA Daily 2/9/21

Feb 9, 2021

The General Assembly is over… Long live the General Assembly?  The regular session ends, but the legislature will go into special session Wednesday, and Republicans aren’t happy about that…  Meanwhile, lawmakers are considering a bill that would increase access to abortion services in Virginia, and a number of bills that would reduce carbon emissions….

WMRA Daily 2/8/21

Feb 8, 2021

Governor Northam wants all schools in Virginia to at least give students the option of in-person instruction, by mid-March…  Meanwhile, Friday was Crossover Day in the General Assembly, and we have a review of the final bills each chamber approved…  You may be getting restless for spring, and soon so will the bears, and we have some advice in case you encounter one….

WMRA Daily 2/5/21

Feb 5, 2021

Planning a trip to Shenandoah National Park?  Under new rules, you’ll need a mask when you get out of your car…  As Governor Northam extends this year’s legislative session, lawmakers were busy again Thursday, and we have a General Assembly update…  The pandemic has been bad for humans, but actually very good for our feathered friends at the bird feeder….

WMRA Daily 2/4/21

Feb 4, 2021

A COVID-19 variant from the U.K. that is more easily spread, and may be resistant to vaccines, has been found in someone living in northwest Virginia – the fourth such case in the state…  In the General Assembly, a bill requiring employers to report COVID-19 outbreaks advances…  The state Senate votes to abolish the death penalty, with Republicans, including Harrisonburg Senator Mark Obenshain, opposed…

WMRA Daily 2/3/21

Feb 3, 2021

After ranking almost dead last in the nation in vaccine distribution in January, Virginia has markedly improved its shot delivery game…  In the General Assembly, a flurry of bills getting passed this week, including measures that would expand SNAP benefits, abolish the death penalty, and require schools to make both virtual and in-person learning available to students….

WMRA Daily 2/2/21

Feb 2, 2021

This Friday is Crossover Day in Virginia’s General Assembly, the deadline for each house to act on its own legislation…  We’ve got an update on the flurry of bills moving through both chambers….  Meanwhile, far right state Senator Amanda Chase sues to undo the censure of colleagues she received last week….

WMRA Daily 2/1/21

Feb 1, 2021

Virginia is finally beginning to improve its COVID-19 vaccine distribution, after a clunky rollout…  Residents of Buckingham County are worried about the environmental impacts that a potential gold mine will have there, and one delegate is proposing a bill to protect them…  Meanwhile in the General Assembly bills to abolish the death penalty and provide LGBTQ protections advance, while those restoring parole and getting rid of qualified immunity are killed….

WMRA Daily 1/29/21

Jan 29, 2021

Senator Tim Kaine, anticipating Republicans’ refusal to convict former President Trump, is preparing a censure resolution…  It looks like a delay in census data will throw a wrench into Virginia’s House of Delegates elections this year…  In a follow-up report, we explore how Harrisonburg-area schools continue to fight racial segregation….

WMRA Daily 1/28/21

Jan 28, 2021

Governor Northam announces changes to Virginia’s vaccine distribution, as frustration mounts over the slow roll-out, and local hospitals say control over the next phase is out of their hands…  Virginia’s Senate censures radical right Senator Amanda Chase…  Harrisonburg-area officials push back on a study citing increasing racial segregation in local schools….

WMRA Daily 1/27/21

Jan 27, 2021

According to one study, Virginia ranks next-to-last in the country for COVID-19 distribution…  In the General Assembly, Charlottesville’s delegate sponsors a bill to end coal tax credits…  A Republican who now lives in Charlottesville joins the field of candidates for governor….

WMRA Daily 1/26/21

Jan 26, 2021

That new variant of the coronavirus first found in the U.K. has been found in Northern Virginia, and almost two dozen other states in the U.S…  Crews install fencing around the giant Lee statue in Richmond, in anticipation of the state Supreme Court’s permission to take it down…  Meanwhile, in the General Assembly, a bill to end mandatory minimum sentences in Virginia clears its first committee hurdle….

WMRA Daily 1/25/21

Jan 25, 2021

It could be months before those in the next phase of vaccinations get their shots…  Meanwhile, the holiday surge of new COVID-19 cases has slowed…  Protesters demand the release of body-cam footage of the police killing of a Charlottesville man…  We have a General Assembly update….

WMRA Daily 1/21/21

Jan 22, 2021

The names of five family members have been added to a memorial to enslaved workers at the University of Virginia

A bill moving through the General Assembly might help school divisions struggling with access to broadband connections necessary for distance learning

Lawmakers are also re-thinking the definition of a hate crime – and who can be prosecuted

And Virginia’s new bipartisan redistricting commission held their first meeting

WMRA Daily 1/21/21

Jan 21, 2021

Members of Virginia’s congressional delegation share their support for President Joe Biden and his new administration

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors passes a resolution urging Delegate Dave LaRock to resign his post

Legislation clears a House of Delegates committee to ban guns from polling places

And an Ohio-based neo-Nazi group will pay $10,000 to a survivor of a car attack during the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville

WMRA Daily 1/20/21

Jan 20, 2021

The top Republican in the House of Delegates, who represents part of the Shenandoah Valley, defends his GOP colleagues who supported President Trump’s lies about the election, and in doing so repeats the false information that there were widespread discrepancies in the voting…  Meanwhile, the state Senate moves to censure Senator Amanda Chase for her role…  Marijuana is on a path to legalization in Virginia, but there are lots of details to work out first….

WMRA Daily 1/19/21

Jan 19, 2021

Senior citizens, teachers, and police and fire fighters in the Shenandoah Valley are among those who can now start getting COVID-19 vaccines, as the Central Shenandoah Health District moves into the next phase of distribution...  Yesterday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and several hundred people in Lexington marked the day by honoring the lives, especially Black and brown lives, lost to COVID-19 and racial violence…  We have a review of activity in the General Assembly….

WMRA Daily 1/18/21

Jan 18, 2021

Virginia sets a new record, nearly 10,000 new cases of COVID-19 in one day, as we wait for the next phase of vaccines…  Meanwhile, the outbreak at the Middle River Regional Jail is slowing, but not yet under control…  For the first time on a traditional day for Virginians to have access to their legislators, roads in the city of Richmond are closed today for security reasons….

WMRA Daily 1/15/21

Jan 15, 2021

Every single resident at one nursing home in Staunton has contracted COVID-19, and more than a dozen there have died, as a new report highlights how the virus is raging at nursing homes across Virginia…  Meanwhile, Governor Northam says the state is speeding up vaccine distribution… And the General Assembly, in its first week, starts working on the problem of illegal evictions, and the censure of a radical right-wing Republican state senator….

WMRA Daily 1/14/21

Jan 14, 2021

Virginia’s Democrats and Republicans split on impeachment in the U.S. House…  Meanwhile, in Richmond, the General Assembly is back in session…  House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn strips committee assignments from three Republicans, including two from the WMRA area, for their vocal support for overturning November's election results, and one of those delegates was part of the mob on January 6th….

WMRA Daily 1/13/21

Jan 13, 2021

UVa’s Medical Center bans most visitors due to the threat of COVID-19…  As the General Assembly convenes, one measure might tighten oversight of Dominion Energy, but dealing with the pandemic will likely dominate much of the session…  Meanwhile, officials will close Capitol Square in Richmond to the public on Monday, that’s traditionally a day for constituents to lobby lawmakers, known as “lobby day”….

WMRA Daily 1/12/21

Jan 12, 2021

Richmond is now under an indefinite state of emergency, as the General Assembly gets ready to convene, and we have a preview of the session…  Meanwhile, all of the Democrats in Virginia’s congressional delegation back Trump’s impeachment…  Leaders encourage Americans to stay away from the nation’s capital on Inauguration Day….

WMRA Daily 1/11/21

Jan 11, 2021

As health districts elsewhere plan to begin the next phase of vaccinations, we had a record high in new COVID-19 cases in Virginia over the weekend, and the Shenandoah Valley continues to be a hotspot for the virus…  State Democratic lawmakers call for Amanda Chase’s resignation after she attended the run-up to last week’s insurrection at the Capitol, and some in the state’s congressional delegation are considering several paths to removing President Trump from office…  High school basketball teams in our area started playing games last week in a season shortened and restricted by the pandemic….

WMRA Daily 1/8/21

Jan 8, 2021

Senator Mark Warner calls for a full investigation into the failure of police and federal officials to protect the U.S. Capitol from Wednesday’s pro-Trump mob…  Although Representative Ben Cline has declined to talk with us, Virginia Public Radio managed to get two other Virginia Republicans to talk on the record, defending their votes opposing certification of Joe Biden’s win…  We review the week in Virginia politics with Jeff Shapiro of the Richmond Times-Dispatch….

WMRA Daily 1/7/21

Jan 7, 2021

Virginia lawmakers, Democratic and Republican, condemn the Trump-incited mob that invaded the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, but hours after the violence Representative Ben Cline still voted to oppose Joe Biden’s win in two states…  Governor Northam lays out a roadmap for next steps in Virginia’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines…  A panel of judges selects eight citizen members of the redistricting commission, and none of them are from the WMRA region….