WMRA Feature

Christina Rivera

An experience for one woman at Sentara RMH in Harrisonburg highlights concerns about racial bias in healthcare, especially regarding the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Randi B. Hagi

As the pandemic rages on and the vaccine slowly becomes available to more people, one local church has found a visual way to pay homage to those lost to the virus in our area. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Wildlife Center of Virginia

As we get closer to springtime, both humans and black bears are eager to leave our dens for some fresh air. The Wildlife Center of Virginia has some tips in case you encounter a bear. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Commonwealth Institute

The effort to fight racial segregation in schools will continue into the future.  What are local officials doing to address the problem?  WMRA’s Bridget Manley has this follow-up report.

Commonwealth Institute

According to two studies released last November, school segregation is getting worse across Virginia, and in particular in the Harrisonburg area.  But local officials say it’s more complicated.  In part one of a two part report, WMRA’s Bridget Manley digs into the specifics of the studies.

Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel Foundation

Charlottesville author Mary E. Lyons chronicles the history of the Blue Ridge Tunnel and the slave labor that built it in her new book. 

Randi B. Hagi

Several hundred people celebrated the King holiday in Lexington by gathering in the city streets to honor the lives -- especially Black and brown lives -- lost to COVID-19 and racial violence.  WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Middle River Regional Jail

An outbreak of COVID-19 at the Middle River Regional Jail in Staunton appears to be slowing, but not yet stopped. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

High school basketball teams in the area started playing games last week in a season shortened and restricted by the pandemic. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Matt Bingay

At a time when most organizations were preparing to manage the holidays, WMRA scrambled to address an almost catastrophic failure on the main signal serving Charlottesville and surrounding areas.

On December 16, 2020, a winter storm blanketed the area with snow and ice. Not an unusual event in and of itself, but that's where this tale begins. Sometime in the following 36 hours, as melting began, a large chunk of ice fell from an upper structure on our Castle Rock tower and struck the WMRY 103.5fm antenna with enough force to bend it out of shape. 

Even before last year’s omnibus police reform bill passed the General Assembly, Charlottesville had already begun to form a police civilian review board, or PCRB.  It began meeting last summer.  The new statewide rules bolster the authority of such boards.  As part of an occasional series on local police reform, WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi has this report on how the Charlottesville board is working.

Sentara RMH

The first round of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was shipped out to hospitals across Virginia this week, and frontline healthcare workers at Sentara RMH got their doses on Thursday. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with the first person there to receive the vaccine.

The pandemic sent lots of us home for work in late March, and many workers have settled into that routine as the pandemic worsens.  The upheaval in our schedules and our everyday lives has also affected our canine friends.  So how can we help our dogs adjust when we head back to the office?  WMRA’s Jason Barr reports.


Like most local theater companies, ShenanArts in Staunton has had to think outside the box to reach audiences this holiday season. WMRA’s Mike Tripp takes us behind the scenes for a glimpse at their latest production, in a form that your grandparents might well recognize.

Leah Pence

On Monday, Virginia’s 13 presidential electors met in Richmond to certify Democrat Joe Biden as president-elect.  The Democrat who represented the 6th district, covering much of the Shenandoah Valley, was Leah Pence, who also serves on Luray’s town council.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke spoke with her and asked her to describe the process, and who the electors are.

Bridgewater Retirement Community

We're all navigating the holiday season amidst a pandemic. Senior citizens may have to be especially creative during this time, as the virus makes it particularly dangerous for them to attend worship services, shop, and see their families. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

In October, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law an omnibus police reform bill that establishes a number of state-wide standards for law enforcement training, equipment, and conduct. But how much will actually change for local residents and officers, and where should we go from here? WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

WMRA & WEMC Holiday Programming 2020

Nov 27, 2020

WMRA Holiday Programming

Saturday, December 19:

12pm  Acoustic Café Holiday Special
WMRA’s Tina Owens will spin holiday favorites from the acoustic folk music world.  Join us to hear your favorite holiday music done acoustically.

3pm  All Songs Considered for the Holidays
Holiday songs from NPR Music.  New for 2020.

Anna's House

Stuart Hall School in Staunton is phasing out its elementary grades, but a group of teachers has joined together to open their own school to fill the need.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp reports.

Furious Flower Poetry Center

The arts keep thriving, even in a time of social upheaval and a pandemic.  This year, there have been several new volumes, anthologies, and collections of Black poetry.  WMRA’s Jason Barr looks at the relevance of such work today, and throughout our history.

A new podcast is available on our website called We Made You A Song – it’s a collaboration between WMRA and Harrisonburg’s The Steel Wheels - detailing the band writing and recording songs that were commissioned by fans of the band during the pandemic.  WMRA’s Tina Owens recently spoke with the group’s lead singer and host of the podcast Trent Wagler.  She asked him to describe how this idea was created.

Wildlife Center of Virginia

The Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro provides emergency healthcare to native wildlife – from sparrows, to eagles, to baby bears -- that are brought in sick, injured, or orphaned. The Center just held its 25th annual conference, taking it online for the first time. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Calvin Pynn

A team of engineers and students at James Madison University has outfitted a golf cart to drive itself.  And it’s not meant for the golf course.  The autonomous cart is designed to help transport elderly passengers safely across retirement communities. The group test drove the cart on campus this week, and WMRA’s Calvin Pynn took it for a ride.

Calvin Pynn

Artists have been hit hard by the pandemic.  They haven't just lost out on gallery sales, but they've also lost the experience of their work being seen in-person. Several arts organizations in Central Virginia have been working to change that. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

The Staunton Creative Community Fund is starting a hybrid program to help Shenandoah Valley businesses create jobs and compete at a national level.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Bridget Manley

Just as public schools have had to adjust to the COVID-19 pandemic, private schools faced the same challenges to safe instruction.  They also faced shrinking revenue and tightening budgets. WMRA’s Bridget Manley has this report.

Studying the history of Southern migration is a great way to understand the history of the nation – that’s according to author and historian Ed Ayers.  His new book is filled with hundreds of detailed maps that demonstrate just how diverse the South is by tracking the comings and goings of people since before the birth of the country.  Ed Ayres is our speaker for WMRA's virtu

Charlottesville Women In Tech

For women interested in a career in technology, an organization in Charlottesville aims to guide them on that path, and support them once they're in. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Calvin Pynn

Democratic Mayor Deanna Reed, newcomer Laura Dent, and Independent incumbent George Hirschmann appear to have won the election for Harrisonburg City Council. However, like most other races in the 2020 election, the results probably won’t be final until later this week. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Shortly after 8:30pm Tuesday, the Associated Press declared Republican incumbent Ben Cline the winner over Democratic challenger Nicholas Betts in the 6th district, which covers much of the Shenandoah Valley.