WMRA Feature

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.

Randi B. Hagi

Virginians went to the polls today -- at least, many of those who didn’t vote early.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi checked in at two Valley polling stations.

Find out where you may vote from the Virginia Department of Elections.

Track your mail-in ballot here.

Learn more about the two constitutional amendments on the ballot in Virginia here.

Karen Lee

Climate activist groups in the Shenandoah Valley have teamed up for a project collecting video testimonials.  It’s an effort to urge voters to consider the environment as they vote in this election season. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

In the midst of an incredibly divisive election, one group of Shenandoah Valley residents is choosing to lean into difference and discomfort rather than shy away. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

Bridget Manley

Oasis Fine Art and Craft is celebrating its twenty year anniversary with an art exhibit showcasing the local arts community. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Bridget Manley

Harrisonburg fire officials have determined that the explosion and fire Saturday morning in a group of businesses just south of JMU was the result of a natural gas leak inside the building.  WMRA's Bridget Manley reports.

Bridget Manley

Questions still remain in an explosion in Harrisonburg Saturday that rocked the city and was felt for miles. WMRA’s Bridget Manley has this report.

OCP website

The pandemic has complicated this year’s fundraising for Our Community Place.  Instead of a separate fall Gala and Christmas Concert fundraiser, OCP will hold both at the same time this weekend. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn has this preview.

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.

Wavley Groves

Private property owners in Staunton learned last week that they would not get federal disaster aid for the estimated $3 million in damage caused by floods in early August.  But friends and neighbors are stepping up.  And the trauma caused by losing a business, something all too common for entrepreneurs during this pandemic, can lead to an opportunity for personal growth.  WMRA's Jason Barr reports.

Calvin Pynn

The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic will close at the end of the year, after serving uninsured adults in the area for more than three decades. Staff and volunteers are spending the final months making sure the clinic’s patients won’t be left behind. WMRA's Calvin Pynn reports.

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.

Calvin Pynn

As universities in our area experiment with in-person learning and bringing students back to campus during the pandemic, communities that support and surround those campuses also live with the realties that come with an influx of students. WMRA’s Bridget Manley 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.

In a news press release Friday morning 9/25/20, the Virginia Governor's office announced that Governor Northam and First Lady Northam have tested positive for COVID-19.  Governor Northam is experiencing no symptoms. First Lady Pamela Northam is currently experiencing mild symptoms.

The Governor and First Lady are working closely with VDH and the Richmond Heath Department to trace their close contacts. The work of the Governor’s office continues remotely and uninterrupted.

Randi B. Hagi

Counter-protesters, some of them members of local militias, weren’t the only people with firearms at recent Black Lives Matter protests in Broadway and Elkton.  One group with the protesters was also carrying weapons.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with some of them, and also got reaction from a criminal justice expert.

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.