WMRA Feature

Courtesy of JMU Creative Media

In Harrisonburg, James Madison University began a week-long series of events celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Monday night [Jan. 20] with a ceremony featuring former PBS Newshour host Ray Suarez. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn Reports.

Randi B. Hagi

The Rockingham County school board is considering closing down Linville-Edom Elementary School, in light of the more than $8 million it would cost to renovate the school. Superintendent Oskar Scheikl says the school’s fate will be decided later this spring. In response, a passionate group of parents, staff, and alumni have organized a campaign to save the little school they love. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Randi B. Hagi

A small crowd gathered at the Beth El Synagogue in Harrisonburg on Sunday afternoon to hear from three speakers about the need for statewide LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Lally Laksbergs via Flickr / Creative Commons

Paul Bugas is an expert on Virginia fresh water fishes.  He covers how to collect, handle, observe, conserve, and protect these unique animals in a new Field Guide to Freshwater Fishes of Virginia.  He’s our speaker for WMRA’s Books & Brews January 14-15.  Paul recently sat down with WMRA’s Chris Boros who asked him how he started his career researching fish.

Every April, downtown Harrisonburg is home to a DIY music festival called MacRock which supports independent artists and musicians.  It began over twenty years ago as an extension of JMU’s college radio station WXJM.  It’s now independently run by a small group of dedicated music lovers like Grant Penrod who’s been involved with the festival for years.  The application deadline to apply

Frigid temps and remaining ice have some school systems opening late today...

Representative Ben Cline continued a series of town hall meetings across Virginia’s sixth district with a stop in Harrisonburg Monday night.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

The tale of Ebenezer Scrooge is timeless with over two dozen film adaptations of Charles Dickens' classic. George C. Scott and Henry Winkler have both starred in the title role.  But for many, the 1970 musical version called Scrooge with Albert Finney stands out from the rest. 

Bridget Manley

A local home with famous presidential ties has recently been purchased by a couple who intend to restore the property – and correct the historical record. WMRA’s Bridget Manley has this report.

Randi B. Hagi

A regional network in our area has a humble goal – to resurrect Virginia’s grain economy, from the wheat in our soil to the bread on your table. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Calvin Pynn

Rockingham and Fluvanna Counties joined a long list of Virginia localities to declare themselves "Second Amendment Sanctuaries" Wednesday night.  The board's vote in Fluvanna was close --  3 to 2 in favor of the resolution.  But the Rockingham board voted unanimously in favor.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn was at the meeting in Rockingham County, and filed this report.

WMRA Holiday Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 21:

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    

This year's ASC for the Holidays will be NEW and not a repeat as previously announced. 

4pm       The Big Tiny Desk Holiday Special

tortugadatacorp via Pixabay / Creative Commons

According to author and musician Gayla M. Mills, music brings people together, it enhances the humdrum of daily living and playing it can benefit your life in many ways.  Gayla is the featured author for December's Books & Brews.  She recently spoke with WMRA’s Chris Boros who asked her to describe when music entered her life.

Kimberlea Daggy

When you think of distinctly American music, you might think jazz, country, hip-hop – and maybe musical theatre.  But where do the next Rodgers and Hammerstein or Lin Manuel Miranda come from?  Among other places, from Staunton, as WMRA’s Kimberlea Daggy reports.

WMRA and James Madison University present The John Grisham Writers Hour with special guest Jon Meacham, an award-winning historian and biographer who writes about the history of division in the United States in his book The Soul of America.  Both writers sat down together on the campus of JMU in September 2019.


A preschool food drive in Harrisonburg takes a different approach to helping families in need, while teaching children how to help others. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

James Madison University

Calvin Pynn

The United States Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments today on the Trump administration’s 2017 decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA - and advocates in Harrisonburg held a vigil last night in support of the program. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

The proposed Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines are slated to carry natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia, and in the case of the Atlantic Coast pipeline, on into North Carolina.  Even as construction has been halted or limited by legal challenges, opposition to those projects remains strong among some residents.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Charlottesville resident Lisa Jakub worked as a young actor and starred in major Hollywood movies.  But she gave it all up after an eighteen-year career partly due to anxiety and depression.  In her latest book, Lisa embraces her weird to find answers in dealing with mental health. 

Virginia Department of Elections

Virginia Democrats are taking full control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades.  Democrats won majorities in both the state House and Senate in Tuesday’s legislative election.


Dr. Gail Christopher is an award winning social change agent and former Senior Advisor and Vice President of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. 

Randi B. Hagi

Voters across the Commonwealth were out at the polls today, casting their ballots for the state legislature and local offices.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi filed reports from two Harrisonburg-area districts, one in the city, one in Rockingham County.  And WMRA's Kimberlea Daggy talked with some voters at the precinct where she votes in Augusta County.

Virginia Votes Today

Nov 4, 2019

Virginia's election stations are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5th.  All 140 seats in the General Assembly are on the ballot, and there may be some local races on your ballot, too.

Randi B. Hagi

Sixty years ago, a Piedmont airliner crashed into Bucks Elbow Mountain near Crozet, killing 26 of the 27 people on board. Yesterday, one of the plane’s landing gear wheels was returned to rest at the crash site. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Kid Pan Alley / https://www.kidpanalley.org/

Virginia’s Kid Pan Alley is on a mission to empower children to create their own music.  The group works with children to give kids an opportunity to work together to write their own song – both music and lyrics.

Randi B. Hagi

In September, 14 Warren County employees and administrators were indicted by a Warren County special grand jury, as investigations continue into the embezzlement scandal that has rocked the small town of Front Royal.  Among those indicted were all five members of the Warren County Board of Supervisors.  In response, local citizens filed a petition for the removal of those supervisors last week.  WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

Mike Tripp

You may have noticed that autumn leaf colors seem a bit late this year.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp paid a visit to Shenandoah National Park to explore the reasons why.

Mike Tripp

Unless you’ve been living under a sorcerer’s stone, you’ve probably heard of a game called "Quidditch."  And you may be aware that it exists not just in the fictional world of Harry Potter, but in real life too.  WMRA’s Mike Tripp recently met with one Staunton couple to explain this sport, featured during the recent Queen City Mischief & Magic festival.