WMRA Feature

From the Sullivan Papers, Special Collections, James Madison University

Courtesy JMU Accounting Dept.

The IRS started accepting tax returns on January 27.  And low-to-middle income filers in our area can get free help preparing and filing their returns at several locations.  WMRA’s Bob Leweke reports.

At 61, Harrisonburg resident Russ Eanes decided it was time to finally check something off on his bucket list - hiking 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago trail in Spain.  Russ will speak about his journey at WMRA's Books & Brews on February 11 and 12 .  WMRA’s Chris Boros spoke with Russ about why this adventure was so important to him.

Mike Tripp

Over the past couple of months, a local chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign has taken root in the Shenandoah Valley, gaining members as they seek to promote change. WMRA’s Mike Tripp has the story.

Randi B. Hagi

On January 3rd, a group of United Methodist leaders publicly announced a plan for the denomination to divide, based on disagreements over same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay people as pastors. If that plan is approved at the denomination’s General Conference this May, it would give regional conferences and individual churches the option to leave and join a new “traditionalist” denomination. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports on how local Methodist leaders are reacting.

Randi B. Hagi

Activist groups gathered in cities around the world on Saturday [Jan. 25] to show their opposition to the conflict between the U.S. and Iran, in which they see the United States as the aggressor, particularly after the U.S. assassination of a top Iranian general. The Shenandoah Valley Antiwar Coalition held one of those rallies in Harrisonburg. WMRA’s Randi B. Hagi reports.

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.