WMRA Feature

Cindy Shebly via Flickr / Creative Commons

Anna Saunders / WMRA

Exams for the end of Spring semester are approaching, but student anxiety is a year-round problem.  We are in the middle of what experts are calling a mental health crisis on college campuses.  

Calvin Pynn

Paula Youngblood has struggled with phantom limb pain since losing her hand in a car crash in 2017, but she may have found a treatment that works -- virtual reality gaming.  She’s been working with a grad student at James Madison University studying alternative therapy methods.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn reports.

Andrew Jenner

According to the superintendent of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail, locking up people with substance use disorders simply doesn’t work. In the first in an occasional series on local jails, WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports on RSW’s partnership with a Richmond-based recovery organization.

Public Domain

Tangier Island, a 1.3 square mile spit of land in the Chesapeake Bay off the coast of Virginia, may be facing extinction.  Acclaimed journalist Earl Swift has spent much of the last two years living there and his new book, Chesapeake Requiem, is an eye-opening look at a crisis that may completely engulf the island. 

German Scholars Visit UVa for Projects on Racism

Apr 8, 2019
Heinrich Boll Foundation

This week in Charlottesville, the University of Virginia, in partnership with the Heinrich Boell Foundation in Washington D.C., will host five visiting fellows from Germany to work with faculty and students on projects that deal with racism and history. WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini caught up with the foundation’s program director in Washington, D.C.

Anna Saunders

The latest installment of the “Democracy in Peril?” series at James Madison University focused on ethics in Washington. WMRA’s Anna Saunders reports.

Lawmakers in Richmond have wrapped up their 2019 legislative session, less than two months removed from a cascade of scandals involving Virginia's top three elected officials, which captured the nation's attention for weeks.

Gov. Ralph Northam and Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface decades ago. Justin Fairfax, the lieutenant governor, was accused of sexual assault by two women.

All three Democrats remain in office despite continued, though less intense, calls for their resignations.

Jason Barr

Virginia lawmakers voted Wednesday [April 2] to hike gas taxes in some parts of the state to improve Interstate 81.  Earlier this year, trucking groups helped scuttle a proposal for truck tolls to pay for improvements to the interstate.  WMRA’s Jason Barr reports on all this from a trucker’s perspective.

Anna Saunders

Monday [April 1] was Census Awareness Day. The Madison Center For Civic Engagement held a roundtable discussion about the regional challenges the Census Bureau will face when collecting data in the Valley. Anna Saunders reports.

Bridget Manley

The historic bath houses at the Omni Homestead in Bath County will reopen in 2020, after falling into disrepair. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Andrew Jenner

In the first report in this series, we heard about the groundbreaking judicial rulings ordering school integration in Virginia that earned Harrisonburg’s federal courthouse a listing on the National Register of Historic Places. In his second report, WMRA’s Andrew Jenner looks at how that process unfolded.

Heifetz International Music Institute

Looking for something interesting to do Saturday?  Head on over to Staunton for a day of music by one of the most influential composers ever.  WMRA’s Kimberlea Daggy reports.

Anna Saunders

Wednesday night [March 20], Climate Action Alliance of the Valley held a panel to talk about the need for climate legislation in Virginia. The panel featured climate activists and local state Senate candidate April Moore. WMRA’s Anna Saunders reports.

Andrew Jenner

Last fall, the federal courthouse building in downtown Harrisonburg was listed on the National Register of Historic Places – due in part to some overlooked rulings there that were instrumental in desegregating Virginia’s public schools. In the first of a two-part series, WMRA’s Andrew Jenner looks at those rulings.

Charlottesville city government was upended after a woman was killed and others injured in a car attack by a white supremacist in 2017. White nationalists had targeted Charlottesville for a "Unite The Right Rally" after the Virginia town decided to take down a Confederate statue, part of its reckoning with a fraught racial history.

Anna Saunders

The latest forum in the “Democracy in Peril?” series at James Madison University focused on President Trump and the ways he has changed the role of the presidency. WMRA’s Anna Saunders reports.

Calvin Pynn

Since reporter and JMU alumna Alison Parker was fatally shot in 2015, her father, Andy Parker, has fought to reform gun laws.  He wrote a book that details that fight. Parker shared his story with JMU students Thursday night.  WMRA’s Calvin Pynn has the story.

Former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling

A new state law inspired by James Madison University’s controversial hiring of former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will take effect July 1st.  But it’s not clear whether the law will affect that hire.  WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports.  [WMRA's operating license is held by JMU's board of visitors.]

For Virginia author and JMU professor Inman Majors, comedy is one way he deals with the serious world around him.  The New York Post calls his latest novel, Penelope Lemon; Game On! “hilarious” and Booklist says it’s a “laugh out loud” read. 

Hundreds Receive Free Medical Care

Mar 4, 2019
Christopher Clymer Kurtz

For the first time in Harrisonburg, the nonprofit Remote Area Medical clinic offered anyone who needed it free dental, vision and medical care. 

WMRA and James Madison University present The John Grisham Writers Hour with special guest James McBride, a New York Times best-selling writer, musician and screenwriter.  Grisham, who has 40 novels under his belt, sat down with McBride in December 2018 on the campus of JMU for a candid discussion about writing, books, movies, and life. 

Bridget Manley

But can the new residence hall coexist with other buildings on campus named after Confederate soldiers?  WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

General Assembly Roundup

Feb 25, 2019

This year’s General Assembly adjourned Sunday.  Our partner station WCVE in Richmond has been covering the session.  In this roundtable discussion with reporters, WCVE's Craig Carper reviews what lawmakers accomplished, and what they failed to achieve.

Randi B. Hagi

Last week, kinesiology students at JMU attended workshops led by U.S. Paralympians and local wheelchair basketball players.  The students' task:  to learn how their studies in human movement intersect with the lives of those living with physical disabilities.  WMRA’s Randi Hagi reports.

Andrew Jenner

Among the many flashpoints in the fight over Dominion’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a proposed compressor station in Union Hill, a predominantly black community in Buckingham County founded by freed slaves.

Rachel Zaslow

As we learned yesterday, homeschooling in our part of Virginia is growing quickly for various reasons. In this follow-up report, WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports on one homeschooling co-op in Charlottesville founded to create a positive learning environment for children of color.

The number of students being homeschooled in our area has grown a lot over the last decade. In the first of a two-part series, WMRA’s Andrew Jenner explores why that’s happening.

Free Mobile Health Care to Make Stop in Harrisonburg

Feb 13, 2019

Even as Medicaid expansion is finding its footing in Virginia, many people don’t have access to necessary health care. A non-profit provider of mobile medical clinics is coming to Harrisonburg for the first time on March 2nd and 3rd, in hopes of addressing some of those needs. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Whistle Words

Whistle Words is a multimedia project that uses writing to help women in cancer treatment reclaim their sense of self.  The group has released a new book called Truth: Voices of Women Changed by Cancer.  It’s an anthology of writings by women who are currently fighting the disease or in post treatment.  Charlotte Matthews is one of the founders of Whistle Words and she’s our featured speaker for Books & Brews  in February 2019.  She spoke with WMRA’s Chris Boros.