WMRA Feature

Sara Amin / WMRA

The Shenandoah Valley Beekeepers Association is on a mission to save bees.  Board member Dorn Peterson used to teach physics at JMU but now he raises the furry insects.  He spoke with WMRA’s Chris Boros about his dedication to beekeeping in Harrisonburg and how he got started.

This interview was produced by WMRA's Sara Amin.

Bridget Manley

As another federal government shutdown looms, programs that give assistance to those in need are still feeling the effects days and weeks after the end of the last one. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

A Short Drive Away, the Largest Steerable Radio Telescope

Feb 4, 2019
Marguerite Gallorini

Two hours by car west of Harrisonburg, the Green Bank Observatory is home to the world’s largest steerable radio telescope.  This facility owned by the National Science Foundation might be, well, under the radar, but it’s being used for some very forward-thinking projects you might not expect – including a search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini has more.

Virginia General Assembly

An ethics bill prompted by James Madison University’s hiring of former Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling just after he’d completed a term on the university’s board of visitors took one step closer to becoming law Thursday in Richmond.  WMRA's Andrew Jenner reports.  *UPDATE Tues. Jan. 29...

Mdou Moctar on Facebook

Guitarist Mdou Moctar has been a prominent figure in the West African music scene of Agadez, Niger for the past decade. He plays a style that fuses traditional Tuareg guitar music with psychedelic blues and desert rock. Mdou Moctar is playing Tuesday, January 22 at the Golden Pony in Harrisonburg. WMRA’s Calvin Pynn spoke with Moctar about playing in Agadez, and bringing his music to the rest of the world.

Anna Saunders

A monthly series on current events known as “Democracy in Peril?” took on the topic of the Equal Rights Amendment last night at James Madison University. WMRA’s Anna Saunders reports.

Bridget Manley

The partial federal government shutdown is affecting national parks around the country, and local parks are no exception. WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Andrew Jenner

Nearly four months into his new job leading the Harrisonburg Police Department, Chief Eric English hosted a town hall meeting on Monday night. Stressing the importance of partnering with the public, English plans to continue hosting similar events in the future.  WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports.

Thad Zajdowicz / Creative Commons

The beer landscape in America is quite different than it was just a decade ago, especially in Virginia, where hundreds of independent breweries are creating all sorts of unique brews from classic pilsners, pale ales and seasonal varieties.  Virginia beer expert, Lee Graves, has travelled the state to find the best brews in the commonwealth and he’ll share his beer knowledge at WMRA’s Books & Brews in Harrisonburg on Tuesday, January 8, and in Crozet on the 9th.  He spoke with WMRA’s Chris Boros.

Sarah Murphy

Sarah Murphy and her horse recently completed riding the first 400 miles of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline route. The purpose was to bring awareness and attention to the intensely controversial project.  The pipeline would eventually carry fracked natural gas from West Virginia through Virginia, including Augusta and Nelson Counties.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler caught up with Murphy two days before the duo finally made it back home to their farm in Afton.

Christopher Clymer Kurtz (2017 file photo)

Harrisonburg’s city council has selected the city's new mayor - and she’s a familiar name.  WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Bill Bolling

Just months after his term on the James Madison University Board of Visitors ended last summer, former Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling began a six-figure job as a senior fellow in residence at JMU.  To State Sen. Mark Obenshain, that represents a clear conflict of interest.  WMRA's Andrew Jenner reports.

Note: WMRA's operating license is held by JMU's board of visitors.

Bridget Manley

A group of knitters in the Valley is working together to create mats for homeless people – and make good use of plastic shopping bags.  WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

A little more than a month ago, the survival of Harrisonburg’s Skyline Literacy was in question. Since then, the community has stepped up to meet the need. WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports.

Library of Congress

Virginia professor and author Ed Ayers has chronicled life during the Civil War from one community in the North and another from Augusta county in Virginia for his new book The Thin Light Of Freedom

Soil & Community at Farm-to-Table Conference

Dec 10, 2018
Christopher Clymer Kurtz

From soil to sacred, last week’s Farm to Table Conference [Dec. 5-6, 2018] served up two days’ worth of sessions and talks about food, farming and community. There’s cause for concern – and hope, as WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Bridget Manley

Several JMU students have been working to help the non-profit Suitcase Clinic solve the issue of providing better healthcare to those who are homeless in Harrisonburg.  WMRA’s Bridget Manley reports.

Andrew Jenner

The day after Thanksgiving, the federal government published its Fourth National Climate Assessment, a report full of alarming conclusions about how climate change could affect life in the United States. At one local ski resort, thinking about a warmer and less snowy future has already begun.  WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports.

Schools, Race and Disparities in Advanced Placement

Nov 20, 2018
Christopher Clymer Kurtz

In October, reports by ProPublica and the New York Times highlighted racial disparities between whites and non-whites in the nation’s public schools. A companion story in the Times focused on the wide gap between whites and blacks in Charlottesville city schools, and cited the Southern legacy of Jim Crow and segregation. One way of measuring the gap is looking at disparities in who is enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz looks at some of the results in the Shenandoah Valley.

In early October, the Staunton School Board voted to change the name of the city’s Robert E. Lee High School. Last night, they picked its new name. WMRA’s Andrew Jenner reports.

Faith Community in Charlottesville Addresses Affordable Housing

Oct 31, 2018
Marguerite Gallorini

Tuesday night [Oct. 30] was the 13th Annual Assembly of the Interfaith Movement Promoting Action by Congregations Together, or IMPACT for short. And the focus of the faith community yesterday was: affordable housing. WMRA's Marguerite Gallorini attended the assembly at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Charlottesville.

Can a Local Workshop Fight Fascism?

Oct 16, 2018
Marguerite Gallorini

After the deadly white supremacist rally last year in Charlottesville, two grad students in history at the University of Virginia are trying to bridge the divide between academia and the rest of the city by starting a monthly community conversation on far-right and fascist groups. WMRA’s Marguerite Gallorini and 10 others sat in on the first workshop of the “Far Right and (Anti-)Fascism Group.”

Less Money, More Challenges -- Autism and Income

Apr 30, 2018
Natasha Lee

Parenting can be joyful.  It can also be hard.  And if your child has autism, the joys -- and difficulties -- of parenthood can be multiplied. For our sixth and final installment in WMRA’s series on autism, we take a look at the many challenges facing parents—from housing to employment to transportation—and where they find hope.  WMRA’s Jordy Yager reports.

Aimee Cayer

With summer around the corner, families are turning toward vacation plans. But travel for those with autism can be a challenge. In the next installment of our series on autism, WMRA’s Jessie Knadler explores a cruise ship specifically designed for those with special needs …. so the whole family can R&R together.

Law Enforcement, Autism and Public Safety

Apr 19, 2018

As part of our recognition of National Autism Awareness Month, WMRA has been examining the spectrum disorder and the people it impacts. In the fourth installment of our series, we take a deep look at how the issue of public and individual safety has evolved. WMRA’s Jordy Yager reports.

Jessica Neal

As part of our recognition of National Autism Awareness Month, all during April WMRA is examining the spectrum disorder and the people affected by it.  Today we explore how animal therapy, specifically using horses and dogs, can help kids with autism.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

Students with Autism Have Classroom Support... But Is It Enough?

Apr 4, 2018
Christopher Clymer Kurtz

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and WMRA is presenting a six-part series about this increasingly prevalent developmental disorder. Today, we look at the educational system’s approach to students with autism. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz reports.

Kate Simon

April is National Autism Awareness Month, and World Autism Awareness Day is Monday, April 2.  So beginning today WMRA is embarking on a six-part series about this increasingly prevalent developmental disorder. Today, we look at applied behavior analysis – or ABA – a leading intervention for kids with autism, and how Mary Baldwin University is responding to the growing need.  WMRA’s Jessie Knadler reports.

Refugee Cyclists

Jun 9, 2016
Christopher Clymer Kurtz

For refugees trying to establish themselves in a strange land, just like for the rest of us, reliable transportation can be the key to landing a job, or simply being independent. One Harrisonburg bicycling enthusiast is not only teaching refugees how to ride bikes; she is also providing them with their own bicycles. WMRA’s Christopher Clymer Kurtz attended the most recent class and has this report.