Robbie Harris

WVTF/RADIO IQ New River Valley Bureau Chief

Robbie Harris is based in Blacksburg,  covering the New River Valley and southwestern Virginia. 

The former news director of  WBEZ/ Chicago Public Radio and WHYY in Philadelphia, she led award-winning news teams and creative projects.  Early in her career, she was the Humanities Reporter at New Hampshire Public Radio, and also served as a tape editor on Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Robbie worked at New Jersey Public Television and WCAU/CBS TV in Philadelphia while she pursued  her Master's Degree at the University of Pennsylvania.  During college, she was a Page at Saturday Night Live in New York and a reporter and program host for Cross Country Cable Television in Somerville, NJ.  Robbie also worked at the Rutgers College Radio Station, WRSU and was part of the team which founded "Knight Time Television" at the university.

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Health & Medicine
12:07 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Chinese Herbs Growing in Virginia

Credit Blue Ridge Center for Chinese Medicine

More Americans than ever before are turning to Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture to heal and prevent disease.  Many states, including Virginia now license practitioners and regulate the industry.

As the sector grows, there is more demand for Chinese Medicinal herbs, an important aspect of the practice. A new project underway to grow Chinese medicinal herbs here is taking root in Floyd Virginia.  

“The ones at the top are the ones we can grow at the clinic here but most of these are sourced from China and the west coast,” says David Grimsley.  

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Virginia Tech Research
2:36 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Rules for Flying Your Drone

Stock Photo
Credit Vince LoPresti/Flickr via NPR

With all the talk about drones, you’d think the industry was ready to take off. But not until the Federal Aviation Administration determines safety rules for commercial U.S airspace.  And that could be more than 2 years away.  Meantime, that means no flying commercial drones without a special permit.

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Environmental Impact Study
3:30 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Coalfields Expressway Plan Under Scrutiny

A plan for a controversial highway, known as the Coalfields Expressway, will undergo a full environmental impact study by the Virginia Department of Transportation.

V-DOT has described the plan the road as an economic lifeline for a region with a depressed economy. But citizen groups see it as benefiting only coal mining companies and not local communities.

 

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Part 2 of 2
1:09 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

Using Local Culture to Nurture a Depressed Economy

Clinch-Powell Clean Rivers Initiative
Credit The Nature Conservancy

The mountains of Southwest Virginia were once known for coal mining, manufacturing and agriculture --- and the boom and bust cycles that go with them.  Now the region is looking toward more lasting routes to prosperity.  They’re using nature and the local creative culture to nurture their economy.

“You cans start here at the waterfall which is the gorgeous 350 foot waterfall cascading over this mossy limestone cliff and then hike into the natural area.”

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Virginia Tech Research
4:54 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Unlocking the Secrets of Aging

The signs of aging are clearly visible, hair turns gray, wrinkles appear. But scientists at Virginia Tech think they’ve found a new way to measure aging on the cellular level. 

It could lead to new ways to diagnose and determine the causes of certain illnesses.

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