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.

http://www.shadowlakevillage.org/

They’re often called, ‘the new old fashioned neighborhoods of the future’ planned communities, where the focus is on collaboration, cooperation and sustainability.  It’s an idea that came from Denmark and it’s beginning to take hold in Virginia. 

“This is sort of the periphery of the building area, the actual building area is a little further in.”

AP Photo/Steve Helber

 When a tragedy like yesterday’s shootings takes place, some people feel the need to look away.

But one person who has been there says you should do just the opposite… and that American society must look even more deeply at this phenomenon, if it is to have any hope of preventing these tragedies. 

As Hippocrates said, let food be your medicine. That’s the idea behind a new movement that’s stressing the ‘farm’ in ‘pharmacy:’

A pretty white picket fence surrounds a garden of about a half-acre in what used to be a parking lot in Christiansburg.

Kelli Scott is an agricultural and natural resources agent with Montgomery County Cooperative Extension.

"We actually have some watermelon and Okra blooming you know those are like traditionally really hot weather plants."

Virginia is one of 19 states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  So community clinics here are expanding their mission and changing their image as they strive to fill the gap. 

There’s a misperception that what used to be called Free Health Clinics still serve only adults who can’t afford to pay… that people fortunate enough to have health insurance, should never patronize.  But in fact, the opposite is true.

“Now we see everyone. We see children, adults, the uninsured, homeless and the insured individual.”

Matt Wasson, Appalachian Voices/Creative Commons

Burning coal to make electricity isn’t its only impact on the environment. The mining process has also been shown to pollute nearby waterways.

New rules proposed by the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement to protect that water, will be debated over the next several months. Some see them as a potential threat to dwindling coal jobs and others, as not strong enough to protect the environment.

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