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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Protecting Nearby Land
4:00 am
Tue September 3, 2013

The New River Trail

Recently Bulldozed

The New River Trail, in southwestern Virginia, runs for 57 miles from Pulaski to Galax.  It’s Virginia’s longest state park, but also its narrowest ---with a right of way just 80 feet wide in many places.

Some worry that makes it especially vulnerable to development along the trail as communities give way to pressure to trade their rural character for the promise of prosperity.

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The Latest in the Series
9:01 am
Fri August 30, 2013

A Look at Abraham's Novel: "War, West Virginia"

Blacksburg Writer Michael Abraham has written a number of books about the Virginias.  His newest is called, “War, West Virginia.” 

It’s a fictional tale set in the real life town by that name….  a “what might have been” take on actual events after a dam-break devastates a coal town.

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"Aims of Education" Event
4:00 am
Thu August 22, 2013

Gandhi's Grandson Speaks at Virginia Tech

Arun Gandhi, grandson of the legendary spiritual leader, Mahatma Gandhi, will speak about his grandfather’s views on education and their relevance today, at Virginia Tech on Sunday evening. 

Arun Gandhi was born in 1934 in Durban, Apartheid era, South Africa.  The fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohatma Ghandi, he came to the U.S. in 1987 to research and study racism in America and founded the Institute for Nonviolence at the University of Rochester in 1991.

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Hands-On Micro-Financing
4:00 am
Wed August 14, 2013

The Money Game

Assistant Professor Akshay Sharma, at center, works with women participating in a micro lending collective, which pays for basic entrepreneurial ventures.

As the saying goes, it takes money to make money.  But where does that leave the four billion people around the world who live below the poverty line? 

A Virginia Tech Professor is tackling that problem from a new perspective.  

Most people have heard the term ‘micro finance.’  Cooperatives lend small amounts of money to entrepreneurs and small businesses. The concept began in developing nations to help women start their own businesses. Experts say poor people who receive these loans repay them at the astounding rate 99.7%.

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Arts & Culture
4:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Trail of the Lonesome Pine

Jason Barnette

A novel set in southwestern Virginia was enormously popular when it came out – in 1908.  “Trail of the Lonesome Pine” is the story of a young engineer who goes to that mountain region to develop its underground resources.  He finds himself in the middle of a blood feud between two powerful local clans ---and falls deeply in love with one of their daughters.  

The novel, based on true events, has been made into a move three times. The 1936 version starred Henry Fonda and Fred McMurray.  

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