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.

Part of why the United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world, is that the prison population keeps on growing, spreading like some kind of epidemic.  According to Virginia Tech researchers, that's exactly what's happening.  They did a study that found, going to prison is contageous.

A Virginia Tech political scientists says the high number of Republicans in Congress not seeking re-election is setting the scene for  Democrats to take the U.S. House in the November elections. But when it comes to congressional races in rural parts of Virginia, support for Republicans remains strong.

Ever since two natural gas pipelines were proposed to traverse Virginia, some people have been trying to stop them. But at every turn, government approvals have been granted and both projects got underway earlier this spring.

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The Facebook fiasco is calling attention to an application known as 'machine learning.' That's where computer systems benefit from their experience, and automatically 'improve' their performance going forward. Could the same  be in store for the tech industry? 

The American Chestnut tree has mythic stature in tree lore. Today the old giants of people's memories are long gone from the landscape, wiped out by an Asian blight a hundred years ago. And even though they still loom large in the history and culture of Appalachia, new research suggests, their mythic proportions are likely, just that.   

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