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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February 15th Deadline
2:10 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Enroll VA: Free Help Navigating the Affordable Care Act

The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable care act is about two weeks away. Under the law, anyone without a plan in place by February 15th will  face fines.

For many, the process is confusing and even daunting, but if you haven’t signed up yet and would like to, there’s still time. A non-partisan group called “Enroll Virginia” is offering free help over the phone or in person for anyone who has not chosen a health coverage plan.

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Environment
12:24 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

Another Potential Route Change for Mountain Valley Pipeline

The Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would transport natural gas from West Virginia, may get a second change to its proposed path through the commonwealth. 

Spokeswoman for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Natalie Cox, says it will be weeks to months before the LLC planning the venture, completes contacting landowners and localities to see if any potential changes to the pipeline’s route are feasible. 

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Professional Protester
5:59 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

From a Calling to a Career

Mara Robbins
Credit photo: Colleen Redman, www.looseleafnotes.com

The Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline that’s being proposed to run through South Western Virginia made a U-Turn when it came to Floyd County. Last fall, the gas companies changed the original route, bypassing the rural county. Company officials have said the protest movement that sprang up in Floyd had nothing to do with their decision, but others believe it made a difference. 

One of them is Mara Robbins, who founded the Preserve Floyd Movement last summer to fight the pipeline. Now, she’s been hired by an Environmental group to continue that work throughout the region.

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Virginia General Assembly
3:40 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Industrial Hemp Bill Clears House Panel

Support is growing for a bill that would allow cultivation of industrial hemp in Virginia.  It passed a house committee and is expected to go to a vote of the full house Thursday.  

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Redirecting Fun with Food
4:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

The Power of Advertising

Does just seeing Ronald McDonald put you in the mood for a burger and fries?  Well, that effect is even stronger for children, who are bombarded with billions of dollars worth of food advertising brought to them by the media characters they love. 

It’s the low hanging fruit in the childhood obesity epidemic.  Redirect the power of advertising to promote foods to children that are lower in salt, sugar and fat.  And by promote, researchers mean, use the extraordinary power of media characters like Dora the Explorer and Tony the Tiger before her to deliver the message. 

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