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.

With all the gift-giving this time of year, it’s important to know you’re not giving a child a toy that might be dangerous.  Scientists at Virginia Tech have come up with a new way to flag potential toy hazards before they cause injuries. 

These days there’s no shortage of product reviews out there.  In fact there are too many for consumers to actually comb through. Now a technique for mining those product reviews, invented at Virginia Tech’s Pamplin School of Business to examine car safety, is now being applied to children’s toys.

Did you ever wonder why dogs seem to splash water when they drink from their water bowls, but cats leave hardly a trace?  Well, now we know why. Some scientists at Virginia Tech took a closer look at how cats and dogs drink. 

Dogs and cats are like the book ends of the pet world, but even though they have a lot in common, pet owners know they’re very different creatures.  It’s subtleties that set them apart.

Associated Press

The Federal Aviation Administration is out with new rules for small, remote piloted aircraft, known as drones.  This comes just as hobbyists are expected to purchase hundreds of thousands of them during this holiday season.

Virginia Tech’s Director of Creative Writing has a new book out. It’s a collection of prayers. He says the work of crafting a prayer is like what writers struggle with every day, expressing emotion, desires, hopes and dreams.  But as you’ll hear in this story, the book is a very different take on what you may think of as a prayer.


The world is watching as political leaders meet in France, seeking ways to address climate change.  In Virginia, Appalachian Power, which services just under a million people here, has announced its plan for fuel sources going forward.  For the first time, it includes solar power.  While clean energy advocates applaud the change, they’re concerned it doesn’t go far enough.