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.

Kurt Holtz

A recent study found Americans loathe the word tax.  But what if there were a tax that actually pays dividends to people?

That’s the idea behind the new and improved Carbon Pricing Bill that supporters hope will become law.

If you think remodeling your kitchen is a lot of work, what if you had a fixer upper that’s more than 2-thousand miles long. Yes, the Appalachian Trail, which runs from Maine to Florida and through Virginia is getting a makeover so it can be more accessible to people of various skill levels. 

Literally, one step at a time, volunteers have been remaking sectionss of the Appalachian Trail that are too vertical, too precarious or just worn out.

Word is the Mountain Valley Natural Gas Pipeline is that the project is nearly complete, but construction remains on hold for the winter and several environmental permits are still in limbo. Last week, landowners in the pipeline’s path filed a lawsuit against the company and the Federal Energy Regulatory commission, challenging the constitutionality of a practice known as ‘eminent domain.’


Virginia could soon cast the deciding vote on the Equal Rights Amendment. It was first proposed almost a hundred years ago and came close to becoming the law of the land in the early 1970s.   And when Congress refused to ratify it, it inspired a woman named Pat Brown to work for women’s rights. Brown lead the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley for 33 years. She’s stepping down this month.

Virginia ranks in the bottom third among the states when it comes to early childhood education. Governor Ralph Northam is proposing a $95 million bump in funding, directed mostly toward at-risk 4-year-olds.  There will be public hearings around the state, January 2nd, on this historically large budget item aimed at giving Virginia’s children the support they need to thrive in school.