The Augusta Free Press launched on July 2, 2002. The site serves as a portal into life in the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia – in a region encompassing Augusta County, Albemarle County and Nelson County and the cities of Charlottesville, Staunton and Waynesboro, at the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park and the Appalachian Trail. All content is available for free. Voluntary subscriptions are available here.
Chris Graham, Editor
An author of seven books, Chris co-wrote Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, published in 2019, and also co-wrote a book on the history of University of Virginia basketball, Mad About U: Four Decades of Basketball at University Hall, which was published in 2006.
Chris has covered University of Virginia sports since 1995, and is a sports broadcaster with experience as a play-by-play man and color analyst on ESPN3 and ESPN+ broadcasts of college baseball, college football, collegiate wrestling and women’s water polo.
This fall, Chris will serve as the play-by-play voice on radio broadcasts for VMI football, marking his fifth season as a broadcaster for Keydets’ radio broadcasts.
He is a member of the Football Writers Assocation of America, the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association.
From 2009-2014, Chris was the play-by-play voice of the Waynesboro Generals, a team competing in the Valley Baseball League, a premier college summer baseball league affiliated with Major League Baseball and the NCAA.
The former co-host of ACC Nation, a syndicated radio show that ran for four years, ending in 2007, and regular guest host of WMRA’s Virginia Insight, Chris is currently a contributor to The Mark Moses Show on 95.9-The Fan in Melbourne, Fla.
Chris also served as a member of the creative team and on-air TV commentator for Awesome Wrestling Entertainment on AWE’s Night of the Legends live pay-per-view event in 2011.
Chris wrote a book on that experience, The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, that was published in 2018.
He is also the former co-host of Viewpoints on WVPT, a weekly news affairs TV show that aired from 2016-2017.
Crystal Abbe Graham, Publisher
Crystal Abbe Graham is the publisher of Augusta Free Press.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, she is a member of Gamma Phi Beta.
Crystal began her professional career at The News Virginian (Waynesboro, Va.) in 1999. She has worked as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design.
Crystal covers news and sports for Augusta Free Press. Her news coverage includes a series on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and national and local politics. She also covers UVA Athletics for Augusta Free Press, and has covered NASCAR, ACC Football Kickoffs and the 2017 and 2018 ACC Tournaments. She is a regular contributor to the “Street Knowledge” podcast also produced by Augusta Free Press.
She was the co-host of Viewpoints, a weekly TV news show on WVPT, a PBS affiliate in Harrisonburg, Va., from 2016-2017, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show on WVPT that aired from 2004-2005. Her work on Virginia Tonight earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.
Crystal served on the board of directors of the Virginia chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and was the area director for AFSP’s Virginia chapter in 2017. Under her leadership, the chapter raised $641,155.43 in campus and community walks. In 2017, the chapter also increased event participation (190 events to 111 previous year), educated more people (10,839 vs 3,711 in previous year) and increased community partners from 38 to 98. The team also secured more than 120 corporate sponsorships during walk season and organized the most successful month of fundraising at Baker’s Crust in the restaurant’s history.
In 2017, she received the Dr. and Mrs. C. Lennart Sanquist Prevention Award from Mental Health America of Augusta for her work in suicide prevention including the formation of a Suicide Prevention Roundtable. Graham was certified in 2019 by LivingWorks Education to teach safeTALK, a half-day workshop that teaches participants to be a suicide alert helper. In 2016, Crystal completed a two-day facilitator training for a Survivors of Suicide Loss Peer-to-Peer Support Group and helped launch a Staunton, Va.-based group. She completed the two-day ASIST intervention training in 2016 also offered by LivingWorks Education and has presented programs to local populations (general public, high school and colleges) including Talk Saves Lives, More than Sad, and It’s Real. In 2017, she also participated in a Dale Carnegie training in Chicago titled “How to Win Friends and Influence People: Leadership Lessons” with Stephen Holgate and Sarah Mannone. Crystal completed a grant writing workshop with Laurie Jarrett Rogers through the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies in Richmond. She served on the mental health expert review committee for the Virginia Department of Education working on revisions to the mental-health portions of the SOLs.
In 2019, she started a Facebook Page titled The Ditto Project to further the cause of suicide prevention and education. Her dedication to prevention stems from the loss of her identical twin sister, Christina, who died by suicide and suffered from depression. In addition to suicide prevention and mental health, she also advocates for animals, the arts, youth and LGBTQ+ rights.
She has also previously served as the associate director of the Wayne Theatre Alliance, marketing director of the Waynesboro Generals collegiate summer baseball team and was a volunteer business ambassador with the Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce. She currently serves on the executive board of the Augusta chapter of Mental Health America.
Rebecca J. Barnabi covers education and features for AFP. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.
Scott German covers UVA Athletics for AFP, and is the co-host of “Street Knowledge” podcasts focusing on UVA Athletics with AFP editor Chris Graham. Scott has been around the ‘Hoos his whole life. As a reporter, he was on site for UVA basketball’s Final Fours, in 1981 and 1984, and has covered UVA football in bowl games dating back to its first, the 1984 Peach Bowl.
Seth Megginson covers sports for AFP. A graduate of Radford University, Seth has done freelance work for the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg covering high school and college football.
Rod Mullins covers NASCAR for AFP, and co-hosts the mid-week “Street Knowledge” focusing on NASCAR with AFP editor Chris Graham. A graduate of UVA-Wise, Rod began his career in journalism as a reporter for The Cumberland Times, later became the program director/news director/on-air morning show host for WNVA in Norton, Va., and in the early 1990s served as the sports information director at UVA-Wise and was the radio “Voice of the Highland Cavaliers” for football and basketball for seven seasons. In 1995, Rod transitioned to public education, where he has worked as a high school English, literature, and creative writing teacher and now serves as a school program coordinator in addition to serving as a mentor for the robotics team.
Additional Contributors and Guest Columnists
- Alon Ben-Meir, international relations professor, New York University
- Shepherd Bliss, author and retired college professor
- Jerry Carter, sports contributor
- Josh Deal, pro wrestling contributor
- Creigh Deeds, member of the Virginia State Senate
- Jeff Fife, community news and sports contributor
- Dan Grogan, UVA basketball photographer
- Melissa Howell, Lissa Fitz Coaching – health, life and motivational coach
- Mark Moses, 1560-The Fan radio host
- Ken Plum, member of the Virginia House of Delegates
- Jerry Ratcliffe, owner of JerryRatcliffe.com website
- Scott Ratcliffe, reporter for JerryRatcliffe.com website
- Roddy Scheer & Doug Moss, editors of Earth Talk
- David Swanson, author, activist, director of WorldBeyondWar.org
Archives: Magazine issues
Virginia Press Association News, Editorial and Photo Contest Awards (2008-2010):
- 1st Place: Headline Writing, Chris Graham and Crystal Graham (2010)
- 1st Place: Public Affairs Writing, Chris Graham (2008)
- 2nd Place: Generals News Writing, Chris Graham (2008)
- 2nd Place: Pictorial Photo, Mark Miller (2010)
- 2nd Place: Special Section Category, Real Estate, Staff (2009)
- 3rd Place: Design and Presentation, Staff (2009)
- 3rd Place: Public Affairs Writing, Chris Graham (2010)
- 3rd Place: News Writing Portfolio, Chris Graham (2008)
Archives: Viewpoints on WVPT
Viewpoints, a weekly TV news show on WVPT, a PBS affiliate in Harrisonburg, Va., aired from 2016-2017. It was hosted and produced by AFP’s Chris and Crystal Graham.
2016 Viewpoints Archive
2017 Viewpoints Archive