Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Van Duyn Will Support AVL Districts Bill Pending Amendment

Controversial legislation forcing the city of Asheville to have districts for city council members could pick up the support of Buncombe County Democratic Senator Terry Van Duyn if the bill is amended on the Senate floor. An elections committee advanced SB813 this morning. Van Duyn says the bill will be on the Senate floor on Monday.

Read More

The State of Things

“The State of Things” covers diverse issues & topics in NC. Frank Stasio talks to authors, musicians, politicians, & citizens about subjects that matter to North Carolinians.

President Trump and administration officials are walking a fine line on family separation at the border.

They argue they don't like the policy, but that their hands are tied — and instead are pointing fingers at Congress to "fix" it.

There may be good reason for that — the policy (and it is a Trump administration policy, despite the Homeland Security secretary's claims to the contrary) is unpopular.

The order came in April. China's government instructed farmers in the country's northeastern breadbasket region to grow more soybeans, calling it "a political priority."

But soybean fields lay empty in the village of Sandaogou, which means "Three Ditches," in Liaoning province. It has been a dry spring.

"We've had a drought this year, so we planted soybeans late. The seedlings should be out by now. We need more rain," says farmer Liu, who only gives her surname for fear of trouble with local authorities. Soy, after all, has become "political."

A recording of migrant children crying for their mothers and fathers has gripped the nation — and ratcheted up the debate over the Trump administration's policy of separating families at the border.

BPR

The Tryon birthplace of singer, song writer and Civil Rights activist Nina Simone has been named a “National Treasure” by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The nonprofit is teaming up with the four New York City artists who bought the small wooden cottage in 2017.  The organization will devise a plan to rehabilitate the house so that it might be used by future artists.

A senior FBI official who has come under fire for sending politically charged text messages while working on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Trump-Russia probe has been escorted out of the FBI building.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

After more than a year of complaints and warnings — some subtle and others a little less so — the Trump administration has announced that the United States is withdrawing from the United Nations Human Rights Council. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley announced the decision in a joint statement Tuesday.

Big banks are skirting the rules on the sale of the complex financial instruments that helped bring about the 2008 financial crisis, by exploiting a loophole in federal banking regulations, a new report says.

The loophole could leave Wall Street exposed to big losses, potentially requiring taxpayers to once again bail out the biggest banks, warns the report's author, Michael Greenberger, former director of trading and markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

President Trump told a group of small-business owners Tuesday that the nation's economic future has never looked brighter. But that future could be imperiled by Trump's own multifront trade war.

"Main Street is thriving and America is winning once again," Trump declared in a speech to the NFIB, a small-business lobbying group. "You know, we're respected again. This country is respected again."

The president touted surveys showing near-record business confidence, along with solid job gains and an expected rebound in economic growth.

Updated 3:30 p.m. ET

In opposition to the Trump administration's practice of separating immigrant families, at least five governors, including two Republicans, say they will not send their National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border.

Updated at 4:40 a.m. ET Wednesday

Since early May, 2,342 children have been separated from their parents after crossing the Southern U.S. border, according to the Department of Homeland Security, as part of a new immigration strategy by the Trump administration that has prompted widespread outcry.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order reversing his policy of separating families — and replacing it with a policy of detaining entire families together, including children, but ignoring legal time limits on the detention of minors.

Pages

Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Like a lot of excited, ambitious entrepreneurs, Heather Maloy put her head down and bulled forward with her plan: She wanted to create a fulltime professional ballet company in Asheville.

“With it being a summer tourist community and being very alive in the summer, it seemed like a great starting point,” she said. “But I wasn’t really thinking fully how to get past that summer point to a year-round point.”

courtesy of Janet Oliver


From her earliest memories, Janet Oliver was different than every other child she knew in Batesville, Ark. Her father was a white civil rights lawyer, her mother black, and the adults around her—particularly the women in her matriarchal family—pushed her to greatness.

“The women around me said you will get a great education, you will leave Arkansas and you will have a life,” she said. “I was self-directed, I was opinionated, I was articulated and I was obedient, and I think they liked that factor far more.”

After a season devoted to auditioning six finalists, the Asheville Symphony Orchestra has tapped Darko Butorac as its next music director. Butorac succeeds Daniel Meyer, who departed the orchestra after the end of the most recent season, his 12th in Asheville.

Butorac, 40, began his life in classical music as a cellist, but had his first chance to conduct an orchestra when he was 17. From then on, he knew he wanted a life on the podium.

Matt Peiken | BPR News


It’s hard to miss Sharon Cooper on the dance floor. Her expression is almost always wide-eyed, focused and intense. Even her slowest movements carry urgency.

But then there’s Cooper, the pediatric nurse. With her young patients, she’s smiling, animated and tender.

“I’ve always been interested in it, and always very interested in the body and the way it works and muscle systems,” Cooper said of nursing.