News

Matt Bush BPR

Asheville isn't alone when it comes to problems with providing enough affordable housing.  Citizen-Times reporter Emily Patrick found the struggle is often greater in areas well outside of the city in Western North Carolina.

Matt Bush BPR

Sometimes work doesn’t feel like work.  That was the case for an Asheville contractor and his employees last week as they rehabbed an historic cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wicked Weed of Asheville announced this week it was being sold to brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, which owns such brands as Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois.  The company has been purchasing small craft breweries in recent years, creating "The High End" business unit for such brands.  In a statement announcing the sale, Wicked Weed co-founder Walt Dickinson called it an "exciting time for the entire brewing team.

Asheville City Soccer Club

The world’s game is coming to Asheville.   The Asheville City Soccer Club kicks off its inaugural season tomorrow night, hosting the Georgia Revolution at Memorial Stadium. 

Davin Eldridge

The town of Canton is in the early stages of planning a new bicycle and pedestrian lane, with the hopes of revitalizing its downtown area. 

Alison Arnold - Bats!

May 4, 2017
Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Poor Jeremy had quite the night a few weeks back when a bat got into his apartment and was looking scary, flying around, and generally doing bat things.  BPR gardening expert Alison Arnold thought Jeremy's misfortune was a great excuse to talk about the benefits of the little creatures.

The August Great American Eclipse is in WNC's backyard!  But to view such a spectacle safely, you'll need to take some special steps.  

Warren Wilson College

Warren Wilson College has named its new president, and for the first time in the school's 123-year history, it will be lead by a woman.  Dr. Lynn Morton will take over as president on July 1st.  She comes from Queens University in Charlotte, where she has spent the last 26 years.  She's currently the school's provost and vice president for academic affairs.  She takes over at Warren Wilson from Steven Solnick, who is leaving Western North Carolina to become the head of the Calhoun School in New York City.  Dr.

Mission Health’s explanation of why it’s ending deliveries at Angel Medical Center – because it loses more than $1-million a year doing so – isn’t sitting well with Macon County residents. Local leadership, including Franklin Mayor Bob Scott and County Commissioner Gary Shields, both pledged their support to locals in protest of Mission Health, and encouraged them to reach out to local government for help.  

Matt Bush BPR

Congressional mid-term elections are 18 months away, but one challenger is getting into the race for Western North Carolina’s seat in the House of Representatives very early.  Democrat Matt Coffay announced he will seek his party’s nomination for the 11th district seat at a rally in Waynesville last month.  Should Coffay win the nomination, he’d face three-term incumbent Republican Mark Meadows in the general election.  BPR’s Matt Bush spoke with Smoky Mountain News reporter Corey Vaillancourt about the Democratic challenger.

Matt Bush BPR

Mission Health says its decision to stop delivering babies at Angel Medical Center in Macon County was made to keep the hospital open.  Mission estimates around 400 children a year are currently born at the Franklin facility, roughly one per day.  CEO Dr. Ronald Paulus says labor and delivery care at Angel Medical loses the hospital between $1 and $2-million per year, which he says puts all the other healthcare done at the facility in jeopardy. “We can’t let one program, even important, put all of the care at risk for a rural community.  We just can’t do it.”

WCQS

It's a bittersweet day here at Blue Ridge Public Radio.  Thirty one years ago this month, music director Dick Kowal hit the airwaves.   Today, he hosted his last show.   While it's  impossible to capture all of the amazing accomplishments of his talented career, we do have some highlights, and a few good stories.  BPR's Helen Chickering reports.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

“It’s about 6 minutes after 9, good morning.”

If you live in Western North Carolina, chances are, you know this voice.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

Wikimedia Commons

This was "crossover week" at the North Carolina legislature, a busy time for lawmakers (and journalists).  It's a self-imposed deadline, when a majority of the bills put forth by lawmakers must pass at least one chamber or be considered dead for the remainder of the session.  BPR's Jeremy Loeb spoke with WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii, who's been putting in the long hours in Raleigh.    They spoke on Friday, the day after crossover deadline.  

Angel Medical Center, Mapio.net

The decision to stop delivering babies at a Macon County hospital is proving to be an unpopular one in the mountains.  

Angel Medical Center in Franklin has been in the business of delivering babies for more than sixty years, but all of that is about to change come mid-summer.  Mission Health, which runs the small community hospital, announced it will be discontinuing child labor and delivery services at the facility in July.  The decision is unpopular with young people in Macon County.

Soggy6/Flickr

The North Carolina Senate passed a controversial bill Wednesday night that splits Asheville into six districts for the purpose of electing city council members.   Senate Bill 285 is similar to one put forward by Hendersonville Republican Senator Tom Apodaca.  It would change the way voters choose city council members by creating six districts with voters allowed to choose only in their districts.  The mayor would still be elected at-large.  Apodaca’s bill died when a number of Republicans joined Democrats in voting no.  Now Apodaca’s successor, Republican Chuck Edwards, is trying again.

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