Asheville

WUNC

Dozens of bills clear House or Senate as deadline nears

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The North Carolina General Assembly acted on scores of bills this week while heading toward a self-imposed deadline designed to weed out policy legislation that has little support.

The House approved nearly 50 bills during a two-day work week ending Thursday. The Senate approved several more. Committees from both chambers also met frequently, as ideas unrelated to taxes and spending that don't pass at least one chamber by April 27 are essentially dead until 2019.

Luke Shealy

Thousands of scientists and science supporters are expected to gather in Washington, and across the country – including Asheville for the March for Science.  The event has raised questions about whether scientists can and should advocate for public policy.   And as BPR’s Helen Chickering found out, there are some strong opinions here in Western North Carolina.

Wikicommons

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Another effort by North Carolina's craft-beer brewers to ease state limits on distributing their own products appears to have gone flat.

A new version of a House measure debated Wednesday in committee and designed to benefit the craft industry left out a previous provision to raise the self-distribution limit from 25,000 barrels a year to 200,000 barrels.

North Carolina Department of Commerce

Buncombe County’s unemployment rate stands at just over 4%.  But the same rate for the county’s African-American community is several times higher.  Efforts to bring that down have been slow moving.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The NCAA has awarded men's basketball tournament games in 2020 and 2021 along with several other championship events to North Carolina after the state repealed elements of a law that limited protections for LGBT people and put it at risk of being passed over as a host for future events.

Two major park projects are slowly but surely coming together in Asheville.  One is Overlook Park, which could provide stunning view of the city.  But there's one hitch - the city has not provided any funding for the park (yet).  Volunteers are looking for grants and donations currently to get the process started.

Voters in the city of Asheville could have the final say as early as this fall on whether city council seats will remain elected at-large.  A bill in the General Assembly filed by Republican senator Chuck Edwards would make the city draw up election districts for the six council seats.  Separate of that legislation, the current Asheville city council commissioned a poll to see what voters thought of a potential switch.  The conflicting results came back

****A previous version of this story only included 2016 numbers***

On Tuesday, the Asheville city council will discuss the results of a poll it commissioned regarding the creation of districts for future elections.

ARC.gov

Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows chairs the ‘Freedom Caucus’, a group of hardline conservatives known for their aversion to government spending and desire for deep budget cuts.   But there’s one federal program Meadows does not want to see slashed.  It’s one that operates in his backyard.

On the afternoon of August 21, 2017, a giant shadow will sweep across North America – the first total solar eclipse in the continental United States since 1979 and the first to run from sea to shining sea since 1918.  

Western Carolina University

Poet, novelist, and Western Carolina University professor Ron Rash has been named a Guggenheim Fellow for 2017.  Only 173 scholars, artists, and scientists from the U.S. and Canada receive the prestigious honor from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.  The fellowships are awarded "on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise."  Each fellow receives a $50-thousand award to support their work.

Matt Bush WCQS

Congressman Mark Meadows says “steps in a positive direction” are being made in regards to resurrecting Republican hopes of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, known to many as "Obamacare".

Davin Eldridge

Last year’s wave of wildfires is still fresh in the mind's of many mountain residents.  Whether that was a one-time event or the new normal is something environmental groups from Western North Carolina are trying to figure out.

It was a packed house at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, as well over a hundred residents  turned out for the “Before We Burn Again” panel discussion. 

Matt Bush BPR

Congressman Mark Meadows says he does not take President Donald Trump’s tweets at him ‘personally’.  The Western North Carolina Republican drew the ire of the President following the failure of the GOP’s healthcare bill last week.

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