Cass Herrington

Shootings & Rise In Hate Crimes Have Some Asheville Places Of Worship Rethinking Security

Recent high profile shootings, like the ones that roiled Louisville and Pittsburgh last year, are forcing religious and racial minority communities to evaluate how they keep their people safe. It’s confounded by another stark trend -- a rise in hate crimes -- both in North Carolina and nationally. It’s the first Sunday morning service of the new year at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist, Asheville’s historic African American church. Sunlight pours through pastel hued stained glass and churchgoers...

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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.

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt.

The government shutdown has already caused delays and disruptions throughout the federal court system, and officials are bracing for things to get a lot worse next week.

The Fight For Native Voices To Be Heard

8 hours ago

Nathan Phillips and Nick Sandmann sparked a nationwide debate after video surfaced of their confrontation on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. There are myriad perspectives on the event, and reporter Jacqueline Keeler writes that this video "reveals the triumvirate of experiences that largely define American history."

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder.

Updated at 10:10 p.m. ET

At least five people were killed when a man opened fire Wednesday afternoon in a bank in Sebring, Fla., according to officials.

At a brief news conference, Sebring Police Chief Karl Hoglund named 21-year-old Zephen Xaver, of Sebring, as the suspect. Xaver is in police custody.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In federal courts around the nation, the wheels of justice may soon be grinding to a halt. The government shutdown has already caused court delays and disruptions. But as NPR's Tovia Smith reports, things may get a lot worse next week.

TOVIA SMITH, BYLINE: It's carved in stone on the front of the federal court in Boston that the whole government depends on the, quote, "skillful administration of justice." But for many who do that job, it's getting harder.

The image of a Chinese schoolyard full of students doing calisthenics isn't new.

But these moves definitely are.

Dressed in a sleek black-on-black ensemble, school principal Zhang Pengfei leads his students in a synchronized routine that would turn heads in any dance club. In matching tracksuits, the kids at Xi Guan Primary School in Shanxi province shuffle their feet, pump their arms, and do the Charleston and the Running Man.

Do yourself a favor and watch both videos here immediately.

House Oversight Committee Democrats have launched an investigation into who got security clearances in President Trump's administration following the 2016 election, as well as how and why.

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., outlined the goals of his inquiry in a letter to the White House on Wednesday.

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Arts & Performance

Bren Photography


Write about what you know about. It’s a time-tested path countless writers have traveled to bestselling books and films. So when Rachael Sparks took her first turn at genre fiction, her subject was obvious.

“There was a story that came out that, by 2050, 10 million people would die from resistant infections,” Sparks said. “It just gave me a lot of fertile ground to think about what it would be like in that world, to be a survivor in that world.”

Courtesy of the artists

NOTE: This is the second of two stories previewing the 2019 Asheville Fringe Festival.

Vanessa Owen and Gavin Stewart met on the dance floor seven years ago and have danced together and separately ever since. In crafting their new collaboration, they wanted to comment on the country’s immigration debate.

The new work is called “Vessel,” and Owen dances it alone.

Courtesy of the Artist

NOTE: This is one of two preview stories BPR is producing in advance of the Asheville Fringe Festival.

Think of the theater, dance and music familiar to most people. You won’t experience any of that during the Asheville Fringe Festival, home to the experimental and adventurous.

Those adjectives certainly describe the three locally made shows in this preview. The first comes from Judy Calabrese, mother of three, whose one-woman show recounts three decades of relationships with women.

Courtesy of Tellico


Anya Hinkle moved from southern Virginia to Asheville in 2006 for the bluegrass music scene. She says she absorbed the soul of a bluegrass artist from the scene, of all places, in Japan.

“People are really comfortable with a lot of silence, what I would consider awkward silence,” said Hinkle, whose husband is from Japan. They and their daughter visit Japan for a month or two every year.