Matt Bush

News Director

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016.  Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C.  For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor.  Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis.  Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.

Matt has a B.A. in broadcasting from Point Park College in Pittsburgh.  His M.A. is in media entrepreneurship from American University in D.C.  In May 2017, he will graduate from the 35th class of Leadership Asheville at UNC-Asheville.

Ways to Connect

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.

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".

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.

Among the many federal programs and agencies President Donald Trump is proposing to eliminate in his budget plan is the Appalachian Regional Commission.  The agency serves parts of 13 states, including Western North Carolina.  President John F.

The NCAA men's basketball Final Four takes Saturday in Arizona.  There will be a Carolina feel in the desert air, as both North and South Carolina will be playing.  It's the first time the Gamecocks have made the Final Four, while for the Tar Heels it's their 20th, the most of any school in the nation.

Wilson.com

Basketball is king in North Carolina.  That may be spreading now to South Carolina, as the Gamecocks clinched their first ever Final Four trip on Sunday.  They’ll join the Tar Heels, who have now made the Final Four 20 times, more than any other school in country.

Matt Bush BPR

During his swing through Western North Carolina this week, Governor Roy Cooper admitted the Republican-controlled General Assembly will continue to notch plenty of political wins against him this year.  But the governor expects that not to last forever.

House Republicans in D.C. are expected to vote tomorrow/today/Thursday on the proposed bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ‘Obamacare.’  One Congressman who won’t be voting in favor of the measure is Mark Meadows.

Matt Bush BPR

The North Carolina House of Representatives is scheduled Wednesday to attempt to override Governor Roy Cooper’s veto of a bill regarding judicial elections.

AP

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP/File

The NPR Two-Way blog will provide live coverage of the House Intelligence Committee’s public hearing on the investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The live blog will include streaming video of the proceedings, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

Pexels

The hotel boom in Asheville thanks to ever rising number of tourists visiting the city has been well documented  (though maybe the boom is coming to an end or at the very least slowing down).  But another surge in hotel construction has been happening right to the south of Asheville.

Matt Bush BPR

Over 130 churches, synagogues, and other faith organizations in Western North Carolina are banding together to aid immigrants in the region.

Wikimedia Commons

A busy week in Asheville city politics is wrapping up.  First, Republican state senator Chuck Edwards introduced a bill that would create city council districts in Asheville.  Currently all city council seats in Asheville are elected at-large, meaning anyone living anywhere in the city can run for any one of them.

AP

68 schools make the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, known as March Madness.  But it’s just 10 people who determine which schools are in, and which are not.  UNC-Asheville athletic director Janet Cone is one of those 10, and the only woman on the committee that chooses the bracket.  She spoke with BPR News director Matt Bush about what it’s like to sit in the New York City room where so many players and fans hopes are realized or crushed.

Pexels

'Sustainability' is the big buzzword in Buncombe County government this year.  This week, county commissioners passed three measures dealing with sustainability.  They include creating a county government office focusing solely on sustainability efforts, as well as replacing of 47-thousand light fixtures at schools and a new solar energy farm near a landfill in Woodfin.

Matt Bush BPR

As Republican leadership in D.C. introduce their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, supporters of the law in Western North Carolina are clinging to hopes nothing to it will change.

President Trump has signed a revised executive order, once again barring travel to the United States from six majority-Muslim countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program. It's similar to the president's January order that was blocked by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. But this latest order leaves Iraq off the list of barred countries. The White House cites more cooperation with the Iraqi government in vetting people who apply for U.S. visas. The latest order also specifically states that it does not apply to legal permanent U.S. residents or current visa holders.

Chris Cooper has been heard many times on our air, and was a panelist for NPR's "Going There" in Asheville with Weekend All Things Considered Host Michel Martin last month.

Blue Ridge Public Radio

Things may sound different on our air.  But WCQS hasn’t gone anywhere.  It just now has a new parent – Blue Ridge Public Radio.   And a new sibling – BPR News.

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