Photo by Ingrid Christie

David Sedaris Remembers His Time On WCU’s Campus

Renowned author and satirist David Sedaris is making his way back to Western North Carolina next week. It may come as a surprise to some of Sedaris’ followers that he spent a year of his early life in the mountains, as a student at Western Carolina University.

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Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, held on to his seat Saturday after a tough challenge from his Republican opponent, Eddie Rispone, a wealthy businessman and political newcomer who President Trump supported.

Edwards is the only Democratic governor in the Deep South and is not a typical Democrat. He's a pro-Second Amendment gun owner who signed one of the country's strictest anti-abortion bills this year.

The House Intelligence Committee has released the transcript of the closed-door deposition at the impeachment inquiry into President Trump by a foreign service officer detailed to work in the office of Vice President Pence.

Jennifer Williams was assigned to Pence's team in the spring to work on European and Russian issues. She was the first person from his office to testify in the inquiry into whether Trump withheld military aid from Ukraine while seeking a political favor. Trump denies he made such an offer.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Mija means my daughter in Spanish. And it's also the title of a podcast that tells the stories of one immigrant family with a home in Queens, N.Y., but with roots in Colombia. The stories are told by the daughter in the family.

(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "MIJA")

LORY MARTINEZ: I'm brutally honest. I love deeply and forgive, always. And I love to embellish things to tell a good story, but I'm real. I'm Mija.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to hear now from Travis Olsen. He recently quit his job with the Department of Homeland Security because he says he came to believe that, under the Trump administration, the Department is intimidating and mismanaged and acting in a manner that is inconsistent with the country's longstanding values. He published an op-ed in The Houston Chronicle about his decision to leave DHS after nearly a decade. And he's now running for Congress as a Democrat. Travis Olsen, thanks so much for joining us.

TRAVIS OLSEN: Well, thank you for having me.

When Carrie Goldberg broke up with her boyfriend of a few months, frightening things started happening. He sent her hundreds of threatening messages. He contacted her friends, family and even work colleagues on Facebook to spread vicious lies about her — and that wasn't all. One night she opened her laptop to find email after email containing intimate pictures of her, including a graphic video filmed without her consent. Goldberg, a lawyer, went to the police and was told there was nothing that could be done.

Impeachment investigators have released the testimony transcript of Tim Morrison, the former top European affairs official on President Trump's National Security Council.

In his Oct. 31 testimony, Morrison confirmed he was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukraine's president. He also said that Trump had indeed sought help from his Ukrainian counterpart, but he argued the conduct wasn't unlawful.

Attorney General William Barr vociferously attacked Democratic lawmakers and federal judges on Friday and accused them of trying to limit Trump's presidential power.

He stated during a sweeping speech at The Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization, that Democrats "essentially see themselves as engaged in a war to cripple, by any means necessary, a duly elected government."

After 12 seasons of leading the University of Colorado Boulder's football team onto the field, Ralphie V, the 13-year-old, 1,200-pound buffalo, is officially retiring as the school's mascot.

The reason? The athletic department says she's too fast.

At least eight people were killed and dozens injured in the Bolivian city of Sacaba on Friday, after security forces fired on supporters of ousted president Evo Morales, according to the Associated Press.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News


  “Come on in, welcome to the museum.”

And with that, at 11am Thursday morning, the Asheville Art Museum reopened to the general public. David and Olivia Franklin, in town from Atlanta on their honeymoon, stepped in from the cold to become the museum’s first general-admission patrons.

“We always make it a point to go to the art museum wherever we go, and we felt like we needed to be able to be a part of history,” David Franklin said. “It seemed like a wonderful little bit of serendipity.”

xmasjam.com

One of Asheville’s most popular holiday traditions is taking a one-year hiatus. The Warren Haynes Christmas Jam has raised $2.7 million over 20 years for the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity, but Haynes said Tuesday he and the Jam are skipping 2019.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

This is a monumental week for Asheville’s arts scene. The Asheville Art Museum reopens this Thursday and, two days later, the Center for Craft reopens. Both are emerging from major renovations.

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Michael Yannette took over six years ago as director of choir and musical theater at Cherokee Central Schools. From the beginning, he faced a challenge he never encountered in his previous 25 years of teaching.

“I remember the first day I got here and I met the old choir director,” he recalled. “I remember going into the cabinets and seeing these little plastic elbow pipes, and he said, ‘Well, we use it so the kids can hear themselves sing.’ They hold one up to their mouth and the other to their ear, and I was like ‘okay.’”

Suffice to say, these students no longer need the elbow pipes. Over the past few years, as the Cherokee Chamber Singers—they've performed at the Smithsonian, Carnegie Hall and DisneyWorld, along with North Carolina’s capital and other locales in the state.