Cass Herrington / BPR News

City Council Revisits Revised Proposal on Flatiron Hotel

City Council plans to review a revised proposal to redevelop the Flatiron Building in downtown Asheville at its Tuesday meeting. The revised proposal cuts the number of hotel rooms from 80 to 71, which preserves the second floor for office space.

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Federal prosecutors say a lenient plea deal struck more than a decade ago with multimillionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein should be allowed to stand.

NC's Linville Gorge Is Breathtaking - And Dangerous

32 minutes ago

The Linville Gorge is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Charlotte, and it’s one of North Carolina’s most breathtaking places. It’s also extremely unforgiving, even for experienced hikers, climbers, and adventurers. As part of our partnership with Our State magazine, Jeremy Markovich brings us the story of one man’s 7-hour rescue — one that shows just how intense it can get when something goes wrong.

Nothing is permanent — these meat sacks we call bodies, the weekly Viking's Choice playlist available on Spotify and Apple Music. Seriously, if you'd been sitting on last week's mix of metal, punk, drone and other misfit music for a late-night sesh, it's gone — like dust in the wind, dude.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

More than 400 untested sexual assault kits in the possession of the Asheville police department have been tested at the state crime lab, after state investigators last year determined there were around 15-thousand untested kits in various law enforcement agencies across North Carolina.  

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors is expected to vote Tuesday to ban the sale and distribution of e-cigarettes in the city. The city is the corporate home of Juul Labs, the biggest producer of e-cigarettes in the U.S.

Two San Francisco ordinances would prohibit the sale of e-cigarettes in brick-and-mortar stores and also online, if shipping to addresses in the city.

The Fredericksburg General District Court is a red-brick courthouse with Greek columns in a picturesque, Colonial Virginia town — a horse and carriage are usually parked outside the visitor center down the street.

Updated at 3:40 p.m. ET

First lady Melania Trump announced Tuesday that her own spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, will take over for Sarah Sanders as White House press secretary.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

The acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to step down in the coming weeks, according to two agency officials, amid a public furor over the treatment of migrant children in U.S. facilities.

John Sanders is expected to make his resignation effective July 5, according to the officials, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made to agency employees.

After Republican Protest, Oregon's Climate Plan Dies

2 hours ago

Updated at 3:13 p.m. ET

Oregon's sweeping plan for addressing climate change this legislative session is dead, Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, announced on the state Senate floor Tuesday morning.

As a walkout by Republican senators over the cap-and-trade bill entered its sixth day — and in an apparent attempt to bring them back — Courtney gave assurances that the bill would die in the Senate chamber.

Mary Beth Keane's new novel is called Ask Again, Yes.

What's it called again?

That's what everyone I've raved to about this book has said to me a couple of minutes after I've told them the title. It's one of those delicate titles that instantly goes poof! into the air; but that's the only strike there is against Keane's novel which is, otherwise, one of the most unpretentiously profound books I've read in a long time.

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News

Just before noon on Wednesday, Bill Thompson sat behind his desk inside an otherwise empty Satellite Gallery. He had just scrolled through the hundreds of comments and likes on his Facebook post from the day before, announcing he’s about to close his gallery after 13 years on Broadway, in downtown Asheville.

“The outpouring of love and support comes through when you close the doors, and you’re almost like, ‘Where was everybody when we were open?’” he said. “If you’re going to be supportive of the arts and the local community, it doesn’t mean liking their stuff in social media. It means being supportive financially towards those artists who you say you love their work and to that gallery who you say you love what they’re doing.”

Sandin Gaither


Amanda Anne Platt and her band produced their first two albums on their own and were preparing a third without drawing interest from a record label.

“It was hard. I think every time you experience any kind of rejection in the arts, it makes you question your validity as an artist, which doesn’t make sense,” Platt said. “The music business is not music. If you’re not having monetary success, it doesn’t make you any less of an artist. I still have to remind myself of that. Every day it’s hard.”

Lauren Van Epps


A couple Saturday afternoons ago, Melissa Hyman lugged two Hefty bags down Asheville’s Lexington Avenue to the trunk of her car. They were filled with blankets.

“I don’t know if we’re gonna put anyone to sleep, but I kinda want to,” Hyman said. “I want to have a set up in front of the stage of just lots of pillows and blankets and see if anyone falls asleep there.”

courtesy of the artist


“American Idol” introduced Caleb Johnson to the nation as a powerhouse rock n roll vocalist. He proved he could pull off Steven Tyler, Steve Perry, Robert Plant. Even if you graduated Asheville’s Irwin High School alongside Caleb Johnson, you probably remember him more for winning Season 13 than for anything Johnson has done in his home city.

Now, five years later, like many whose fame has come from “American Idol” and other singing competitions, Johnson is motivated to prove he’s worthy of attention for his own music.

His new album is called “Born From Southern Ground,” and it’s born to showcase Johnson’s range and power.