Cass Herrington / BPR News

Gov. Cooper Highlights Community Service In WNC On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper made several stops through Western North Carolina Mon. to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

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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.

New information is being reported about the new coronavirus that emerged in China in December and causes respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia — heightening concerns about its potential threat to humans.

On Monday, Chinese authorities reported that the total caseload has risen to over 200, roughly tripling the previous number. In addition, authorities in Wuhan, where the virus was first reported, confirmed a third death but did not release details except to say that the three victims, all men, had prior illnesses.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper made several stops through Western North Carolina Mon. to mark the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  

Investigators in Honolulu are combing through the charred rubble of seven homes and searching for the remains of a man who police say stabbed his landlord, fatally shot two officers and set a fire that destroyed his bungalow and six other homes.

"It will likely take days to process the crime scene, including recovery of any remains," Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said at a press briefing. "At this time there are three people who are unaccounted for, including the suspect."

Updated at 12:58 p.m. ET

The White House is offering a fiery legal response to the articles of impeachment, in an executive summary of a legal brief obtained by NPR.

Decrying a "rigged process" that is "brazenly political," President Trump's legal team accuses House Democrats of "focus-group testing various charges for weeks" and says that "all that House Democrats have succeeded in proving is hat the President did absolutely nothing wrong."

It wasn't just the fact that one of China's best universities had changed its charter last December to emphasize loyalty to the ruling Communist Party that raised eyebrows. Shanghai's Fudan University also deleted principles like freedom of thought, and did so publicly, as if expecting praise.

Furious students staged a rare and risky protest in the school cafeteria in December. They sang the school's anthem, which praises academic freedom.

Updated at 1:28 p.m. ET

The city of Richmond, Va., was under a state of emergency Monday as thousands of gun ownership enthusiasts and armed militia members gathered at the Virginia State Capitol for a rally aimed at quashing new gun restrictions. Gov. Ralph Northam has temporarily banned weapons from Capitol grounds, and some of Richmond's streets have been barricaded to ensure the demonstration takes place peacefully.

The Kansas City Chiefs will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in Miami next month, after dominating the Tennessee Titans and the Green Bay Packers, respectively, in their conference championship games on Sunday.

Kansas City ends a 50-year drought

The Kansas City Chiefs knocked out the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship game on Sunday to secure their first trip to the Super Bowl in 50 years.

The extradition hearing for Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer for the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei, begins Monday in Vancouver, Canada. American officials want Meng sent to the U.S. to face federal fraud charges.

Sometimes, the approval of a new generic drug offers more hype than hope for patients' wallets, as people with multiple sclerosis know all too well. New research shows just how little the introduction of a generic version of Copaxone — one of the most popular MS drugs — did to lower their medicine costs.

It's pretty clear why Tiffany Tsao's The Majesties has been compared to the smash hit Crazy Rich Asians. After all, both are about obscenely wealthy Chinese families. But once I started reading, it became clear that this is a very different story — if Crazy Rich Asians was all about the luster and the shiny surface, The Majesties is focused on the grit and ruthlessness that makes the opulence possible.

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Arts & Performance

Grace Engel


If you’re a proud multitasker, you might want to make plans for the night of Jan. 22 to go to LT Laundry in West Asheville.

“We’ll be doing laundry. People can bring their laundry if they like,” said A. Eithne Hamilton, an Asheville dance and film artist behind an immersive performance called “Solidago.”

 

“Solidago” is among nearly three dozen shows wrapped into the Asheville Fringe Festival, home to this region’s most inventive, experimental and hard-to-define performers. Performances run Jan. 23-26.

courtesy of the artist


Shane Parish says he’s a self-taught musician, which isn’t a typical credential for someone earning a living as a guitar instructor.

“I’m not coming at it from this woo-woo perspective,” he said of his teaching practice. “We can get very specific and technical and advanced, theoretically, but I realized most of it is being present with that person in our time together. I look at it as a conversation about something we are mutually interested in.”

This is an evolved and expanded view for someone, while growing up in Tallahassee, Fla., who came to music as a lifeline.

Colby Caldwell


Molly Sawyer used to sculpt stylized horses and human figures from clay. That changed after her battle with breast cancer.

“The work became a response to my own direct experience with life, death,” she said. “I guess the issue of mortality has always been present in my deeper thought process.”

Today, Sawyer’s work is a mashup of found objects such as driftwood, stone and metal rods with braided or balled-up wool, twine, ash and fur. She usually works large, with some installations at once clumped on the floor, leaning against a wall and hanging from the ceiling.  

The dimensions and materials make this body of work difficult to place in galleries focused on sales, but Sawyer is riding a wave of exposure in area museums and art centers. She’s among the 50 artists invited into the Asheville Art Museum’s “Appalachia Now!” exhibition, and Sawyer is soon opening solo shows at Revolve in Asheville and at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee.

Audrey Wash


Asheville’s Tongues of Fire are still a young band, but vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Lowell Hobbs has already absorbed some time-worn lessons.

For instance, twice now, the band has invested many months, untold amounts of money and healthy doses of hope to perform at the South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Tex.

“We’ve never been accepted officially, but that has not stopped us,” Hobbs said. “It’s interesting being one of the bigger bands in Asheville, like our shows are usually packed, and then we’ll go down to SXSW and it’s like being thrown into this sea. I spent like six months working every contact I had and just begging people, and get like three showcases and maybe one of them is good. It’s definitely really frustrating and we’re very burned out, but we’re not gonna stop.”