Lilly Knoepp

Governor Cooper Visits WNC To Talk Medicaid Expansion

Governor Roy Cooper wraps up a six-county tour of Western North Carolina on Friday. BPR caught up with him at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Murphy where he was talking Medicaid Expansion. At a roundtable with hospital officials and Murphy community leaders, the governor heard a lot about the need to expand Medicaid - especially for the Western end of the state. Murphy Mayor Rick Ramsey explained that at the beginning of 2018 Tennessee-based Erlanger nonprofit health system bought...

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In culling through albums released late last year that I still play with pleasure, Paloma Faith's Fall to Grace was a real keeper. In contrast to my joy, Faith was singing about her agony: her broken heart, her wracked sobs about ruined affairs, her choked goodbyes to lovers who'd left her. She made all this sound tremendously intense and exciting. Not for nothing did she title her previous album Do You Want the Truth or Something Beautiful?

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Arts & Performance

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Six pastors walk into a brewery … It sounds like the start of a bad joke. Instead, it’s a Monday morning at the former Habitat Brewing in Asheville, and this is an improv comedy class.

Clifton Hall is the co-founder of the Asheville Improv Collective and he’s teaching this class—his first with the entire student base made up of pastors and ministers.

courtesy of DeWayne Barton


It’s a midweek morning at Asheville’s YMI Cultural Center. Upstairs, in a gallery featuring his wall-mounted sculptures, Dewayne Barton has just gotten off the phone, protesting his treatment earlier that morning at Buncombe County government office.

“Being black here, being black anywhere, You have to have your own therapy to help you be able to move throughout the world,” Barton said. “The thing I just dealt with this morning is crap. ‘Oh, you need to take your bracelet off?’ I need to take your bracelet off to go through a metal detector? How many people do you tell to do that?”

Matt Peiken | BPR News

NOTE: The beginning of the audio version of this story depicts domestic violence.

Theater students at Blue Ridge Community College, in Flat Rock, can count on an annual dose of creative social work.

On a recent Wednesday, they were in rehearsal for an original play titled “Battered.” It’s a play within a play, with domestic violence underpinning the narrative.

Julia Christgau regarded 2018 as a year of yes.

“I just got cast, cast, cast in all these things. I made three films and I did two plays,” she recalls. “I was like ‘Wow, maybe I’m an actor, finally.’”

Then, through the auditions she took in 2019, the Asheville actress absorbed one rejection after another.

“I’ve got a lot of nos,” she said. “I'm learning to let that roll off my back, and maybe that means something bigger is coming.”