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Pack Memorial Library

While it is a major tourist destination, Asheville is not home to many museums.  The push to build one to honor and memorialize the city’s African-American history comes at an important moment in Asheville’s overall history.  

Cass Herrington / BPR News

 

“Check the receipt.” That was an overarching theme of presidential hopeful Bernie Sander’s campaign rally in Asheville Fri. The Vermont Senator highlighted his consistent political record throughout his career, in his pitch to voters for the Democratic nomination.

Photo courtesy of Ivy Gibson-Hill

Southern neighbors Georgia and Alabama both passed bills that restrict abortion access this month. Activists say these laws will negatively impact access to healthcare in North Carolina - not just access to abortions for women.  

 

Noah Fortson / NPR

President Trump is unveiling an immigration plan that would vastly change who's allowed into the United States. The administration's proposal focuses on reducing family-based immigration to the U.S. in favor of employment skill-based immigration. Watch his remarks from the White House Rose Garden live below.  The speech is expected to start at 2:30 p.m.

Lilly Knoepp

  Outside of Murphy in Cherokee county at the tip of Western North Carolina. We’re heading to a small farm where innovation brought one woman a new career.

 

Past a wide creek and a pasture of running horses, the small RCP Farm sits outside of Murphy. California-native Christina Newhouse has lived here since 2005 when she moved across the country with her husband Robert.

Newhouse is keeping a close eye on her high tunnel right now because squirrels have been sneaking in and eating her strawberries:

 

Paul Sancya / Associated Press

One of the early front runners in the bid for the Democratic presidential primary vote is stopping in Asheville on Fri.

Matt Bush

The Flatiron Building in downtown Asheville will not be turned into a hotel – at least for now.  At the end of Tuesday night’s lengthy city council meeting, four council members – Brian Haynes, Julie Mayfield, Sheneika Smith, and Keith Young – all stated they were against a plan from a South Carolina-based developer to turn one of downtown’s most iconic and oldest buildings into an 80-room hotel.  Those four constituted a majority of council members, so the developer's lawyer pulled the plan from consideration before the council could vote on it.  That allows it to come up again at a future meeting.  

howderfamily.com / Creative Commons

 

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — The audit of a North Carolina county dealing with a public corruption scandal will cost $351,000, nearly three times more than originally quoted.

Micah Maziar / Creative Commons

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A proposed agreement reached between North Carolina alcohol wholesalers and small breweries over who distributes their beer as they grow is on tap in a state Senate committee.

Walt Wolfram / North Carolina Language and Life Project

 

Appalachian English is a term linguists use to describe the speech patterns of people in Appalachia. It’s also referred to as “mountain talk.”

But there’s variation within the dialect, just as there is among the nearly 26 million people who populate the diverse region, which covers 13 states.

Henderson County state representative Chuck McGrady will not seek re-election to his seat next year in the North Carolina General Assembly.  The Republican lawmaker announced his decision Monday via email and social media, saying after five terms it's time for him to “turn my focus back home to my friends and family.”

Morin Photography


At a rehearsal in the Woodfin dance studio of the Asheville Ballet, Rebecca O’Quinn is watching two middle-aged women rehearse a duet O’Quinn created around the prop of an overstuffed loveseat.

 

“They kind of take turns running around the couch and flipping over the couch, and are in relationship with each other, and it’s not clear what the relationship is,” she said of this dance work, part of an Asheville Ballet program May 17-18 at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville.

 

That unclear relationship could be a metaphor for O’Quinn’s own artistic path.

Wikimedia Commons

Western Carolina University is adding to its degree offerings, to better reflect the growing diversity on campus. The Latinx student population has increased significantly in less than a decade, to 700 students in 2018, compared to 105 in 2010.

Asheville Kidnap Claim Unravels: Mom Charged

May 10, 2019
Henderson County Sheriff's Department

Associated Press - A mother's claim that her 7-week-old baby was kidnapped quickly unraveled after her infant was found at the bottom of a 75-foot ravine in Henderson County, law enforcement officials said Friday.

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin announced that the child's mother, Krista Noelle Madden, 35, has been jailed on a count of attempted first-degree murder.

The Magnetic Theatre

With new works, playwrights often work closely with the director to shape what happens on stage. But once Peter Lundblad finishes writing a play, his involvement with it ends.

“I really like giving it to a director and seeing what they do with it, so I try not to interfere,” he said. “I’m not a details a guy, so somebody else who knows that better. That’s one example of really learning to trust a director.”

Lundblad is perfectly content to leave his new play, “Buncombe Tower,” in the hands of the Magnetic Theatre. And he has left much for the director and cast to interpret. The play is a fantastical, futuristic vision of Asheville and an allegorical commentary on the fallout of gentrification.

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A retired North Carolina financier challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis in next year's GOP primary says he'd stand with President Donald Trump on issues like cutting foreign aid and immigration.

Garland Tucker of Raleigh formally announced his candidacy Wednesday, two days after filing paperwork to create a campaign committee . Tucker's campaign says he made the announcement on Sean Hannity's national radio show.

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A member of a secretive North Carolina church will enter a plea on a federal fraud charge as part of an investigation into an unemployment scheme benefiting businesses with ties to the congregation, according to court documents.

Diane McKinny is scheduled for a plea hearing Friday in Asheville on a federal charge of making a fraudulent claim for unemployment benefits, according to a court filing this week.

BPR News

An update on a story we’ve been following since the spring of 2017.   That’s when four artists from New York bought the Tryon childhood home of legendary singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone.  Restoration work is underway, BPR's Helen Chickering traveled to Tryon to check it out.   

Ahead of Thursday’s crossover day in the North Carolina General Assembly, the state house has approved a bill that bans hand-held use of cell phones by drivers.  The fine for the offense would be $100.  The final vote in House Tuesday morning was 92-23.  It now moves on to the Senate. 

Lilly Knoepp

The Franklin Town Council has voted to transfer the deed to the ancient Nikwasi Mound to a nonprofit.   

The hall broke out into applause after the town council voted unanimously in favor of transferring the property to the Nikwasi Initiative - a nonprofit made up of representatives from Franklin, Macon County, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Mainspring Conservation Trust.

Hope Huskey is on the board of the Nikwasi Initiative and a member of the Eastern Band.  

 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

 

 

Henderson County’s decision to renew an agreement with federal immigration authorities puts government officials at risk of being sued under the fourth amendment. That was the message immigrant rights advocates brought to the county commissioner’s meeting Mon.

Matt Peiken | BPR News


Here’s a little perspective: This year’s high school graduates haven’t been able to set foot inside the Asheville Art Museum since early in their freshman year. That’s how long the current, $24 million renovation and expansion is taking.

 

But this past Friday, museum director Pam Myers and some of her staff walked BPR and other local media through three floors and a rooftop of new galleries and other features that, up to now, have never been part of the museum’s 71-year history.

North Carolina Collection at Pack Memorial Library

Plans to turn Asheville’s historic Flatiron Building into an 80-room hotel are still on hold. City Council is expected to vote next week on the proposal.

The history and context of the building's construction echoes the current trend playing out today -- a shift toward urban development.

The Flatiron was constructed in 1926, and in those days, the eight-story building was considered a skyscraper.

Lilly Knoepp

  There are over 20 land trusts in North Carolina.  BPR sought to find out what a land trust does at an event intended to teach millennials the answer.

 

Jess Stone/Smoky Mountain News

The body of Riley Howell was returned to his hometown of Waynesville Thursday via a procession of police that traveled from Charlotte.  Howell and a fellow UNC Charlotte student were killed Tuesday after a gunman started firing into a classroom on campus.  Howell died after tackling the guman, saving untold numbers of lives according to police.

cdc

This week, US Health officials announced there are just over 700 reported measles cases across the country.  That’s the most cases in 25 years and a major source of frustration for public health officials since measles was declared eliminated in this country back in 2000.  Twenty-two states have reported cases, North Carolina has not yet made the list –but state health officials, especially here in Buncombe County, are on alert. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

UNC Charlotte

Tuesday's shooting at UNC Charlotte has been felt in several Western North Carolina communities, including Asheville and Waynesville.  Although Charlotte may seem a world away, when the names of the two deceased were announced Wednesday morning, tiny Waynesville in Haywood County learned it had lost one of its own.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Chanting slogans like "We are not skipping school, today we teach the golden rule!" public school teachers rallied in Pack Square around the Vance Monument late Wednesday morning as part of the 2nd 'Red For Ed' marches across North Carolina.  An estimated 20-thousand were expected at the main rally in Raleigh at the state capitol, while smaller marches like the one in Asheville were planned around the state.

Buncombe County Schools

One of the two UNC Charlotte students killed in a shooting on campus Tuesday evening was a native of Waynesville and a graduate of T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville.  21-year-old Riley Howell is being hailed as a hero for rushing the suspected gunman during the shooting, preventing further loss of life.  

Lilly Knoepp

  This time of year plenty of hikers along the Appalachian Trail are making their way through Western North Carolina.  They are vital for the economies of towns that sit along the trail – like Franklin, which was the first designated Appalachian Trail Community.  

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