Cass Herrington

Morning Edition Host, Reporter

Cass Herrington is BPR's Morning Edition host and news reporter. Her reporting largely focuses on stories dealing with health, race, and immigration. 

Before joining BPR in 2019, Herrington spent nearly seven years writing, reporting and hosting for NPR stations in Illinois and Indiana. 

Her reporting has earned numerous awards, including the designations of best reporter by the Associated Press Broadcaster’s Associations in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky.

In 2015, Cass received a prestigious national Edward R. Murrow award for a show she produced about non-verbal teens with Autism who rely on iPads to communicate.

A Kentucky native, Herrington graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in journalism, international studies and Spanish. She's fluent in Spanish, loves to travel, and is a proud, bleed-blue Kentucky Wildcats fan. 

Herrington also co-hosts a podcast, called Skillet, about the intersection of food and memory.

Buncombe County’s Democratic commissioners plan to speak out Tues. against a measure that would force sheriffs to comply with federal immigration agents.

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A 21-year-old Salvadoran woman living in Western North Carolina is fighting an immigration judge’s order for her deportation. 

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America’s largest home earlier this month announced it’s no longer accepting unannounced company. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

Immigrant service providers in Henderson County are calling for the chairman of the county board of commissioners to resign. They say that comments Chairman Grady Hawkins made at a recent meeting is a breach of his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

The Henderson County Sheriff’s Department has a new community liaison outreach coordinator. 

Stephanie Barbosa officially joined the department last month to help build trust within the Latinx and immigrant community. There has been fallout, partially due to the sheriff’s decision to renew a voluntary agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

Online purchasing is giving rise to small businesses that take the middleman out of the supply chain.  The so-called “direct-to-consumer” model has changed the way we buy even the most mundane products, from mattresses to razor blades. 

One example is an Asheville-based pottery maker hoping to capture a larger slice of the ceramic dinnerware market. East Fork Pottery is facing some challenges -- due largely to its rapid online success. 

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Republican-controlled General Assembly headed for a showdown with Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper as a bill that would strong-arm North Carolina sheriffs refusing to cooperate with federal immigration agents neared final passage.

Alan Levine
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A Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and undocumented immigrant will headline one of Asheville’s annual fall events - an event that is changing its name this year.   

North Carolina Sheriff's Association

Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller will join two other sheriffs in Raleigh Wed. to denounce legislation that would force all North Carolina Sheriffs to assist federal immigration agents. 

Mission Health

Mission Hospital has a new CEO at the helm.

On Tues., Mission Health announced in a news release Chad Patrick will serve as CEO for HCA Healthcare’s Mission Hospital, effective in mid- July.

The 763-bed Mission Hospital in Asheville is the flagship hospital for HCA Healthcare’s North Carolina Division.


Equity is at the center of an event this evening celebrating the more than 150 years since slavery ended.

Cass Herrington / BPR news

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested at least two individuals in Henderson County Wed. morning.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina legislation designed to address recent decisions by some newly-elected sheriffs to stop assisting federal immigration agents is resurfacing in a committee.

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The City of Asheville’s budget for the next fiscal year includes $8 million for a new fire station and more than $1 million in spending on the Transit Master Plan.

The proposed Fire Station 13 would be in the Five Points neighborhood on Broadway, near Mount Clare Ave. The budget allocates $1.2 million to the first phase of the Transit Master Plan. The city says the goal is to improve public bus service – by expanding service hours and routes, among other upgrades.

The next fiscal year begins July 1.

Budget highlights

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An immigration judge in Charlotte is ordering for the removal of a Salvadorian woman in Western North Carolina who fled gang violence in her home country.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

On Friday, BPR News aired the story of a young woman living in Western North Carolina who fled violence in El Salvador as a teenager. This week she faces possible deportation.

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Two years ago, the Trump administration through the Justice Department changed policies making it tougher for migrants and refugees in the U.S. to be granted asylum.

One of the changes has created a growing backlog of pending cases in the courts -- with thousands of individuals seeking sanctuary status who now face deportation.

That includes one 21-year-old woman living in Henderson County. She’s fighting an order that would send her back to her native El Salvador, where she says a violent gang murdered her father and threatens to kill her, too.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

As Henderson County government prepares its upcoming fiscal year budget, opponents of the Sheriff’s agreement with federal immigration authorities say their tax dollars are being misused.  

Social service agencies that work with the immigrant population say the 287(g) program with Immigration and Customs Enforcement leads to more crime and is unconstitutional.

Activists shouted chants from the steps of the historic courthouse, minutes before the regular county commissioners meeting.

WNC Nature Center

The WNC Nature Center in Asheville is mourning the passing of its most senior resident. The Nature Center says in a news release its Barred Owl – Artemis – died after spending nearly two decades at the facility.

Cass Herrington / BPR News


Friendship is the driving force behind a new organization that aims to improve racial equity in Asheville schools -- starting with classroom bookshelves.

Luke Shealy / BPR News


For Spanish learners, the city of Asheville is plentiful with opportunities to improve their language skills.

For a group of Buncombe County Schools Early College students, that means visiting McCormick Field, where players from Venezuela and the Dominican Republic are holding class.

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Last week, the Trump administration outlined a plan to overhaul the country’s immigration system to prioritize applicants with college degrees over those with familial ties. But business leaders in Asheville say they need workers at all skill levels, particularly given the county’s record low unemployment rate.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

Cass Herrington / BPR News


Non-profits and agencies that work with the immigrant community in Western North Carolina say they’re disappointed by the Henderson County Sheriff’s decision to renew its agreement with federal immigration authorities.  

Cass Herrington / BPR News


Different organizations that represent the Latinx community in Henderson County are dealing with the fallout from arrests by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.