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.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

Si bien el condado de Henderson tiene la mitad de la población que su vecino, el condado de Buncombe, hoy cuenta con la mayor cantidad de habitantes contagiados con COVID-19. Al igual que en otras áreas del estado de Carolina del Norte así como el resto del país, un gran número de estos contagiados perteneces a la comunidad Hispana o Latinx.

Asheville Police Department

Asheville police have confirmed the death of a woman who’s been in the news recently for going on racist tirades that were widely shared on social media. 


Cass Herrington / BPR News

Henderson County has Western North Carolina’s highest population per capita of Latinx residents.  And the County’s Health Department reports a third of COVID-19 cases are among individuals who identify as Hispanic/Latinx. That’s why the state Department of Health and Human Services has directed $100,000 to the Hendersonville-based non-profit True Ridge.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council at its next meeting Tuesday will vote on a resolution that calls for reparations for Asheville's Black community.  The move comes after a strong push from the Racial Justice Coalition, which sought to get the matter on the council agenda for Tuesday.

Cass Herrington / BPR News


A community garden in West Asheville is preparing to sow a different sort of seed -- The Burton Street Community Peace Garden received funding to expand its green jobs training program for youth in the historically Black neighborhood. 

Matt Bush / BPR News

The fate of the controversial stone obelisk in the heart of Asheville is about to undergo more serious public inspection.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

The phrase “Defund The Police” could be seen from the skies on a street outside the Asheville Police Department Sunday. A group of artists and activists assembled to paint the bright yellow letters -- and a few hours later, they were met by counter protestors with blue paint. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

La comunidad latina ya representa más de un cuarto de los casos de COVID-19 en el condado de Buncombe.

Según el último censo realizado en la región, la población latina/hispana representa el 6.7% del total de habitantes, sin embargo, el Departamento de Salud y Servicios Humanos ha confirmado recientemente que esta comunidad actualmente representa al 27% del total de contagiado con el coronavirus.

Cass Herrington / BPR news

After two weeks of protests following high-profile police killings of unarmed African Americans, conversations about equity continue in communities across the country. In Asheville, a group of birth doulas who started their practice to address racial disparities in the delivery room are hoping to elevate the voices of black moms.

BPR’s Cass Herrington sat down with three doulas from the organization Sistas Caring 4 Sistas. Together, they've helped counsel and guide a new generation of black mothers in Asheville, since 2016.

Cass Herrington / BPR News

Latinos now account for more than a quarter of Covid-19 cases in Buncombe County.

Paul Schulman

A silver pickup truck barreled into a crowd of protesters gathered outside Asheville City Hall Tues., as city council was meeting virtually.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville artist Joseph Pearson left his mark on Blue Ridge Public Radio over the weekend.  He chose to highlight George Floyd in a mural covering up the station’s boarded up windows. 

Matt Bush / BPR News


After a week of protests against police brutality in Asheville and across the country, local educators are using history to make sense of what feels like an unprecedented moment. 



On Thurs., Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer is expected to meet with organizers of a medic station set up to support protestors.

Illustration by Omileye Achikeobi-Lewis



The recent death of George Floyd, as well as countless other officer-involved killings of African Americans, bears a significant cost to the mental health of black and brown communities. One clinical mental health counselor in Asheville says part of the solution starts with mindfulness. 

The Henderson County sheriff’s department will not enforce social distancing guidelines.  Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin says he’s “frustrated by the governor throwing a blanket over the state.” 

“The constitution wasn’t suspended just because of this pandemic," Griffin said. "We’ve got a lot of small business owners that are hurting...and these multi-trillian dollar packages that our federal government is passing is not helping at all." 

 Griffin says it should be up to individuals and local municipalities, not the state. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

An emergency relief fund which launched in March in response to COVID-19 has so far dispersed 78 loans to small businesses in the Asheville Area. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

A $5 million dollar relief fund aimed to bolster Buncombe County’s tourism-based economy is now accepting applications from business owners impacted by the pandemic.

Cass Herrington / BPR news

During "Phase 1" of reopening, many retail businesses in North Carolina have been able to open back up, but under reduced capacity.  So-called "personal care" businesses remain shuttered -- like salons, gyms, and barber shops.   

J Chong

*Advisory to listeners (readers), this story contains ethnic and homophobic slurs.

Reports of assaults on Asian-Americans are on the rise in the time of COVID-19, as some have blamed the pandemic on China. An organization representing Asian-Americans in North Carolina announced this week it will start collecting reports of racially-charged incidents in the wake of Coronavirus.

Creative Commons

Obligados a permanecer en casa, los habitantes de Carolina del Norte están adoptando más mascotas para estar acompañados durante la cuarentena.

danielmoyle / Creative Commons

Covid-19 has shaken Asheville’s real estate market, in some areas more than others. 

Asheville’s newest annual culinary event has been pushed back an entire year.

Forced to stay home, Western Carolinians are choosing to add a companion to their quarantine.

La pandemia de COVID-19 en conjunto con la orden gubernamental de quedarse en casa, han generado un aumento significativo de llamados y denuncias de violencia doméstica en el Oeste de Carolina del Norte. Agencias especializadas en brindar apoyo a víctimas de abuso doméstico están particularmente preocupadas por aquellas personas indocumentadas. 

A conference that was originally slated to take place in Asheville this weekend is moving online, due to the pandemic.

Adobe Stock

With orders to stay at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, calls to domestic violence hotlines are increasing in Western North Carolina. Local agencies that support survivors of abuse are particularly concerned about those who are undocumented. 

Cass Herrington / BPR News

With non-essential businesses forced to close for the stay at home order, downtown Asheville’s streetscape is significantly quieter than usual.  As a result, some restaurant and shop owners are taking extra precautions to deter looting and vandalism. 

Creative Commons

Las cadenas de supermercados están haciendo cambios radicales con sus horas de operación para ayudar a frenar la propagación de COVID-19.