Matt Bush

News Director

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016.  Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C.  For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor.  Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis.  Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.

Matt has a B.A. in broadcasting from Point Park College in Pittsburgh.  His M.A. is in media entrepreneurship from American University in D.C.  In May 2017, he will graduate from the 35th class of Leadership Asheville at UNC-Asheville.

Ways to Connect

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The U.S. Senate's trial on the impeachment of President Trump is scheduled to begin Tuesday.  The president is accused by the U.S. House of Representatives of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. At the conclusion of the trial, senators are expected to vote on whether Trump should be removed from office.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The Senate is holding a trial on the impeachment of President Trump, who is accused by the U.S. House of abusing his power and obstructing Congress. It is scheduled to start with remarks Tuesday afternoon at 12:30 from Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Democrats have seen a sharp drop in voter registration in North Carolina's seven westernmost counties over the past four years.  Republicans have seen a similar increase during the same timeframe, as well as those registering as unaffiliated in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, and Swain Counties.

The world is learning more about women's elite running.  Unfortunately, that's due in part to the Alberto Salazar scandal, but there is far more to the sport than that.  And in this episode, our hosts delve into the world of women's elite running with NCAA Champion, NCAA Division III steeplechase record holder and Olympic hopeful Annie Rodenfels.  She shares how she got into running, and how training, coaching, and inner will pushed her to records during her time at Center College.  While at the school, she broke running records that were once held by our co-host Marcia Mount Shoop.

Harrah's Cherokee Center - Asheville

Long awaited renovations to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville would 'totally transform' the building, but come with a hefty price tag - $100 million.  The designs for those changes were unveiled Wednesday evening at the facility.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday is taking the formal step of voting to transmit the articles of impeachment to the Senate, which will hold a trial. After the vote, the articles are physically brought to the Senate. 

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Six Democratic presidential candidates are debating in Iowa Tuesday night, less than three weeks from the caucuses there. NPR reporters are providing background and analysis of the candidates' remarks in real-time.  The debate starts at 9 p.m., and the live analysis starts shortly beforehand.  Follow along below.

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Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

A proposed charter school in the city of Asheville cleared a major hurdle this week.  On Monday, the North Carolina Charter School Advisory Board recommended that PEAK Academy open in August of 2021.  The proposed charter school wants to focus on closing the achievement gap with African American and low-income students.

David Zack, the current police chief of Cheektowaga, New York, will be the next police chief for the city of Asheville.  City manager Debra Campbell made the announcement via e-mail Monday afternoon.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Officials from the city of Asheville and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians celebrated the renaming of the Asheville Civic Center as the Harrah’s Cherokee Center - Asheville at an event Friday afternoon.  The name change officially took place ten days prior on January 1st.  

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Trump is speaking to the nation following attacks on military bases in Iraq where U.S. troops are stationed. Trump tweeted on Tuesday night that "All is well!" and that an assessment of the casualties was underway. Iran said the missiles were launched as an act of self-defense after the U.S. killed Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Iraq.

Candidate filing in North Carolina for the 2020 primary election ended on December 20th.  The primary will be held on March 3rd, 2020.  The deadline to register to vote on that day is February 7th, 2020.  There is no same day registration on primary day.  There is same day registration during the early voting period before the primary.  Early voting for the 2020 primary election runs from February 13th to 29th.  The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the primary election is February 25th, 2020.

Western North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows abrupt retirement announcement Thursday opened the floodgates for his fellow Republicans to announce their candidacies for the seat in the final hours before Friday afternoon's filing deadline.

Congressman Mark Meadows Facebook page

(1:00 p.m. Thursday) - Haywood County businesswoman Lynda Bennett announced she'll seek the Republican nomination in North Carolina's 11th Congressional district, just hours after incumbent GOP Congressman Mark Meadows announced he would not seek re-election next year and instead retire.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Dr. Gene Freeman will be the next superintendent for Asheville City Schools.  The city board of education selected Freeman Wednesday evening.  He currently serves as superintendent of the Fox Chapel School District in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, a similarly sized district to Asheville. 

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The House of Representatives on Wednesday debates and votes on articles of impeachment against President Trump.  

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Join Blue Ridge Public Radio as we close out 2019 and ring in 2020 with special holiday programming!  It's a mix of old favorites and newcomers to our holiday schedule starting December 23rd.  Thanks for listening all year long and we look forward to the journey in 2020 on BPR!

MONDAY DECEMBER 23rd

Noon (simulcast) – Hanukkah Lights 2019 - The NPR favorite returns with all new Hanukkah stories.  Hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

After a marathon two-day markup session, the House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Friday morning on two articles of impeachment against President Trump.  The committee will convene at 10 a.m.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The House Judiciary Committee is considering two articles of impeachment against President Trump: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.  The markup session began Wednesday evening, and is scheduled to pick back up again at 9 a.m. Thursday morning.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council members meet for the final time in 2019 Tuesday evening, and lawmakers will take up a resolution that calls for a climate emergency to be declared by the city.  While the resolution calls for action but offers no policy, a set of wide-ranging legislative proposals around climate change could be in front of lawmakers early next year.  Their sponsor refers to them as a local 'Green New Deal', patterned after the similarly-named plan introduced in Congress this year two Democrats - New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The chairs of the House committees leading the impeachment inquiry are holding a press conference Tuesday morning to unveil the articles of impeachment against President Trump.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The House Judiciary Committee is holding a Monday hearing on the impeachment inquiry report completed by the House Intelligence Committee, as it moves toward drafting articles of impeachment. 

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As a prelude to our regular holiday programming around Christmas and New Year's Day, Blue Ridge Public Radio will bring listeners holiday music from NPR on Saturday afternoons this December.  Each concert will be heard at 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon on BPR Classic (for list of frequencies for both our channels click here).  We'll put out our schedule of holiday programming for December 23rd through January 1st later this month.

SATURDAY DECEMBER 7th

U.S. Forest Service

The U.S. Forest Service says a wildfire that started last month on famed Cold Mountain in the Pisgah National Forest in Haywood County is now out.  Investigators for the first have said they believe humans are the cause of the fire, and are reminding campers that campfires are not allowed in wilderness areas.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The House Judiciary Committee is holding its first hearing Wednesday in the impeachment inquiry, focused on constitutional grounds for impeachment. The Judiciary Committee is tasked with drafting potential articles of impeachment against President Trump. 

North Carolina will be more than just a top battleground state for next year’s presidential election.  Because almost every state and federal office is on the ballot, North Carolina will be a battleground for much, much more.  One race in particular will get a lot of attention not just within the state but also the whole country – North Carolina’s U.S. Senate election.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Ten candidates are taking the stage Wednesday Night for the November Democratic Debate in Atlanta, amid public hearings in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. NPR reporters will be providing fact checks and analysis throughout the debate starting around 9 p.m. Follow along below.

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Pixelstalk.net

This Thanksgiving, Blue Ridge Public Radio will bring listeners some classic holiday programming as well as some insightful documentaries from American Public Media and NPR. (All programs are one hour long unless otherwise noted)  To get a listing of frequencies for BPR Classic and BPR News, click here.

Thurs Nov. 28 (Thanksgiving)

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The Asheville Tourists baseball team is reportedly not at risk of losing its Major League Baseball affiliation.  That's according to a New York Times report which listed 42 minor league teams that MLB is looking at severing affiliations with as the league ponders a drastic reconstruction and contraction of the lower minor leagues following the 2020 season.  

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding open hearings for a second week in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump. On Thursday morning, former National Security Council official Fiona Hill and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs David Holmes are scheduled to testify.  

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