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.  He graduated from the 35th class of Leadership Asheville at UNC-Asheville.

Ways to Connect

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The small town of Andrews in Cherokee County has put in place some of the most restrictive travel regulations in Western North Carolina due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Only locals - defined as residents of Cherokee County and two of its neighboring counties - will be allowed to enter the town of less than 2-thousand people.  It comes as many rural communities and counties in Western North Carolina are increasingly concerned about people who own second homes in the region traveling to them from larger cities with higher numbers and concentrations of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Only two candidates will be onstage for Sunday's Democratic primary debate: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The CNN-Univision debate was relocated from Arizona to Washington, D.C., and will not have an in-person audience due to coronavirus concerns.

Noah Fortson / NPR

President Trump is set to hold a press conference on the ongoing response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Meg Kelly / NPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is holding a press conference Wednesday afternoon as he falls farther behind former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. 

Six states - Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, and Washington - hold presidential primaries on Tuesday.

What has long been rumored is now reality – Western North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows will become President Donald Trump’s chief of staff.   The move will likely leave his seat in Congress vacant for eight months if not longer.

Republican voters in Western North Carolina will head to the polls again in just two months to decide a runoff primary following Tuesday’s results in the 11th Congressional district.  No candidate in the 11-person field for the GOP nomination hit the 30% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.  That means the top two vote-getters – Lynda Bennett and Madison Cawthorn – will face each other in the May runoff. 

Super Tuesday narrowed the Democratic presidential field to a race between two men: former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. The majority of Democratic North Carolinians cast their ballots for Biden, giving him the state and adding fuel to his comeback after a landslide win in the South Carolina primary. And today former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced he is suspending his campaign and endorsing Biden.

Helen Chickering / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Former Guantanamo Bay prosecutor Moe Davis easily outdistanced his rivals to win the Democratic primary for the open Congressional seat in Western North Carolina's 11th district.  His GOP opponent is still unknown, as none of the 11 candidates on the ballot came close to the 30% needed to avoid a runoff.

Caroline Amenabar / NPR

Fourteen states (including North Carolina) and one U.S. territory hold presidential primaries Tuesday.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Tuesday March 3rd is primary election day in North Carolina.  Voters will decide party nominees for elected positions at the federal, state, and local levels.  Polls will be open Tuesday from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Caroline Amenabar / NPR

The Democratic presidential primary candidates are competing in South Carolina on Saturday, hoping to win over voters in the fourth contest of 2020. 

Rest areas along both sides of Interstate 26 near the border between Buncombe and Henderson Counties will close Friday as part of the overall widening project on the road.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Early voting concludes Saturday February 29th ahead of the March 3rd primary election in North Carolina.  In Western North Carolina, voters will begin the process of choosing a new member of Congress.  The 11th Congressional District has new boundaries this year, ensuring all of the westernmost portion of the state is in the same district.  In the Republican primary in the 11th, having no incumbent brought out one of the largest primary fields in the country.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential hopefuls are on stage in South Carolina ahead of that state’s primary. The candidates’ battle follows Sen. Bernie Sanders’ wins in the New Hampshire primary and the Nevada caucuses. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Early voting concludes February 29th ahead of the March 3rd primary election in North Carolina.  Voters will decide nominees for a large number of races in the fall.  In Western North Carolina, choosing a new member of Congress headlines the list of elections on the ballot.  The 11th Congressional District has new boundaries this year, ensuring all of the westernmost portion of the state is in the same district.  It also has no incumbent.

The Nevada caucuses take place Saturday, and you can follow NPR's live coverage below with results and analysis.  Blue Ridge Public Radio will also air NPR's live special coverage starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.  To get a list of frequencies for BPR News, click here.  You can also stream it on our website, with our free mobile app, or with your smart speaker.

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Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential candidates are debating Wednesday night, this time in Las Vegas ahead of Saturday's caucuses in Nevada. 

On February 7th  Blue Ridge Public Radio held a forum with three candidates running for the Republican nomination for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District, which encompasses all of Western North Carolina.  All told, 11 candidates are running in the GOP primary.  Each were invited to participate in two forums BPR held.  This forum features three of them – Wayne King, Vance Patterson, and Albert Wiley.  Early voting for the primary election in North Carolina runs until February 29th.  Those who have not registered to vote yet will only be able to do so during the early voting period.

A fundamental question - not just in sports but life - is 'what is fair?'  Our hosts are going to start looking for answers.  John begins by looking at 'what is fair' in baseball, a sport that has to be asking that question now given the Houston Astros cheating scandal, which seems to produce new revelations each day.  His guest is former MLB manager Clint Hurdle.

(Music featured includes Gizmo by Podington Bear)  

On February 5th, Blue Ridge Public Radio held a forum in its studios with the candidates running for the Democratic nomination for the North Carolina state senate seat for district 49, which covers central and western Buncombe County.  Democrat Terry Van Duyn currently holds the seat, but is vacating it to run for lieutenant governor in 2020.  Republican Bob Penland is running for his party’s nomination unopposed.  His opponent in the fall will be either Julie Mayfield, Ben Scales, or Travis Smi

Early voting is underway in North Carolina for the March 3rd primary.  Voters in Western North Carolina will have plenty of candidates from the major parties to choose from for the 11th Congressional District seat – 16 of them to be exact, 11 Republicans and 5 Democrats.  

BPR Early Voting Guide For Western North Carolina

Feb 12, 2020

Early voting in North Carolina starts on February 13th and runs until Feburary 29th.  Same day voter registration is available each day of early voting.  Photo ID is not required to vote during the primary election.  The deadline to register to vote in order to cast a ballot on primary day March 3rd has already passed, so those who have yet to register will only be able to vote during the early voting period.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Concerns over patient care and staffing levels dominated Monday evening’s public meeting in Asheville held by the independent monitor overseeing HCA’s purchase Mission Health.  

Caroline Amenabar / NPR

Voters in New Hampshire go to the polls on Tuesday as the first primary election for the 2020 presidential election occurs.  The NPR Politics team is running a live blog with the latest happenings on primary day.  Blue Ridge Public Radio will air NPR's live special coverage starting at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Democratic presidential candidates are debating for the first time since the Iowa caucuses. There are seven candidates on the stage Friday night in New Hampshire, ahead of Tuesday's primary in the state.

Noah Fortson / NPR

President Trump is addressing the nation a day after the Senate acquitted him of both articles of impeachment. Trump said he was "totally vindicated" after a months-long impeachment inquiry and trial. 

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