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 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. 

Pexels

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.  

We continue the conversation from our last episode on the October 29th, 2019 decision by the NCAA's top governing board to allow college athletes the opportunity to 'benefit' from the name, image, and likeness while in school.  After John and Marcia finish scrutinizing the bullet points the NCAA put out after its decision, they focus on two factors that play into the collegiate sports model - race and geography.

(Music featured includes Kumaon Foothills by Scanglobe)

Noah Fortson / NPR

President Trump is hosting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at the White House. The meeting comes after Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, which cleared the way for Turkey to lead an offensive in the area and which drew bipartisan criticism. Trump and Erdogan are holding a joint press conference Wednesday afternoon.  It is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m. Watch it live below.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is holding its second hearing Friday in its impeachment inquiry into President Trump.  Former ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch is scheduled to testify.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

This is a monumental week for Asheville’s arts scene. The Asheville Art Museum reopens this Thursday and, two days later, the Center for Craft reopens. Both are emerging from major renovations.

Electoral maps for next year's General Assembly elections have been finalized, and five districts in Western North Carolina (three House, two Senate) will see significant changes.  A state court earlier this year ruled Republicans illegally gerrymandered the districts used in the last election for their own partisan advantage, forcing new ones to be drawn in a non-partisan manner for the 2020 election.  

UPDATE: (Tuesday 11:30 p.m.) - The largest town west of Asheville in North Carolina will have a new mayor, as Gary Caldwell easily defeated incumbent Gavin Brown to become mayor of Waynesville.

On October 29, 2019, the NCAA's top governing board voted unanimously to allow college athletes 'the opportunity to benefit' from their name, image, and likeness while they're in school.  That sentence - plus the bullet points that follow it in the NCAA release - have John and Marcia skeptical...very skeptical.  They express that skepticism and why they have it in the first of two episodes on the topic.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is voting Thursday to formalize its ongoing impeachment inquiry. The resolution before lawmakers outlines the next steps in their investigation. Watch the debate and vote on the House floor live below.  It's scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

As the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority sets a new course on how it will dole out revenue it takes in from the hotel occupancy tax, a report it commissioned shows average wages are higher in the county for tourism jobs than in the rest of North Carolina.  But some common jobs within the industry still have a pay rate beneath what's considered a living wage for the area.

Name, Image, & Likeness

Oct 25, 2019

California's Senate Bill 206 - which allows college athletes to profit from their name, image, and likeness while in school - could be the legislation that breaks the NCAA prohibition on player compensation.  It passed both chambers of the California State Legislature unanimously in September, before being signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.  Given their history in fighting for player's rights, both of our hosts are quite excited by this.  In this episode, John and Marcia talk with Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA football player who is the executive director of the National College Players

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Defying a bill passed by the General Assembly last year, Asheville City Council Tuesday evening voted to change the city's charter to ensure future city council elections continue to use an at-large system.  This stops election districts from being used for next year's election.  But the General Assembly could act again to impose districts.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will decide Tuesday whether to defy a state bill that forces the city to use districts for future city council elections. 

Following the lead of NPR and some of its larger member stations, Blue Ridge Public Radio is conducting a study examining the diversity of the individuals featured in original stories produced by the station’s news team.  The study will look at sources by race/ethnicity, gender, and geographic location.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

So-called ‘mini budget’ bills have been passing out of the North Carolina General Assembly all week.  Those come as the stalemate between Republican legislative leaders and Democratic governor Roy Cooper over his veto of their full budget goes into its four month.  The Governor doesn’t expect the relative peace over the mini budget bills - that have passed with wide bipartisan support - to last much longer.

WNC Ag Center

Next week's WNC Career Expo has been moved from the Davis Event Center at the WNC Ag Center, the second event to be affected by an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease tied to last month's Mountain State Fair which was held at the Ag Center in Fletcher.  The outbreak is the largest recorded of Legionnaires' in North Carolina history.

North Carolina Drought Management Advisory Council

(UPDATE: 1:30 p.m. Friday) - The city of Hendersonville issued a 'Stage 1' Water Shortage advisory Friday afternoon, as all counties in Western North Carolina continue to experience 'moderate' drought conditions according to state authorities.  City officials are asking residents to avoid unnecessary water use.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Bears have become a very big deal in Asheville.  Pictures of them at least.  As their natural habitat is being encroached on by increasing development, snapping photos of bears in the urban environment of the city has become quite popular on social media.  But pictures of a certain kind of bear have been popping up a lot in recent months.

Ariel Zambelich / NPR

Veteran journalist Cokie Roberts is being remembered in a funeral Saturday morning in Washington, D.C. She died on Tuesday at the age of 75.  The service is expected to start at 10 a.m.  You can watch it below.

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