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

North Carolina has been without a new state budget for more than a month now, and recent actions show a resolution between Republican leaders in the General Assembly and Democratic Governor Roy Cooper isn't likely on the horizon.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

 

Former Asheville police officer Chris Hickman pled guilty Friday morning to three charges related to the beating of an unarmed African-American pedestrian in August of 2017, including one felony count of assault.  But under a plea deal, Hickman can have those charges expunged if he completes a restorative justice program.  

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Trump will speak from the White House Monday morning about the mass shootings that took place over the weekend in Ohio in Texas. Watch his remarks live.  They are expected to begin at 10 a.m.

Dr. Joseph Cooper Part 2

Aug 2, 2019

In this episode, our hosts continue their conversation with Dr. Joseph Cooper, author of the book From Exploitation Back To Empowerment: Black Male Holistic (Under)Development Through Sport And (Mis)Education.  They focus on 'special admissions' that universities use to admit athletes - and how that really hurts and not helps the people who get them.

(Music featured includes Broken Soul Blues by Squire Tuck)  

Angela Hsieh / NPR

It's Night 1 of the July Democratic debates. Ten candidates are each making the case that they should be the next president of the United States. Follow NPR's live coverage for real-time fact checks and analysis of their remarks.  The debate starts at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

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Buncombe County

Buncombe County officials say several mature tulip poplar trees will likely have to be removed in Alexander River Park because someone stripped large sections of bark off of each one.  The county recreation services believes a mechanical saw was used to remove the bark. 

Dr. Joseph Cooper Part 1

Jul 24, 2019

The Shoops welcome Dr. Joseph Cooper to the show in this episode, which focuses on his book From Exploitation Back To Empowerment: Black Male Holistic (Under)Development Through Sport And (Mis)Education.  Their conversation is so in-depth and engrossing that we've split it into two episodes.  In the first, Dr. Cooper talks about his upbringing and how it led him to write a book about how major revenue college sports exploit African-American males in particular.

(Music featured includes Aim by Nctrnm)   

UPDATE: (3:35 p.m. Wednesday) - Republican State representative Cody Henson announced on his Facebook page that he would resign his from his position in the General Assembly, just a day after he said he would not following a guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of cyberstalking.

 

On Tuesday, a federal grand jury announced an 11-count indictment against former Buncombe County commissioner Ellen Frost.  She's accused - alongside former county manager Wanda Greene - of using more than $575-thousand in funds from the county's Economic Development Incentive Fund for personal activities.  Prosecutors allege that Frost and Greene attempted to coverup the expenditures by claiming the funds were used to advertise the Asheville Regional Airport at equestrian events in North Carolina and Florida.

A federal grand jury announced an indictment of former Buncombe County commissioner Ellen Frost Tuesday afternoon.  Frost is accused of participating in a scheme with former county manager Wanda Greene to use $575-thousand in county funds to sponsor and promote events at two equestrian centers not located in Buncombe County.  The indictment alleges that as a horse owner herself, Frost had a personal interest in promoting and supporting those venues.  Frost and Greene allegedly tried to cover up the expenditures by claiming the money was spent to advertise the Asheville Regional Airport at equestrian events.

USWNT

Jul 16, 2019

On July 7th, 2019, the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team won its second consecutive World Cup title.  Their dominant run in the tournament sparked some controversy, but even that only underscored what a cultural force the team has become, not just in the U.S. but globally.  In this episode we examine how that came be, and how a very well-known law helped women's soccer in the U.S.

(Music featured includes Skip Street by Chad Crouch)  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina lawmakers could give the final okay to sports betting in the state as early as Monday.  A bill that would allow sports books and off-track horse betting at casinos on tribal lands cleared a key House committee Wednesday in Raleigh, and is on the agenda for a floor vote Monday evening.  The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operate the only two casinos in North Carolina.  The casinos are located in Cherokee and Murphy on the Qualla Boundary.  

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Trump is speaking from the White House about his administration's push to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. Watch his remarks live.  They are expected to start around 5 p.m. Thursday

John Beilein is the latest big name college coach to jump from the NCAA to the NBA, moving from the University of Michigan to the Cleveland Cavaliers.  The college to pros pipeline has always seen a lot of action for the NFL and NBA.  But which level is more challenging to coach at - college or the pros?  One of our hosts has done both, and he shares his answer.

(Music featured includes You Wasted My Time When I Was Timewasting by Podington Bear)  

With the month of June over, that means all four major North American sports leagues have conducted their annual player drafts.  With that fresh in our minds, John & Marcia sat down with BPR's Matt Bush to figure which of the four drafts is most fair to players, and which one they would want to enter if they had the choice.  

(Music featured includes Vienna Jazz by Dee Yan-Key)  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city attorney Brad Branham told council members Tuesday evening a potential lawsuit over a state law that imposes electoral districts for future council elections could cost the city up to $2-million.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will hold a work session Tuesday evening on potential legal options for the city to stop the imposition of electoral districts for future city council elections.  Suing the state or changing the city charter to ensure all council seats remain elected at-large are two of the main options that will be discussed at the meeting.  But city councilman Vijay Kapoor will offer a third.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will hold a work session Tuesday evening on whether to take legal action stop the imposition of electoral districts for future city council elections.  Council members appear split on whether to sue the state in an attempt to stop districts, which were created after the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved a measure creating districts last year.  

Angela Hsieh / NPR

Thursday is Night 2 of the first primary debate of the 2020 election cycle.  Democrats scheduled to appear at the Thursday debate in Miami include former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Colorado Sen.

Wednesday is Night 1 of the first primary debate of the 2020 election cycle.  Democrats scheduled to appear at the Wednesday debate in Miami include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney and Hawaii Rep.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council narrowly approved a revised plan to turn the Flatiron Building into a hotel at its Tuesday evening meeting.  The vote took place roughly a month after an initial proposal was pulled from consideration because there was not enough support for it on council.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

More than 400 untested sexual assault kits in the possession of the Asheville police department have been tested at the state crime lab, after state investigators last year determined there were around 15-thousand untested kits in various law enforcement agencies across North Carolina.  

Wikimedia Commons

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.

Asheville High School Facebook page

The Asheville city board of education says it will hold six public forums in August as it searches for a new superintendent.  Current superintendent Denise Patterson announced her resignation last week, citing health concerns.  She’d held the position for only two years. 

James Doyle NPR

The House of Representatives is debating a civil contempt resolution against Attorney General William Barr and former White House Counsel Don McGahn. House Democrats want access to materials related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The administration has cited security and legal reasons for not disclosing the information. Lawmakers are voting to authorize a lawsuit to get the materials, including an unredacted version of the Mueller Report.  The vote hearing is expected to start around noon Tuesday.  You can watch below.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

Special counsel Robert Mueller is making a statement about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Watch his remarks at the Justice Department live.  They are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Defiant Requiem

May 24, 2019

Understanding resistance to oppression is critical to a deeper appreciation of freedom. Verdi’s “Requiem” was performed as an act of defiance by Jews held captive at an infamous concentration camp in Czechoslovakia during WW2.  The performance comes to Asheville to help launch several educational and community initiatives.

Two weeks from today, the primary election for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will take place.  Early voting is already underway on the Qualla Boundary as prinicipal chief, vice chief, all 12 seats on the tribal council, and three seats on the Cherokee school board are on the ballot.  The general election will take place in September.  

Buncombe County Schools

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina has announced it will establish the Riley Howell Foundation Fund in honor of the Waynesville college student who died during last month's shooting on the campus of UNC Charlotte.  The fund will support families affected by gun violence.

Matt Bush

Retired U.S. soccer star Abby Wambach headlined the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina's final 'Power of the Purse' event Tuesday in Asheville.  Wambach spoke at the event, and $341,800 in grants were awarded through the CFWNC's Women for Women giving circle.  Since 2006, Women for Women has awarded more than $3.8 million in grants.

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