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.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Former President Donald Trump is on trial for a second time in the Senate. This time, the House has impeached Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection. Trump's defense team denies he directly called for violence and argues that he should not be tried since he is no longer in office. The House impeachment managers say he must be held accountable for the violence at the Capitol.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

Former President Donald Trump is on trial for a second time in the Senate. This time, the House has impeached Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection. Trump's defense team denies he directly called for violence and argues that he should not be tried since he is no longer in office. The House impeachment managers say he must be held accountable for the violence at the Capitol.

Super Bowl 55

Feb 4, 2021

Super Bowl 55 takes place Sunday in Tampa, Florida.  It closes a season like no other in the NFL - something just about everyone can say for themselves too.  Our hosts in their annual Super Bowl episode talk how the league responded to the pandemic, plus how the results of the NFL's call for more diverse head coaches remain lackluster - a discussion that pivots to the language white people use when talking about race.

(Music featured includes FAWM9 by Damon Boucher and Cherry by nctrnm)

Asheville City Schools

Vance Elementary School in Asheville will now be named Lucy S. Herring Elementary School, removing the name of North Carolina's Civil War Governor and U.S. Senator during Reconstruction from the building.

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The House is formally transmitting the article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate, setting the stage for the trial in that chamber the week of Feb. 8.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you?  North Carolina Health News has a comprehensive listing of county vaccines sites, which will be updated often. Find it here.

Need a ride?  NCDOT and NCDHHS have distributed funding to help pay for transportation. Check with your local transit agency for more details.  You can find your agency online  NC_public_transit.pdfOpen PDF 

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

As the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines unfolds in the U.S., numerous questions around distribution, supply, hesitancy and efficacy persist. The stakes are high, as numbers of deaths and cases break records. A panel of experts from Harvard and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tackles questions about COVID-19 vaccination.

Caroline Amenabar/NPR; GPA Photo Archive/Flickr; Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are being sworn in as the president and vice president of the United States Wednesday.

In this episode of BPR News Presents: The Porch -

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is debating an article of impeachment Wednesday against President Trump following the violence at the U.S. Capitol. The article charges Trump with 'incitement of insurrection.'

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up a resolution that would call on Vice President Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment and take over President Trump's duties. The effort comes as the House is also pursuing a second impeachment against the president over the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

Hello 2021 - Now What?

Jan 7, 2021

For Going Deep's first episode of 2021, John and Marcia delve deeper into the focus of their show - how sports in the U.S. mirrors American society.  Just a few hours after we taped their discussion - which mostly focused on college sports - the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol only underscored our hosts' message further.

(Music featured includes Atmosphere and We Are Saved by Borrtex)

Liam James Doyle/NPR

Members of Congress are formally counting the Electoral College votes. A group of Republicans are planning to object to the results, citing false claims of widespread voter fraud. President Trump continues to baselessly claim that he won the election rather than Joe Biden, who is set to be sworn into office on Jan. 20.

Georgians are voting in two Senate runoff elections on Tuesday. Incumbent Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue face Democratic challengers Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. The races were too close to call in November and now their outcome determines the balance of power in the Senate. Follow the results live below.  Blue Ridge Public Radio will also air live special coverage from WABE in Atlanta from 8 to 10 Tuesday evening.

North Carolina General Assembly

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes next week.  After all the campaign rhetoric and money of 2020, the partisan makeup of Raleigh will still be the same.  And the major issue that lawmakers will take up in 2021 will be the same one that seemingly never left the headlines all last decade - redistricting.

Buncombe County will lower capacity limits for indoor dining and gatherings at the beginning of January, as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the county at greater levels.

In this episode, we talk with -

- Dr. David Ellis, the chief medical officer for Pardee Hospital in Hendersonville, where the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Western North Carolina this week.

Caroline Amenabar/NPR, Stephen Melkisethian/Flickr

President-elect Joe Biden is speaking after electors around the country cast their formal votes, confirming his presidential win.  He is expected to speak around 7:30 Monday evening.  Watch his remarks live below.

For this episode of Going Deep: Sports in the 21st Century, we dip into our archives for a previously two-part show where John and Marcia tell us the story of the greatest quarterback you never knew.

(Music featured includes Left The Building by Joika and Partisan by Yshwa)  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council voted Tuesday night to accept the recommendation from a task force to remove the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square.  But many questions remain before the 65-foot obelisk is taken away.

UPDATE Wednesday 12:00 p.m. - Hendersonville officials have released new details about the suspect in Tuesday morning's shooting at Hendersonville Middle School. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

A task force appointed by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County commissioners voted Thursday to recommend the removal of the 65-foot high Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square.

Blue Ridge Public Radio took home three first-place and five second-place awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association of the Carolinas.

The Intercollegiate

Nov 12, 2020

In this episode of Going Deep, John and Marcia talk with Daniel Libit and Luke Cyphers the founders of The IntercollegiateIt's an online media outlet that focuses on investigative college sports journalism and analysis.  

(Music featured includes Pre-Game Warmup by Audiobinger)  

Jason Reed

UPDATED 12:00 p.m. - Buncombe County authorities are investigating the cause of a fire Tuesday afternoon that belched a dark plume of smoke seen for miles in Buncombe County.

Caroline Amenabar/NPR

Joe Biden is addressing the American people as president-elect after a win in Pennsylvania put him over the 270 electoral-vote threshold needed on Saturday.

In this episode, we talk with -

- Dr. Chris Cooper of Western Carolina University, about why partisanship was the biggest winner in this week's elections in North Carolina

- Raul Saldana, the founding director of the new PEAK Academy charter school in Asheville

The sale of Mission Health to HCA made be concluded as a financial transaction, but the details of how it was reached are few and far between.  Peter Lewis of AVL Watchdog wrote two stories last month (here and here) examining what details about how Mission reached its agreement with HCA, and whether the then non-profit health system sold for far less than it was worth.  He spoke with BPR's M

The partisan divide in Western North Carolina between its most populous jurisdiction and those that surround it only grew further following Tuesday's election results.

Pages