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.

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at voices@bpr.org or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app

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

Rusell Dinkins ran track at Princeton.  He knows firsthand how the sport can help Black athletes get into college.  That's why he's made it his mission to stop universities from around the country from cutting track & field and cross country programs - like at Brown, William & Mary, and Minnesota.  Dinkins joins our hosts to talk about his late

Chelsea Beck for NPR

President Biden is presenting his next big legislative move: infrastructure. The "Build Back Better" plan is expected to include funding for physical infrastructure like roads and bridges as well as for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

UPDATE 9:00 A.M. - The city of Asheville will now live stream most of city council's two-day retreat.  The live stream, which can be viewed here or on the city's YouTube channel, will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and continue through all-day Thursday.  The team-building exercise, which was at the center of a lawsuit brought by five media organizations, will not be live-streamed.  Those wishing to watch it live must do so in-person at the Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Removal of the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square can move forward after a Buncombe County judge denied a motion to halt it Monday.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Biden is holding his first news conference on Thursday and is expected to field questions on a wide range of topics, from the coronavirus to the influx of migrants at the border and his upcoming infrastructure effort.

Asheville City Council voted Tuesday evening to remove the Vance Monument from its spot in the city's main public space, taking away the 65-foot obelisk which has stood in what is now called Pack Square since 1898.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council is scheduled to take a vote Tuesday on whether to remove the 65-foot Vance Monument from downtown's Pack Square.  The decision will culminate a years-long push to remove from Asheville's main public space the obelisk which is dedicated to North Carolina's Civil War Governor and U.S. Senator during Reconstruction, who fought against civil rights for Black Americans.

RALEIGH — Coming off a narrow election defeat in 2020, North Carolina’s first Black woman to serve as chief justice on the state Supreme Court will soon enter the 2022 U.S. Senate race, two advisers familiar with her deliberations said Thursday.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Authorities have arrested a Brevard man and charged him with leaving several incendiary devices around the city on Sunday.

Noah Fortson/NPR

President Biden is giving the first prime-time address of his presidency to mark one year of the coronavirus pandemic, a day after Congress passed a massive relief package. More than 500,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

In February of 2020, Alex Gary was announced as the new athletic director at Western Carolina University.  By the time the former Catamount baseball player started the job a few months later, the whole world had changed.  Gary recounts his first year as AD in this episode with John and Marcia, and what it was like to address all the challenges that arose.  He's the first Black athletic director at both Western Carolina and the Southern Conference.

(Music featured includes Le Vrai by Brakhage and Limelight by Podington Bear)  

Impolite conversations. Intimate connections. Important self-discoveries. 

Campaign For Southern Equality

Buncombe County commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara will run for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional district in Western North Carolina next year.  Beach-Ferrara is the first Democrat to formally announce a run to unseat freshman Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council Tuesday approved new rules for future hotel projects, ending a nearly one-and-a-half-year moratorium on the construction of new hotels in the city.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

President Biden is giving an address honoring the victims of the coronavirus pandemic as the country nears 500,000 deaths from COVID-19.

In this episode of BPR News Presents: The Porch, we talk with  -

Emma Johnson

Climate change has been wreaking havoc on Western North Carolina's famed trout industry.  Specifically, rising sustained temperatures are slowly eliminating the cold water in lakes trout need to thrive.  While climate change continues to impact trout, the COVID-19 pandemic is too.

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)

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