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.

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.

Nov. 3 is the final voting day of the 2020 election. The presidency as well as several key Senate, House and gubernatorial races are on the line. Follow NPR’s live coverage and results as they come in.

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What is the future of live performance in Asheville?  BPR's Matt Peiken checks in with local performers working in contemporary and classical music, along with managers of the venues that stage them, about how they're strategizing and meeting challenges about performing in front of in-person audiences in a socially distanced reality.  This is a condensed version of a Facebook Live broadcast from October 21st, which can be viewed here.

Justice can vary from county to county – and voters have a say on that.  That’s message of a documentary from an Asheville-based filmmaker that debuts Wednesday evening.

Meg Kelly / NPR

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden are holding a final debate Thursday in Nashville, with Kristen Welker of NBC News moderating. After a haphazard first debate, and a canceled second one, this final debate has new rules established by the Commission on Presidential Debates. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Five candidates are running for three seats on Asheville City Council in the current election.  While there are differences on a variety of issues, there is one topic the majority of candidates agree on, and it deals with changing the duties of council members.

BPR News Presents: 2020 Local Election Special, is a production of the Blue Ridge Public Radio news team.  It's three segments include an interview with Buncombe County elections director Corinne Duncan, and portions of two candidate forums done on the BPR Facebook page - for Asheville City Council, and for

Campaign photos/WUNC

Wednesday October 14th, incumbent Democratic Governor Roy Cooper and his Republican challenger Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest will hold their only scheduled debate ahead of the November 3rd election for Governor of North Carolina.

Pexels

Early voting in North Carolina runs from Thursday October 15th to Saturday October 31st ahead of the November 3rd general election.  

Liam James Doyle/NPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearings on President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett would fill the seat left vacant with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

UNC Asheville

(UPDATE 7:30 p.m.) - The shelter in place order at UNC Asheville has been lifted, almost 12 hours after it went into place.  There will be an increased law enforcement presence on campus however following threats that were emailed to the school Friday morning over a Black Lives Matter mural on campus.

Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris are debating Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Their only face-off of the 2020 campaign comes with a wave of uncertainty with President Trump undergoing treatment for COVID-19. Follow live updates and fact-checks on the debate.  The debate is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Eastern time.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

White House physician Dr. Sean Conley provides an update on President Trump's condition at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

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