Matt Bush

The town of Andrews in Cherokee County is currently without all four of its police officers following an incident at the police station.

Courtesy of WNC Historical Association and Ann Miller Woodford

The Western North Carolina Historical Association is located in Asheville's oldest brick house - where at least 70 people were enslaved. Now the association is hosting an exhibit about the history of Black communities west of Asheville.  Author and historian Ann Miller Woodford talks with BPR about why its important to learn about the region’s history – and how to apply it to the present.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The town of Andrews has transferred their police department over to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s leadership.


Andrews Police Chief Michael Hobgood resigned at the beginning of July. This week, Andrews' Mayor James Reid says that instead of searching for a new police chief the town board decided it should transfer its three police officers to the leadership of the Cherokee County Sheriff Derrick Palmer. 


Courtesy of IOI

Several manufacturers in Western North Carolina have converted their operations to make personal protective equipment (PPE) but one is uniquely qualified to help during the pandemic. 

 Industrial Opportunities Inc - known as IOI - has been in Andrews since the 1970’s. It manufactures military and medical products while also working with disabled and disadvantaged adults from Cherokee, Clay and Graham Counties. The company has a unique non-profit mission, explains CEO Tom O’Brien.

Courtesy of James Reid


(Update 4/24) The town of Andrews has terminated all state of emergency declarations including the removal of the barriers to nonresidents into town. 

Courtesy of James Reid

  Across Western North Carolina, towns and counties are closing ranks to slow the spread of COVID-19. But is it legal to shut down local borders in a state of emergency?


Every morning for the last two weeks Mayor James Reid of Andrews goes live on Facebook with updates for town residents.  


“Good morning Andrews. I hope everyone had a good night's rest last night,” says Reid on his personal Facebook page. 


Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The small town of Andrews in Cherokee County has put in place some of the most restrictive travel regulations in Western North Carolina due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Only locals - defined as residents of Cherokee County and two of its neighboring counties - will be allowed to enter the town of less than 2-thousand people.  It comes as many rural communities and counties in Western North Carolina are increasingly concerned about people who own second homes in the region traveling to them from larger cities with higher numbers and concentrations of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

As Eclipse Draws Near, The Town Of Andrews Prepares

Aug 10, 2017
Andrews, NC

The Town of Andrews is among the smallest towns in all of Western North Carolina.   Thanks to it being the only town in the state to fall directly in the path of this month’s solar eclipse, its population is expected to grow exponentially. BPR News's Davin Eldridge attended its latest town board meeting to find out how everyone in Andrews is preparing for the event…