Helen Chickering

BPR News

While much of BPR's coronavirus coverage is dedicated to updates from health and government officials, we are working to reach out to the community - including local restaurants.  On Tuesday March 17, Governor Roy Cooper issued an Executive order closing sit-down Service at restaurants and bars across the state– which forced many to close.  But some have been working to stay open including a sandwich shop down the street from the Blue Ridge Public Radio.  BPR's  Helen Chickering has been checking in..

It’s important to remember facts not fear when it comes to finding out more about the coronavirus and how to filter that information.  Need an answer now?  Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162.  Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211

For mental health resources in Western North Carolina the public is encouraged to call the  Vaya Health 24/7 Access to Care Line 800-849-6127 

WNC Ag Center

There will be no water in the hot tubs at the AG Center in Fletcher this weekend, The AG center is hosting a hot tub expo – just months after the Legionnaire’s outbreak linked to hot tub displays at the Center. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

cdc.gov

North Carolina health and public safety officials jumped ahead of President Trump’s news conference to update the state’s coronavirus preparedness efforts.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports

A birthday celebration for the late legendary singer-songwriter and civil rights activist Nina Simone will be held this weekend in her hometown of Tryon.   The public is invited to celebrate and to share their ideas about the future of Simone’s birthplace.     BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

CREDIT CDC/DR. FRED MURPHY / WIKIPEDIA

North Carolina now has a  task force dedicated to help residents say safe and informed about COVID 19 – the novel coronavirus that has killed more than 1,000 in China.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

01/30/20 — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services today released the final report on the public health investigation into an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease in people who attended the 2019 NC Mountain State Fair at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center in Fletcher.   While there isn't a 'smoking gun', the report confirms earlier findings that  the outbreak was likely caused by exposure to Legionella bacteria in aerosolized water from hot tubs that were on display during the fair at the Ag Center in Fletcher.   

BPR News

Climate change is getting lots of attention on the 2020 campaign trail.   Among the popular slogans  -  "12 years to fix the climate".  It appears on signs and in speeches, but what does it really mean?   BPR’s Helen Chickering  met with the science editor  who worked on the report that launched the catch phrase.  

NCDHHS

Buncombe County Health and Human Services has confirmed the first flu-related death in the county during the 2019-2020 flu season.  According to a BCHHS press release, the death occurred in an adult under age 65.   No further details about the case have been released. According to the North Carolina Division of Public Health, as of December 28, 2019, there have been 10 flu-related deaths in North Carolina residents. 

December 15 is the enrollment deadline for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, which became law nearly ten years ago. BPR’s Helen Chickering checked in with Jackie Kiger at Pisgah Legal Services  to find out what people need to know as they navigate this year’s marketplace.  

BPR News

What do turkeys and hurricanes have in common?   Thanksgiving -   the holiday weekend  marks the end of the 2019 hurricane season. This year powerful slow moving storms like Dorian invigorated the conversation about the impact of climate change on hurricanes.  BPR’s Helen Chickering talked with a climate scientist based here in Asheville who has been tackling that question.


BPR News

This week community advocates, education and business leaders from across the region are gathering in Asheville to tackle an issue that has connections to both climate change and hunger - food waste.   Some of the most creative and successful solutions are happening on college campuses.  BPR's Helen Chickering visited UNC Asheville where some small changes are making a big difference.

BPR News

In 1976, before climate change was really on the public radar, North Carolina created the State Climate Office.  Today, it is the second largest state climate office in the U.S. This summer, Kathie Dello took the helm and became the first woman to serve as North Carolina's state climatologist.  Dello was in Asheville this week and talked about her role with BPR’s Helen Chickering. 

BPR News

In 1976, long before climate change was on the public radar, North Carolina created the State Climate Office.   Today, it is the second largest  office in the country.  This summer, Kathie Dello took the helm, becoming the first woman to serve as North Carolina's state climatologist.  Dello was in Asheville this week and talked about her role with BPR’s Helen Chickering. 

 

Buncombe County Schools

Educators, mental health professionals, and law enforcement are gathering in Asheville this weekend to tackle what has been dubbed “an unaddressed public health crisis.”  BPR’s Helen Chickering talked with one of the conference organizers who is helping shine the spotlight on the issue here in Western North Carolina.

scientist.com

It's been a month since health officials announced the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to the Mountain State Fair.  

WNC Ag Center

 

Update:  10/18   NC health officials report a fourth person has died in the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher.  No details about the patient have been released.  So far, 141 cases have been confirmed.

@ncstatefair

 

Update 10/16:  On the heels of the Legionnaires' outbreak linked to September's Mountain State Fair in Fletcher,  health officials are taking proactive measures as the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh prepares to open tomorrow.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

CDC

Update 10/10:  State health officials have confirmed a second death in the Legionnaires' outbreak  connected to September's  Mountain State Fair in Fletcher.   Eighty-eight people have been hospitalized.

allbacteria.com

Update:  10/10

State health officials have confirmed a second death in the Legionnaires' outbreak  connected to the Mountain State Fair in September.   Eighty-eight people have been hospitalized. 

Petrey Family

 

  Update: 10/9 State Health officials say there are now more than 130 confirmed cases of Legionnaires' disease tied to last month's Mountain State Fair in Fletcher. The family of a man who allegedly contracted the respiratory illness after attending the event spoke publicly on Wednesday.   Blue Ridge Public Radio's Helen Chickering reports.

rti.org

Child care centers in North Carolina are now required to test for lead in their tap water.  The Commission for Public Health, the public health rulemaking body for North Carolina, has adopted a rule requiring the testing after a study of 86 centers in Central North Carolina found one in six had at least one tap with elevated lead levels.

WNC Ag Center

10/3 Update:  4 p.m.

State Health officials have released preliminary findings of their investigation into the source of the Legionnaires' outbreak at the Mountain State Fair in Fletcher, September 6-15. 128 cases of the severe lung infection have now been confirmed. One person has died. State Epidemiologist Dr. Zack Moore told reporters during a phone conference that fairgoers who were diagnosed were much more likely to report being in the Davis Event Center - an indoor facility.

"The second thing that has come out of the data so far is that people who were diagnosed were much more likely to be walking by hot tub displays when in the Davis Event Center, " says Dr. Moore, "Then a third finding we think is relevant is that people who developed Legionnaires disease attended fair in latter half of fair compared to people who didn’t get sick."

BPR News

Students in Western North Carolina joined their peers from around the world and skipped school to walk the picket line in what they are calling  a Global Climate Strike.

Hundreds of young activists marched through downtown Asheville holding signs and chanting “Hey hey!  Ho ho!  Climate change has got to go!”

The group gathered in Pack Square where speakers from local high schools rallied the crowd.  Protestors then marched to the Buncombe County Courthouse steps where they held a climate 'die-in'.

BPR News

An Asheville business program created to support women and communities of color who want to do business with the city  just got a makeover.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

Checking the weather today is as easy as checking your cell phone.  But did you know you can also monitor soil conditions and even levels of solar radiation plants use to grow?  It’s all thanks to a state network of climate stations.  BPR’s Helen Chickering takes us to the newest station in Asheville  that also doubles as a college classroom.

North Carolina is stepping up efforts to combat e-cigarette addiction.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

BPR

Volunteers working to raise awareness about sex trafficking here in Western North Carolina are using bars of soap as part of a new strategy to reach out to victims. BPR’s Helen Chickering explains.  

Diane Hendrix

Have you been missing a voice on the air at BPR?  So have we.   Last month, Barbara Sayer signed off after nearly four decades in public radio here in Western North Carolina.   If you know Barbara, you know she’s the kind of person who quietly slips out the back door.  Fanfare is not her calling card.  We wanted to honor that while still giving her a proper goodbye and a thank you and thought this would be a great opportunity to take a look back at BPR's (and Barbara Sayer's) incredible history here in Western North Carolina. 

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