Helen Chickering

BPR News

The August 21st Great American Solar Eclipse  was one of the most  watched and studied astronomical events in  history.  Western North Carolina was a great place to do both.   BPR’s Helen Chickering spent the day at the Pisgah National Research Institute in Brevard.   The former NASA tracking station was in the path of totality and hosted a day of stellar science for the public.

BPR News

The summer’s most anticipated celestial event is almost here.  Big crowds are expected here in Western North Carolina for Monday’s Great American Eclipse.  But as BPR’s Helen Chickering reports, people won’t be the only ones reacting to the dramatic changes in the sky

Southwestern Community College

On August 21, most of the country will pause and look up to the sky to observe the Great American Eclipse.  If you aren't able to make it outside for the astronomical event, no worries. NASA is planning to live stream the eclipse using cameras attached to high altitude balloons.  A local community college is part of the balloon project.  BPR's Helen Chickering has details. 

BPR News

The recent announcement that Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is planning to close its Asheville adoption center as the organization transitions to  a new facility has raised questions and concerns about the area’s ability to absorb the extra animals.   

BPR News

A local community college is going for gold.  The  five member culinary team from A-B Tech in Asheville won its tenth regional title and is now competing for the national honor. 

Asheville Tourists

“Good evening Asheville Hippies fans!  Welcome to McCormick Field!”               

That’s Asheville Tourist broadcast manager and radio announcer Doug Maurer, with a preview announcement of the upcoming game against  the Greenville Drive, and nope, that wasn’t a slip of the tongue. For one night, Thursday, June 29, the Asheville Tourists will be dubbed the Hippies, down to their tie dye uniforms. 

BPR News

So just what happens at science camp?  Blue Ridge Public Radio’s Helen Chickering stopped by the Summer STEM Academy at Southwestern Community College in Sylva to find out. 

BPR News

If you have some spare time this summer, the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could use your help.  The Asheville field office is on a mission to find an endangered species that hasn’t been spotted in Western North Carolina in more than a decade.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

Dozens of electronic music players from around the world descended on the city of Asheville, North Carolina, to participate in the second annual Continuum Conference. The conference is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of the electronic Haken Audio Continuum Fingerboard.   

The topic of climate change just got hotter on the heels of President Trump’s decision to pull  the U.S.  from the Paris climate agreement.   Retired Navy Rear Admiral  David Titley  is an international expert on climate change and national security .  He’s giving a talk at the Collider in Asheville.

BPR

Earlier this year the Asheville City Council kicked off a community garden program.  Residents can claim and garden a spot on vacant plots across the city.  It’s a green dream for one group of locals who live downtown and have been eyeing an empty lot in their front yard.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

BPR News

The school year is winding down, and many students are cramming for end of year tests.   Some are also putting their green thumbs to work in the school garden where spring planting season is in full swing.

Asheville City Soccer Club

The world’s game is coming to Asheville.   The Asheville City Soccer Club kicks off its inaugural season tomorrow night, hosting the Georgia Revolution at Memorial Stadium. 

The August Great American Eclipse is in WNC's backyard!  But to view such a spectacle safely, you'll need to take some special steps.  

When you think of tourist attractions here in Western North Carolina, places like the Biltmore House, the Blue Ridge Parkway come to mind.   But if you hang around here long enough, you eventually learn about the lesser known spots, including one hidden in the halls of a Community College.

Tucked away in a quiet hall on the AB Tech College Campus is a small museum full of history – for the ear.  There is vintage music.

And historical moments – like this live account of the Hindenburg disaster.

“It burst into flames, it’s crashing, oh my get out of the way.”

Luke Shealy

Thousands of scientists and science supporters are expected to gather in Washington, and across the country – including Asheville for the March for Science.  The event has raised questions about whether scientists can and should advocate for public policy.   And as BPR’s Helen Chickering found out, there are some strong opinions here in Western North Carolina.

The Eclipse Science-Art Competition Deadline has been extended to June 15!

In the dining hall of the VA Community Living Center in Asheville, 96 year old Wayne Carringer sat tall in his wheelchair, stationed next to the podium, where former State Representative Joe Sam Queen, recalled the brutal highlights of his distinguished military career

“He has lived the blood and guts of history, and served admirably “Former State Representative Joe Sam Queen told the crowd.

BPR News

The home of Tryon’s most celebrated native now has new owners. Four artists from New York recently bought the house where legendary singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone was born.  BPR news’ Helen Chickering has details.

Perched on a hill in the crook of a windy road in the town of Tryon, sits a small wooden house, three rooms, a fireplace and a porch, unremarkable expect for the plaque near the front door that designates the home as the birthplace of legendary singer songwriter Nina Simone, born Eunice Waymon, in 1933.  

Death on the Menu

Feb 14, 2017
Death Cafe

Death, it’s a  subject that is often hard to think about, let alone talk about.   A movement, called The Death Café is working to change the dialogue around the inevitable event.   It’s a social gathering of sorts that started in Europe in 2011, spread quickly to the U.S. including Western North Carolina. WCQS’s Helen Chickering attended a recent Death Cafe at UNC-Asheville.

WCQS

Mountain views, hiking trails an exploding food scene and more breweries per capita than anywhere else in U.S.   It’s easy to see why the Asheville area is spilling over with tourists and newcomers.   The boom is a boost for the economy but often makes for a busier and sometimes more challenging day for police and other first responders whose job it is to care for both tourists and the people who live  here.  WCQS’s Helen Chickering reports.

WCQS

Asheville has been dubbed Beer City,  Bee City and even Climate City.  In the future, Dog City may be added to that title.  A local dog behavior specialist is on a mission to make the area the most dog friendly place in the country. 

But this isn’t a campaign to encourage more water bowls and dog biscuits, it’s about retraining people.  WCQS’s Helen Chickering explains.

Kim Brophey, “I’ve got the Elmo voice down,   Look at the little puppy!”

HC: That’s what I do                                                                                                       

WCQS

“Plum Print, This is Keely, can I help you?”

When the phone rings at Plum Print in Asheville, Graphic Designer Keely Knopp, who also mans the customer support desk, is usually the first to answer.

Keely Knopp, Plum Print, “I just got off the phone with a gentleman who told me how excited he was about the inauguration and how he can’t wait to go.”

US Forest Service

The Disaster Recovery Act passed by North Carolina Lawmakers in the special session will help with wildfire relief efforts here in Western North Carolina.

Just over 25 million dollars will go to the North Carolina Forest Service for wildfire response expenses and timber restoration.  Arson is suspected in most of the fires.

A steady buzz of conversation fills the concourse at UNCA’s Sherrill Center. 

The scene is the standard long line of students in front of poster presentations during the Undergraduate Research and Community Engagement Symposium.  The conversation, however, is anything but standard.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

WCQS's Helen Chickering and Jeremy Loeb gathered sound from precincts in and around Asheville.  Stay tuned to WCQS for continuing election coverage.    

TIGHAR

 

  

   An Asheville climate scientist is preparing for an expedition to the remote islands of the central Pacific where he’ll study the environment - and work to help solve one of history’s most famous aviation mysteries – the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. 

Earhart, first woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean, mysteriously disappeared while flying over the Pacific in 1937.

Mo Wants to Know

Jul 14, 2016
Helen Chickering

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is in Asheville as part of a statewide listening tour.  The Winston-Salem based foundation has invested in statewide, regional and community-based organizations since 1936.  The foundation's new Executive Director, Maurice "Mo" Green sat down for a conversation with WCQS's Helen Chickering.   

Prison Reform Advocate Speaks

May 19, 2015
uncw.edu

Best selling author and prison reform activist Piper Kerman was the keynote speaker for The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina's Power of the Purse luncheon on Tuesday.  Her memoir, Orange is the New Black,  chronicles Kerman's year in a minimum security women's prison, and is the basis for the popular Netflix series.

Kerman was a Smith College graduate in the early 90s, when she smuggled drug money over seas.  The experience scared her and she moved back to the States and started a new life.  But years later, her past would come to haunt her.

Pages