western north carolina

Haywood Homelessness Task Force Issues Report

Jul 14, 2021
Cory Vaillancourt

Homelessness was the key issue in the most recent municipal elections in Haywood County. In late 2019, newly-elected leaders in the Town of Waynesville created a task force to gather information.  It’s now issued recommendations, which will likely generate new controversy.

David Boraks / WFAE

The North Carolina Environmental Management Commission voted Tuesday to begin rulemaking that would set limits on carbon emissions from energy plants to address climate change.

Steve Harrison / WFAE

In her bid for U.S. Senate, Erica Smith came to Gastonia Sunday as part of her 100-county tour of North Carolina. She pulled up to Erwin Park in her Toyota Highlander, which had some dents on the side and a blue plastic bag covering a missing taillight.

David Boraks / WFAE

State regulators Tuesday will consider a proposal that would shake up North Carolina's energy business in the name of slowing climate change.

As the COVID-19 pandemic abates, public bodies across the Charlotte region are resuming in-person meetings. But that raises questions about whether there’s still a role for remote participation by elected officials or members of the public who want to speak.

National Park Service

America’s Favorite Drive. That’s what the National Park Service calls the Blue Ridge Parkway. And they have the numbers to back it up: 14 million visitors last year on nearly 500 miles of meandering two-lane road from Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the Great Smokies in North Carolina.  But like the rest of the South through which it winds, the Blue Ridge Parkway wasn’t always welcoming — or even accessible — to all of America.


On Thursday, the North Carolina Board of Education narrowly approved guidance on teaching history, social studies and civics in public schools. The latest documents include details on how to incorporate new perspectives on racism and multiculturalism.

National Institutes Of Health

North Carolina’s COVID-19 numbers have started to inch back up, state health officials said this week. They cite the rapid spread of the delta variant, particularly in counties with low vaccination rates, as the reason for the increase.

Nancy Pierce / Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

North Carolina health officials are working on streamlined rules for COVID-19 safety in schools, as they prepare for a year when vaccination is up, cases are down and students are expected to return in person.

Jarrett McCain

When public schools opened with remote classes and uncertain schedules last August, it quickly became clear that a lot of North Carolina families were choosing other options for their kids.

Appalachian Regional Commission

The new co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission may be familiar – as is one of her goals for the people of the mountains.  

Tim Mossholder / Unsplash

A North Carolina Superior Court judge put a small-town newspaper editor behind bars last month after one of his reporters used an audio recorder for note-taking purposes at a murder trial — a punishment the paper and media rights groups consider excessive.

Nikole Hannah-Jones Chooses Howard Over UNC Chapel Hill

Jul 6, 2021
Associação Brasileira De Jornalismo Investigativo / Flickr

Investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones says she will not teach at the journalism school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill following an extended fight over tenure there, and instead will take a tenured position at Howard University.

Chayene Rafaela / Unsplash

Predictions of a baby boom during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown have gone bust in North Carolina, according to a team of researchers.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has released video of an anti-racism presentation that two top North Carolina Republicans called dangerous and divisive without having seen it. The district’s decision to pay author Ibram X. Kendi $25,000 to speak caused the latest flare-up over how educators talk about racism.

Kvnga / Unsplash

KINGS MOUNTAIN — The South Carolina-based Catawba Indian Nation has opened a preliminary, temporary version of its proposed casino just across the border in North Carolina.


Thursday is a big day for Medicaid in North Carolina.

The state is officially switching to a new Medicaid system called a “managed care” model.

N.C. Department Of Public Safety / Flickr

Six North Carolina Republican officials voted on Tuesday to end statewide eviction protections for renters starting Thursday, rejecting Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's request to extend the state's eviction moratorium by one month.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has drawn fire from two of the state’s top Republicans after the superintendent hired anti-racism author Ibram X. Kendi to speak to district leaders.

North Carolina hospitals are facing a “severe” shortage of blood as part of a nationwide decrease in supply, according to the American Red Cross.

Morten Just / Flickr

Tenant advocates are welcoming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's one-month extension of a federal moratorium on evictions backed by the Biden administration that was set to expire next week on June 30. But they warn the move only postpones an inevitable wave of evictions.

NC Department Of Public Safety

North Carolina's moratorium on evictions is set to expire on June 30. Gov. Roy Cooper says he will decide before then whether to extend the ban.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

Immigration law is complex, and there is a short supply of lawyers in North Carolina who are specifically certified in it. The certification is one way to assure immigrants that their lawyer understands the system. Immigrants seeking help have a wide range of choices, and in some cases, they turn to people who don’t even work in the legal field.


North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services announced on Wednesday that it will now pay for residents to have at-home COVID-19 test kits mailed to them. The agency said in a statement that any adult can request a COVID-19 test kit be shipped to their home overnight and DHHS will cover the cost.

North Carolina Courts

North Carolina's ban on most abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy must remain unenforceable, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday, rejecting arguments that the law should be left intact because prosecutors aren't going after doctors who violate it.

Dziana Hasanbekava / Pexels

North Carolina's resurgent post-pandemic economy could put an additional $6.5 billion over the next two years into state government coffers already swollen with cash, state economists said Tuesday.

Erin Keever / WFAE

Civil and voting rights groups Monday blasted election bills written by North Carolina Republicans and expected on the Senate floor this week, calling them another GOP attempt at voter suppression, especially of minority groups.

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.

Historic Latta Plantation

One day after a Historic Latta Plantation Juneteenth event listing was removed from the website and condemned by local government officials as inappropriate and racist, the historic site manager posted a 1,348-word statement defending the program as educational about Reconstruction.

Gov. Roy Cooper has set ambitious goals for wind energy off the North Carolina coast over the next two decades as part of his plan to fight climate change by shifting away from fossil fuels.