western north carolina

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The organizers of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, one of the most prestigious and well-known men's college basketball tournaments, have announced the 2020 edition will be played at the Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses at Mission Hospital and its adjacent facilities in Asheville have voted to join a union, National Nurses United, by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

#NC11: Aggressive Tweets Overshadow Race

Sep 17, 2020
Cory Vaillancourt

Candidates seeking to replace former Congressman Mark Meadows in Western North Carolina have spent plenty of time attacking each other.  It’s gone to a new level now however after controversial tweets resurfaced earlier this month.

Campaign photos

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham are meeting for their first televised debate. 

Henderson County sheriff’s deputy Ryan Hendrix died Thursday from wounds he suffered while responding to a call about gunfire near the Mountain Home area north of Hendersonville early Thursday morning.  

Matt Bush

Asheville City Council appointed attorney Antanette Mosley to a vacant city council seat Tuesday.  Mosley will fill the seat Vijay Kapoor resigned earlier this summer after he and his family moved away from Asheville.  

#NC11 Debate Fact-Checker: Zingers, Jabs, And Lies

Sep 8, 2020

In their first public face-off, the candidates vying for the increasingly competitive 11th district congressional seat, Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis, touted their differences on just about all issues and hurled accusations, with each calling the other “fast and loose” with the facts. Who was telling the truth? AVL Watchdog fact-checked some of the claims made at the Sept. 4-5 debates at Western Carolina University (which were sponsored by Blue Ridge Public Radio, Smoky Mountain News, and Mountain Xpress) and rated them as true, false or misleading.

#NC11: From Military Prosecutor To Congressional Candidate

Sep 7, 2020
(Photo courtesy of candidate)

For Air Force Colonel Morris Davis, a career military lawyer, the assignment he won in 2005 could solidify his opportunity to become a general.  The North Carolina native – and now the Democratic candidate for North Carolina’s 11th congressional district -- was named chief prosecutor of the alleged al Qaeda terrorists imprisoned at the US Navy base in Guantanamo, Cuba where they were subject to military justice. 

WNC COVID-19 'Phase 2.5' Updates

Sep 5, 2020

This page is no longer being updated.  For the latest news, go to our Phase 3 Updates page here.

Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis, candidates for North Carolina's 11th Congressional district seat left vacant by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have both agreed to appear at a two-day joint forum hosted by three of the district’s largest media outlets, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Smoky Mountain News, and Mountain Xpress.

Welcome To 'The Porch'

Sep 2, 2020

At this particular moment in history, we think it's vital that we give ourselves more time to listen to what's happening in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia.  To do that, Blue Ridge Public Radio is launching a new program from its news department - BPR News Presents: The Porch.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Nurses at Mission Health's hospital in Asheville are currently voting on whether to join a union, National Nurses United.

This September, Blue Ridge Public Radio will be adding four shows to its program schedule, while moving five others to both of its channels so they can be heard by all of Western North Carolina.

#NC11: Cawthorn Mingles With Far-Right Fringe

Aug 26, 2020

Conservative congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, scheduled to speak Wednesday at the GOP national convention, traveled to Texas last month to visit a private border wall and echoed discredited child sex trafficking claims promoted by the extremist conspiracy theory movement.

Cory Vaillancourt

(9:00 p.m. Monday) - Shortly after being renominated for a second term, President Donald Trump visited Western North Carolina Monday afternoon to tout an agricultural program created to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Garret K. Woodward

Western North Carolina author David Joy’s latest novel came out this week.   Known as a teller of dark, gritty fiction set in the Smokies, Joy is rooted in the region.  That led to him falling under the influence of one of America’s greatest working writers.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The Buncombe County board of commissioners is now the largest local government body to support the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in its legal fight with the Catawba Indian Nation over a proposed casino in the Charlotte suburbs.   

Megan Cain

Monday is the first day of school for many students across North Carolina.  Some will actually be in class, though most will not.  One district that is having limited in-person classes is Buncombe County.  After attending a short in-person orientation over the next two weeks, all students will learn remotely for at least the following five weeks. That presents an assortment of challenges for teachers, especially those dealing with first-time students.

#NC11: Candidate’s Claim Creates False Impression

Aug 11, 2020

The narrative created by Republican congressional-candidate Madison Cawthorn paints a picture of a bright, young man headed to the U.S. Naval Academy until he was severely injured in an auto crash.

Former Buncombe County commissioner Ellen Frost plead guilty Monday morning in federal court to one charge of conspiracy to commit fraud.  

#NC11: Cawthorn Takes A Hard-Right Turn

Aug 10, 2020

When then 24-year-old Madison Cawthorn easily defeated a Trump-backed rival to capture the GOP nomination in Western North Carolina’s 11th congressional district, he declared that his mission would be to rescue his party from a “generational time bomb.”

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The 12 members of the task force that will determine the future of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville have been chosen.  By the end of the year, the task force is scheduled to determine whether to the remove the 65-foot obelisk from Pack Square and relocate it, or leave it in place and repurpose or recontextualize it.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County commissioners Tuesday evening approved a resolution supporting reparations for the Black community in the county.  The resolution – passed on a 4-3 party line vote - does not create a commission to determine what reparations will be like the city of Asheville OK’d last month.  

Pexels

As some schools welcome students back during the pandemic, it’s likely that the  only healthcare provider on campus- will be the school nurse. And in North Carolina more than half serve more than one school.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council approved a 3-month budget Thursday, essentially delaying the decision on whether to cut the city’s police department budget and by how much until September.  

Cory Vaillancourt

There are 435 elections this fall in the United State for the House of Representatives.  North Carolina’s 11th district will be unique in at least one way – candidates will be talking about reparations.  That’s because Asheville city council voted earlier this month to start the process for reparations to the city’s Black community.

Come Back Tourists: Oops, Never Mind

Jul 29, 2020

TDA ads start, stop as virus surges

Buncombe County’s Tourist Development Authority began advertising for tourists to visit Asheville again – on the same day that the county’s top public health official said coronavirus cases were “rising at an alarming rate.”

The ad campaign, designed to promote “the safe and responsible return of visitation,” featured social media posts like one picturing a young couple picnicking on the bank of a river. “We invite you to pack your bags and masks, and safely experience our mountain oasis.”

School Systems In WNC: How Will They Reopen?

Jul 29, 2020
Pexels

Plan B, Plan C, or something in between?  Check out what each public school district in Western North Carolina decided on for the start of the school year.

The End Of Dixie

Jul 26, 2020
Korakys/Wikicommons

The ditching of Dixie by the band The Chicks was only new to them.  The word has been rapidly disappearing from the South over the last decade.

With the presidential nominating conventions all but washed out for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political junkies have to settle for two things that are the bread and butter of the downtime in campaigns - fundraising totals and polls.

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