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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.

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. 

www.e2.org

A new report finds North Carolina’s clean energy jobs grew 3.5% last year, nearly double the statewide employment growth of 1.9%.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

Rusty Jacobs/WUNC

A federal judge approved a legal settlement Tuesday affirming transgender people's right to use restrooms matching their gender identity in many North Carolina public buildings. The consent decree is expected to end a protracted lawsuit challenging North Carolina's so-called bathroom bill and the law that replaced it.

Pisgah View Ranch

A dude ranch outside of Asheville has become North Carolina’s 40th state park.     On July 19, Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 535 into law, creating Pisgah State View Park.    The 16-hundred acre parcel  in Candler is home to Pisgah View Ranch.    Senator Chuck Edwards  (R-Henderson)  introduced the bill in April and notes that the land  has been owned by the same family since 1790.

2018 was the wettest year on record in North Carolina. Now a new report finds during that very wet year, a spot in Western North Carolina broke a rainfall record.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

By Nancy Pierce provided courtesy of the National Trust for Historic Preservation

An update on a story we’ve been following since the spring of 2017 when four New York artists purchased Nina Simone’s childhood home in Tryon.    Last summer the property was designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This week, the organization is launching a crowdfunding campaign to boost efforts to restore the house. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

North Carolina has a lot of work to do when it comes to addressing women’s health and wellness.  That's the finding of a state commissioned report released in Asheville this week at Mountain Area Health Education Center. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

After a national search with input from the community,  Asheville has named Chris Bailey as the city's new Police Chief.  

BPR News

This story is developing.

Just shy of her two year anniversary on the job, Asheville City Schools Superintendent Denise Patterson has resigned effective immediately.    In her letter of resignation  Patterson cited medical reasons.  In January 2018 she spoke with BPR's Matt Bush.  You can find that story here.

creative commons

North Carolinians who want the  legislature to expand Medicaid to cover hundreds of thousands of additional adults are gathering across the state this evening.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.   

BPR

After more than three decades of entertaining and educating listeners, Blue Ridge Public Radio classical music host Chip Kaufmann is retiring.   We've compiled a few highlights of his wonderful career here. 

Asheville Kidnap Claim Unravels: Mom Charged

May 10, 2019
Henderson County Sheriff's Department

Associated Press - A mother's claim that her 7-week-old baby was kidnapped quickly unraveled after her infant was found at the bottom of a 75-foot ravine in Henderson County, law enforcement officials said Friday.

Henderson County Sheriff Lowell Griffin announced that the child's mother, Krista Noelle Madden, 35, has been jailed on a count of attempted first-degree murder.

BPR News

An update on a story we’ve been following since the spring of 2017.   That’s when four artists from New York bought the Tryon childhood home of legendary singer and civil rights activist Nina Simone.  Restoration work is underway, BPR's Helen Chickering traveled to Tryon to check it out.   

cdc

This week, US Health officials announced there are just over 700 reported measles cases across the country.  That’s the most cases in 25 years and a major source of frustration for public health officials since measles was declared eliminated in this country back in 2000.  Twenty-two states have reported cases, North Carolina has not yet made the list –but state health officials, especially here in Buncombe County, are on alert. BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

BPR

President Trump this week renewed his pledge to battle the country’s opioid epidemic. Trump spoke at a national drug abuse conference in Atlanta.  Here in Western North Carolina, students are working to raise awareness about the epidemic. BPR’s Helen Chickering reports from  A.C. Reynolds High School, where students organized an opioid education summit. 

“This is something that just doesn’t happen. It is being deliberately mischaracterized to shame women and to make a court case to overturn Roe V. Wade.” - Buncombe County Democratic state senator Terry Van Duyn during Senate Judiciary Committee's heated debate over SB 359

Asheville is hosting North Carolina’s tenth annual communicable disease conference this week. Public health professionals are learning about the latest infectious disease trends and the tools they need to prevent, detect and treat them.   This year also marks the 100th anniversary of Public Health Nurses in North Carolina.     

NC health officials say the meeting provides an opportunity to share evidence-based information and best practices for addressing public health problems and and communicable disease investigations. 

Executives, entrepreneurs, climate scientists, and students from across the country are converging on Asheville to tackle the business of Climate Change.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

countyhealthrankings.org

When it comes to the health of its counties Western North Carolina gets mixed reviews. BPR’s Helen Chickering has the latest results from the annual County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report.

BPR News

Local faith communities gathered outside of the Islamic Center of Asheville Friday afternoon to show their support for the Muslim community in the wake of the mass shootings at mosques in New Zealand.   BPR's Helen Chickering spoke with supporters and members. 

governor.nc.gov

 Asheville’s Brandi Hillman, co-owner of Hillman’s Beer and Josh Dorfman, CEO of the nonprofit climate business incubator The Collider are among the sixteen members of governor Roy Cooper’s new entrepreneurial council.  The group is charged with helping design policies that encourage entrepreneurship, foster economic development and support sustainable high quality jobs.                             Josh Dorfman says an important part of the council’s mission is helping shape the state’s entrepreunial bra

BPR

Last month Asheville City Council members and school officials gathered to address  the growing  gap in discipline rates and academic achievement between  black and white students in the district.

High school students have had a lot to say about racial disparity on campus.

STR Inc.

Keep the momentum going is the message from the latest analysis of Buncombe County’s lodging market by hotel industry tracker STR Incorporated.  The report was presented on Friday by STR’s Bennjin Lao at an event hosted by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority and the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau.

BPR

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, a pair of living teddy bears make their debut at the  Western North Carolina Nature Center in Asheville.     BPR’s Helen Chickering has a preview.

The Fed Cup women’s tennis tournament is in back in Asheville this weekend with the U-S taking on Australia.  The first match is Saturday, but action has been happening all week with events and activities designed to get kids interested in tennis.  BPR’s Helen Chickering stopped in on a Fed Cup tennis clinic at the U.S. Cellular Center.

BPR

You’ve probably heard about the movement to reduce the use of plastic straws, which can’t be recycled and end up in landfills and in the environment. As BPR’s Helen Chickering reports, local environmental groups are on a mission to expand that campaign here in Western North Carolina.

In 2018, the nonprofit Asheville Greenworks kept more than 161,000 pounds of hard to recycle materials out of the landfills in Western North Carolina.  During free events held throughout the year in Buncombe County,  volunteers collected everything from televisions to empty toothpaste tubes.  The organization is kicking off it's first  Hard 2 Recycle event of 2019, on Saturday, January 19th in West Asheville. 

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