WNC

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.

Town of Franklin

After decades of conducting business as a Board of Aldermen, the Town of Franklin will now be governed by a Town Council.

North Carolina Department of Transportation

The current level of funding for North Carolina's transportation system just isn't enough, according to a national research firm, which is urging state lawmakers to act soon.

Davin Eldridge

Angel Medical Center’s board of directors  made it official – later this year, the far-western North Carolina hospital will no longer deliver babies.

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.  

Professional Wrestling Is Big In The Mountains

Mar 1, 2017
Lanny Knight

Legendary comedian Andy Kaufman once famously said “there’s no drama like wrestling”, and this is still true for millions of Americans today, especially in Western North Carolina. WCQS’s Davin Eldridge asks local fans and wrestlers ‘why’?

On any given night, in any given town throughout the Carolinas, droves of locals often gather for another night of professional wrestling.

Meadows A No-Show At Mountain Town Hall

Feb 27, 2017

Congress was in recess last week, meaning some but not all members were holding town hall meetings with constituents back home.  Members of Western North Carolina's congressional delegation were NOT holding such meetings however.  So residents of Clay and Cherokee Counties held their own.

It was standing room only at the Clay County courthouse in Hayesville, as more than a hundred locals turned out for a town hall meeting on the Affordable Care Act— known as “Obamacare” to many—and what is to become of it.

Tornado Detectives

Feb 23, 2017
UNC Asheville Chris Godfrey

Tornadoes aren’t common here western North Carolina, but they are in the southeast and when they strike, they tend to be deadlier and more destructive than in other parts of the country.    

A research team at  UNC Asheville is working to figure out why southeastern storms are so lethal by retracing the footprints of twisters the way detectives investigate a crime scene. 

WCQS's Helen Chickering reports. 

                     

It was just minutes into the NFC championship game.

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.

connect.dc.gov

The need for stronger internet service in the Western North Carolina mountains has one national advocacy group pushing local governments in the region to take lead.

Chris Mitchell is the director of community broadband internet initiatives at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance—a D.C.-based nonprofit that focuses on policy and advises local governments in matters of autonomy. He says rural municipalities are increasingly lacking in the realm of broadband internet connectivity.

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.

Davin Eldridge

NPR will be in Asheville on Tuesday February 7th for the latest 'Going There' event.  Weekend All Things Considered host Michel Martin will lead a night of performances and discussion on the topic 'What Happens When Your Hometown Gets Hot?' at the Diana Wortham Theater.  Tickets for the event have sold out but there will be a live stream that night to watch.  You can also join the conversation on Twitter by following @NPRMichel and @WCQS using the hashtag #HotHometown.

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                                                                                                       

WNC Officials Seek Rural Broadband Solutions

Jan 23, 2017
NCBroadband.org, 2016

Representatives cite adequate broadband as essential to economic development

As technology advances, Basic access to broadband internet is essential to everything from economic development to education. Yet access is lacking in many areas throughout Western North Carolina, and officials like state Representative Kevin Corbin want to better connect the region.

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.”

makezine

There's the pile of old electronics that got replaced with the newest version over the holidays.  The  toaster that no longer works, and the dead computer that's been collecting dust for years.  Random items that shouldn’t go in the trash, and can’t go into the recycling bin.  Items Eric Bradford says fall into the hard to recycle category.

City of Asheville

The Waze travel app gives directions and also allows users to report traffic conditions and road hazards that alert other drivers.  But unless that information is updated, and most drivers have no idea how long a roadblock will be in place, it eventually goes away.  Cities and counties however, do know, and now the city of Asheville is integrating its road closure information into the app through the Waze Connected Citizens program.  Christen McNamara is a GIS programmer analyst with the city.

Full Sun Farm

As an applied environmental economist, UNCA’s Leah Mathews is interested in the value of things you can’t buy on the store shelves like scenic quality, cultural heritage and social interaction.  Much of her research focuses the local food system in Western North Carolina, looking at the benefits that residents and visitors receive from farmland, the value of social interactions at farmers markets, and the veracity of the Appalachian Grown local food label.    

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.

ncwater.org

  

The ongoing drought has led to water restrictions being in some communities in North Carolina.  According to NC Division of Water Resources, a total of 43 public water systems, or 8% of those tracked across the state, have instituted voluntary conservation measures while 12 systems, including Woodfin, are under mandatory conservation because of the drought.

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal judges told the North Carolina legislature Tuesday to redraw its own districts by mid-March to replace ones the judges previously struck down and to hold a special election using the new maps in November 2017.

The ruling means those elected to the state House and Senate a few weeks ago would serve just one year, not two as expected.

An Icy Assignment

Nov 29, 2016
WCQS

The sound of chainsaws echoed through the AB Tech Asheville campus. It wasn’t a construction crew, but a culinary arts class, learning how to sculpt ice.  Fourteen students paired in teams of two were scattered across the porch of the Magnolia building. Instructor Chef John Hofland was overseeing the students as they sawed and chopped their way through blocks of ice.

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