Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Lawmaker Interview: Cody Henson of NC 113

With the North Carolina legislature set to get to work on the 25 th for its long session, we’re profiling a couple of the new faces from out here in the west. Cody Henson, a Brevard Republican, will represent North Carolina’s 113 th district in the House. The district encompasses parts of Henderson, Polk, and Transylvania Counties. Henson will fill the shoes of former House member Chris Whitmire, who retired. Henson’s a young guy, just 24 years old and will be the youngest member of the...

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Among the many things President Obama will be handing off to his successor this week: stubborn wars in three separate countries.

Obama came to office eight years ago vowing to end U.S. military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet President-elect Trump stands to inherit the nation's longest war ever in Afghanistan, as well as renewed fighting in Iraq that has spread to Syria.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

With the North Carolina legislature set to get to work on the 25th for its long session, we’re profiling a couple of the new faces from out here in the west.

Last month, as China encountered some of its worst pollution yet, artists in Chengdu did something bold: They put smog-filtering cotton masks over the faces of statues representing ordinary urbanites that dot a centrally located shopping street.

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you're not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

North Carolina's abortion rate has inched up since 2011, even as the national rate continues a long and steady decline, according to new figures released by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion.

Jeff Sessions donned a "Make America Great Again" cap and joined the campaign trail as one of Donald Trump's earliest supporters on Capitol Hill. But the proximity of the Alabama Republican to the president-elect has got some Democrats worried about how he'd preside at the Justice Department.

A live stream of this confirmation hearing is available via C-SPAN.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been among the most controversial picks for Donald Trump's Cabinet. In part, that's because the Environmental Protection Agency nominee has said things like this:

On Wednesday, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., goes before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions in his first grilling since he was nominated to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. This isn't an official confirmation hearing. That comes Jan. 24, before the Senate Finance Committee. But with outspoken senators such as Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on the HELP committee, Price is certain to face tough questions.

Here are five things to look out for:

Obamacare

President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the U.S. Department of Interior, Rep. Ryan Zinke, R-Mont., says he does not believe climate change is a hoax and promises to bring a Teddy Roosevelt-style approach to managing federal public lands.

Zinke made the comments at a confirmation hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Tuesday. The congressman and decorated former Navy SEAL commander faced about four hours of questioning.

All Things Considered co-host Ari Shapiro is on a road trip leading up to the inauguration of Donald Trump on Jan. 20. He is driving through North Carolina and Virginia, on the way to Washington, D.C. These are two swing states that went in opposite directions in November, each by a close margin: North Carolina for Trump, Virginia for Hillary Clinton. As the country faces dramatic changes, we're asking people what they want from that change — and what concerns them.

A quarter-century ago, North Carolina's Yadkin County had more than 350 tobacco farms.

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Arts, Culture & Performance

The eighth annual Django Reinhardt birthday festival takes place Saturday, January 21st at Asheville's Grey Eagle. Who was Django Reinhardt, and why are people playing his music more than a hundred years after his birth? Jon Corbin, guitarist and organizer of the festival, talked with Dick Kowal about the legacy of the great jazz guitarist and the musicians gathering to celebrate his birthday.

Join us Thursday evening at 8 for a broadcast of the Asheville Symphony's November 19th concert, Rhapsody in Blue. The concert features pianist Conrad Tao in a performance of one of George Gershwin's best-loved works.  (Tao's encore following the Rhapsody is, by itself, worth the price of admission!) Also on the all-American program, two works from Aaron Copland; the suite from the film score he wrote for "Our Town," and the suite from the 1939 ballet Billy the Kid, and David Diamond's Symphony No.

The Swannanoa Solstice returns Sunday to the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville for the 14th year. Host Doug Orr and multi-instrumentalist Al Petteway brought poetry and music, joining Dick Kowal to talk about the nature of this holiday tradition.

North Carolina Forest Service

Fire has been on the minds of many in western North Carolina over the past several weeks as wildfires swept across the region.  In her commentary this week, WCQS gardening expert Alison Arnold has some tips on how to protect the home against fires.  

Jeremy Loeb: Although the rain in recent days may ease the risk of wildfire potential across the western part of the state we aren’t out of the clear yet. It seems like a good time though to become more “fire aware”  - not only about prevention and protection but also the benefits of fire.