Multiple media outlets are reporting Friday that top White House economic adviser Gary Cohn will stay in his job for now, after speculation that Cohn might leave after The New York Times reported that he was “deeply upset” about President Trump’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Updated at 7:40 pm ET

Steve Bannon has lost his job as chief White House strategist.

The White House described the departure as a mutual agreement between Bannon and chief of staff John Kelly.

"We are grateful for his service and wish him the best," said press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Updated at 3:50 p.m. ET

Susan Bro, the mother of Charlottesville victim Heather Heyer, says she will not speak to President Trump because of his comments that suggested white supremacists and people protesting against them were both to blame for last weekend's violence in Virginia.

Work crews took down a statue of former Chief Justice of the United States Roger Taney overnight in Annapolis, Md., where it had stood since 1872.

Matt Bush BPR

Asheville police arrested four people Friday morning for attempting to vandalize a Confederate marker in Pack Square downtown.  Police say protestors gathered around the Vance Monument before 8 a.m. Friday.  Several then attempted to damage the smaller marker in front of the monument that has a plaque with the likeness of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  Arrested were 27-year-old Nicole Townsend, 45-year-old Amy Cantrell, 30-year-old Hillary Brown, and 34-year-old Adrienne Sigmon.  All are from Asheville and all four face charges of Damage to Real Property.

Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona, was an early supporter of President Trump and often praises him. But he says he has not heard directly from Trump since the president said he was seriously considering pardoning Arpaio on a recent conviction for criminal contempt of court.

Protesters on Thursday marched on the Durham County courthouse in support of the demonstration that brought down a Confederate statue, while a monument to Gen. Robert E. Lee was vandalized nearby at Duke University.

The recent violence in Charlottesville, Va., amplified an ongoing struggle in America about who experiences discrimination and to what extent. Many of the white nationalists who rallied in Charlottesville, for example, feel that white people are discriminated against as much as, or more than, minority groups.

A member of Congress who's one of the staunchest defenders of Russia in American politics met with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in London on Wednesday.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., spent around three hours with Assange talking at the Ecuadorean Embassy there, where Assange sought refuge in 2012 in the face of sexual assault charges in Sweden.

Davin Eldridge

With last year’s wildfires still fresh in the minds of many Western Carolinians, safety experts are telling mountain residents to be prepared in case it happens again. BPR News’s Davin Eldridge has more…

Last fall, more than 50,000 acres of land burned in Western North Carolina, including many homes.  So this year, efforts are underway to prevent that, with the help of the National Fire Protection Association’s Firewise USA program.

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Arts & Performance

Blue Ridge Public Radio continues to invest in the development of local programming and content with the hiring of Matt Peiken as the NPR station’s first Arts Producer.

Peiken, whose entire journalism career has concentrated in covering arts and culture, will produce segments for Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and will develop a range of digital elements for BPR’s web and mobile platforms. He’ll also lay the groundwork for a new, weekly arts and performance showcase for BPR.

WCQS

It's a bittersweet day here at Blue Ridge Public Radio.  Thirty one years ago this month, music director Dick Kowal hit the airwaves.   Today, he hosted his last show.   While it's  impossible to capture all of the amazing accomplishments of his talented career, we do have some highlights, and a few good stories.  BPR's Helen Chickering reports.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

“It’s about 6 minutes after 9, good morning.”

If you live in Western North Carolina, chances are, you know this voice.

(Dick Kowal on the air)