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Another  weekend of with plenty to offer. Tony Kiss takes a look at some of what's happening in Western North Carolina.

Listen Friday afternoon at 2 for another live performance from our studios, this time by The HotPoint Trio. January 23rd marked  the 106th anniversary of the birth of the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. On Saturday evening, musicians from around Western North Carolina and beyond will gather at the Grey Eagle to pay tribute to this influential musician.  The HotPoint Trio will give us a preview and, along with coordinator and guitarist Jon Corbin, help us understand the importance of Django Reinhardt.

Join us at 2 Friday for the HotPoint Trio live from our studios.

Sec. Van Der Vaart Defends Oft-Criticized DEQ

Feb 4, 2016
Youtube

The state agency tasked with protecting the environment has been under scathing, near-constant criticism from environmentalists during the tenure of Governor Pat McCrory.  The state saw a dramatic political shift with McCrory's 2012 election and the subsequent election of Republican super-majorities to the House and Senate.  Since then, lawmakers have rolled back environmental regulations and McCrory redirected what was then known as DENR, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in a way that emphasized "customer service," or what critics perceive as a business-friendly approac

mannafoodbank.org

Changes to food stamp benefits could affect as many as 110,000 people in North Carolina.  The Associated Press reports the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – or SNAP – will require able-bodied adults to work, volunteer, or train at least 80 hours a month to keep receiving benefits.  Otherwise those people would lose benefits after three months.  North Carolina is among 21 states whose recession-era waiver of that rule is expiring.  It expired last month in 23 counties, including Buncombe, Haywood, and Henderson in western North Carolina.  The rest of the counties will see t

The two Republicans representing Western North Carolina in Congress are backing different candidates for  their party's Presidential nomination.  Patrick McHenry of the 10th District is backing Jeb Bush.  Representative Mark Meadows of the 11th District has announced he is backing Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.  Anna Douglas is Washington D.C. reporter with the News and Observer of Raleigh. She  spoke with David Hurand.

Roger Aiken of Asheville has been elected vice chair of the UNC Board of Governors.  Aiken will complete the unexpired term of Louis Bissette.  In December Bissette was elected Chairman of the Board.  Aiken works for Wells Fargo Advisors and is a former Chairman of the Buncombe County Board of Education. The day Aiken was elected more than a dozen protesters were on hand callling for the removal of System President elect Margaret Spelling.   Four were arrested Aiken spoke with  David Hurand.

Rev. Barber on Voter ID Trial: 'This is our Selma'

Jan 29, 2016
huffingtonpost.com

The first week of a federal trial over North Carolina's new law requiring photo identification to vote is coming to an end.  The North Carolina NAACP and other groups are challenging the requirement as unconstitutional and discriminatory toward minority and poor voters.  Republican leaders of the General Assembly pushed for passage of the law, claiming it would limit voter fraud and protect the integrity of elections.  For the latest, WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with the leader of the North Carolina NAACP, the Rev.

Sandlin Gaither

Listen this afternoon at 2 when Free Planet Radio performs live in our studios. This trio of Asheville-based musicians, each with a deep background in a wide variety of musical styles, will bring us their blend of world, jazz, and classical music and give us a preview of their upcoming concert at the Altamont Theatre. 

http://www.freeplanetradio.com

Piano Concert to benefit WNCAP!  Concert pianist David Troy Francis is the host for the benefit concert  for the Western North Carolina AIDS Project at 3 p.m. Jan. 31 at the Asheville Country Club.

This week the  N.C. Superintendent  for  Public  Instruction urged state lawmakers to boost teacher pay.  The call for an across the board pay hike will likely be considered when state lawmakers return to Raleigh this spring. That’s the forecast from two area members of the State House.  David Hurand has more….

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