News

WNC Wildfires Contained But Not Out After This Week's Rainfall

Dec 2, 2016
U.S. Forest Service

This week's rainfall aided firefighters in containing nearly all the wildfires throughout western North Carolina.  But that doesn't mean fires are out.  Meanwhile, authorities continue to raise the death toll following Monday night's wildfire that hit Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in Sevier County, Tennessee.

Davin Eldridge

This week's rainfall in Western North Carolina aided greatly in fighting it’s wildfires.  But was it enough to extinguish them?

Photo Credit: Michael Mauney

After three decades of service to public radio audiences in Western North Carolina, WCQS Music Director Dick Kowal will retire at the end of April, 2017.

Dick joined WCQS in 1986 when it was still a fledgling station. In the years since, the station has become an essential arts and culture resource for the region.

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.

The Asheville Symphony Chorus will host a "Sing-Along Messiah" Thursday, December 8th at First Presbyterian Church on Church Street in Asheville. Singers should arrive at 6:30; listeners at 7:30.

Director Michael Lancaster spoke with Dick Kowal about the event.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

An event Monday at ISIS Restaurant and Music Hall in Asheville aims to bring together people with talent and people seeking that talent.  Talent Jam gives participants a chance to make 60 second pitches to either speak for their talent or for the talent they're seeking.  It's like a job fair, but not, explains Daniel Kairoff, creative director for the event.  Kairoff says it's a way to get people connected in a challenging job market.  He stopped by WCQS to talk about the event.  

Click the audio to hear the full interview with Kairoff.  

U.S. Forest Service

The first arrest for arson in the rash of wildfires in western North Carolina has been made.  Authorities took Keith Mann of Franklin into custody on Tuesday.  He appeared in federal court today in Asheville for the first time.  Mann is accused of setting two small wildfires in Macon County.  

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker & the Mouse King, a contemporary dance theatre ballet based on the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman, this weekend at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Jiles Collard talked with Dick Kowal about this year's presentation.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

State lawmakers returning to Raleigh next year now have a big job to do:  redrawing their own districts.  A unanimous court ruling mandated the legislature redraw maps and hold special elections in November of 2017.  This comes after the same court found the Republican-dominated legislature’s maps unconstitutional for racial gerrymandering.  Democratic Representative Brian Turner of Buncombe County says this latest ruling re-emphasizes the need for independent redistricting.

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.

Asheville Community Theatre presents the world premier of Tom Godleski's Snowbound, a "new mountain play with mountain music." The play includes Godleski's band, Buncombe Turnpike, and members of another popular bluegrass/old-time band, Sons of Ralph, onstage with the other 35 actors. 

Tom Godleski and director Mark Jones spoke with Dick Kowal about the play and its music.

Today is #GivingTuesday - a global day of coming together and giving back to our communities. Here at WCQS we're excited to be a part of this event, because coming together, making connections is what public radio is all about. We are bound by a commitment to life-long learning, civic responsibility, and a compassion for the world and its people. As you take time to support organizations that make a difference in your life and in your community today, consider a gift to WCQS.

Davin Eldridge

Despite some of the thickest smoke yet from Western North Carolina’s wildfires, the town of Franklin’s annual Christmas Parade went off as planned, bringing hundreds of onlookers to the downtown area. The parade proved to be a defiant show of solidarity among locals in the face of the wildfires, as well as a show of support for the hundreds of firefighters who took part in the event—proving that the spirit of the community would not be so easily broken as the holiday season kicks into high gear. “It’s a real testament to the community that, despite the environmental disasters, it can come f

Western Carolina University

Following a year of prolonged drought in Western North Carolina, with the sudden spark of wildfires throughout much of the mountain region, the one question on everyone's minds has been: 'when will they be extinguished?'. But for students and faculty at Western Carolina University's Natural Resources Department, the wildfires proved to be strangely fortunate. 

Pages