WCQS is only as vibrant and vital as the community we serve. That’s why we are partnering with PLI and Mountain Food Products in support of Loving Food Resources

Your gift to WCQS this morning will be matched for Asheville Humane Society. Our goal is $10,000 by 10 AM. $10,000 for WCQS means $10,000 in matching funds to benefit two spay and neuter programs at AHS.

Joining Barbara Sayer and Dick Kowal in the studio this morning is Sarah Hess, Asheville Humane Society's Interim Executive Director.

Vance County has received a donation of five acres for a new animal shelter. Now leaders need to raise $1.6 million for the building.

WRAL-TV reported the shelter hasn't been renovated since opening 40 years ago. It has space for about 85 animals and operates on a $389,000 budget.

Mountain XPress

State figures show a rise in the rate of children in Buncombe County opting out of required vaccinations.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that about one in 20 kindergarten students at the beginning of this school year had opted out of immunization, a higher percentage than the previous year. Almost all claimed religious beliefs.

Tony Kiss
Asheville Citizen-Times

Another weekend with a myriad of entertainment offerings has arrived.  High on Tony's list, prize winning Choreographer Kyle Abraham and his dance company, Abraham in Motion.  The New York based company preforms at Diana Wortham Theater March 24th and 25th.  The company will perform "When the Wolves Came in"  which was inspired by the music of jazz drummer Max Roach.   The Asheville Amadeus Festival continues through Sunday 3/22.

Jeff Barnard/AP

Supporters of the legal use of medical marijuana in North Carolina are trying to persuade lawmakers to back it now that more than 20 states have similar laws.

Multiple media outlets reported more than 100 people rallied Thursday at the Legislative Building for a medical cannabis law. Chief bill sponsor Rep. Kelly Alexander of Charlotte says momentum is growing for the idea. There are 14 other bill co-sponsors. But the measure still faces an uphill climb in the House. It would have to clear five committees to reach the chamber floor.

The state House's picks to serve on the University of North Carolina governing board for the next four years include five newcomers and three incumbents.

The chamber elected eight people to the 32-member UNC Board of Governors, as it does every other year.

New members include former state Rep. Pearl Burris-Floyd; ex-Rutherford County Sheriff Philip Byers; accountant Walter Davenport; attorney Joe Knott III; and land developer Alex Mitchell. Re-elected were James Holmes Jr., Mary Ann Maxwell and David Powers

The Senate picked eight members Wednesday.

A former state senator, federal magistrate judge and president of an auto parts company are among the newest members of the University of North Carolina system's governing board.

The state Senate elected eight people Wednesday to the 32-member UNC Board of Governors for four-year terms starting July 1. The House is expected to hold its similar biennial election Thursday.

The more than 45 year career of Western North Carolina performance story-teller Connie Regan-Blake will be documented and stored at the Library of Congress.   David Hurand spoke with Connie Regan-Blake about her most recent honor. 

Sunshine Week began Sunday March 15th. To some the 15th is the Ides of March, to others it represents the annual push by media outlets and open-government advocates for transparency.  Recently, the On-Line Investigative reporting service Carolina Public Press surveyed 18 WNC counties about closed sessions held by their boards of commissioners.  David Hurand spoke with CPP reporter Jon Elliston.