The world's largest home furnishings trade show, which takes place annually in North Carolina,  may benefit from the lifting of U.S. sanctions against Iran.  Furniture manufacturing, along with tobacco, and textiles, once was one of the pillars of the North Carolina economy.  Foreign competition forced the closure of most furniture plants across the state.  Despite the loss of thousands of jobs, the Furniture Market has held its own.  Paul Johnson is a reporter  with the High Point Enterprise. He spoke with David Hurand about the possible return of Iranian buyers and sellers.

When it comes to who is or who isn’t nominated for an Academy Award, don’t expect much to change until there is a change in the make-up of the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  That’s the opinion of the founding Director of the Film and Television Production Program at Western Carolina University, Jack Sholder.   For the second consecutive year no actor of color was nominated.  Sholder spoke with David Hurand about the controversy.

NOAA's 2015 Climate Report Part of Alarming Trend

Jan 25, 2016

2015 was the hottest year in recorded history, according to a report released jointly by NOAA and NASA last week.  The numbers were expected following months of record-breaking heat.  Much of that research and data is compiled at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information based in Asheville.  For more, WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Deke Arndt, NOAA's Chief of the Climate Monitoring Branch at NCEI.  

  Pianist and composer David Troy Francis performs a benefit concert for WNCAP on Sunday at 3 at the Asheville Country Club. In addition to performing music from Rachmaninoff to Gershwin, David is an award-winning composer. His work, Bark, the Musical was recently staged at Asheville Community Theatre. David speaks with Dick Kowal at 1:06 today about his music and the benefit concert.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Officials with Duke  Energy report scattered power outages in Western North Carolina but overall its' westerm service area  was spared compared to the hardest hit areas of the state well to the east.    Tom Williams is Director of Corporate Communication with Duke Energy.  He spoke with David Hurand Sunday morning.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

The National Weather Service says our winter storm is winding down but that its' Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 7 tomorrow morning.  Snow and snow packed  roads are making travel dangerous.  Heavy snow accumulation and strong gusty winds could result in downed trees and scattered power outages.  Blowing snow could also reduce visibility.  Wind gusts as high as 45 miles per hour are possible at higher elevations.

David Hurand/WCQS

While nearly everything is closed because of the winter storm, there were a few places open for business, at least for some of the day.  David  Hurand stopped in at City Bakery in Asheville this morning. Some bakery staff members made it to work well before six this morning.   Brian Dennehy is the bakery's General Manager.

*City Bakery did close early this afternoon.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Snow is continuing to fall in western North Carolina.  Forecasters are calling for as much as 14 inches in some parts of the mountains. 

Thousands are without power as snow blankets the region.  For the latest, WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Duke Energy spokesman Tom Williams, who spoke with us from his home in Fairview.  We asked him what conditions were like there.

Henderson County is under a state of emergency as snow amounts are averaging around 6 inches.  For more, WCQS's Jeremy Loeb spoke with Major Frank Stout of the Henderson County Sheriff's office.

Asheville MLK Day Peace Rally Draws Hundreds

Jan 18, 2016
Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Hundreds of people gathered on a chilly Asheville afternoon today to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb was there, and filed this report.

The annual Peace March and Rally began at St. James AME Church and ended at Pack’s Square downtown.  Temperatures were below freezing and the wind didn’t help, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of Asheville native Cici Weston.

“I believe in the message and the dream of Martin Luther King.  And I believe in the diversity and the unification of all people.”

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  The National Holiday was signed into law in January 1983 by President Ronald Reagon and is celebrated the third Monday of January.  Kings wife Coretta Scott King once wrote “the holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America.”

Jon Elliston is a reporter and editor with W.N.C Magazinne and the on line news service, Carolina Public Press.  He spoke with David Hurand about two visits the civil rights leader made to Western North Carolina in the early 1960s.