News

NC Legal Aid Gets Cut Again, It's Unclear Why

Aug 6, 2017

Poor people who need help fighting a landlord or keeping government benefits can get an attorney for free through North Carolina legal aid programs, but new state budget cuts mean fewer may have that option.

Asheville Anime Regional Convention

The fourth annual Asheville Anime Regional Convention brought in nearly 2,000 visitors - it's largest attendance ever, proving that there's no shortage of love or demand for Japanese animation, even in Western North Carolina.  BPR’s Davin Eldridge attended the event…

Blue Ridge Public Radio's Ticket to Ride Summer Raffle is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered. Raffle ticket purchases support programming on WCQS and BPR News. The winner will be drawn at random and announced on air on August 16, 2017. 

The winner will choose between an Audi A3 or VW Golf AllTrack from Harmony motors. Stay tuned for all the details. 

Thanks to everyone who entered the raffle. You're all winners to us. 

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's Democratic attorney general is responding to budget cuts imposed by Republican lawmakers by laying off about 9 percent of his agency's attorneys and telling local prosecutors they'll have to take over more courtroom tasks.

Attorney General Josh Stein on Thursday described his response to legislators deciding in June to cut $10 million from his budget despite objections from police chiefs and district attorneys. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper's office operations were also cut.

Asheville Buncombe County Christian Ministry

The Western North Carolina branch of a national program designed to connect veterans with social service programs is expanding.  NCServes - Western, which is a part of the national AmericaServes network, will connect veterans, active service members and their families to more than 40 agencies and service providers throughout the region.  NCServes - Western covers the following counties - Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Transylvania, and Yancey.

Pexels

Earlier this year, Buncombe County Republican Party chairman Dr. Carl Mumpower put out the offer - for anyone who wanted to debate him on any topic, he'd give $100 to charity for each event.  His first debate since making that offer will take place this weekend.

North Carolina's largest health insurance company is pulling back on its requested price increase for coverage through the Affordable Care Act.

Jeff Tiberii/WUNC

Legislators are heading back to Raleigh Thursday for a special session, but it's unclear exactly what's on the agenda.  Veto overrides were originally cited as the main reason.  Now those appear to be off the table for the moment as not enough lawmakers are expected to be in attendance.  Instead, they could consider bills not taken up in the long session.  Hanging over it all is a tight deadline for correcting illegal legislative maps, and the potential for surprises.  WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb about what's in store.  

Phillip Price

With Waynesville Democrat Matt Coffay withdrawing from next year’s race for the Congressional seat in North Carolina’s eleventh district, the only challenger left for incumbent Republican Mark Meadows’s seat now is Nebo resident Phillip Price. BPR’s Davin Eldridge caught up with Price at a meet-and-greet in Highlands, where Price introduced himself to a non-partisan group of voters…

Southwestern Community College

On August 21, most of the country will pause and look up to the sky to observe the Great American Eclipse.  If you aren't able to make it outside for the astronomical event, no worries. NASA is planning to live stream the eclipse using cameras attached to high altitude balloons.  A local community college is part of the balloon project.  BPR's Helen Chickering has details. 

U.S. House of Representatives

Updated 7/31 1:10pm:  Congressman Patrick McHenry say he was diagnosed with pneumonia on Saturday morning and is cancelling his Tuesday town hall in Swannanoa.  Meanwhile, WNC's other Congressman, Mark Meadows has announced his own town hall planned for next Monday:

Details:
Rep. Meadows’ Town Hall

August 7, 2017  

6:00pm-8:00pm

Blue Ridge Community College

Bo Thomas Auditorium

180 W. Campus Drive

Flat Rock, NC 28731

Original Post:

NPR.org, Davin Eldridge

The first day of classes are always hectic for any university. For Western Carolina, that may be taken to a new level this year.  That’s because classes start on the day of the solar eclipse.

BPR’s Davin Eldridge reports…

Wikicommons

Asheville voters will decide this fall whether they want city council districts or the current system of electing members at-large.  That’s even though the North Carolina General Assembly already passed a measure forcing the city to draw districts for the 2019 election.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning about foreign agents and attempts to influence the U.S. election. The panel is among the bodies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Senators had requested Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, to appear as witnesses. Instead, they are in closed-door discussions for now.  Live streaming is expected to start around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

GreatAmericanEclipse.com

The solar eclipse is less than a month away.  Thousands will come to Western North Carolina to see it, but there is one scenario that could ruin everyone’s fun – what if it rains that day?

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