Legislative Wrap: Rep. John Ager

Nov 5, 2015
Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

WCQS has been speaking with state lawmakers about the recently completed legislative session in Raleigh.  We continue our series with Rep. John Ager, Democrat of Buncombe County.  As a farmer, Ager was able to speak about a range of topics dealing with agriculture and the environment.  Highlights of the interview are below.  The full conversation is above.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Duke Energy will replace its coal plant in Asheville with two smaller gas units rather than one large one as originally planned.  The move comes after the public flooded Duke with more than 9,000 comments over proposed transmission lines through the western Carolinas.  Duke says the transmission lines will no longer be necessary.  A third plant could be built in 2023 if the company finds it necessary.  Plans to install solar panels at the site remain unchanged. 

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

The only incumbent in the race for Asheville city council lost as three new faces will join the council.  Unofficial results from Tuesday's election (as of midnight) show Keith Young finishing first with 18.22% of the vote.  Brian Haynes finished a close second with 18.08%.  And in third was Julie Mayfield with 17.65%, despite finishing first in the primary.  The race was for three seats on the city council, so those three are the winners.

The third enrollment period for health insurance coverage through the Affordable  Care Act opened November 1st.  Jaclyn Kiger is an attorney with Pisgah Legal Services in Buncombe County and an ACA Navigator.    She spoke with David Hurand.

Pisgah Legal Services provided the following information:

WCQS Music Director Dick Kowal is just back from a trip with WCQS music lovers down the Danube - visiting Prague, Vienna and Budapest. All this week, during the 9 o'clock hour, Dick will present music celebrating Mozart, Beethoven, Smetana and more - and celebrating the incredibly vibrant music and cultural scene of Central Europe - past and present.

That's Music of the Blue Danube every morning this week - in the 9 o'clock hour - on WCQS.

The Republican majority in the North Carolina House of Representatives was often divided this year. In July, members met for hours behind closed doors and narrowly approved re-organizing the seats on the Greensboro City Council. In September, the 74 members of the Republican caucus were divided and eventually defeated a plan that would have overturned city and county nondiscrimination ordinances across the state. House Speaker Tim Moore said he negotiated with libertarian members of his caucus to approve a plan to offer incentives to companies willing to move to North Carolina. He said he held regular meetings to negotiate other compromises. Yet, in his opinion, divisions were few.

Six pro-immigrant protesters were arrested outside of the North Carolina Governor's mansion in downtown Raleigh on Thursday after they blocked rush-hour traffic in protest of a controversial new law that encourages local police collaboration with federal immigration authorities. The demonstrators walked into traffic lanes of Blount Street at about 4 p.m. as more than 200 people encouraged them with chants of "We are America!" and "No papers, No fear!" The six demonstrators locked their arms together with long plastic traps as a man quickly shackled their ankles together.

WCQS has a witches' brew of music today. Chip Kaufmann will speckle each hour of classical music  with tunes tailor made for Halloween. Highlights include:

  • "Toccata & Fugue" - Bach
  • "Danse Macabre" - Saint Saens
  • "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" - Dukas
  • "Mephisto Waltz" - Liszt
  • "The Noonday Witch" - Dvorak
  • "Hansel & Gretel" - Humperdinck
  • "Psycho" - original theme written and conducted by Benard Herrmann

Get your spook on with WCQS!

To be an effective forecaster, a broadcast meteorologist has to be a scientist. And because it’s TV, she or he also has to be likable and trustworthy. Greg Fishel of WRAL is all of those things. He also used to be a global warming denier. Now, he admits he was wrong. Fishel changed his mind about climate change after putting aside his politics and examining the science. Now, he’s an equally passionate convert, and recently expressed it again on Facebook.

Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times

Early voting is underway in the election for Asheville's city council.  The primary election whittled the race down to six candidates.  They're now vying for three open seats on the council in the November 3rd general election.  WCQS reporters David Hurand and Jeremy Loeb interviewed all six.  Their full comments are posted below in the order in which they aired.