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After the surprise defeat of Senate Bill 897, a bill that would have divided Asheville into districts for city council elections, many were left wondering just what had happened.  I've analyzed the bill in several articles linked to below.  Several days before the bill failed, David Forbes, editor of the Asheville Blade, published an article examining the history of the effort.  We discussed that article after the bill's failure.  The interview was conducted Tuesday morning, July 5th, and before this latest

  Asheville Lyric Opera performs Man of La Mancha at the Diana Wortham Theatre July 15th through the 17th.  Dick Kowal spoke with ALO Director David Craig Starkey, conductor Keith Chambers, and David Malis, who plays Don Quixote.

The wildly popular Asheville Moth StorySLAM is slated to continue for the foreseeable future.  The StorySLAM is a monthly competition, where the stage is open to any and all with a story to tell on the evening's theme. Themes for the rest of 2016 are listed further below in this article.

It's a summertime tradition for classical music lovers in Western North Carolina! WCQS is pleased to once again present Open Air Brevard, music recorded in performance at the renowned Brevard Music Center. Partnering with WDAV Davidson, each week we bring you a glimpse into activities at the Festival, including conversations with the artists and live performances of magnificent music by the artists, faculty, and students at BMC.

Chuck Burton/AP

*Updated 7/21 at 6:26pm: As the NBA had been warning NC lawmakers for months, it's announced that the All-Star Game has been pulled from Charlotte because of the controversial House Bill 2.  

The NBA has released the following statement: "The NBA has decided to relocate the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte with the hope of rescheduling for 2019.

Asheville Citizen-Times

Political observers and the public alike were scratching their heads after a bill that would impose districts on the city of Asheville for city council elections failed.  The bill was being pushed by a powerful state lawmaker and had sailed through two committees and the full Senate with little but Democratic resistance.  And then, on its last stop in the full House, all of that changed.  Debate seemed to persuade lawmakers at the last minute, and that is something rarely seen in politics today.  But in truth, there were probably multiple factors at play, and they had occurred not just over

In a stunning defeat, the North Carolina House voted down a bill that would have made changes to the Asheville city council.  

Senate Bill 897 was introduced by Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Henderson County over the strong objection of the entire city council and all other state lawmakers representing Buncombe County.   It would split Asheville into six districts drawn by the General Assembly for the purpose of electing council members.  But the bill failed by a vote of 48-58. 

This is part 1 of the hour and twenty minute long debate over SB897, which would have divided Asheville into six districts for the purpose of electing city council members.  In a stunning defeat, the bill fell by a vote of 48-58, after debate appeared to lead some lawmakers to change their mind.

This is part 2 of the hour and twenty minute long debate over SB897, which would have divided Asheville into six districts for the purpose of electing city council members.  In a stunning defeat, the bill fell by a vote of 48-58, after debate appeared to lead some lawmakers to change their mind.

SOGGY6 / FLICKR

In a stunning defeat, the North Carolina House voted down a bill that would have made changes to the Asheville city council.  Senate Bill 897 was introduced by Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Henderson County, over the strong objection of the entire city council and all other state lawmakers representing Buncombe County.  Apodaca is considered one of the most powerful lawmakers in the General Assembly.  But this bill went down by a vote of 48-58. 

NBC News

Updated 8/2 7:25 am (Associated Press): Gov. Pat McCrory decided against signing one bill sent by the legislature because money appropriated to defend House Bill 2 originated from a disaster relief fund.

The bill became law without McCrory's signature as a deadline passed Sunday night. It contained many tweaks to a larger budget measure, including $500,000 for the governor's office for legal costs of defending House Bill 2, which limits anti-discrimination rules for LGBTQ people

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

This is WCQS News, I’m Jeremy Loeb.  A bill making changes to Asheville’s City Council has cleared another committee, this time in the House.  The House elections committee passed the measure over the strong objection of the only committee member from Asheville.  WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb reports.

At the start of the committee meeting, it was clear that this bill was not coming from Asheville.

“The chair was asked to announce to the committee that the City of Asheville through its representation to the General Assembly wanted to go on record as being opposed to this bill.”

Gary Robertson/Associated Press via wral.com

A bill dealing with a number of election matters also would clarify the Attorney General has standing to defend local laws.  The bill is not available online and WCQS has not been able to see it, but WRAL reports it reads as follows: 

"The State shall be a party whenever the validity or constitutionality of a local act of the General Assembly is the subject of an action in any court, and except as provided in G.S. 147-17, shall be represented by the Attorney General."
 

Mountain Xpress film critic Ken Hanke passed away this week at the age of 61. WCQS classical music host (and fellow film critic) Chip Kaufmann will pay tribute to Hanke this morning from 11 to 12.

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