News

U.S. Forest Service

The first arrest for arson in the rash of wildfires in western North Carolina has been made.  Authorities took Keith Mann of Franklin into custody on Tuesday.  He appeared in federal court today in Asheville for the first time.  Mann is accused of setting two small wildfires in Macon County.  

Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre presents The Nutcracker & the Mouse King, a contemporary dance theatre ballet based on the original story by E.T.A. Hoffman, this weekend at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Jiles Collard talked with Dick Kowal about this year's presentation.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

State lawmakers returning to Raleigh next year now have a big job to do:  redrawing their own districts.  A unanimous court ruling mandated the legislature redraw maps and hold special elections in November of 2017.  This comes after the same court found the Republican-dominated legislature’s maps unconstitutional for racial gerrymandering.  Democratic Representative Brian Turner of Buncombe County says this latest ruling re-emphasizes the need for independent redistricting.

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal judges told the North Carolina legislature Tuesday to redraw its own districts by mid-March to replace ones the judges previously struck down and to hold a special election using the new maps in November 2017.

The ruling means those elected to the state House and Senate a few weeks ago would serve just one year, not two as expected.

An Icy Assignment

Nov 29, 2016
WCQS

The sound of chainsaws echoed through the AB Tech Asheville campus. It wasn’t a construction crew, but a culinary arts class, learning how to sculpt ice.  Fourteen students paired in teams of two were scattered across the porch of the Magnolia building. Instructor Chef John Hofland was overseeing the students as they sawed and chopped their way through blocks of ice.

Asheville Community Theatre presents the world premier of Tom Godleski's Snowbound, a "new mountain play with mountain music." The play includes Godleski's band, Buncombe Turnpike, and members of another popular bluegrass/old-time band, Sons of Ralph, onstage with the other 35 actors. 

Tom Godleski and director Mark Jones spoke with Dick Kowal about the play and its music.

Today is #GivingTuesday - a global day of coming together and giving back to our communities. Here at WCQS we're excited to be a part of this event, because coming together, making connections is what public radio is all about. We are bound by a commitment to life-long learning, civic responsibility, and a compassion for the world and its people. As you take time to support organizations that make a difference in your life and in your community today, consider a gift to WCQS.

Davin Eldridge

Despite some of the thickest smoke yet from Western North Carolina’s wildfires, the town of Franklin’s annual Christmas Parade went off as planned, bringing hundreds of onlookers to the downtown area. The parade proved to be a defiant show of solidarity among locals in the face of the wildfires, as well as a show of support for the hundreds of firefighters who took part in the event—proving that the spirit of the community would not be so easily broken as the holiday season kicks into high gear. “It’s a real testament to the community that, despite the environmental disasters, it can come f

Western Carolina University

Following a year of prolonged drought in Western North Carolina, with the sudden spark of wildfires throughout much of the mountain region, the one question on everyone's minds has been: 'when will they be extinguished?'. But for students and faculty at Western Carolina University's Natural Resources Department, the wildfires proved to be strangely fortunate. 

WCQS

It’s Saturday morning, a small crew of staff and volunteers are in the lobby of historic Assembly Inn, the main lodging house at the Montreat Conference Center, just outside of Black Mountain. 

They’re preparing for tonight’s guests, who unlike most visitors, are not here to attend a retreat or a conference.  They are here to fight the wildfires.

Hunger Rises This Holiday Season In WNC

Nov 22, 2016
Matt Bush WCQS

As Thanksgiving dinners start to come together all across western North Carolina, the region’s largest food bank is asking residents to help those who won’t have enough to eat.  Hunger is on the rise this holiday season according to Manna Food Bank.

The Asheville Choral Society, under the direction of Melodie Galloway, performs its second annual Yuletide Candlelight concert at Asheville's Trinity Episcopal Church December 2nd at 7:30 and December 3rd at 4:30.  The Choral Society will be joined by string and brass players, and the Celebration Singers, a chorus for young people.

Melodie joined Dick Kowal to talk about the program and other ACS activities in the months ahead.

Courtesy of the Biltmore Estate

Thanksgiving is a busy time of year at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.  And thanks to an archival cookbook, we also know a bit about what the Vanderbilts chose to do for their Thanksgiving meals, at least in 1904.  Lori Garst is Associate Curator at Biltmore Estate.  She sat down with WCQS's Jeremy Loeb to talk about it.

The town council of Weaverville unanimously passed a resolution Monday evening saying the town is 'welcoming and diverse community' where all citizens can live and work 'without fear of physical violence, threats, harassment or intimidation." 

UNC-Asheville is accepting applications until December 1st for the first Ramsey Library Community Author Award. Wiley Cash, writer-in-residence at UNC-A and author of A Land More Kind Than Home and This Dark Road to Mercy, talked with Dick Kowal about the award and its significance. 

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