There's a contingent in the North Carolina Senate that wants to join House lawmakers and stop expanding requirements for electric companies to generate more power through alternative sources and energy efficiencies.

Best selling author and prison reform activist Piper Kerman was the keynote speaker for The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina's Power of the Purse luncheon on Tuesday.  Her memoir, Orange is the New Black,  chronicles Kerman's year in a minimum security women's prison, and is the basis for the popular Netflix series.

Kerman was a Smith College graduate in the early 90s, when she smuggled drug money over seas.  The experience scared her and she moved back to the States and started a new life.  But years later, her past would come to haunt her.

Zen Sutherland via

Duke Energy has announced plans  to retire its Asheville coal -fired electric generating plant.  A new natural gas fired plant will be built on the site.  Duke hopes to have the new facility on line by late 2019.    The announcement was made in the Administration Building at the facility off Long Shoals Road.  Duke executives including former U.S.

image by: (Library of Congress).

What does the notion of national remembrance really mean? This is a country awash in monuments. They adorn traffic circles, street corners and, of course, the National Mall. We’ve memorialized everything from famous soldiers and statesmen, to big ideas or major events – and a lot in between. Yet our ambivalence towards these monuments is as old as our enthusiasm for them. Case in point: The Washington Monument. Ever wonder why there isn’t actually an image of Washington on it?

There are now three low power radio stations in Buncombe County, all licensed by the Federal Communications Commission.  WSFM, also known as Asheville FM, had been heard only over the internet but Monday (5/18) morning it joined WRES and WPVM broadcasting over the the air-waves.  The station transmitter tower sits atop the Hotel Indigo in downtown Asheville. David Hurand spoke with station board Vice President Greg Lyon.

Linda Fittante

You wake up to the voice of Morning Edition co-host  Steve Inskeep every day. Now you can have lunch with him too! Inskeep will be in Western North Carolina to promote his new book Jacksonland and has graciously agreed to spend some time with WCQS.

Lawmakers in liberal Asheville, a city of 87,000 set amid a soul-stirring stretch of mountain scenery, insist that they do not want to kick anyone out — especially not their artists. But they are looking for a way to deal with the headaches that have come with the city’s emergence as both an increasingly upscale tourist destination and an upstart Southern street-music capital.

Actor Jeff Daniels has starred in many notable films, including Terms of Endearment, Good Night and Good Luck, Ragtime, Radio Days, and Dumb and Dumber.  Most recently he was seen on HBO,  starring as cable news anchor Will McAvoy in The Newsroom.   Monday (5/18) night at 8 musician Jeff Daniels performs  with the Ben Daniels Band at Diana Wortham Theater in Asheville.  Daniels has been playing guitar and writing songs nearly as long as he has performed on stage, in film, and on television.  He spoke with David Hurand.

Tony Kiss
Asheville Citizen-Times

Downtown After 5 gets underway this afternoon (5/15/15).   The headliner is CJ Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band.  Chenier is the son of the King of Zydeco Clifton Chenier.  Opening Downtown after % is the Bayou Diesel band. On stage at Flat Rock Playhouse is Always...Patsy Cline. NC Stage Company presents Parallel Lives, Brevard Little Theater performs Moon Over Buffalo, and Asheville Community Theater presents Letters and Notes Found on the Windshield at the Piggly Wiggly Parking Lot.

In a Greenville federal courthouse Thursday, Duke Energy pleaded guilty to nine misdemeanor counts of criminal negligence for violating the Clean Water Act. As part of the negotiated settlement, Duke Energy will pay a $68 million criminal fine and $34 million on environmental and conservation projects. The company will also be placed on probation for five years.