North Carolina's 11th Congressional District encompasses most of western North Carolina.  Republican Mark Meadows has represented it since 2013.  He is seeking a third term and faces Democratic challenger Rick Bryson, a Bryson City alderman who narrowly captured the party's primary this year.  They debated at Western Carolina University last month.  It was moderated by WLOS News 13's Frank Fraboni.

The work of the center will be facilitated throughout WCU's College of Business. WCU is set to invest approximately $1.3 million of its own money for the center, the source of which comes from three faculty positions already funded.
Western Carolina University

Members of Western Carolina University’s faculty senate are remaining “cautiously optimistic” about the acceptance of a nearly two million dollar “gift” from the Charles Koch Foundation--to establish a controversial new center for learning.

After making concessions to the school for more oversight of the center prior to its creation, Western faculty will now be able to monitor for any inappropriate donor influence over the school—something no college has achieved before, according to Ralph Wilson, senior researcher of corporate watchdog group UnKoch My Campus.

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton faced off in the final presidential debate Wednesday night at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, live annotated the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are highlighted, followed by context and fact check from NPR reporters and editors.

Scroll down for the fact-check.


Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Early voting starts today in North Carolina.  Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine will try to rally supporters to the polls in Durham and Charlotte today.  Last night he was in Asheville.



North Carolina U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R) wasn't supposed to have much trouble in being elected to a third term in D.C.  But for a myriad of reasons, his race against former state representative and North Carolina ACLU Director Deborah Ross (D) is tight as early voting in the state gets underway.  The stakes are high - the winner could end up deciding which party holds the majority in the U.S. Senate.  Republicans currently do, after seizing it from Democrats following the 2014 elections.  Burr and Ross held their lone debate last week at the UNC-TV studios.

UNC Asheville and the Wake Forest University School of Divinity will jointly convene Faith in Literature: A Festival of Contemporary Writers of the Spirit on Oct. 21-22, on UNC Asheville's campus. Dr. Richard Chess, one of the organizers of the event, spoke with Dick Kowal.

Marat/Sade, the Tony award-winning play by Peter Weiss, will be presented by Theatre UNC-A in the Belk Theatre on the UNC-A campus October 20-23. Members of the cast and director Rob Bowen talked with Dick Kowal about the play and its messages for our times.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Early voting starts Thursday in North Carolina and all week we've been focusing on local and state politics.  Now we look at the hotly contested race for NC House District 115 in Buncombe County.  The race is likely to be close.  Incumbent Democrat John Ager, owner of Hickory Nut Gap Farm in Fairview, won the last election by fewer than 500 votes.  Now he faces Republican Frank Moretz, a retired anesthesiologist and co-owner of Highland Brewing Company.  Ager and Moretz both stopped by WCQS to talk about the issues.  Those full conversations are above.


In a year with a presidential election that makes new and bigger headlines each day, North Carolina's gubernatorial race still stands out nationally.  Republican incumbent Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper, are well known to each other.  Chiefly, they've clashed over the state's House Bill Two.  That measure, signed into law by McCrory, makes transgender people use the bathroom of the gender listed on their birth certificate instead of their preferred gender.  Other states have instituted travel boycotts to North Carolina in response.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS


North Carolina has been a prime focus of both presidential campaigns.  The ballot this year will also include hotly contested races for Governor and US Senate.  Down-ballot races have gotten less attention, but could be just as critical.  One of those is the race for state Supreme Court.  While the race is officially non-partisan, the ideological split of the court is on the line.  Associate Justice Bob Edmunds is up for re-election, with Republicans holding a slim 4-3 majority on the court.  Edmunds is a registered Republican.

WCQS Election Coverage and Candidate Interviews

Oct 14, 2016

Voters head to the polls Tuesday to decide the 2016 election.  Polls are open between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm.  You can find more information, including your polling place at the North Carolina State Board of Elections website.

The Blue Ridge Orchestra performs two concerts this weekend, at UNC-Asheville's Lipinsky Auditorium. The program, to be performed at 3pm both Saturday and Sunday,  is called "Homage to Haydn."  Dr. Milton Crotts, music director, spoke with Dick Kowal about the music and musicians.

Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines at Western Carolina University

Rob Young: We definitely incentivize rebuilding at the moment.

Burr - Neither Trump Or Clinton A Role Model

Oct 12, 2016
Matt Bush WCQS

North Carolina Senator Richard Burr says neither Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are role models.  But the Republican still stands behind the GOP nominee as Burr faces his own tough re-election bid.

During an informal 30-minute talk with employees at Thermo Fisher Scientific in Asheville, Burr never said Trump or Clinton’s name.  He made it clear though he thinks neither is a role model, which Burr reiterated with reporters later.

“I’m not sure I’d hold up either of them to my grandchildren and say ‘Here’s someone you can mirror’”, says Burr.