Helen Chickering

All Things Considered Host, Reporter

Helen Chickering is a reporter and host of All Things Considered on Blue Ridge Public Radio.  She joined the station in November 2014.

Helen grew up in Texas.  Her broadcast career began in television news in 1985 at WLBT, the NBC affiliate in Jackson, Mississippi.  There she did everything from news to weather and found her niche in medical reporting.  Over the next 20 years she covered health and science news on both local and national levels, including 5 years in Charlotte at the CBS affiliate, WBTV.   In 1998, Helen helped launch the health and science desk at NBC News Channel, the network's affiliate news service.  She became the first journalist to serve as president of the National Association of Medical Communicators and was on the founding board of the Science Communicators of North Carolina.  

In 2012, Helen and her family moved to Asheville from Chapel Hill and she started working as a freelance producer and as a Montessori teaching assistant.  A longtime NPR listener, she was thrilled to land a job at WCQS.   Helen is an active member of the Asheville Science Tavern and a guest lecturer and an advisory board member at the University of North Carolina's Medical and Science Journalism Program.

Ways to Connect

BPR News

The summer’s most anticipated celestial event is almost here.  Big crowds are expected here in Western North Carolina for Monday’s Great American Eclipse.  But as BPR’s Helen Chickering reports, people won’t be the only ones reacting to the dramatic changes in the sky

Southwestern Community College

On August 21, most of the country will pause and look up to the sky to observe the Great American Eclipse.  If you aren't able to make it outside for the astronomical event, no worries. NASA is planning to live stream the eclipse using cameras attached to high altitude balloons.  A local community college is part of the balloon project.  BPR's Helen Chickering has details. 

BPR News

The recent announcement that Brother Wolf Animal Rescue is planning to close its Asheville adoption center as the organization transitions to  a new facility has raised questions and concerns about the area’s ability to absorb the extra animals.   

BPR News

A local community college is going for gold.  The  five member culinary team from A-B Tech in Asheville won its tenth regional title and is now competing for the national honor. 

Asheville Tourists

“Good evening Asheville Hippies fans!  Welcome to McCormick Field!”               

That’s Asheville Tourist broadcast manager and radio announcer Doug Maurer, with a preview announcement of the upcoming game against  the Greenville Drive, and nope, that wasn’t a slip of the tongue. For one night, Thursday, June 29, the Asheville Tourists will be dubbed the Hippies, down to their tie dye uniforms. 

BPR News

So just what happens at science camp?  Blue Ridge Public Radio’s Helen Chickering stopped by the Summer STEM Academy at Southwestern Community College in Sylva to find out. 

BPR News

If you have some spare time this summer, the  U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could use your help.  The Asheville field office is on a mission to find an endangered species that hasn’t been spotted in Western North Carolina in more than a decade.  BPR’s Helen Chickering has details.

Dozens of electronic music players from around the world descended on the city of Asheville, North Carolina, to participate in the second annual Continuum Conference. The conference is dedicated to exploring the possibilities of the electronic Haken Audio Continuum Fingerboard.   

The topic of climate change just got hotter on the heels of President Trump’s decision to pull  the U.S.  from the Paris climate agreement.   Retired Navy Rear Admiral  David Titley  is an international expert on climate change and national security .  He’s giving a talk at the Collider in Asheville.

BPR

Earlier this year the Asheville City Council kicked off a community garden program.  Residents can claim and garden a spot on vacant plots across the city.  It’s a green dream for one group of locals who live downtown and have been eyeing an empty lot in their front yard.  BPR’s Helen Chickering reports.

BPR News

The school year is winding down, and many students are cramming for end of year tests.   Some are also putting their green thumbs to work in the school garden where spring planting season is in full swing.

Asheville City Soccer Club

The world’s game is coming to Asheville.   The Asheville City Soccer Club kicks off its inaugural season tomorrow night, hosting the Georgia Revolution at Memorial Stadium. 

The August Great American Eclipse is in WNC's backyard!  But to view such a spectacle safely, you'll need to take some special steps.  

WCQS

It's a bittersweet day here at Blue Ridge Public Radio.  Thirty one years ago this month, music director Dick Kowal hit the airwaves.   Today, he hosted his last show.   While it's  impossible to capture all of the amazing accomplishments of his talented career, we do have some highlights, and a few good stories.  BPR's Helen Chickering reports.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

“It’s about 6 minutes after 9, good morning.”

If you live in Western North Carolina, chances are, you know this voice.

(Dick Kowal on the air)

When you think of tourist attractions here in Western North Carolina, places like the Biltmore House, the Blue Ridge Parkway come to mind.   But if you hang around here long enough, you eventually learn about the lesser known spots, including one hidden in the halls of a Community College.

Tucked away in a quiet hall on the AB Tech College Campus is a small museum full of history – for the ear.  There is vintage music.

And historical moments – like this live account of the Hindenburg disaster.

“It burst into flames, it’s crashing, oh my get out of the way.”

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