Matt Bush

News Director

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016.  Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C.  For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor.  Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis.  Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.

Matt has a B.A. in broadcasting from Point Park College in Pittsburgh.  His M.A. is in media entrepreneurship from American University in D.C.  In May 2017, he will graduate from the 35th class of Leadership Asheville at UNC-Asheville.

Ways to Connect

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The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing Wednesday morning about foreign agents and attempts to influence the U.S. election. The panel is among the bodies investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Senators had requested Donald Trump Jr. and Paul Manafort, President Trump's former campaign chairman, to appear as witnesses. Instead, they are in closed-door discussions for now.  Live streaming is expected to start around 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

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The solar eclipse is less than a month away.  Thousands will come to Western North Carolina to see it, but there is one scenario that could ruin everyone’s fun – what if it rains that day?

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Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, told lawmakers in a statement on Monday that he "did not collude... with any foreign government."

Kushner is meeting behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday and the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Both panels are investigating Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and whether any members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A revised lawsuit says transgender people in North Carolina are still effectively prevented from using restrooms matching their gender identity under a law that replaced the state's notorious "bathroom bill."

The amended complaint filed Friday in federal court says the replacement law continues the harms of its predecessor by leaving restroom policies in the hands of state lawmakers and preventing local governments or school systems from setting rules or offering guidance.

Wikicommons

The filing deadline is noon on Friday July 21st for candidates wishing to run for offices in this fall's municipal elections in Buncombe County.  Asheville, Black Mountain, Montreat, Weaverville, and Woodfin will all be holding elections this fall for mayor, city council, town council, or board of alderman seats (Woodfin will also hold an election for its Sanitary Water & Sewer District Board of Trustees).

The 34th annual Folkmoot Festival gets underway Thursday in Waynesville and runs until July 30th.  What started more than three decades ago as a showcase for folk dancing has transformed into a 'meeting of people' designed 'to build global relationships, foster cultural understanding and develop community prosperity.'  Smoky Mountain News reporter Corey Vaillancourt joined BPR's Matt Bush to discuss the festival's history and evolving mission, as well as what to expect at this year's gathering.

Matt Bush BPR

Matt Coffay, a Democrat who earlier this year announced he would seek the party's nomination for North Carolina's 11th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, has announced he is dropping out of the race.

UNC-Asheville

UNC-Asheville will hold an emergency drill on campus Wednesday.  An active shooter scenario will be played out.  David Weldon is the emergency management director for the university.  He says they evaluate all responses during the drill, but there are a few things in particular he and his team will put some extra focus on this time around.  “Can we set up a call center to take in information from family and friends that may be coming into the university?  We will show that and our ability to do it", Weldon says.

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Beer and babies – they may sound mutually exclusive at first but many breweries and other establishments that serve alcohol in and around Asheville are trying to cater to both.  Asheville Citizen-Times reporter Mackensy Lunsford took a look at how beer and babies have been mixing in the area - in particular, how br

Western North Carolina Republican Congressman Mark Meadows says he’d like to see GOP leadership in the House follow that of the Senate and delay their scheduled August recess.  The reason – Congress has passed very little of President Trump or the Republican Party’s legislative priorities.  That includes repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare.  Meadows says he doesn’t understand why the Senate cannot pass a bill, even if it’s one

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The North Carolina General Assembly has been adjourned for almost two weeks.  Dozens of bills passed by lawmakers in the final days of this year’s session await a signature from Governor Roy Cooper before becoming law.  Some affect drivers in the state.

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The head of Buncombe County’s Republican Party wants to debate.  He’ll even put some money up for it.  Dr. Carl Mumpower says he’ll debate anyone, as long as there’s some kind of structure and rules for the discourse.  And to sweeten the pot, he’ll make a $100 contribution to charity for each debate that happens.

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This week, Republicans in Congress will try to rally votes behind a bill that proposes major changes to the way Americans get health care and how much they pay. In North Carolina, well over 1-million people could be affected. Use this Q&A to explore how the bill would affect you.

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Infighting in political parties is nothing new.  But Haywood County Republicans have taken it to a new level with a so-called 'disloyalty' resolution targeting certain members of the party.  Smoky Mountain News reporter Corey Vaillancourt joined BPR's Matt Bush in studio to discuss the latest.

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Mission Health says it may stop accepting Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance later this year, a major decision that would affect thousands throughout Western North Carolina.  Mission said in a statement that if no agreement is reached by October 4th, Blue Cross Blue Shield members would not have ‘in-network’ access to its facilities.  That means patients would have to seek care elsewhere, or pay more out of pocket. 

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