BPR News Extended

Rick Fienberg / TravelQuest International / Wilderness Travel

What did indigenous peoples think of eclipses?  How did they interpret and react to them?  Those are just a few of the topics that will be covered in a class at UNC-Asheville this fall inspired by Monday's total solar eclipse that will pass through Western North Carolina.  BPR's Matt Bush spoke with the two professors that will lead the class - Juan Sanchez-Martinez (modern languages & indigenous studies) and Britt Lundgren (physics).    

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Democratic Representative Brian Turner of Buncombe County stopped by our studios in late July for a chat with BPR's Jeremy Loeb.  They covered his amendment to the Asheville districts bill, the overall redistricting process underway in the General Assembly now, a renewable energy bill signed by Governor Roy Cooper, and much more.  

Pisgah Legal Services

"They don't have anywhere else to turn."  Pisgah Legal Services executive director Jim Barrett was referring to the roughly 2,000 people that could lose access to their services due to cuts in the state budget.  Pisgah Legal Services is one of three aid groups across the state that will feel the impacts of the cuts.

This week on the WUNCPolitics Podcast, a conversation with Jeremy Loeb, Morning Edition Host and reporter at Blue Ridge Public Radio.

Jeremy joins Jeff on this politics podcast to discuss redistricting, the powerful U.S. House members from Western North Carolina, craft beer, and what he misses most about WUNC - where he used to work.

Author Steven Nash is well-versed on Zebulon Vance, and the post-Civil War period known as Reconstruction when Vance became a U.S. Senator and political powerhouse in North Carolina.  He wrote the book "Reconstruction's Ragged Edge: The Politics of Post-War Life in the Southern Mountains".

Jeff Tiberii/WUNC

Legislators are heading back to Raleigh Thursday for a special session, but it's unclear exactly what's on the agenda.  Veto overrides were originally cited as the main reason.  Now those appear to be off the table for the moment as not enough lawmakers are expected to be in attendance.  Instead, they could consider bills not taken up in the long session.  Hanging over it all is a tight deadline for correcting illegal legislative maps, and the potential for surprises.  WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb about what's in store.  

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

With lawmakers home from Raleigh, Western Carolina University political scientist Dr. Chris Cooper stopped by for one of our regular chats taking the temperature of politics in Raleigh and Washington.  He spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb.

Jon Ostendorff/Asheville Citizen-Times

2 1/2 years on the job, Buncombe County District Attorney Todd Williams stopped by for a one-on-one conversaton with BPR's Jeremy Loeb.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Speaking to BPR a day after the legislature passed a bill forcing districts for Asheville city council members, mayor Esther Manheimer said there is a legal strategy in place to deal with them.  Manheimer said the issue would need to be discussed at the next council meeting on July 25th.

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

A bill requiring the city of Asheville to adopt districts for the purpose of electing council members is one step closer to passage after picking up the key support of Rep. Brian Turner (D-Buncombe).  The bill put forward by Republican Senator Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville got support not only from Turner but from at least one Republican who opposed a similar bill from his predecessor, Senator Tom Apodoca, also of Hendersonville.  But Turner told BPR he would be unlikely to support the bill if an amendment he plans to introduce is not adopted.  

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

A needle exchange program in Asheville has been running out of supplies on a monthly basis for over a year.  That's according to Michael Harney, co-founder of the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville.  Harney says the group goes through about 60,000 needles a month but can't keep up with the demand for clean needles.  The program operated for years before the exchanges were legalized as a way to ensure those addicted to drugs don't share needles and spread blood-borne diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B and C, which are on the rise in North Carolina.  

Matt Bush BPR

Asheville is Beer City USA, with more craft breweries per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.  Other towns in North Carolina have become hot spots for beer, but oat sodas are getting some competition in the craft alcoholic beverage market - in the form of spirits.

Twitter

Details of the North Carolina House budget have emerged as lawmakers try for quicker passage of a completed 2 year spending plan.  WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii joined me from WUNC's Durham studio to talk about how the budget differs from the Senate version, and for the latest in North Carolina politics.  

Jeremy Loeb/BPR

Western Carolina University political scientist Dr. Chris Cooper is a frequent guest of Blue Ridge Public Radio.  In his most recent visit, Cooper spoke with BPR's Jeremy Loeb and Matt Bush about the latest in state politics.  The conversation touched on the recently-passed Senate budget, a big Supreme Court punt on voter ID, the brewing (pun intended) legal battle involving craft beer, possible campaign finance mischief, Senator Richard Burr's role in the national spotlight, and some high-profile resignations for the progressive left in North Carolina.  

Wikimedia Commons

This was "crossover week" at the North Carolina legislature, a busy time for lawmakers (and journalists).  It's a self-imposed deadline, when a majority of the bills put forth by lawmakers must pass at least one chamber or be considered dead for the remainder of the session.  BPR's Jeremy Loeb spoke with WUNC capitol reporter Jeff Tiberii, who's been putting in the long hours in Raleigh.    They spoke on Friday, the day after crossover deadline.  

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