Blue Ridge Public Radio

A yellow flag with red and blue circle around a gold star.
Wikimedia

Voters will cast their ballots this week in elections for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians tribal government.

Rihanna fled the threat of violence in El Salvador in 2014.
Michal Huniewicz / Creative Commons

President Donald Trump’s administration has made several significant shifts in the country’s immigration policies, including a travel ban on those from several Muslim-majority countries; reducing the number of refugees admitted to the country; and enforcing policies that make it harder for individuals to seek asylum in the United States. A case in western North Carolina highlights the impact of the changes for asylum-seekers.

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The Nikwasi Mound in downtown Franklin, North Carolina looks like a small, grass-covered hill, but for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians the site holds great importance.
 

The future make up of the Dogwood Health Trust Board
Courtesy of Matt Bush at Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein gave the green light for a major healthcare sale in western North Carolina. He approved the sales contract of nonprofit Mission Health to for-profit company HCA Healthcare — with some changes. One of those changes will require HCA to keep operating its rural hospitals for 10 years. 

Angel Medical Center
Courtesy of Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The sale of not-for-profit community hospital system Mission Health to a national health care titan is underway in Western North Carolina.

Photo Susanna Barbee

Journalist and author Holly Kays calls herself a “place writer” – someone who anchors her work in vivid details about a particular corner of the world. In her debut novel “Shadows Of Flowers (The Smoky Mountain News/2017),” Kays takes readers to a small town in Wyoming that sits among vast and isolated wilderness. 

Image of pills spilling out over money.
TaxRebate.org.uk / Flickr Creative Commons

The biggest healthcare provider in Western North Carolina and the largest insurer in the state have reached a deal over reimbursement rates. 

Women walking down a street.
Isaiah Rice

Isaiah Rice spent decades working as a beverage delivery man in his native city of Asheville, but around town he often went by another name: the picture man.

Mission Hospital, Asheville, NC
Mission Health / Wikimedia Commons

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Mission Health are going head-to-head over the cost of services for patients in western North Carolina.

Marcia and John Shoop
Courtesy of Marcia Mount Shoop

After coaching football at nearly every level from high school to the NFL, John Shoop and his wife Reverend Marcia Mount Shoop have racked up a lifetime of observations and convictions about the ethics of sports.

A stone obelisk honoring  Zebulon Vance
Travis / Flickr - Creative Commons -https://flic.kr/p/dsjqqa

 In the heart of downtown Asheville sits Pack Square, a bustling center lined by popular restaurants and ongoing construction projects. A stone obelisk stretches skyward from the center of the square honoring Zebulon Vance, North Carolina’s governor during the Civil War. 

An image of UNCA professors and co-hosts Marcus Harvey and Darin Waters
David Allen / UNC-Asheville

Asheville has been home to an African-American community for centuries. However, African-American residents in Asheville and western North Carolina have historically suffered from systemic inequality and racial disparities.

In the new radio program and podcast “The Waters and Harvey Show,” co-hosts Darin Waters and Marcus Harvey examine western North Carolina’s cultural history and the narratives of marginalized communities.