Rev. Jasmine Beach-Ferrara is an ordained minister and published author who uses her faith work and fiction writing to create new strategies for supporting LGBT communities in the South. 

A picture of the sun setting behind the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Ian Britton /

AAA is forecasting the busiest July 4th travel weekend since 2001, in part because of a recovering economy. But with a tropical storm headed toward the Outer Banks, travelers might end up making other plans.

It's not yet clear whether Tropical Storm Arthur will make landfall in North Carolina, but Dare County is readying its hurricane action plan, just in case.

On the other side of the state, tourism is up already in Asheville this summer.

A picture of a bottle and a pint of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale.

In less than five years the number of craft beer breweries in North Carolina has more than doubled. From Manteo to the mountains - tasting rooms, tap houses and local seasonal drafts are pouring in. Asheville now has more breweries per capita than anywhere in the country. 

Promotional trailers: Homeland, Ironman 3, Hunger Games
Showtime, Marvel Studios, Lionsgate

North Carolina could see fewer hits like Iron Man 3 or Homeland filmed in the state. That’s because tax incentives that encourage the film industry to make movies here are set to expire in January. Some lawmakers are trying to pass a measure that would give grants to the film industry to keep production companies here. But while budget negotiations are underway, time is running out to pass legislation.

Beginning Monday June 2, North Carolina Public Radio - WUNC's daily program "The State of Things" will be heard on WCQS, Western North Carolina Public Radio.

A picture of Caleb Johnson.

The newest American Idol comes from Asheville. Caleb Johnson won Season 13 of the televised singing competition last night.

Johnson took the stage with Kiss. Together, he and the band performed a medley of "Love Gun" and "Shout it out Loud."

He beat out Jena Irene Asciutto from Michigan.

Third time was the charm for Johnson, who had been an American Idol contestant twice before. He only made it as far as the Hollywood auditions in previous seasons.

Doug Coombe / Moogfest

Erika Sherman was a preteen when she started running an early BBS or electronic Bulletin Board System from her bedroom. When she was 17, she received a drum machine and was invited to join the Detroit techno group, Ectomorph. Erika was a born technophile. Today, Erika performs primarily as a solo artist; she released her first solo album, Hexagon Cloud, last year. She also founded, a freeform internet radio station. 

Ed White performs the first U.S. spacewalk. White floats in space with astronaut suit and attached to the shuttle by a cord. Earth is in the background. / Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee

Scientists say in space you cannot hear a sound. But for decades, filmmakers have tried to create the sounds of space. And perhaps they’re onto something. Asheville's Moogfest is hosting a panel "Sounds of Space," that explores both artists and scientists' perspectives on what we can hear in space if we learn to listen. Charles Lindsay, a multimedia artist and the artist in residence at SETI (Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute, and Eric McDougall, founder and principal of Black Ink San Francisco, are part of the panel. 

Lee Smith Explores History Through Fiction

Dec 3, 2013
Algonquin Books


In her latest novel, Chapel Hill author Lee Smith tells the story of Asheville's Highland Hospital, a pioneering mental institution that once housed Zelda Fitzgerald.

"Guests on Earth" (Algonquin/2013), reveals this real-life history through the prism of fiction, all while exploring the relationship between creativity and madness. Frank Stasio talks with Lee Smith about her new book.

Construction of a new aviation manufacturing facility is underway in Asheville. GE Aviation broke ground on a $ 124 million plant this week. The site will produce CMC's (ceramic matrix composite) materials, for jet engines. The CMCs replace metal and make for a more efficient engine with better combustion and less emissions.  "This material has been in development, at least in our research labs for almost years.. It's used in small scale production in rocket loaders.