Asheville

A picture of Caleb Johnson.
wn.com

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.

Erika
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 erika.net, 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.
flickr.com / 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.

Town Mountain
Jason Beverly / http://www.reverbnation.com/townmountain

Last year, Town Mountain released their album Leave the Bottle.  On WNCW’s “Top 100 of 2012” list, the  Asheville-based bluegrass band's album earned the #19 spot. 

Town Mountain is playing tonight in Raleigh at The Pour House Music Hall.  The band joins Frank Stasio today in the studio to tell us about themselves and play a few songs.

Listen to their song "Come Break My Heart."

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is the keynote speaker at this year's meeting of the NC Bar Association.
Stephen Masker / Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is in North Carolina this week for the state Bar Association's annual meeting. 

The original deed book of slave records from Buncombe County.
Max Cooper, via mountainx.com

During the Great Depression, the New Deal funded a project to collect the narratives of former slaves.  Sarah Gudger came forward to give an account of her life as a slave in Buncombe County.  Her testimony was the same brutal story that is familiar to many of us.  She described a “hard life” of nothing but “work, work, work,” under the threat of abuse. 

President Obama made Asheville the first stop of a three-day trip to push economic proposals he made in his State of the Union address this week.  The president got a tour yesterday of the Linamar machine parts plant before making some remarks.  Canada-based Linamar moved to Asheville after a Volvo plant left taking hundreds of jobs with it.  The president says he'd like to see the federal government help make Linamar's example more common in cities that have been hit hard economically.

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