Accidents will happen

To date, no civilian casualties have been reported in connection with urban-warfare training exercises in American cities. But there have been some close calls — many of them in North Carolina. And at least one death has resulted from Robin Sage, a guerrilla-warfare simulation that takes place in 14 counties surrounding Fort Bragg, the home […]

None of your business?

When Asheville and Buncombe County officials and staffers huddled with Army representatives in 2002, they signed a secrecy agreement. But what does the state’s open-meetings law have to say about the meeting itself?” As far as Xpress has been able to determine, those attending the meeting did not include a quorum of any local governmental […]

Building a mystery

He done it. That’s what Eric Rudolph has finally told federal authorities, just as they were preparing to prosecute him for a string of bombings. Surprising many longtime observers of his case, last week he agreed to drop his non-guilty plea, admit to the bombings and show government agents where he had stashed hundreds of […]

Zeb Vance: no simple man

The history of the Civil War, it seems, will never rest. Even after 140 years, it’s still clawing out of its grave, going back to battle and haunting the country’s collective memory. In North Carolina, one of the most reluctant and conflicted Confederate states, William Faulkner’s admonition — “The past is never dead; it’s not […]

Radio revolution­?

“Liberals are simply not wired, intellectually or emotionally, to be receptive to talk radio.” — Republican National Committee radio director Scott Hogenson On a recent weekday afternoon, Rush Limbaugh is holding forth on Asheville’s WWNC-AM, along with hundreds of other stations across the country. After reminding listeners that he’s “America’s truth-detector,” the dean of right-wing […]

Tuning in to talk

These days, it seems you can barely turn the radio dial in Asheville without bumping into a talk show. Here’s an annotated guide to who’s talking when and on which frequency. In deciding which shows to include, Xpress looked for programs that consist mainly of discussions and commentary on general news, public affairs and politics, […]

Look homeward, Big Brother

Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg, Terry Sanford, Charles Kuralt. Most North Carolinians probably wouldn’t find anything sinister in this list of some of the state’s favorite sons. Yet the FBI investigated and maintained secret files on all of these prominent people, whose names are written into both state and national history. These and similar files, declassified […]

Ground zero: Asheville?

Some Asheville residents felt they were living in a war zone one recent evening, as explosions and gunfire echoed through downtown for several hours. Beginning around 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 19, three military helicopters — a hulking Black Hawk and two smaller MH-6 Little Birds — circled the city, touching down atop the Buncombe County […]

Between heritage and hate

“The removal of Hilderman by force, when all he’s asking for is for hate groups to be thrown out of the SCV, is quite disturbing.” — Heidi Beirich, Southern Poverty Law Center It’s been 139 years since the Civil War ended. But judging by the latest infighting within the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which came […]

Land of the Sky Spies

Jonathan Walker, a senior computer-science major at UNCA, is tinkering with his robot. It’s a shoebox-sized contraption made of gray, green and yellow Legos, mini-motors and a tiny camera, and Walker looks a bit like a kid on Christmas morning as he lines it up with an assortment of neatly spaced glass lenses. But this […]

Savage decency

To hear Clear Channel executives tell it, they were shocked — shocked — by one of Howard Stern’s recent (and typically vulgar) broadcasts. They were likewise unsettled, they said, by the on-air behavior of “Bubba the Love Sponge,” another limits-pushing shock jock whose antics caused his Clear Channel outlets in Florida to reap $755,000 in […]

Tony Dale’s phony tales

Dear Tony Dale, I’m one of those radio listeners who think that a community can’t have too many local talk shows. Good talk radio expands dialogue, gives regular folks who call in a rare chance to sound off on important local and national issues, and provides a crucial check on the local print media. So […]

New Age Nazi

The Silver Shirts, Pelley vowed, would wage “the ultimate contest for existence between Aryan mankind and Jewry.” The news quickly crossed the Atlantic, hitting the United States like an ill wind. Adolf Hitler had vaulted into power, becoming Germany’s chancellor. Most Americans familiar with Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party reacted with apprehension, but one […]