July 11, 2007

RALEIGH – Western North Carolina is gaining a new source for political news and public policy commentary. The John Locke Foundation announces today the launch of its new regional Web site and blog: The Wild West.

The new site features original reporting and research on local issues and links to news headlines, while The Wild West blog offers access to news updates and political commentary. People in Asheville and surrounding Western North Carolina communities can offer their own thoughts through comments on the interactive blog.

“The John Locke Foundation appreciates the important role Western North Carolina plays in the state’s political and economic life,” said JLF President John Hood. “We are delighted to be able to offer the region a new source of information and analysis. We hope The Wild West will spur principled, spirited debate about the region’s future.”

The new blog’s moderator is Leslee Kulba, a 17-year Western N.C. resident who contributes to the Asheville Tribune and compiles an e-mail newsletter called The Uncogent Report. The Wild West joins the John Locke Foundation’s other successful blogs: The Locker Room, a staff-written forum examining a range of issues; The Meck Deck, a blog devoted to issues facing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region; Right Angles, which focuses on the Triangle; Piedmont Publius, a blog targeting the Triad; and Squall Lines, which highlights Wilmington and southeastern North Carolina.

The new Web site boosts the John Locke Foundation’s presence in Western North Carolina. The foundation already publishes a special Western edition of Carolina Journal, the monthly JLF newspaper. Asheville radio listeners can hear the weekly syndicated newsmagazine, Carolina Journal Radio, each Sunday evening on WWNC-AM. In April, about 170 people joined the John Locke Foundation for a Western N.C. Headliner luncheon offering a “Skeptical Tour of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.” Other recent JLF Headliner events in Western North Carolina have featured Fred Barnes of Fox News and columnist Christopher Hitchens.

For more information, please contact John Hood at (919) 828-3876 or [email protected]. To arrange an interview, contact Mitch Kokai at (919) 306-8736 or [email protected].