As New Hanover County launches its comprehensive plan to accommodate the region’s projected growth, leaders are looking into the future of open spaces and parks. Tuesday night, the Cape Fear Economic Development Council, or CFEDC, assembled a panel of green space proponents from the county--as well as from the City of Wilmington--to discuss ideas for new and improved public spaces.
In gearing up to apply for a ninety-million-dollar grant to revitalize a huge swath of the city, the Wilmington Housing Authority made a loud plea for citizen involvement. And it’s now being answered. Nearly one hundred people—from public housing residents to local business leaders—are volunteering to serve on sub-committees dedicated to making Wilmington’s application as competitive as it can be.
Many Wilmington-area citizens are busy spreading awareness of the importance of the first 2,000 days—or five years—of a child’s brain development. This week, faith leaders addressed early childhood at a local summit; however, the statewide First 2,000 Days campaign—the first of its kind—has been in effect since 2011. And it’s not just geared toward parents and those who work with young children--communities at large benefit from the “spillover effect” of a quality first 2,000 Days.
It’s a lot easier to build a playpen than a penitentiary, area faith leaders say. And it’s why they’re teaming with Smart Start of New Hanover County to launch a grassroots movement to invest in early childhood care and education. On Monday, nearly two hundred community leaders, teachers and parents met at Wilmington’s First Baptist Activity Center to discuss ways to improve the first 2,000 days—or five years—of local children’s lives.
The New Hanover Regional Medical Center may be heightening security measures to more safely treat victims of violent gang activity. Over the weekend, Wilmington’s annual Trauma, Emergency and Acute Care Symposium touched down at the convention center. For the first time in the symposium’s 25-year history, North Carolina gang investigators were on hand to caution area medical professionals about treating gang members.
Residents of Flemington, a small community located off of U.S. 421, will soon be connected to New Hanover County’s main water system. Officials from Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, or CFPUA, say they'll construct a new connective water pipeline this year. This is because groundwater containing coal ash slurry from Duke Progress Energy’s Sutton Plant has been slowly seeping toward Flemington’s current drinking wells. The CFPUA held a public meeting to discuss the pipeline Tuesday night, but fewer than five private citizens attended—and none made public comments.
North Carolina’s public schoolteachers have a new advocate. The group Aim Higher N.C. formed last year around a single objective: Raising educators’ salaries to match the national average. On Monday, affiliated teachers and parents gathered for a rally at Wilmington’s downtown library. And the mission has already gained local legislative support.
New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger will spend the next year under supervised probation—or, failing that, 120 days in prison. This morning, Berger pleaded guilty to December charges, including his second DWI, and a first for drug possession. While he will have to do community service and undergo formal drug and substance abuse evaluation, Berger can no longer legally be removed from his seat on the county commission.
Wilmington Ports Authority officials are working to boost storage capacity for niche products such as local produce, pork and wood pellets. Yesterday, Governor McCrory toured the port and announced he’ll work to make it competitive with neighboring port cities Savannah, Charleston and Norfolk. McCrory also announced plans to improve education.
Tomorrow and Saturday, New Hanover County citizens can head to Wilmington’s Independence Mall to pick up seedlings to plant for spring. The event, TreeFest, began as a 1997 initiative to help reforest the area following Hurricanes Bertha and Fran. Today, it serves to help build upon the county’s leafy green canopy, and promote local biodiversity.