The City of Wilmington is expected to gain 60,000 citizens by the year 2040. In anticipation, city planners have launched a comprehensive plan similar to that of New Hanover County. While the Wilmington plan also asks residents to describe their ideal community attributes, its public engagement process is less orthodox. In fact, city planners have been hitting the local bar scene to collect input.
Michael T. Burns grew up in western North Carolina’s Jackson County, and spent time living in Georgia, Idaho and Raleigh before calling Wilmington home. Burns manages a RadioShack in Wilmington, and is active within the local Mormon Church.
A political newcomer, he’s also running for the District 9 Senate seat soon to be vacated by Thom Goolsby. Burns, a Republican, says Goolsby has done a wonderful job, and that he hopes to continue his work. WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly spoke with the 20-year retail veteran about his plans to create local business--while cutting government spending.
UNCW business experts seek to launch Wilmington into an elite class of locales with memorable branding slogans—such as “I love New York” or “Pure Michigan.” It’s part of a sweeping initiative to beckon businesses and people to the Cape Fear Region. After months of research, UNCW’s Brand Identity Leadership Team, or BILT, has identified this region’s most attractive quality.
One area nonprofit is embarking on a brand-new funding stream this weekend. The Assistance League of Greater Wilmington—whose community volunteers provide school uniforms to children in need, prune hospital gardens, and moonlight as puppeteers bearing anti-bullying messages—is cutting the ribbon at its newest philanthropic venture, a thrift store. The operation is expected to pull in $100,000 to $200,000 annually.
Industrial businesses looking to call New Hanover County home may soon be required to hold public meetings as part of the special use permit -- or SUP – process. And the SUP is what they need to launch or expand operations. This is one among several changes that the county planning board unanimously recommended at last night’s public hearing on the most recent SUP draft—an update of a version that was tabled in January. And community stakeholders on both sides of the issue—business leaders and environmental advocates—say this new draft presents a compromise they can live with.
A group of Hampstead citizens has organized to oppose a proposed interchange along Highway 17 that would bisect their town. Construction of this thirty-million-dollar ramp is slated to begin in 2023; however, the local group is already fighting the six-lane interchange, saying the project will disrupt local business and the environment.