Vince Winkel / WHQR

Wilmington Passes City Budget, GenX Resolution

The Wilmington City Council approved the 2017-18 budget Tuesday. The $217 million fiscal year budget includes a small property tax decrease. Before tackling the budget, the council heard from several speakers on the topic of GenX, which is why close to 200 people crowded into council chambers.

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Vince Winkel / WHQR

New water collection and testing of the Cape Fear River will begin next week. That was one of the results of yesterday’s meeting between Chemours, the company that produces known toxin GenX, and city, county, and state officials. A state investigation by NC DEQ and NC DHHS is now underway as well. 

Cape Fear Shakespeare celebrates 25 years performing at Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre. The group presents the same two plays that were performed in the first season: A Midsummer Night's Dream and As You Like It. We spoke with Associate Producer Caylan McKay and Director Nick Reed; listen above and read an extended transcript below. 

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Listener Wayne wrote: “Decline of American societal values is led, in part, by the trend-setting broadcast of vulgar language by the media. My long and appreciative listening to WHQR finds that it is a media outlet which does maintain a good level of broadcast quality. Yet from time to time a little cuss word manages to find its way onto WHQR's airwaves. . . a case in point is the recent announcement of some material to be aired entitled "Getting Paid to Be a Smart <expletive deleted>." . . it appears to me that our WHQR is in a position to assist in reversing the use of this improper language. . . I appeal to WHQR to exert a little more positive influence over the vocabulary used by its own staff and local contributors.

Vince Winkel

Officials from Chemours, the company that produces GenX, were in Wilmington Thursday for a 90-minute meeting with city, county and state officials. One thing that was exposed was that since 1980, Chemours had a vinyl ether process operating at its Fayetteville Works site up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington. It is a process that produces GenX as a byproduct. After the closed door meeting, local officials met with the media, but Chemours did not.  

Patricia Roseman

You may have read her newspaper column or one of her books. You may have seen one of the plays based on her work adapted by Zach Hanner. But the new play onstage at Theatre Now connected to Celia Rivenbark is different. First, it was written as a play by Celia herself (not adapted). Second, it's about her-her life, her family, her experiences. Celia is even one of the characters in the play. Director Beth Swindell and actress Erin Hunter say it's as funny as everything else Celia does--enriched with a dash of poignancy. The show, Celia: Aging Like a Fine Box of Wine, is onstage at Theatre Now Friday and Saturday nights through July 22. Listen above to hear Beth and Erin talk about the show, and see the themed dinner options below.

Vince Winkel

On Thursday representatives from Wilmington, the counties of Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, and the state’s department of environmental quality and department of health and human services, will meet behind closed doors with the Chemours Company. That’s the company behind GenX, a chemical reported to be in the region’s water supply. 

On Wednesday, June 14th Benjamin Schachtman of PortCityDaily.com shared a touching editorial commending Cleve Callison for his work as WHQR's Station Manager for the past seven years. We here at WHQR appreciate the tribute. To read the editorial click HERE

Brunswick Little Theatre

Brunswick Little Theatre in Southport presents Smokey Joe's Cafe, the musical revue featuring classic tunes from the mid 20th century. Director Cal Chiang joined us to talk about the show; hear his interview above or see the transcript below. Online tickets for the show are sold out, but there may be some tickets floating around-Sugar Confections in Shallotte and Ricky Evans Art Gallery in Southport may still have some. The show runs through June 25, with Thursday-Saturday performances at 7:30pm, Sundays at 3:00pm. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This morning, New Hanover County released a statement from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, on the possible health effects related to GenX. It says that GenX levels detected in tests three years ago in the Cape Fear River, would be expected to pose a low risk to human health. It added that there are no U.S. regulatory guideline levels for GenX. Also on Tuesday, Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the issue.

Thanks to all who joined us Friday, June 9th for "A Little Lunch Music" to enjoy the sounds of musicians, Luigi Mazzoccho (Violin), Kyle Engler (Mezzo Soprano), and Daniel Lau (Piano) from the Port City Music Festival. Check out the photos from the event HERE on our Facebook page. 

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