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It was almost exactly two years ago that two North Carolina Representatives – both Democrats – filed a bill in the House that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state.

WHQR/gg

The day the Lower Cape Fear Coin Club (LCFCC) visited WHQR, I decided to bring my grandfather's coin collection. It meant a lot to my mom, but frankly, I don't know much about old coins. In striking contrast, these folks know a A LOT about coins. Listen to president Ray Flanigan and members Karen Forest and Jim Savage above. LCFCC's annual Coin Show is this weekend and runs in conjunction with the 70th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival. 

Vince Winkel

There are plans in the works for those woods you see across the river from downtown Wilmington, between the battleship and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. Thursday night the New Hanover County Planning Board will hear a rezoning request for that area.

Time now for today's WHQR commentary, here's Shane Fernando.

Commentator Shane Fernando is the Director of the Wilson Center at CFCC. He lives with his husband in downtown Wilmington. 

You can hear more from Shane and our other commentators at our website: WHQR DOT O-R-G. Just click on "Commentary." 

WHQR Commentaries don't necessarily reflect the views of WHQR Radio, its editorial staff, or its members. 

Todd Berliner is a Professor of Film Studies at UNC-Wilmington. He received his PhD at Berkeley, he's received 2 Fulbright Scholar awards, and he's a Fellow of the Society for Cognitive Studies of the Moving Image. Berliner is a deep thinker about film, and his new book, Hollywood Aesthetic: Pleasure in American Cinema, is not a typical coffee table book. Still, the topic is film, something accessible to everyone.     

WHQR- Station Manager

Located in beautiful, coastal Wilmington, North Carolina, WHQR is looking for a leader to build on our success.

Founded in 1984, WHQR is a community licensed public radio station with both a news/information channel and a classical music channel. Headquartered in historic downtown Wilmington, we are a trusted source of news and entertainment providing diverse programming for the growing and thriving tri-county region in the state's southeastern corner, with additional coverage in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Vince Winkel

Officials from Wilmington and New Hanover County held a special joint meeting to discuss the Garner Report. The City Council and County Commissioners gathered Thursday afternoon to grade themselves on the progress made, since the 2014 Garner Report, called “Pathways to Prosperity”, was published.  Of the 21 recommendations on economic development, there is progress to report on several fronts. 

Caroline Butler

Surely you're already suspecting that the Azalea Festival is nigh-whether you've seen it with your eyes or felt it in your sinuses. This weekend is indeed the 70th Annual North Carolina Azalea Festival, and the Azalea Garden Tour kicks off on Friday, April 7th with the Ribbon Cutting and Queen's Garden Party​, complete with Azalea Belles, horse-drawn carriages, the Queen herself, and dozens of cookies. 

The next Soup to Nuts LIVE! Concert on Thursday, April 13th in the MC Erny Gallery at WHQR features Hank Barbee.  

Vince Winkel

In the U.S. Senate, a bill was just passed that would let states block more than $200 million in funding from going to Planned Parenthood, or any organization that provides abortions. The bill has already passed the House and now moves to President Donald Trump’s desk.  Also last week, Planned Parenthood held their annual benefit in Wilmington. 

Wikimedia Commons

Warmer weather has moved into the southeast in fits and starts this year.  Reports of damaged crops in Georgia and both Carolinas came after multiple late-season frosts.  Whether those recent cold snaps will impact the price and availability of peaches, blueberries, and apples remains to be seen.    

But what does this mean for home gardeners who just hope to see their shrubs, trees, and perennials bloom?   And what might this mean for the showing of blooms during Azalea Festival?

Mark Steelman/Thalian Association

As an actor and singer with a belt, Katherine Vernon has admired the character "Rose" (and Ethel Merman, who premiered it) for a long time. She landed the role with Thalian Association, and she can be seen onstage at Thalian Hall through April 9. The play is "Gypsy," the true story of burlesque strip-tease artist, Gypsy Rose Lee ("Louise" as a child). Rose is her mother, and her character has been called the most complex musical theatre role available to women. The musical itself has received high praise; it's based on the memoir Gypsy wrote about growing up with her mother and her more-talented sister, June. Listen to Katherine Vernon talk about the role and the musical above. 

Jon David and Ben David are brothers.  They also happen to be identical twins.  And they’re both district attorneys for adjacent jurisdictions in North Carolina. 

One of the great things about our fundraising campaigns is hearing directly from listeners about what they like (or don’t). I’m touched and appreciative for the comments made about me on my retirement later this summer. Here are some other samples from last week’s Take A Day Off drive. Laura Dean of Wilmington said: “Thank you for consistently bringing excellent programming to Wilmington." Donna Giles and Sue Sneddon of Shallotte said: “WHQR is more important than ever in our current political climate. We need voices of reason news that is just the opposite of "fake”speakers who can discuss opinions in thoughtful clear ways without histrionics and vitriol. Thanks WHQR!”

Planting Peace / MFI

The North Carolina law known as the “Bathroom Bill” has effectively been repealed by the passage of House Bill 142.  Democratic Representative Deb Butler from New Hanover County and Republican Representative Chris Millis of Pender County both voted against the compromise bill -- two legislators who are likely to find themselves on opposite sides of a contentious issue. 

UNCW Theatre Department

Professor Robin Post is directing the upcoming show from UNCW's Theatre Department: the classic 1934 play, The Children's Hour by Lillian Hellman. The play was controversial in the United States and Great Britain in the '30s, and in a way, it still could be controversial in some circles. Robin says the themes are as relevant as ever. 

WHQR/gg

The Sea Notes Choral Society is 43 years old this year. According to Vice President and singer Tom Wisniewski, the group is stronger than ever. There are 150 singers on the rolls and a waiting list to join of about 2 years--except for Tenors. These, Tom says, could be pulled off the street to join. The Sea Notes Spring concert, Everything's Coming Up Roses, is Saturday and Sunday, April 1 & 2, at Odell Williamson Auditorium. Both performances are at 3:00pm and free. 

Vince Winkel

On Monday, we reported on House Bill 324, which would create quick-response teams to deal with opiate overdoses in the region. Today we look at the STOP Act, which would attack the opioid epidemic using a different strategy.  

Phil Bruschi

It sounds a lot like Neil Diamonds, but it's Phil Bruschi expressing the feel of Neil.

Phil Bruschi is a musician, singer, vocal stylist, and music educator. He presents Neil Diamond: Singer, Songwriter, a biographical and musical program focused on Diamond's career and music, at the Northeast Library on Sunday, April 2, 2:00pm-4:00pm. The program is free. 

No machine-readable author provided. Alencarf~commonswiki assumed (based on copyright claims). - No machine-readable source provided. Own work assumed (based on copyright claims)., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=484085

Tuesday, March 28: Because of a re-wiring project now going on at WHQR, listeners may experience temporary interruptions to network functions such as web pages and audio streaming. We apologize for the interruptions, and thank you for your patience.

Wiki Commons / Paul Joseph

Craft Beer is booming in North Carolina – and specifically in the Cape Fear region to such a degree that an industry association has set up shop.  The Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance formed last year and has nearly 20 members.

Vince Winkel

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein was in Wilmington Monday to discuss the opioid epidemic with the area’s state and local elected officials, law enforcement, and health care providers. There is a bipartisan effort in the works to bring a pilot project to Wilmington to treat opiate overdoses. House Bill 324 would create a quick-response team that would respond to overdoses with additional emergency support.

Time now for today's WHQR commentary. Here's Nan Graham.

Commentator Nan Graham celebrates WHQR and her 21st year as a commentator.

You can hear more from Nan and our other commentators at our website! WHQR DOT O-R-G. Just click on "Commentary."

WHQR Commentaries don't neccessarily reflect the views of WHQR Radio, its editorial staff, or its members.  

wikicommons

Shaun Mitchell is a published poet and the author of several plays. He also has a strong interest in history-the subject of most of his theatrical work. After Shaun wrote the play I, Constantine, he intended to focus his attention on Emperor Theodosius. That changed when he heard about the 6th century peasant who was an actress and prostitute before her fortunes changed: Empress Theodora. 

Wiliam Neil

Pro Musica, under the artistic direction of Robert Nathanson, presents its 6th concert celebrating new music and works of living composers. On Thursday, March 30 at 7:00pm, composer William Neil will perform with the group at the Cameron Art Museum. Neil will begin the concert by performing short compositions on the piano, followed by the premiere of Neil's Out of Darkness Into Light. The piece will be performed by guitarist Nathanson, Soprano Nancy King, saxophonist Laurent Estoppey, violinist Danijella Zezelj-Gualdi, and contra bassoonist Helena Spencer. Composer William Neil will accompany with digital acoustics. 

Vince Winkel

For the first time in nearly a decade, data from the National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. That’s a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014 – the most dramatic two-year escalation in 53 years.  Cell phone usage is the main cause. 

Lisa Mastin/Big Dawg Productions

When I walked into Cape Fear Playhouse, I thought I went in through the out door. I could hear birds and insects in the background, breathing live trees surrounded the space, and the entire floor was covered in rustling pine-straw. There was a campfire burning (in the "stage magic" kind of way) in the center of the stage.  The theatre even smelled like the woods. I spoke with Technical Director Scott Davis and Director Steve Vernon about the play this realistic set was created for, The Last Encampment; listen above.

New Hanover County recently approved revisions to its special use permit.  Duke Energy is working to close its coal ash pits at the Sutton Steam Plant site and held a public meeting last week to update stakeholders on the progress.  Also last week, and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, and others held a public meeting in Navassa – about the testing and clean-up project on the former Kerr-McGee chemical site across the river in Brunswick County -- which is a Superfund site. 

Makaristos / Wikimedia Commons

The revised Presidential Executive Order banning travel from six mostly-Muslim countries, called a “watered-down version” of the first by President Donald Trump, is now blocked from going into effect by two federal judges -- in Hawaii and Maryland – as of Thursday morning.    

But in light of the movement to crack down on who is coming in to the country, we’re also seeing a crackdown on people who are already here who may not be here legally.  The efforts to find those people are called Targeted Enforcement Operations. 

Ben Newton from Australia - 24, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10462693

Anonymous wrote: “[The] pledge drive is sooo... demeaning and embarrassing. it must be terribly inefficient at raising money, terribly efficient at raising hackles. thanks for ruining "Science Friday". name withheld because of gossip.” And listener Jerry said “Why do you spend two weeks telling us that your pledge drive is shorter than ever?”

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