News

"So how did this most recent custom of bands for bridegrooms come about?" Nan Graham commented. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

New Hanover County Commissioners met Monday night to vote on the 2017 – 2018 county budget, which takes effect July 1. Not everyone in attendance was happy with the outcome.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act will be 20 years old this AugustAs we learned last week, that policy came to be after extended and heated debate from stakeholders on all sides of the issue.  Most of those involved at the time describe it as better than nothing – but most definitely a compromise.

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Two music-making orgs are joining together for a patriotic concert: The Sea Notes Choral Society and Brunswick Concert Band. There are two opportunities to see and hear this free concert, called Sunrise Over America: Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25, 3:00pm at Odell Williamson Auditorium.  Outgoing Sea Notes President Jane Skubic and choir Director Larry Reinhart spoke with us about the show; listen above or see the transcript below. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday the state began taking water samples along the Cape Fear River, to determine the current levels of GenX in the water. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will sample water from 12 locations. A lab in Colorado will then do the analysis. Once those levels are determined, scientists hope to determine what, if any, health effects GenX has had or could have on the citizens here.

Isabelle Shepherd

Our CoastLine guest on Thursday, June 15, 2017 was New York Times best-selling author, columnist, and now playwright Celia Rivenbark. Her column is syndicated nationally, but she lives right here in Wilmington and we're lucky to have snagged her as a guest.

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.

Thank You For Joining Us For "A Little Lunch Music"

Jun 13, 2017

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. 

Peggy Porter is a long-time resident of New Hanover County, and a former teacher of U.S. History and Civics.

You can hear more from Peggy and our other commentators at our website: WHQR DOT O-R-G. Just click “Commentary.”

Janette Hopper

Janette Hopper's exhibit Natural Milieu, An Altered Point of View is on display at Wilma Daniels Gallery at CFCC. It is a mixed media exhibit, featuring 2-D and 3-D pieces, sound, and video, and the focus is the natural world. While Janette says her work often depicts nature in all its glory, this exhibit reveals troubles in the natural world. Janette is moderating a panel discussion connected to the exhibit called Perspectives on Overpopulation, Loss of Biodiversity and Stewardship on Wednesday, June 14 at Union Station, 4:00pm-6:00pm. The goal is to identify the greatest environmental concerns of our time and consider solutions. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday evening (June 12), the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) released a health effects statement on GenX to county public health directors. The statement was prepared for the NC Division of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) by the Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch of NC DHHS.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The chemical compound GenX and the region’s water supply remain on the minds of many. Late Monday New Hanover County officials confirmed a meeting this week to learn more about GenX, and what needs to be done. 

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In 1998, a 21-year-old gay man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming. Matthew died from head injuries after spending 6 days in a coma. The murder brought national attention to hate crime legislation. It also received attention from the Tectonic Theatre company. The group traveled to Wyoming and created the documentary theatre piece called The Laramie Project. The show runs Thursdays-Sundays at Cape Fear Playhouse through June 25. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

We continue our coverage on GenX, a chemical compound discovered in the region’s water supply. The story was first reported by the StarNews. Today we explore what state and federal agencies are doing about this potential health hazard.

By Photograph by en:User:Stijn Ghesquiere 2004., CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=295333

Last week I wrote about our effort to restore our HQR News signal to full power. A few days afterwards, I received this email from an HD2 listener in Brunswick County:

The restoration of beautiful music is always a good thing.

Thank you so much.

It has been sorely missed.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

GenX. No, we don’t mean Generation X. GenX is a chemical compound we first reported on yesterday. That’s when the StarNews reported on this toxic contaminant that has been found in the Cape Fear River. It’s a key ingredient in Teflon, linked to cancer. It gets into the river at a plant 100 miles upstream. 

Stilfehler / Wikimedia Commons

Many of us have heard that playing Mozart for a baby in utero can help with brain development.  We’ve heard that plants do better when classical music is played vs. hard rock. 

Opera House Theatre Company


Opera House Theatre Company presents Jesus Christ Superstar, the "rock opera" from 1970. Director Suellen Yates and actor Jason Aycock, playing the title role, joined us in the studio. The show is onstage at Thalian Hall through June 25: June 7-11, 16-18, and 23-25. Performances are at 8:00pm except Sundays, which are at 3:00pm. Listen to Suellen and Jason discuss the show above; see a transcript below.

It’s the time of year when municipalities and counties are putting the finishing touches on their budgets for the next fiscal year. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The StarNews has broken a story about a potentially-cancer-causing chemical in southeastern North Carolina’s drinking water supply. According to a piece published by Vaughan Hagerty at starnewsonline.com, a chemical replacement for a key ingredient in Teflon linked to cancer and a host of other ailments has been found in the drinking water system of the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority. 

Dylan Patterson/TFA

Theatre For All is Wilmington's theatre company for people with disabilities. The troupe presents its spring show, The Magic Moment, in one final performance tonight, June 7, at Theatre Now. Showtime is 7:00pm. One of the actors, Joseph Sisk, talked about the group and the show; listen above. See an extended transcript below. 

Annie Gray Sprunt is a General Enthusiast and Free Lance Nut. 

You can hear more from Annie Gray 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.

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