Katie O'Reilly

Graduate Fellow -News

Katie is a first-year creative nonfiction student in UNCW's MFA creative writing program. A Chicago native, Katie graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in 2007, and has since worked for The Onion/A.V. Club, The Huffington Post, and as an English teacher in the Czech Republic. She most recently spent several years in Los Angeles serving as the managing editor of DAYSPA Magazine. As a long-time fan of the Atlantic Ocean and public radio, she is thrilled to be living in Wilmington and working with WHQR.

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Local - February 26
11:24 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Can Parks Drive Regional Economic Development?

Wilmington's Greenfield Park

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.

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Local - February 26
11:15 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Citizen Action to Propel Housing Authority's Choice Neighborhood Grant Application

WHA board members discussed committee activity during a Monday meeting at Wilmington's Houston Moore community.

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.

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Local - February 21
3:05 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

County Launches "Comprehensive Plan" to Address Projected Population Growth

Some experts predict New Hanover County’s population will exceed 330,000 people by 2040—a significant hike from its current count of about two hundred thousand. And there are only about 24,000 undeveloped acres left, most of which comprise unincorporated county land. To address the development necessary to accommodate this growth,  the county planning department is launching a comprehensive plan—and seeking public input.

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Local - February 19
1:11 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

First 2,000 Days Campaign Aims to Benefit North Carolinians at Large

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.

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Local - February 17
5:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Wilmington Summit Calls for Improvements to Early Childhood Education

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.

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Local - February 17
9:43 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Regional Medical Pros Update Gang Member Treatment Protocol

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.

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Local
3:30 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Planning Board Postpones Castle Hayne Sand Mine Decision

Castle Hayne's GE Hitachi Plant is adjacent to the site of the proposed sand mine.

Excavation will not begin on a new sand mine in Castle Hayne—at least not in the near future. Hilton Properties wants to re-zone 62 acres near the GE Hitachi Plant, where it also seeks a special use permit to build the proposed mine. Thursday night, however, the New Hanover County Planning Board moved to postpone this decision until the company could provide clearer information about the project’s potential of groundwater and soil contamination. During a public hearing, no one spoke in favor of the project, and several Castle Hayne residents are opposed to it.

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Local - February 5
1:58 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

New Water Pipeline Will Connect Flemington to Wilmington's Drinking Water Supply

Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Local - February 4
1:06 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Local Legislators Support Higher Teacher Pay

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.

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Local-February 3
3:37 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Berger Pleads Guilty, Keeps County Commission Seat

New Hanover County

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.

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