Michelle Bliss

After growing up in Woodbridge, Virginia, Michelle attended Virginia Tech before moving to Wilmington to complete her Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington. Her reporting and nonfiction writing have been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, within the pages of Wrightsville Beach Magazine, and in literary journals like River Teeth and Ninth Letter. Before moving to Wilmington, Michelle served as the general manager for WUVT, a community radio station in Blacksburg, Virginia. She lives with her husband Scott and their pups, Katie, Cooper, and Mosey.

Michelle left WHQR in April 2012 to pursue her writing career.

Ways to Connect

The North Carolina New Schools Project, a joint private and public endeavor, is a recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s “Investing in Innovation” award.

The day after Thanksgiving is the National Day of Listening, an annual initiative by the oral history project StoryCorps, a nonprofit group that has recorded and archived 40,000 interviews between friends and loved ones across the country.

The Ability Garden in Wilmington is struggling to pay its bills.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that the nonprofit’s staff is hopeful that grant money will come in early next year, but funds have certainly dried up in this final stretch of 2011.

New Hanover County’s beach towns have approved an inter-local agreement to pay for beach renourishment.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that county commissioners must approve the agreement and a vote is expected before the end of the year.

A bipartisan coalition of more than 100 U.S. House members and more than forty U.S. Senators addressed the super committee Wednesday.

Harry Taylor Photography / N.C. Arts Council

Despite a denied funding request from New Hanover County earlier this year, an arts council will be launched in Wilmington next month. After a three-year effort, the North Carolina Arts Council made the announcement this week.

Office of Gov. Bev Perdue

 

Governor Perdue stopped in Wilmington Tuesday to promote her Career and College Promise program, which will offer free community college credit hours to high school students across the state.

 

Wilmington Police officials say that early this morning two armed robberies occurred on the same block of South College Road at the edge of UNCW’s campus.

University officials sent multiple alerts telling people to seek shelter and lock their doors. Those orders were lifted before 6 this morning and classes started on schedule.

The gunman has not been found and police officials say the physical descriptions provided for both incidents are significantly different. 

 

Healthcare providers, policy makers, and parents are gathering for a Childhood Obesity Summit tomorrow in Wilmington.

Feast Down East

Governor Perdue is presenting Innovative Small Business Community Awards Monday to a handful of economic drivers across the state.

Ensminger family photo

The Cucalorus Film Festival is bringing several documentary films to Wilmington, including Semper Fi: Always Faithful, about the water contamination at Camp Lejeune.

The Cucalorus Film Festival has taken over downtown Wilmington, bringing hundreds of feature films, shorts, and documentaries, including Defining Beauty: Ms. Wheelchair America which chronicles the 2010 pageant in South Dakota.

   The results are in for this year’s municipal elections across the Cape Fear Region. WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that despite low turnout at the polls, there were a few surprises that surfaced late last night.

A group gathered at the New Hanover County government center last night released a burst of cheerful energy as the results for Wilmington mayor and city council came in across the big screen.

Incumbent mayor Bill Saffo will continue the post he’s served in since 2006.

The results from this year’s municipal elections are in.

Check out Brunswick County’s race results.

Check out New Hanover County’s race results.

Check out Pender County’s race results. 

Voters in Castle Hayne who cast their ballots at the Riverside Park polling place, walked between advocates holding election signs both for and against the area’s possible incorporation.

James Abbott held up a sign against the measure and voted no for incorporation, but he did vote for possible council members in case Castle Hayne becomes a town.

A shooting at the corner of 13th and Ann Streets in Wilmington caused three schools to briefly go on lockdown Tuesday morning, including Williston Middle School.

The shooting was unrelated to the schools and students, and the Wilmington Police Department is now reminding voters that Williston has reopened as a polling location.

Because of the half-hour lockdown, when voters were not allowed to cast their votes, the New Hanover County Board of Elections extended the Williston polls hours until 8 pm. Other polling locations closed at 7:30.  

NC Museum of Forestry

An exhibit called Prehistoric Giants marks the opening of the North Carolina Museum of Forestry in Whiteville Saturday.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that after closing its doors for nearly two years for renovations, the museum is up and running once again.

Museum Director Harry Warren says that earlier this year in the midst of the renovations, the museum got the ax in one of Governor Bev Perdue’s initial budget drafts.

North Carolina shoppers who buy energy-saving appliances this weekend won't have to pay sales tax. The tax holiday began today and continues through Sunday.

Savings apply to qualified products that meet Energy Star efficiency guidelines set by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy.

Qualified products may include items like clothes washers, freezers, refrigerators, central air conditioners, ceiling fans, and dehumidifiers, among others. Also, purchases by businesses are not tax-free.

Topsail Beach residents will have two mayoral candidates on the ballot next week: incumbent Howard Braxton and Commissioner Buck Taylor.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports both candidates agree that protecting the town’s natural resources with a long-term beach renourishment plan is crucial for attracting tourists, but they suggest different strategies for growing the town’s central business district. 

Election Day is a week away and the WHQR News Team is talking to the candidates for a few heated mayoral races across the Cape Fear region.

WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that a top concern for Oak Island residents this election season is the growing cost of water and sewer services after the town’s waste water project jumped from $67 million to $150 million. 

More than 1,800 athletes will be competing in the PPD Beach2Battleship Triathlon in Wilmington tomorrow. WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that the event includes a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2 mile run across the Cape Fear Region. 

Among the athletes, PPD chose a handful of competitors to present with “Hero Awards” this week. Recipient Kristen Adelman from Colorado is a four-time non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor. She’s on a mission to let other cancer victims know that PPD’s clinical trials saved her life.

The third installment of the Iron Man movie series will begin filming in Wilmington early next year, bringing 550 jobs to the region. WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that Governor Bev Perdue announced Thursday that Marvel Studios chose North Carolina over several competing states.

North Carolinabeat out California, New Mexico, and Michigan, along with Canada, for the production. Perdue says that sealing this deal keeps the state’s film industry relevant to Hollywood studios. She also says that even though film jobs aren’t permanent, Iron Man will have a lasting effect on the area.

A team of archeologists pulled a 1-ton, nearly 3-hundred-year-old cannon from the wreck of Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. WHQR’s Michelle Bliss reports that recovering the cannon is just the first step in a conservation process that will span many years.

Blackbeard’s ship sank off the coast of North Carolina near Beaufort in 1718. After nearly three centuries underwater, the cannon is covered with thick masses of sand, salt, and sea creatures.

Wilmington, NC – Mayoral candidates gathered for an election forum last night at WHQR where media panelists and audience members asked the candidates questions on a variety of issues. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that public safety downtown was a large topic of debate.

Incumbent Mayor Bill Saffo says the city council has done everything it can to hold the line on public safety in the face of tight budgets. He says the police department is doing a good job.

Wilmington Mayoral Forum: Incentives

Oct 24, 2011

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, WECT Anchor Jon Evans asked the Wilmignton mayoral candidates this question: "Wilmington is getting ready to hand over its final payment of incentives to Verizon, $125,000 a year. Do you think that was a good deal, and where do you favor incentives if you indeed favor them to lure in business?"

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.

 

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, StarNews Columnist Si Cantwell asked the mayoral candidates this question: "There's talk among some city council candidates of abolishing the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority do you support that idea? How would that change affect the City of Wilmington and its residents?"

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.

 

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, WHQR Reporter Sara Wood asked the Wilmington mayoral candidates this question: "Late-night crime is a continuing public safety issue in downtown Wilmington. How will you tackle this problem in a new way to keep residents safe?"

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.

 

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, WWAY Anchor Ramon Herrera asked the Wilmington mayoral candidates this question: "What do you think is the greatest responsibility of a mayor?"

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.

 

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, WECT Anchor Jon Evans asked the Wilmignton mayoral candidates this question: "Annexation supporters often say the alternative to increase revenue is a more equal distribution of sales tax between New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington. Is this a battle worth fighting?"

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.

 

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, StarNews Columnist Si Cantwell asked the Wilmington mayoral candidates this question: "StarNews reader Judith Gebauer wants to know what each of you would do, if elected, to improve road safety in Wilmington, both in residential neighborhoods and along busy thoroughfares like College Road and Market Street."

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? If so, we'd like to hear from you. Please email the WHQR News Team.

 

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