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

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, WHQR News Director and Moderator Michelle Bliss asked Wilmington City Council candidates for closing statements that: "Focus on what specifically you bring to the table and what unique traits make you the candidate to vote for."

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, Wilmington resident John G. asked City Council candidates this question: "Many candidates run on the platform of creating jobs to really create jobs, what you're actually doing is making this an awesome place to be, so business owners will want to come here. How are you going to make this an awesome place to be?

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, Wilmington resident David Padgett asked City Council candidates this question to non-incumbents: "We have a representative form of government in Wilmington, it's not a city that's governed by referendum, so I suppose this question is a bit hypothetical. If a dozen of your constituents call you and express an opinion about a particular item that is not in sync with the information that you've gathered from all the material that you'll read in preparation for a meeting...how would you vote?"

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, Wilmington resident Jim B. asked City Council candidates this question: "Considering that annexation is no longer a viable option, what are the budget options?"

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 City Council candidates this question: "The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County often work with each other to address the needs of the public. With that being said, how would you describe the current relationship between the city and the county, and what would you like to see done differently, if anything at all?"

Wilmington, NC – At WHQR's 2011 live forums, WWAY Anchor Ramon Herrera asked the Wilmington City Council candidates this question "During these continued tough economic times, would you support raising taxes if that option was put on the table? Make sure to explain why or why not."

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 Wilmington City Council candidates this question: "Have you gone through the city's most recent budget? If so, have you identified any of what you consider to be wasteful spending? Please identify."

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 City Council candidates this question: "StarNews reader John Hinnant of Wilmington Downtown, Incorporated wants to know what each candidate has learned while running for elected office that has been a surprise...something you didn't expect along the campaign trail."

 

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 – There are nine candidates running for three open seats on Wilmington City Council. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that one candidate, Napier Fuller, wants to create a public safety commission focused on long-term policing strategies.

A graduate of Hoggard High School, Fuller now works in downtown Wilmington for his family's business, Atlantic Brokerage, which owns and operates warehouses, none within city limits.

Wilmington, NC – Election Day is November 8th and Wilmingtonians have nine candidates to choose from for City Council. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that Ronald Sparks is finishing up his fourth year on council and is running for a third term this election season.

Wilmington, NC – Voting turnout for municipal elections in New Hanover County is typically low, with less than 20 percent of voters casting their ballots in 2009. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that for voters who do make it out to the polls this year, there are nine candidates for Wilmington City Council, including Neil Anderson.

Wilmington, NC – Early voting began last week and there are more than 6.1 million registered voters in North Carolina for this year's municipal elections. WHQR's Sara Wood reports that in Wilmington, nine candidates are vying for three open City Council seats, including Ricky Meeks.

Meeks is a graduate of New Hanover High School and a member of WAVE Transit's planning committee which looks at everything from bus routes to marketing initiatives. He doesn't own a car, so he relies on public transportation.

Wilmington, NC – An excerpt of WHQR's interview with mayoral candidate Justin LaNasa aired this week. The audio posted on this page is the full version of their interview.

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 – An excerpt of WHQR's interview with mayor and mayoral Bill Saffo candidate aired this week. The audio posted on this page is the full version of their interview.

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 – In Wilmington, voters will decide on three city council members and a mayor in this year's municipal elections.

WHQR's Michelle Bliss sat down with current mayor and mayoral candidate Bill Saffo who has served for two terms. Saffo was elected to City Council in 2003. The Council later appointed him to finish the remaining portion of another mayor's term in 2006.

Outside of his public work, Saffo is a broker for Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty.

Wilmington, NC – Early voting starts today and voters have nine candidates to choose from to fill three open seats for Wilmington City Council. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that candidate Margaret Haynes served on the council back in 2009.

Wilmington City Council members selected Haynes to finish Jason Thompson's term when he was elected as a county commissioner. Haynes was chosen from a pool of nearly 40 people and served for a year.

She says that the council needs to support current businesses and seek out new ones.

Wilmington, NC – Early voting starts today and voters have nine candidates to choose from to fill three open seats for Wilmington City Council. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that candidate Joshua Fulton is vying for one of those spots. He's a UNCW graduate student and teaching assistant.

Fulton says he would vote to change zoning practices in the city to make them less restrictive in order to attract new businesses. He says that strict rules are hurting development.

Wilmington, NC – Election Day is November 8th and One-Stop Voting begins Thursday for municipal races across North Carolina. In Wilmington, voters will decide on three city council members and a mayor.

WHQR's Michelle Bliss sat down with mayoral candidate Justin LaNasa for today's interview.

He owns a tattoo studio in downtown Wilmington and has served in the Army. LaNasa ran against current mayor Bill Saffo back in 2007.

Wilmington, NC – WHQR is hosting live forums for the Wilmington City Council and Mayoral races on Monday, October 24th, from 7-9 pm. Doors open at 6:30 pm on a first-come, first served basis.

Election Day is November 8th, but North Carolina residents can head to the polls starting tomorrow for One-Stop Absentee Voting. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that the turnout for municipal elections across the Cape Fear region is traditionally only a small fraction of registered voters.

Wilmington, NC – As "Occupy" movement protestors continue assembling across the globe, about 100 gathered in Wilmington, North Carolina for a demonstration on Saturday. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that the group lined a busy downtown corridor, sandwiched between Wells Fargo and Bank of America buildings, chanting to the beat of bongo drums as traffic bustled by.

At the same time, an act that would allow Lejeune veterans and family members to receive health care through the VA sits in a U.S. House committee.

Between 1957 and 1987, carcinogens like benzene were leaked into the wells on base. WHQR's

WHQR's Michelle Bliss attended their most recent gathering as program leaders and participants celebrated the newly approved county funding that will keep drug treatment court alive for another year.

Alan Cradick Photography

WHQR's Michelle Bliss caught a boat ride to the mouth of Mill Creek to see those shells put to use.

Wilmington, NC – North Carolina's unemployment rate is on par with the nation at 6.7% and economists and legislatures are gathering in Raleigh today to discuss forming an economic commission.

The Southeast Crescent Regional Economic Commission will include governors from seven southern states who will work to bring new jobs to areas hit hard by the economy.

Congressman Mike McIntyre helped get federal approval for the commission and says it will be modeled after the Appalachian Regional Commission.

Wilmington, NC – A line of about 50 voters waited outside the Hampstead Community Building this morning. Since then, there's been a trickle of voters, but no more than two or three waiting at a time.

Election official Bob Dennis says a rush is expected tonight, but most people voted early.

"We had in this precinct, 60% of the registered voters vote early. So, anything over that, I mean, the historic high nationally is 67%. We're definitely going to break that."

Wilmington, NC – North Carolina uses machines made by Election Systems and Software.

Certain models were banned in Colorado last year because they misread or skipped ballots.

But New Hanover and Pender county election officials say the machines are accurate.

Pender County's Board of Elections Director Dennis Boyle says the problem so far has been straight party voting.

Wilmington, NC –

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said today that his supporters must "fight for a new direction for our country."

McCain made his first public appearance in North Carolina since May.

He says that supporters need to have courage and fight for the Republican campaign since he is down in the polls.

"Let me give you the state of the race today: we have 22 days to go, we're six points down, the national media has written us off."

Wilmington, NC – The 8,000 seats in Minges Coliseum were flooded last night with supporters displaying Sarah Palin buttons and stickers on their "Read My Lipstick" T-shirts.

Throughout the night, crowd members waved "Drill Baby Drill" posters and sporadically burst into cheers, proclaiming "Nobama."

Among the topics mentioned, like the war in Iraq and domestic oil drilling, the economy was at the top of Palin's list.

Wilmington, NC – Michelle Obama, the wife of Democrat presidential nominee Barack Obama, is hosting a community event this afternoon with military families in Jacksonville. A few hours later, Sarah Palin is hosting a rally at East Carolina University.

Roger Lowery is the public and international affairs department chair at UNCW. He says having such politically powerful women in North Carolina on the same day will highlight the state's influence on the presidential election.

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