Vince Winkel

REPORTER, WHQR NEWS

Vince Winkel joined the WHQR news team in March, 2017. He had previously been covering business and economics for the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

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Vince began his career in public broadcasting with Monitor Radio in 1985, during which time his work received reporting awards from the Overseas Press Club of America, International Radio Festival of New York (Gold Medal), Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi, Gabriel Award: Best Feature-National Release, National Federation of Community Broadcasters, Colorado Press Association, Associated Press Television Association of California and others.

During his previous time in public radio he also was a contributor to Living on Earth, SoundPrint, Only a Game, NPR, Southern California Public Radio, Marketplace and the BBC.

Vince also helped launch Public Interactive, working with PBS and NPR stations across the country in developing content and publishing tools for station websites.

During an eight year break from radio, Vince was media director for BMW Motorcycles, managing their publications and digital media.

To encourage the proper disposal of unwanted medications, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is partnering with regional healthcare, law enforcement, education and safety organizations to hold a medication disposal event in six counties on Saturday, April 28.

 

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has now lifted the "do not drink" alert for the entire northern groundwater system served by the Richardson Nanofiltration Groundwater Plant. However, as a caution, CFPUA says sections of the affected service area are now under a precautionary boil water advisory.

Local business owner Hunter Ford is running for North Carolina House District 19, the southern portion of New Hanover County. The seat is currently occupied by his opponent in the primary, Republican Ted Davis.  Ford says that change is needed. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

The first phase of a North Carolina State University water study on GenX is complete. Nearly every home whose tap water researchers tested last fall showed levels of GenX, and they found other perfluorinated chemicals as well. Meanwhile an environmental group in Washington has released a new map to learn more about bad drinking water across the country. 

North Carolina House District 17 makes up much of Brunswick County. Current Republican Representative Frank Iler is facing challenger Patricia Sykes in the May Primary.  Here is more on the incumbent’s competition.

Vince Winkel

The first results from North Carolina State University’s testing of tap water in the region have been released. The purpose of the study:  to assess current exposure to GenX and related chemicals in people living in the Lower Cape Fear River Basin. Tuesday night researchers explained what was found in samples from 198 homes of New Hanover County residents.

Note: Rob Zapple is a member of the Board of Directors, of Friends of Public Radio - WHQR.

Three Democrats are on the primary ballot for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Rob Zapple, James Middleton and Julia Olson-Boseman.  Rob Zapple was first elected to the board in 2014.

There are three Democrats hoping to win the nomination for North Carolina House District 20 and face incumbent Republican Holly Grange in November: Leslie Cohen, John Bauer and Gary Shipman. This is Leslie Cohen’s first go at public office. 

North Carolina’s primary election takes place on May 8th – when voters decide on candidates for the general election. Janice Cavenaugh and Christopher Morgan are running for the New Hanover County Board of Education.  Morgan is a newcomer, while Cavenaugh has served on the board for 25 years.

Two Democrats – Kyle Horton and Grayson Parker - are battling for the chance to challenge Republican incumbent David Rouzer in the general election for the U.S. House of Representatives District 7 seat.  Healthcare is of particular importance to Kyle Horton.

North Carolina’s primary election takes place on May 8th – when voters decide on their November candidates for the general election. Frank Meares and incumbent Don Hayes are Republicans running for the New Hanover County Board of Education. 

Courtesy of Wilmington Regional Film Commission

North Carolina and Wilmington’s film industry got some good news this week. The North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grants program has chosen to support productions in Wilmington and the High Point area.   

Vince Winkel

UPDATE: Since we first aired this story, TIMA Capital has pulled its permit application, which would have allowed the company to emit 90 tons of Methyl Bromide into the air each year.  Sunnyvale Drive in Wilmington, between River and Carolina Beach Roads, has become a sort of Ground Zero for air emissions. 

CFPUA

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority has submitted its final report to the Environmental Review Commission, per the requirements of House Bill 56. That legislation appropriated funds to CFPUA and the University of North Carolina Wilmington to study which treatment techniques would remove GenX and other contaminants from the public water supply. 

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March For Our Lives, an event to push for gun law reform, is Saturday in Wilmington. Across the country, hundreds of thousands of students are expected to march to demand that their lives and safety become a priority, and that there is an end to gun violence in the nation’s schools and communities. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

A Royal Pest Solutions facility, that’s a fumigation plant near the Wilmington Port, is changing ownership. TIMA Capital is taking the location over, and wants a Title V Air Permit from the state’s Department of Air Quality. Such a permit would allow TIMA to release 90 tons of Methyl Bromide into the air.  Currently, the permit is for 9 tons per year.

Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has added two more weeks for public feedback on coal ash disposal and recycling.  DEQ held a meeting on that topic in Wilmington last month. The agency decided to extend the comment period after citizens said they wanted more time to provide feedback on the rules.

The Wilmington City Council is throwing its support behind Cape Fear Public Utility Authority’s request to stop production at Chemours’ Fayetteville Works plant.  The resolution, directed to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, asks regulators to require the company to stop all operations that produce perfluorinated compounds like GenX.  The resolution is not binding, but does send a message.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

The Trump Administration has a continental shelf oil exploration plan that covers most of the coastal U.S. – including North Carolina.  Federal officials only held one informational meeting was held in the state, and that was in Raleigh on Monday. Hundreds of North Carolinians made the trip, and the North Carolina Coastal Federation rented buses for folks from the coast.  The buses from Wilmington were sold-out.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Offshore exploration and drilling for oil and gas is a real possibility off the North Carolina coast, and on Monday hundreds of residents went to Raleigh to learn more and let their feelings be known.  Many of them came from coastal communities.

Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC)

Duke Energy operated the coal-powered Sutton Plant off U.S. 421 from 1954 until 2013. They then replaced it with a natural gas facility. But coal ash still has a place at the plant. It gets stored there. Now the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is looking into re-writing the rules for coal ash disposal.

DEQ

Members of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality come to Wilmington Thursday evening for a public meeting about coal ash. The DEQ is drafting new rules to govern its recycling and disposal.

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

WAVE Transit, the Cape Fear region’s public transportation system, is looking toward growth – much like the region it serves.  But financing that growth is a steep road to climb.

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has slapped a Notice of Violation on Chemours in Fayetteville. The DEQ notice cites the company’s failure to follow through on directives issued two months ago, in and around the facility. 

Four Republican Senators in North Carolina have introduced new legislation, to make available a network of scientists and other resources, to focus on water quality in the state. Senator Michael Lee of New Hanover County says the bill creates no additional cost to taxpayers. 

This week New Hanover County’s revamped process for funding non-profit agencies gets underway. The approach was approved by county commissioners last November, and aims to offer a more objective structure to funding such organizations.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR Public Radio

Residents who live near Chemours’ Bladen County plant are angry.  North Carolina state officials held their fourth community meeting last week at Bladen Community College in Dublin.  More than 150 people showed up.   

CFPUA

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is not happy with Chemours. Utility officials said this week they can no longer trust Chemours to control discharges from its site. That’s because they just learned regulators measured levels of GenX in the Cape Fear River near the plant at 2,300 parts per trillion…  far higher than the established human health goal of 140 parts per trillion.  

Goodle Earth

The city of Wilmington and New Hanover County appear on track to purchase a section of what was once the Echo Farms Golf Club. Last week, county commissioners told staff to approach the developer of Echo Farms and negotiate a purchase that would give the county 18 acres of land. Now it’s up to Wilmington to agree to partner on the purchase and development.

1,4- Dioxane is in the Cape Fear River and in the drinking water supply. It’s also classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans” by all routes of exposure. As part of our continuing coverage of local water contamination, WHQR takes a look at 1,4-Dioxane in this edition of What’s in the Water? 

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