Brunswick County

City of Southport

Note:  The results below are based on unofficial returns.  Votes will be canvassed Friday, November 17th.

Bald Head Island (Village)

Dr. Detlef Knappe, the N.C. State scientist who uncovered GenX and other compounds in the Cape Fear River, is not happy about being pulled into tomorrow’s election for the H2GO board. He explains why he’s upset about three candidates using his name in a political ad. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week Gov. Roy Cooper told the EPA to get to work. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Gov. Cooper asks the EPA to move quickly to finalize its health assessment and set a limit for the unregulated chemical GenX. Meanwhile the EPA earmarked more than $3 million for the NC DEQ to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This all happened as county and city officials held a press conference on the topic of GenX.  

Jon David and Ben David are brothers.  They also happen to be identical twins.  And they’re both district attorneys for adjacent jurisdictions in North Carolina. 

In Brunswick County, Republican Frank Williams is running for his second term representing District 5 on the Board of Commissioners, and Mike Forte is running for District 4.  Both Republican candidates are focused on economic development and education.

According to Mike Forte, the only economic engine in Brunswick County is tourism, and he says this isn’t enough:

"That’s part-time, minimum wage jobs. I have two sons—24 and 20 years old. They need full time work. Warehousing, manufacturing, industry— We need real jobs."

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet one of three Republicans seeking three seats on Brunswick County’s Board of Education.

There are five members on the Board – one representing each district in Brunswick County.  The four-year terms are staggered, and elections are held every two years.  In 2016, Districts 1, 2, and 4 have open seats.  No Democrats filed for District 1, however, which means that Republican Ed Lemon has no formal opposition.  Write-in candidates are permitted.

Brunswick County 

In Brunswick County, there are two Commission districts with primary races.  Jim Medlin went head-to-head with incumbent Pat Sykes on the Republican side.  He lost to Sykes by 13 percentage points.  In Brunswick County’s District 4 on the Democratic side, Brenda Faye McMillian swept to victory – and the general election -- beating Timbo Evans by 43%. 

Brunswick County

The Village of Bald Head Island, with a year-round population of less than 170 people, has approved a $10 million bond for a broadband network.  But barely.  The “yes” vote squeaked through by four votes – not unusual, though, in a small municipality.

Village residents will see a new slate of council members.  The two incumbents running for reelection, Gene Douglas and Bob Helgesen, lost their seats to top vote-getters Kit Adcock, John May, and John Pitera. 

National Hurricane Center

The movement of Tropical Storm Erika northward has the southeastern United States on alert.  But whether Erika peters out over land or survives and re-groups, peak hurricane season is upon us. 

According to the National Hurricane Center, most tropical storms and hurricanes in the Atlantic Basin happen between mid-August and late October. 

And now residents in Brunswick County have a new emergency notification system available, launched over the summer, called CodeRED.   During sign-up, residents can choose whether to receive messages via phone call, text, or email. 

How often have you wondered whether to toss a soda bottle into the recycling bin with or without the cap?  Do you rinse out food containers before you recycle them?  And what do you do with all those plastic grocery bags?

Wikimedia Commons

A third shark attack in less than a week has shaken the small beach communities along the Brunswick County Coast. 

Wikimedia Commons

Commissioners from Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover Counties just returned from a four-day trip to Washington, D.C.

Brunswick County

Brunswick County will not house illegal immigrants, including minors.  That’s the County Commissioners’ official response to the recent border surge.

Danny Hefner, the Ocean Isle Beach Democrat who lost 2012’s Senate District Eight race to incumbent Bill Rabon, has thrown his hat into the same ring again. A former Marine Corps officer and truck driver, Hefner now works as a local delivery driver, an inter-faith minister, and a therapeutic foster parent to abused and troubled children. The third-time Senate candidate recently sat down with WHQR to discuss his plans for a range of social issues—but first, Hefner says he plans to address the economy.

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

Treacherous roadways are proving to be the serious hazards that officials predicted. 

Wikimedia Commons

For the first time, all Brunswick County elementary students can enjoy a free, daily breakfast at school. Last semester, kids qualified for either free, reduced or paid meals, depending on their families’ economic situations. Thanks to some state and federal reimbursement, as well as a unanimous School Board decision, the most important meal of the day is now an equal-opportunity affair. While few students took advantage of breakfast when school resumed last Thursday, WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that the school district expects participation to take off this week.

Health insurance can be tricky to navigate, what with the difficulty many experience enrolling in care, and North Carolina’s decision not to expand Medicaid in 2014.  And that’s why the Southeast Area Health Education Center, or SEAHEC, and the New Hanover County Health Department are holding free information sessions on the Affordable Care Act—also known as “Obamacare.” WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports that until the March 31 deadline to enroll passes, these educators will be hosting these sessions around the region.

Flickr

Brunswick County is rolling out the welcome mat for two new manufacturing outfits this fall. Not only is Lee Controls, a metal manufacturer, moving from New Jersey into a 20,000-square-foot facility in Southport, but RTM Light USA, a surfboard manufacturing operation, will be setting up in a space within Brunswick Community College. This translates to roughly 70 new jobs.

Bellyglad

Since Governor McCrory signed the Voter ID Bill into law on Monday, three civil rights groups have filed lawsuits. They challenge new requirements for state-issued IDs, elimination of same-day registration--and an early voting period that will be shortened by seven days. Critics of the bill say the latter in particular will cut off voting opportunities for hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians—particularly minorities. About 64 percent of New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender County citizens voted early in the 2012 election.

The group’s name is FOCUS.  It may be short and easy-to-remember, but it encompasses a huge mission for the future of the Cape Fear Region. 

North Carolina House bill 438 opened a new door for county commissioners. It gives them more control over public health and social services departments. Brunswick County’s already switched over. New Hanover and Pender counties are now considering adopting the legislation.

Local county boards of health cover a lot of territory beyond funding birth control and offering flu shots.

Tourism in North Carolina is up all over the state – to the tune of 18-billion dollars in spending last year. 

The good news:  it’s rare.  The bad news:  there’s no vaccine, no cure, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis can be fatal.  People catch it from mosquitoes – and with the recent rains, mosquitoes are plentiful.  WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn reports that authorities in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties are urging residents to take simple steps to protect themselves. 

Mosquitoes pass encephalitis to humans – usually after biting an infected wild bird – which make great hosts for the disease. 

While obesity rates are not increasing nationwide, they’re not decreasing either.  The picture is even bleaker on the local level.

Of the 26 million Americans who have diabetes, a quarter of them don’t know they have it.

One of Melissa Warren’s ninth grade English students, Juan Morales at South Brunswick High School, says her class is like the Army—you must be on time, you must be prepared, and you must make every second count.

More than 4700 parcel owners in Boiling Spring Lakes will receive a $345 refund from the city in the next few months. 

Homelessness Down across Region

Mar 1, 2012
By User:Nyttend [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Each year, the Tri-County Homeless Interagency Council tracks the number of homeless living in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties. 

Crime doesn’t take a break, even while a town government searches for its next police chief.

The dropout rate for North Carolina saw a marked decrease last school year. 

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