City of Wilmington

On the next CoastLine, Thanksgiving is just around the corner – and you know what that means. Black Friday. But what about Small Business Saturday? We’ll talk about its local economic impacts, and the unique gifts you can’t find at superstores. 

If you’re a local business, be sure to email us or call in during the show to let us know what your shop offers that sets you apart! 

Guest: Ed Wolverton, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wilmington Downtown Incorporated (WDI)

giphy.com / "Parks and Recreation"

I’ve got an appetite for radio and not just in the metaphorical sense. My appetite is literal. In the same vein as the overused joke of “having a face for radio,” apparently I’ve got the stomach for it too. Since arriving at WHQR, I’ve been filled with constant indulges in local culture and news, but there’s a big part of the piece that doesn’t carry through to the airwaves.

RLH

A 2015 assessment of cities in North Carolina with a population of 10,000 or more ranked Wilmington second after Asheville for crashes.  For every one minute a freeway lane is blocked due to a crash incident, four minutes of travel time are added.  About 30% of all crashes are secondary crashes -- caused after the initial crash -- possibly due to a sudden stop, distracted driving, or rubber-necking.  Those statistics are courtesy of Jessi Leonard, Division Traffic Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation. 

By Sanfranman59 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There is a growing movement around the country among municipalities to regulate short-term rentals.   And by that, we’re often talking about a single-family home frequently rented through a website such as Airbnb or VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner) for a few days at a time. 

City of Wilmington

Laura Padgett is poised to leave behind more than 20 years of public service.  She was first elected to Council in 1993. After five terms, she has decided against seeking a sixth and will step down at the end of the year.

City of Wilmington

A North Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the City of Wilmington on the embattled Convention Center Hotel.  

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on January 28, 2015. 

Three Comprehensive Plans are simultaneously taking shape in the Cape Fear region.

The tri-county region, made up of Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender County, is widely expected to undergo a steep upward trend in population over the next 25 years.  Some estimates put the number at more than a quarter of a million new residents. 

Businesses have to juggle a lot to stay afloat—permits, taxes, start-up loans, and more.  In an economic development report commissioned recently by New Hanover County, "Pathways to Prosperity: New Hanover County's Plan for Jobs and Investment," consultant Jay Garner cautions that small and new businesses must be better supported by the region’s government to spur development.

Tri-County Economic Alliance In The Works

Aug 26, 2014
Isabelle Shepherd

It has oft been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are banding together to create a marketing alliance between Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover counties. 

Public input is the key factor shaping the City of Wilmington’s Comprehensive Plan. This is what city planners are launching in anticipation of massive population growth over the next twenty-five years. And they’re seeking input from everyone, especially those citizens most likely to still call Wilmington home in 2040—schoolchildren.

Home Leisure Direct

The City of Wilmington is expected to gain 60,000 citizens by the year 2040. In anticipation, city planners have launched a comprehensive plan similar to that of New Hanover County. While the Wilmington plan also asks residents to describe their ideal community attributes, its public engagement process is less orthodox. In fact, city planners have been hitting the local bar scene to collect input.

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.

Even though City of Wilmington offices are closed until December 27th, trash service will run on a regular schedule.   Here are a few useful reminders for that post-holiday trash.

City of Wilmington

Mayor Bill Saffo is running unopposed this season for what will be his fifth term serving the City of Wilmington. 

Mayor Bill Saffo Files for Reelection

Jul 8, 2013
City of Wilmington

On Friday, Bill Saffo filed to run for his fourth term as Mayor of the City of Wilmington. The incumbent, who has led the city since 2006, is talking about seeing projects -- such as the Cape Fear Skyway Bridge, the convention center hotel construction and the cross-city trail -- through to completion.

The cost of Wave Transit: What fuels your ride?

Jun 12, 2013

If you build it, they will come. But before that happens, someone has to pay to put it together. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County combined transportation forces to form Wave Transit almost a decade ago. The authority was set up on its own, independent of both city and county government. It also started with no cash balance, meaning no money in the bank. In part 2 of a series on Wave Transit, we explore the financial woes of the agency.

One thing is certain about funding for public transportation: the federal government doesn’t just give it to you.

Wave Transit will get new maintenance facility

May 23, 2013

Wilmington residents living next door to Wave Transit’s industrial bus garage will not have to endure the sounds and smells for much longer. Ground breaks this afternoon for Wave’s new operations and maintenance center in New Hanover County, on Castle Hayne Road near Martin Luther King Jr Parkway. WHQR’s Sara Wood reports it will replace the current facility at the corner of 11th and Castle Streets.

Last night the Wilmington City Council unanimously approved a resolution that could offer Castle Branch financial incentives to expand its local headquarters and bring 400 news jobs to the area. The resolution to potentially give the company $250,000 dollars mirrors a decision New Hanover County commissioners made earlier this week.

Last week electronic sweepstakes machines were officially considered illegal in North Carolina. But according to Wilmington officials, there are still a number of establishments operating machines throughout the city and it’s only a matter of time before code and law enforcement step in.

This, that, and the other thing

Jan 2, 2013
Sara Wood

Caricature artists are usually found along boardwalks, places like Atlantic City and Myrtle Beach. But most Saturdays in Wilmington, you can find Bill Smith at the Cotton Exchange. The 77-year-old caricature artist grew up in Long Island, New York. He worked as a sign painter for more than 50 years until computers put him out of business.

Smith believes sketching the good side of people is more important than making fun of them.

By Takkk (Own work) via Wikimedia Commons

121 public access television channels operate across North Carolina – but not in Wilmington -- yet.  The City recently hosted a public meeting to discuss whether the up-sides outweigh the risks and costs. 

City of Wilmington Approves Baseball Agreement

Sep 19, 2012

The Wilmington City Council voted 6-1 last night to enter into an agreement with Mandalay Baseball and the Atlanta Braves to build a multi-purpose sports stadium on the downtown riverfront. It's now in the hands of voters, who get to decide in November whether or not to approve a $37 million dollar bond referendum to fund construction. Rich Neumann, president of baseball development for Mandalay, waited through the long meeting for the vote. He says Mandalay explored this market for 10 years searching for the right location and the political will to get to this point.

A crowd at last night's Wilmington City Council meeting wore red, but it had nothing to do with minor league baseball. County residents living near Ogden Park showed up to oppose what they claim will irritate a complicated community traffic issue. WHQR's Sara Wood reports while the council voted to enter into an agreement for a baseball stadium, it was Gordon Road that had this crowd fired up.

By Tage Olsin

Last night in Wilmington, a team of private developers presented a financial proposal for a baseball stadium to the city council. 

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo made two major announcements at a press conference at City Hall Tuesday regarding agenda items that city council will consider at next week’s meeting.

Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo spoke last night at City Hall downtown to deliver his State of the City Address.

Harry Taylor Photography / N.C. Arts Council

All eyes are on New Hanover County as it becomes the first place in the world to launch the white space network. An official launch event will mark the transition in downtown Wilmington Thursday.