Local

Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO, popularly known as H2GO, is a water and sewer utility in Brunswick County that serves the northeast portion of the County including Leland, Belville, parts of Navassa, and some customers located outside of these municipal boundaries. Since 2011, the utility has worked towards building its own Reverse Osmosis plant. Constructing a $30-plus million plant is controversial and has its opponents. Three of the candidates oppose the plant.

Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO, popularly known as H2GO, is a water and sewer utility in Brunswick County that serves the northeast portion of the County including Leland, Belville, parts of Navassa, and some customers located outside of these municipal boundaries. Since 2011, the utility has worked towards building its own Reverse Osmosis plant. Constructing a $30-plus million plant is controversial with opponents concerned the project is not necessary and would saddle consumers with higher utility rates. Three candidates are in support of the plant.

In the race for Wilmington’s City Council, there are nine people competing for three open seats that carry four-year terms. Two incumbents are seeking re-election. Deb Hays is the current Chair of the City of Wilmington Planning Commission, James Ray is Associate Minister of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Wilmington, and Perry Fisher ran his own restaurant, Front Street News, before moving to broadcast journalism. 

In the race for Wilmington’s City Council, there are nine people competing for three open seats that carry four-year terms. Two incumbents are seeking re-election. Caylan McKay is an accountant, running for the first time. Philip White is a retail store manager, and Hollis Briggs Jr. ran in 2015 for city council but was not elected. 

In the race for Wilmington’s City Council, there are nine people competing for three open seats that carry four-year terms. Earl Sheridan, who has served for three terms and is wrapping up his twelfth year, has chosen not to run again. Two incumbents are seeking re-election. Charlie Rivenbark is completing his fourth term and Kevin O'Grady his second. Clifford Barnett, pastor of the Warner Temple AME Zion Church in Wilmington, is running for the first time.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet the two people hoping to be the next mayor of the City of Southport.  We also meet one candidate running for Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 1; Karen Mosteller is also the only incumbent seeking re-election in that Ward.  The other person with an expiring term, Mary Ellen Poole, is not running again.

On this edition of CoastLine, we meet two of the five candidates seeking a seat on the Board of Aldermen in Wrightsville Beach.  We’ll also meet one person running for Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 2.

First, Southport: 

This 225-year-old city spanning less than four square miles near the confluence of the Cape Fear River and the Atlantic Ocean in Brunswick County was voted America’s Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living in 2015.  Today, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 36-hundred people call Southport home. 

The Town of Leland turned 28 years old in September. The current population, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, is just under 19,000 people. That’s growth of about 37% in just the last six years. So the challenge facing the leaders of Leland is dealing with this rapid growth. The Mayor serves a two-year term, and there are two candidates hoping to be the next one – the incumbent, Brenda Bozeman, and a challenger, Lee Kent. 

City of Wilmington

There are two candidates for Mayor of Wilmington this election season. The Mayor presides over a nonpartisan council of five members and a Mayor Pro Tem. The two candidates in the race for mayor this year are incumbent Bill Saffo and challenger Todd Zola.

Vince Winkel

This week marks the 32nd Monday in a row that a small group of protestors took their message to a street corner in Wilmington. They object to the Trump administration’s decision to roll back an Obama-era health insurance mandate, which requires employers to provide birth control coverage to employees without co-payments.

On this edition of CoastLine, we meet two of three candidates seeking one of two open seats on Southport’s Board of Aldermen in Ward 1.  This small seaside city in Brunswick County is divided into two wards – each represented by three people to make up a six-member board.  The Mayor of the City of Southport serves a two-year term.  Aldermen serve four-year terms which are staggered.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet one candidate for Leland’s Town Council and one for Board of Commissioners of Brunswick Regional Water and Sewer H2GO. 

But first, we take a closer look at municipal elections with a political scientist.   

Segment 1:  Aaron King, Assistant Professor in the Department of Public and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina Wilmington

The Town of Leland turned 28 years old in September.  The current population, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, is just under 19,000 people.  That’s growth of about 37% in just the last six years.  Leland is part of the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area despite its proximity to Wilmington.  That was a change a major change for Brunswick County which took effect two years ago.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

House Bill 56 is now law. That means UNCW and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority get $435,000 in state funding to address GenX contamination in the water. The bill got though after the North Carolina General Assembly overrode Gov. Roy Cooper's veto of the bill. But what about the $2.6 million the Governor had requested for two state agencies to work on the GenX issue? 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

North Carolina state officials are ordering Chemours in Fayetteville to provide bottled water to seven more well owners after tests results came back for GenX. Those results, show the chemical compound above the state health goal in residential drinking wells.

New Hanover County Commissioners are moving ahead with a public - private redevelopment of a county-owned block in downtown Wilmington.  Project Grace might also include moving the Cape Fear Museum downtown and building a new library. Tearing down the existing library is not such a popular idea.

New Hanover County

A new redevelopment project in downtown Wilmington may soon become a reality. On Monday, the New Hanover County Commissioners will vote on Project Grace, which could become a 15-story high-rise hotel and condo development.  Four different plans are under consideration. 

The Town of Leland turned 28 years old this month.  The current population, according to estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, is just under 19,000 people.  That’s growth of about 37% in just the last six years.  Leland is part of the Myrtle Beach Metropolitan Statistical Area – despite its proximity to Wilmington.  That was a change a major change for Brunswick County which took effect two years ago.  

The spraying has begun in New Hanover County, after it was discovered that testing of local mosquito pools confirmed a positive sample of West Nile Virus. Last night county trucks released pesticides across the Sunset Park neighborhood. The chemical has area beekeepers concerned.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Dallas, Texas is about to get a lot closer to Wilmington. American Airlines just announced they will be operating non-stop flights between Dallas and Wilmington International Airport beginning in December. However the new flights are not permanent.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The New Hanover County Commissioners are split along party lines over House Bill 56. And they’re going public with that split.  The bill contains $435,000 in extra funding for the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and UNC Wilmington to study, clean up, and monitor the chemical GenX.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Hurricane Maria may be more than 100 miles from our coastline, but it’s still having an impact. The National Weather Service says that high surf, dangerous rip currents and hazardous boating conditions will be in the region through Wednesday.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The battle against opioid addiction in Wilmington and across the country is rising to a new level.  North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein came to the Port City to discuss the growing investigation into drug manufacturers. 

In the nonpartisan race for Wilmington’s City Council, there are nine people competing for three open seats that carry four-year terms.  Two incumbents are hoping for reelection; they are with us today.  And one seat is wide open since Earl Sheridan decided not to run again. 

Despite the fact that presidential election years turn out the highest numbers of voters, municipal elections have the most direct impact on quality of life.  This fact is pretty widely accepted.  But even the most educated and engaged among us – most notably a political scientist at an esteemed local university – even they are unlikely to know the people who are running for Wilmington’s City Council.

Vince Winkel

On Thursday North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 56. That’s the Republican-sponsored environmental bill that includes funding for Cape Fear Public Utility Authority and the University of North Carolina Wilmington to research GenX.  The bill has more than GenX in its sights.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

An advocate for historic preservation in Wilmington is retiring.  George Edwards has been the executive director of Historic Wilmington Foundation for 13 years. He's announced he’ll leave by the end of the year.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Tuesday night the Wilmington City Council is expected to adopt the Cape Fear Regional Bicycle Plan. The new initiative is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Department of Transportation.  The goal is to improve the region for all types of cyclists.

City of Wilmington

Wilmington is home to more than 117-thousand people.   That’s growth of about 11,000 people since the last census in 2010.  73% of the population identifies as white, less than 20% is African-American, and 6% is Latino or Hispanic.

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