Local

Vince Winkel / WHQR

State officials late Friday released their first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water.  

Howard Lake | Flickr | www.emergencydentistsusa.com/speak-up/

There is one thing that each of us is more familiar with than anyone else in the world, and that is our own language and the way we speak. Most of us are accustomed to using different language when talking to parents, children, spouses and partners, co-workers, friends, etc. How do we know when to switch gears? When we hear a new word, how do we know when we should incorporate it? Or do we reject it? How do all these different streams come together in a population, and what drives changes in language as time goes on?  

GUEST INFO: 

Cleve Callison is probably a name you associate with WHQR fundraising -- whether it’s the signature at the bottom of a donation request letter or the voice singing Super Chicken when an hourly goal is reached during an on-air pledge drive.  When you hear the name Cleve Callison you might think about HQR’s weekly segment featuring your calls and emails – Friday Feedback.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week the GenX numbers began to filter in. Cape Fear River water test results from Brunswick County, and from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, show far lower concentrations of the chemical compound in both raw and treated water. The news is encouraging but many questions remain.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Brunswick County has received the test results of the county’s raw and treated water from the Cape Fear River. It shows levels of GenX that are very different from those reported in a study from 2013 and 2014. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Four of the top 25 cities in the country for opioid abuse are in North Carolina. Wilmington is number one, according to a report from Castlight Health, a San Francisco-based healthcare information company. 

Gerry Dincher / Flickr

New Hanover County shows significant demographic and achievement disparities across its 42 schools.  That’s according to analysis from the Inclusion Project – a report out of the University of North Carolina’s Center for Civil Rights in Chapel Hill.   Between 2006 and 2010, New Hanover County’s School Board adopted a neighborhood school model that, according to that report, has exacerbated the disparities.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The new organization Clean Cape Fear held its second “Water Wednesday” event Wednesday evening  at the Coastline Convention Center. They met to discuss communicating the news of GenX and other compounds in the water supply, to the poor and otherwise underserved people of the region. About 145 people were in attendance.

Jason W. Smith via Wikimedia Commons

Short term rentals:  they’re those properties that are rented out by an owner to vacationers or tourists -- often for a week, a few weeks, or a few days.  Vacation Rental By Owner ( VRBO) and Airbnb are two of the most popular websites for these types of rentals. 

Join us at Noon on Friday, July 7 at WHQR. Our special guests this month are singers/musicians from Opera Wilmington. We're not sure exactly what we'll hear, but we know we'll get a sneak peek from the group's upcoming production of Carmen-and we know it will be the best way to spend your lunch. Speaking of lunch, feel free to bring yours. We'll have some sweets and tea as well. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Chemours and GenX. A month ago, most people in the region probably had not heard either word. Since June 7, that’s changed. Water is being tested by the state, the EPA and the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, as citizens are buying a lot more bottled water. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

GenX is an emerging contaminant – a chemical compound that is both product and byproduct in this story. 

Ladynylon / Wikimedia Commons

HB2, the North Carolina legislation that mandated bathroom use according to the gender on one’s birth certificate, helped to stoke a mainstream national conversation about people who are transgender.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

One of the questions emerging from the GenX story we are covering relates to cancer rates in the region. GenX is the chemical compound first reported to be in the Cape Fear River and drinking water supply three weeks ago by the Star News. On Thursday we got an answer about cancer rates from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. 

Citizens from in and around Wilmington packed UNCW’s Kenan Auditorium Wednesday night to get answers from a panel of experts about the GenX water crisis. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority began its own round of tests of water in the Cape Fear River. In light of what’s been happening with GenX, the utility authority is also working on improving its communication with the public. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday the Chemours Company confirmed in an email to WHQR News that they have begun the capture of the wastewater stream, and GenX, generated from production at their manufacturing facility in Fayetteville. Meanwhile, water testing of the Cape Fear River continues. 

Martin Benavides

One shark expert recently described these sea creatures as the most poorly-understood mega-fauna, not just because of popular culture with the movie Jaws in its canon (never mind Shark Week), but because the travel patterns of sharks cover great distances.

On this edition of CoastLine, we, yes, de-bunk some of those pop culture myths – but more importantly, we learn about what kind of shark research is taking place in and around the waters of North Carolina. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

More than 300 people turned out for a community forum on GenX and drinking water at the Coastline Convention Center on Wednesday. The meeting was organized by Cape Fear River Watch, and featured six panelists on the topic. 

Celia Rivenbark: From Humor to Politics

Jun 22, 2017
Isabelle Shepherd

On last week’s CoastLine, Cleve Callison interviewed New York Times best-selling author, humorist and columnist Celia Rivenbark. Among the topics they discussed, with help from callers, was Celia’s recent decision to make her columns more political, and the resulting fallout, both personal and professional…

Lower Cape Fear Historical Society

The City of Wilmington saw a rash of urban fires in the 19th century – making the surviving buildings that much more precious.  Urban renewal in the mid-20th century had a similar effect on some of Wilmington’s historic legacy, but heritage tourism is booming.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The Wilmington City Council approved the 2017-18 budget Tuesday. The $217 million fiscal year budget includes a small property tax decrease. Before tackling the budget, the council heard from several speakers on the topic of GenX, which is why close to 200 people crowded into council chambers. 

Vince Winkel

New Hanover County Commissioners adopted a resolution Monday calling on Chemours to stop production of GenX. Brunswick County Commissioners adopted a resolution the same day -- asking Chemours to stop the discharge of the GenX chemical into the Cape Fear River.  That’s largely because  there is still a lot about GenX that we don’t know. It’s all about chemistry. Which means for many of us, it can be somewhat difficult to grasp.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

New Hanover County Commissioners met Monday night to vote on the 2017 – 2018 county budget, which takes effect July 1. Not everyone in attendance was happy with the outcome.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act will be 20 years old this AugustAs we learned last week, that policy came to be after extended and heated debate from stakeholders on all sides of the issue.  Most of those involved at the time describe it as better than nothing – but most definitely a compromise.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

On Monday the state began taking water samples along the Cape Fear River, to determine the current levels of GenX in the water. The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality will sample water from 12 locations. A lab in Colorado will then do the analysis. Once those levels are determined, scientists hope to determine what, if any, health effects GenX has had or could have on the citizens here.

CoastLine: Celia Rivenbark

Jun 17, 2017
Isabelle Shepherd

Our CoastLine guest on Thursday, June 15, 2017 was New York Times best-selling author, columnist, and now playwright Celia Rivenbark. Her column is syndicated nationally, but she lives right here in Wilmington and we're lucky to have snagged her as a guest.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

New water collection and testing of the Cape Fear River will begin next week. That was one of the results of yesterday’s meeting between Chemours, the company that produces known toxin GenX, and city, county, and state officials. A state investigation by NC DEQ and NC DHHS is now underway as well. 

Vince Winkel

Officials from Chemours, the company that produces GenX, were in Wilmington Thursday for a 90-minute meeting with city, county and state officials. One thing that was exposed was that since 1980, Chemours had a vinyl ether process operating at its Fayetteville Works site up the Cape Fear River from Wilmington. It is a process that produces GenX as a byproduct. After the closed door meeting, local officials met with the media, but Chemours did not.  

Vince Winkel

On Thursday representatives from Wilmington, the counties of Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover, the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, and the state’s department of environmental quality and department of health and human services, will meet behind closed doors with the Chemours Company. That’s the company behind GenX, a chemical reported to be in the region’s water supply. 

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