Local

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

In a unanimous decision, the Wilmington City Council passed a resolution opposing oil drilling off the North Carolina coast. Advocates on both sides focused on the economic pros and cons of drilling’s precursor seismic testing. 

 

Before making their decision, City Council heard arguments from both sides of the offshore drilling debate. Lindsey Deignan of the SurfRider Foundation spoke against seismic testing and offshore drilling. Deignan says the entire coastal economy is at stake: 

Wood pellets.  They’re a simple idea, but their potential implications are far more complicated and controversial. 

Wood Pellet Industry Fueled By Temporary EU Subsidies

Jul 21, 2015

Enviva, a large wood pellet supplier and manufacturer, has expanded their operations to southeastern North Carolina. The industry is fueled by renewable energy subsidies from the European Union. 

Baby Boomers are once again leading a new trend: retiree entrepreneurship. Instead of giving up work at 60, they’re starting new careers based on their expertise and hobbies. This activity is especially evident in areas like the Cape Fear region, where many retired entrepreneurs have joined others in making a new lifestyle. We explore post-retirement work, especially starting new businesses, on today’s CoastLine.

Guests:

North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT)

As the North Carolina General Assembly reconvenes this week, one budget item remains on the chopping block: high school driver’s education. The Senate’s current budget proposal would eliminate driver’s education classes as a learner’s permit requirement. 

The Annual Meeting of Friends of Public Radio will be held this Thursday, July 16th, at 6pm in the WHQR studios, 254 North Front Street Suite 300 in Wilmington.

The formal business of the meeting will be to elect a new Board member for a term ending in 2018. We'll also hear reports from the Board and station management on the past year's events (hint: it was a very good year) and plans for the future. As always, there will be time for public comment.

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

The General Assembly approved a temporary budget at the end of June before taking a week-long recess. The delay prompted a local protest from teachers, teaching assistants, and parents. 

North Carolina’s delayed budget leaves many school systems in limbo as they plan for the upcoming year. The House’s proposed budget maintains current funding levels for teaching assistants, but, according to News & Observer, the Senate’s plan could eliminate over eight thousand teaching assistant jobs.

By Brian Gratwicke, via Wikimedia Commons

The North Carolina coast has seen eight shark attacks so far this season.  Summer is not half over.  It’s a record-setting number.  And a chilling one for most people. 

Pterantula / Wikimedia Commons

Eight shark attacks off the North Carolina coast this season have prompted Governor Pat McCrory to ask the Department of Public Safety to look for patterns.

Wikimedia Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rip_current

Shark bites have been dominating the headlines in coastal North Carolina for weeks. But sharks aren’t the most dangerous risk swimmers face in the ocean.  

So far this summer, North Carolina has experienced a record-breaking number of shark attacks: 8, to be precise – with the most recent bite occurring over the holiday weekend. But Scott Baker, a fisheries specialist with the North Carolina Sea Grant Extension program, says that these shark bites are overshadowing the ocean’s real danger:

Wikimedia Commons

A man is in the hospital after yet another shark attack off the North Carolina coast just after noon on Wednesday.  The victim sustained multiple injuries.

Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that the great jazz singer and bandleader Cab Calloway has played Wilmington? 

agelessfoundationinc.org

The Williston Alumni Association is celebrating the Wilmington school’s 100th anniversary. 

NPR

When a shark (or sharks) seriously injures two young swimmers near a local beach, a new company announces plans to provide a significant spike in jobs, or a community group demands the Confederate flag be banned in the county, it’s local reporters that bring you those stories. 

In this edition of CoastLine, we talk with two key players on the local news scene. 

carolinarivers.com

Anthropologist Monroe Fisher's African trail was called one of the "world’s best hikes" by the National Geographic. His new project, Carolina Rivers, has begun documenting 32 rivers of North and South Carolina. He was our our guest on CoastLine on June 17th, 2015.

photographer: Billy Hathorn

New Hanover County residents will see a two-cent property tax increase in the next fiscal year. 

Audubon North Carolina

Oystercatchers, Black Skimmers, Least Terns, Willets, and Common Terns.  They’re all shore birds.  They’re all listed as species of special concern in North Carolina.  And they’re all nesting in colonies at the tip of Wrightsville Beach. 

City of Wilmington

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

Renowned Anthropologist Sets Out to Explore Carolina Rivers

Jun 16, 2015
Julian Monroe Fisher (www.carolinarivers.com)

Anthropologist Julian Monroe Fisher has explored all of Africa, but now he’s turning his attention to his own backyard. The Wilmingtonian will spend the next two years traversing 32 Carolina rivers. 

Julian Monroe Fisher has spent the last fifteen years doing anthropological research in Africa. But when he was home in North Carolina, he kept passing over rivers and wondering where they came from and where they’re going. That curiosity led him to design his most recent project, Carolina Rivers Education and Preservation through Exploration:

Richard Ling, Wikimedia Commons

In the past week, there have been three shark attacks in Brunswick County – two of them causing serious injuries. A local fisheries expert has a theory about why these attacks keep occurring south of the Cape Fear River’s mouth. 

Dr. Frederick Scharf is a professor of Marine Biology at UNCW. He says the area of these recent attacks is rich in food sources for sharks. That’s because the outflow from the Cape Fear River tends to bend south—right along the Oak Island beaches. That stream of water releases nutrients and suspended solids—fish food, essentially—into the coastal ocean.

Wikimedia Commons

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

By Instant Vantage [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

An extended period of near-record heat slammed the southeast over the weekend, and it’s not expected to let up until late this week. 

The term “Ebonics” was coined in the early 1970s as a way of describing language patterns used by some African Americans. 

City of Wilmington

Laura Padgett has served on the Wilmington City Council for over twenty years.  But Padgett, the longest-serving member of the council, will not seek a sixth term. 

Laura Padgett was first elected to the Wilmington City Council in 1993.  During her tenure, she focused largely on historic preservation and transportation issues.  And in 2006, Padgett was instrumental in the passing of the Parks & Green Space Bond.  In addition to her role on the council, she serves on the Metropolitan Planning Organization and Wave Transit Board.

Enviva Domes To Be Raised At Port of Wilmington This Week

Jun 8, 2015
Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

The Port of Wilmington’s skyline will soon be changing. The first of two Enviva wood pellet storage domes will be raised late this week, possibly as early as this Thursday – if the weather holds.

It’ll happen overnight. Crews will cover the dome’s foundation with polyester roofing material, which will form the outer shell of the wood pellet storage container. It takes just six hours to inflate the structure, like a hot air balloon, to its full size. Then, the much lengthier process of reinforcing the dome with steel and concrete begins.

You know her as NPR’s senior political commentator, joining Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne on Morning Edition most Mondays to discuss politics. 

By the year 2060, the United States will have no clear racial majority. 

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on May 20, 2015.

New Hanover County is seeing a rise in the number of children in need of foster homes. 

While the reasons for the increase aren’t clear, public officials are taking another look at services for kids who have been removed from their family homes because of abuse or neglect.   There is also legislation on the table that would divert more funding to prevent kids coming out of foster care from heading straight into homelessness. 

National Institute on Aging

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on May 13, 2015. 

The onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can be one of the more terrifying aspects of growing older.  

While the risk of cognitive impairment increases with age, it is not considered a normal part of the aging process. 

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on May 6, 2015. 

Check out some of the photos from a gorgeous performance by the Williston Alumni Choir. They sang their hearts out and we couldn't be more thankful for their time and talent!

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