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National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries

Officials with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management are reviewing ten permit applications from eight companies seeking to conduct seismic testing off the coast of North Carolina. 

Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory is a vocal supporter of offshore exploration for oil and gas and its necessary precursor, seismic testing. 

New Hanover County Manager's Office

New Hanover County has started extending water and sewer lines to the 421 Corridor. But the project’s twelve million dollar price tag has some county commissioners seeking alternative funding measures.

To fund the infrastructure development along the 421 Corridor, county managers are looking into federal grants to help lessen the burden on New Hanover.

Mayor Bill Saffo suggests private investment. As an example, he cites Duke Energy’s work to run water lines to the Flemington sites, which have contaminated wells.

New Hanover County Manager's Office

The price tag to extend water and sewer service along the 421 Corridor is twelve million dollars. WHQR’s Isabelle Shepherd spoke with New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White about ways the county might offset the costs of the project.

Isabelle Shepherd: At the meeting between the city and county, you suggested selling county property to help offset the costs of infrastructure development along the 421 Corridor. What county property did you have in mind? And has that idea caught hold with the rest of the Board of Commissioners?

New Hanover County Manager's Office

Wilmington and New Hanover County are moving forward with a Garner report recommendation to extend water and sewer to the 421 Corridor. The return on investment will depend on the county’s business recruitment efforts. 

The price tag to further this infrastructure development is nearly 12 million dollars. A full return on investment is expected in sixteen years, and the most optimistic estimate is as little as ten years.

Governor Pat McCrory

When President Obama opened portions of the Atlantic seaboard to drilling, the Interior Department established a buffer of fifty-miles to protect fishing and tourism. But Governor Pat McCrory strongly criticizes that restriction.

The Governor spoke before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources last week. He says the fifty-mile buffer zone unnecessarily restricts development:

Joe Mabel

Clarification: 

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, Executive Director of Feast Down East and Chair of UNCW's Sociology Department, says there are two Feast Down East weekly Fresh Markets in Wilmington which accept EBT cards:

Fresh Market at Rankin Terrace
Fridays, 10 am – 12:00 pm
Open Year Round
Located: Corner of 12th St. & Rankin St., Wilmington

Fresh Market at Hillcrest
Fridays, 1:30pm – 4pm
Open Year Round
Located: Corner of S. 13th St & Meares St.

----------------------------------------------------------

North Carolina ranks fifth in the nation for food insecurity. 

The Tony and Emmy Award-winning actor John Lithgow first performed his original one-man show in 2008 at Lincoln Center -- on the dark nights. 

John Lithgow identifies himself as a theater actor first. 

Battleship North Carolina In Need of Emergency Repairs

Apr 9, 2015
Kate Brandis, WHQR

Battleship North Carolina stands as a tribute to those who served in World War II and attracts a quarter-million visitors each year. But the ship, permanently moored in Wilmington, is in need of emergency repairs. 

Even the strongest people and monuments age with time, and the steel hull of Battleship North Carolina is thinning. In some spots, a finger can poke through. That’s because the last major repairs were done over sixty years ago, despite the fact that the U.S. Navy’s standard requires repairs every twenty years.

www.coastalreview.org

Finding good quality sand that is also compatible with the existing sand on a beach is an ongoing challenge for beach renourishment projects in North Carolina.  

Scientists Call For Halt to Oil & Gas Exploration Program

Apr 7, 2015
Wikipedia Commons

Seismic testing gauges oil and gas deposits by shooting loud blasts of compressed air into the ocean. President Barack Obama approved the guidelines for its usage last year. But a group of scientists is calling upon the President to rethink that decision. 

William McLellan of UNCW’s Marine Biology Department is one of seventy-five scientists who wrote to President Obama in opposition to the planned oil and gas exploration program off the Atlantic coast. They are concerned about impacts to marine wildlife.  

Celebrating Williston School Luminaries: Dorothy DeShields

Mar 20, 2015
Cape Fear Museum

The Williston School is celebrating its centennial.  The graduates of the former Williston Senior High have gone on to become leaders in the local community, state, and nation.  WHQR spoke with Dorothy DeShields, who was inspired by her teachers at Williston to pursue a career in education.

Isabelle Shepherd: What was the educational experience like at Williston?

Celebrating Williston School Luminaries: Joseph McNeil

Mar 17, 2015
Wikimedia Commons

Williston Middle School in Wilmington marks its 100th anniversary this year.  When it was a segregated high school, Williston produced alumni who are known throughout the country for their achievements.  Joseph McNeil graduated from Williston in 1959 and went on to start the civil rights sit-in movement in Greensboro.  

Isabelle Shepherd: You attended Williston Senior High School. Can you tell me about your time there?

UNCW

Williston Middle School in Wilmington marks its 100th anniversary this year. 

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

Historic preservation tax credits expired at the end of 2014, but now at least two bills working their way through the North Carolina House and Senate aim to reinstate the program.  Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz came to Wilmington during a multi-city tour to support the legislation. 

Terminal groins are hardened structures that jut into the ocean with the aim of preventing beach erosion. The construction of one is in progress, and three other local coastal communities are pursuing permits. Yet oceanfront officials and environmentalists disagree on the costs and benefits.

An amendment to the Coastal Area Management Act allows for up to four new terminal groins in North Carolina, and all four projects are slated for the Cape Fear region.

Websites that advertise adult services facilitate the sexual exploitation of children and other forms of human trafficking. 

Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns: http://www.maryknollogc.org/article/maryknoll-supports-end-modern-slavery-initiative-act-2015

A bipartisan bill to combat human trafficking is working its way through the United States legislature. The national initiative could benefit the Cape Fear region, which has high rates of human trafficking. 

If passed, the human trafficking bill would institute The End Modern Slavery Initiative Foundation. Using private and public monies totaling over a billion dollars, the Foundation would finance anti-trafficking programs in places where adults and children are forced into servitude.

The first two inalienable rights, according to the Declaration of Independence, are life and liberty. 

Wikimedia Commons

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

City of Wilmington

Light sleet and freezing drizzle are now blanketing southeastern North Carolina and northeast South Carolina. 

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

As the frozen precipitation continues in the Cape Fear region, more wrecks are being reported.

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

Frozen precipitation is falling around southeastern North Carolina. 

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

Much of Wilmington’s greater downtown area is a USDA designated food desert. But a local grocery store is looking to change that. 

Billy Hathorn

At the beginning of this year, North Carolina’s film incentive switched from a competitive tax rebate to a very small grant fund – holding just $10 million.

Rachel Lewis Hilburn

A winter storm making its way through North Carolina has put emergency crews on alert.

Angelsharum

This was originally posted in January.  The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority is once again warning customers to take precautions, so we have re-published the information.

With the impending blast of cold weather on tap later this week, officials with the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority are advising water customers to take precautions to avoid frozen or bursting water pipes.

@dva7118 on Flickr Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dva7118/4552800332/in/photolist-oya9TZ-7WjhVs-8fSQdA-ow8mxK-9qTidH-nrygaf-gexdCR-ouVLs9-oPe2oe-oeUzh1-owcLu7-odt9mX-oeXC3A-oxD6G8-oeoEcy-ouEMm2-odrh6h-odqP1C-odrgWQ-ovUmsp-oupJkn-oyaNXz-oy

In 1898, the only known coup d’État in United States history occurred in Wilmington. After taking back control of the legislature during the state elections, white supremacists in Wilmington overthrew the elected local government, forcing both black and white city officials to resign and running many out of town. WHQR spoke with Philip Gerard, author of Cape Fear Rising, about the coup and its significance during Black History Month. "

Isabelle Shepherd: What drove you to write Cape Fear Rising?  

New Hanover Co. Public Library

As February is Black History Month, we turn our attention to the 1898 coup d’état in Wilmington.  WHQR spoke with Philip Gerard, author of Cape Fear Rising.

In 1898, a group of white supremacists overthrew the democratically elected biracial government of Wilmington and replaced it with officials who instituted the first Jim Crow laws in North Carolina.  Philip Gerard, a creative writing professor at UNCW, researched these events for his historical novel: 

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