Six Wilmingtonians are running for three open spots on their city’s council. And curbing Wilmington’s highly publicized crime rate is a top priority for each. The hopefuls agree that higher police officer pay would fortify intervention efforts; however, they have disparate ideas when it comes to preventing the root causes of crime. The value of youth-oriented social services is the source of greatest contention.
This November, two town council candidates and incumbent mayor Dean Lambeth are all running unopposed in Kure Beach. Of top concern to this beach town is the question of how to strike a balance between preserving its quaint and quiet nature—a major reason many residents chose to live there—while still profiting from tourist dollars. Kure Beach’s newly opened Ocean Front Park is intensifying this issue.
Five candidates are running for two seats on the Wrightsville Beach Board of Aldermen this November. Of top concern to the town is impending legislation that would increase its home and business owners’ flood insurance rates. The two alderman hopefuls who attended last night’s beach town forum at WHQR are both campaigning on their mission to delay implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. This federal law is meant to recover recent losses to FEMA’s Flood Insurance Program, and stands to significantly raise local insurance rates.
During the seventies and eighties, Felix Cooper served as New Hanover County’s finance manager and later, its county manager. Following those sixteen years of local service, a subsequent stint as city manager of Key West in Florida, and several years of retirement, the Democrat is throwing his hat in the ring again. This time, he’s vying for a seat on Wilmington’s City Council. And, Cooper is a major proponent of increased synergy between the city council and the county commission.
Skip Watkins says he’s dreamed of serving in public office his whole life. A father, financial advisor and longtime volunteer with the Cape Fear Festival and Expo and the Azalea Festival, Watkins cites frustration over Wilmington City Council’s recent efforts to acquire a minor-league baseball stadium as the catalyst that ultimately spurred him to run for a seat on the Council. If elected, Skip Watkins hopes to provide the City with a dose of what he describes as “fiscal guidance.”
On Thursday, Wilmington’s Freeman Elementary and Mosley Performance Learning Center were both locked from the outside for several hours following a shooting at the nearby Creekwood housing community. The next day, a gunfire incident behind the College Road K-Mart led to the brief lock-down of Isaac Bear Early College. A lock-down means access to and from the schools is restricted, and classrooms lock their doors, turn off the lights and shut the blinds. New Hanover County Schools go into this heightened security mode whenever police activity occurs in the vicinity of a school.
Duke Energy Progress will be closing its coal-fired power operation serving New Hanover County this December. Pollutants are slowly leaching from the coal-ash basins surrounding the Sutton plant toward groundwater wells that supply drinking water for the nearby Flemington community. However, decommissioning the plant’s ash basins will not guarantee safety for nearby groundwater supplies—not for a long time, that is.