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Wikipedia Commons: Per Erik Strandberg

Governor Pat McCrory recently unveiled his new transportation plan.  As it stands, southeastern North Carolina is not slated to receive funding for rail improvements.  

With the wood pellet industry and Vertex Rail coming to Wilmington, train traffic will increase substantially over the next few years. Yet the state is currently not providing funding to help ease the strain of such a rise in activity or address safety conflicts with vehicular traffic.

By Josh Bluntschli / Wiki Commons

Freight traffic in Wilmington will likely increase due to the new Vertex Rail and wood pellet industries. And the city’s population is expected to grow by over 50% in the next 25 years.  This creates safety and traffic issues, which the City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are attempting to address.  Instead of slowly winding through the city, officials envision a new route cutting across the Cape Fear River directly to the Port.  

Billy Hathorn

It didn’t take long for local film workers to see a drop in production after North Carolina legislators re-structured the incentive – changing it from a tax rebate to a fixed grant fund. 

New Hanover County's Community Justice Services Department / Penny Craver

When the state stopped funding Drug Treatment Courts in 2011, New Hanover County stepped up to support the program.  To measure effectiveness since that switch, the drug court commissioned an evaluation, which was completed last week.  UNCW sociology researchers found marked success, though recidivism rates for drug court clients are widely considered to be hard to gauge.  

Drug Treatment Court is an intensive substance abuse program.  For those who’ve been convicted of crimes connected with drugs—such as possession or stealing—it can serve as an alternative to prison time.

Carolina Plantations Real Estate

Brunswick County is likely to see the largest population surge in southeastern North Carolina over the next several decades. 

In preparation for this growth, policy makers from the Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, the regional transportation planning agency with representatives from New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender Counties, are developing a modernized transportation plan to address congestion and what they're calling "enticing" options for the next generation of commuters.

New Hanover County Sheriff's Office

Heroin busts have been in the headlines for the past month. Most notably, the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office carried out the second largest heroin bust in the county’s history at the end of October. While busts like these address the supply of drugs, what is being done to reduce demand? The New Hanover County Drug Treatment Court focuses on permanently changing the behavior of addicts. 

Next Glass

It’s an app that claims to have cracked the code of taste. 

The man who succeeded Carl Kasell as the voice of NPR’s top-of-the-hour morning newscast is coming to Wilmington. 

Betsy Jordan / Rick Catlin

Republican Rick Catlin will return for a second term to the North Carolina House of Representatives.  Challenger Betsy Jordan lost District 20 to Catlin by a 24% margin. 

Representative Catlin says he received positive feedback regarding his first term while out on the campaign trail:

David Rouzer

In a winning night for the GOP, Republican David Rouzer has defeated Democrat Jonathan Barfield for North Carolina’s 7th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The 7th District encompasses Brunswick, Columbus, most of New Hanover, and some of Pender -- and it stretches north to the suburbs of Raleigh.

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