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Children raised in households with intact families often have the luxury of growing into independence. 

American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina

The American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina—or ACLU— just launched a smart phone app that allows citizens to record and submit videos of police activity directly to the advocacy group. Wilmington Police Chief Ralph Evangelous says the app is nothing new. 

Chief Evangelous says citizens have been filming police activity for years. And the Wilmington Police Department is ramping up their filming capabilities as well. The department aims to equip all police officers with body cameras: 

NC Legislature Considers Foster Care Family Act

May 18, 2015
North Carolina General Assembly -- http://www.ncleg.net

In New Hanover County alone, there are 350 children in foster care. The North Carolina legislature is rethinking some policies surrounding the system. 

If passed, the Foster Care Family Act would implement what the bill calls a “reasonable and prudent parent standard” for decisions made by foster families. Representative Sarah Stevens says the Act would help foster parents function with more freedom: 

Cape Fear Community College

Cape Fear Community College opens the inaugural season of its Humanities and Fine Arts Center in October with a performance by the North Carolina Symphony. 

Wikimedia Commons

May 15th marks the 10th Annual Endangered Species Day. While sea turtles are the poster child for endangered species in the Cape Fear region, many shorebirds are even more threatened. 

Two endangered shorebirds--the piping plover and the red knot--nest along the coast of southeastern North Carolina.

Wikimedia Commons

In 2006, the United States Senate established Endangered Species Day to recognize efforts to conserve imperiled species. May 15th marks the celebration’s tenth year. Some endangered reptiles enhance the tourism economy in the Cape Fear region. 

Four types of sea turtles lay their eggs along the coast of southeastern North Carolina: loggerheads, green sea turtles, leatherbacks, and a few Kemp’s Ridley. Once a hatchling makes it to the ocean, the sea turtle has a one in one thousand chance of survival.

New Hanover County Sheriff's Office

A Wilmington Family YMCA volunteer was charged with child abduction and DWI earlier this month. The YMCA did not run a criminal background check on the suspect, James Raymond Gallagher. 

But early this week, the Wilmington Y changed its policy. In light of Gallagher’s arrest, CEO Dick Jones says they’ll conduct criminal background checks on all volunteers:

NWS National Hurricane Center

The official start to Hurricane Season is still three weeks away, but Subtropical Storm Ana is alive and well and drifting slowly toward the Cape Fear region. 

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.

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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. 

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