Local

Vince Winkel / WHQR

Wilmington International Airport got some welcome news when the state budget was released. The proposal includes $40 million for commercial airports across North Carolina for the next fiscal year -- and $50 million for 2018 -19.  Some of that money is headed to Wilmington.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

It’s budget time for New Hanover County. On Thursday, county commissioners will have an open work session to discuss the proposed fiscal year budget for 2016-17, which takes effect July 1. The commissioners expect the final budget to come together relatively smoothly.

Vince Winkel / WHQR

The groundbreaking has begun at the Water Street Parking Deck. On Monday a mini-excavator put on a show for city officials, as a symbolic kick-off to the demolition. The parking deck, built in 1966, is coming down to make room for the 13-story River Place project.

Courtesy of PGA

One of the largest sporting events ever held in Wilmington came to an exciting close Sunday. The Wells Fargo Championship, at Eagle Point Golf Club, was decided on the final hole on the final day of the tournament. 

Creative Commons Zero - CCO

The North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act will be 20 years old this August.  It was the result of heated debate from stakeholders on all sides of the issue – and while most describe it as a compromise bill, signed by Governor Jim Hunt in 1997, most also say it was better than nothing.  There is new legislation coming through the pipeline in Raleigh that could fundamentally change the way fisheries are regulated, and that has reignited a decades-old battle – that reaches beyond th

Courtesy of EWG

On Friday, Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 467. That’s a bill we reported on last week, that would impact those who live near concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs. The bill would have created new restrictions for CAFO neighbors who file so-called nuisance lawsuits. 

Mahalie Stackpole / Wikimedia Commons

Across the United States, fewer girls aged 15 to 19 are are having babies.  That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control.  A report published last year shows that in 2015, teen pregnancies hit a historic low for a birth rate of 22.3 per 1,000 women ages 15 – 19 years old.  In New Hanover County, the teen pregnancy rate is slightly lower than the national number:  just over twenty 15-19-year-old girls out of a thousand gave birth in 2015.    In Pender County, the rate is slightly above the national rate at more than 25 per 1,000 girls. 

Giulian Frisoni: https://www.flickr.com/photos/giulianfrisoni/30021521302/

It seems like a no-brainer: Both recreational and commercial fishermen want a lot of fish.  But how they balance and protect that resource – that’s where the problems arise.  House Bill 867, which was filed in the North Carolina General Assembly last month, would shift the NC Marine Fisheries Commission’s focus from sustaining populations to conserving stock.

Derek Keats, Flickr Creative Commons: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dkeats/5645778206/

New legislation is working its way through the North Carolina General Assembly, and its focus is on the balance between conservation and sustainability of fish stocks. On last week’s CoastLine, Rachel Lewis Hilburn sat down with biologist Jess Hawkins, Dick Brame of Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina, and Jerry Schill of the North Carolina Fisheries Association. While all guests share a love of fishing, their ideas about preservation are quite different…

Vince Winkel

Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in North Carolina, officially observed on May 10. Six other states celebrate the holiday. It’s not without controversy. In New Orleans, Confederate monuments are now being removed from public places. Meanwhile, at Fort Fisher, a new interpretive marker was just dedicated next to the Confederate Monument. The service was more about men … than soldiers.

New Hanover County Health Department

People in New Hanover County are getting fatter.  And this is not a body image problem; it’s an issue that’s leading to chronic disease and early death.  60% of New Hanover County residents are either overweight or obese.  That’s according to a New Hanover County health report published last year that uses only self-reported data. When the data is broken down according to race – a sad but predictable picture emerges:  58% of white people fall into the overweight / obese category.  But people of color in New Hanover County report much high

Red Beard Farms

A study recently published in the first issue of the scientific journal, The Lancet Planetary Health, concludes that large and small farms will be needed to meet the global demand for food, which is estimated to require a 70 percent boost in production by the 2050s.

A new poll from Elon University shows support for President Donald Trump among North Carolina voters has fallen since November, when he carried the state on his way to the White House. 

Vince Winkel

The term Unified Development Ordinance, or UDO, is about to become part of New Hanover County’s lexicon. That’s because yesterday and last night, county officials began work on this large document. 

Vince Winkel / WHQR

It appears that Wilmington’s PPD - Pharmaceutical Product Development – is no longer on the market. Rather than sell the company, as had been rumored for a couple of years, the owners have decided to recapitalize PPD and expand the company’s ownership to include two new investors. 

Vince Winkel

North Carolina is the third largest producer of pork in the country, and that means a lot of hog farms. Those hog farms have neighbors. Sometimes those neighbors file what are called nuisance suits. But under a bill in the legislature, there could be new restrictions attached to those lawsuits. Penalties against hog and chicken farms would be limited to lost rental or property value because of the nearby farm.  

Vince Winkel

The future of planning for New Hanover County will be front and center this week. The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will hold a Joint Work Session with the County Planning Board this Thursday, to discuss the Unified Development Ordinance.  There are actually two meetings planned for this Thursday.

You might have seen Jason Frye’s byline on restaurant reviews published in the Wilmington StarNews.  You may have used some of his recommendations from a Moon travel guide pointing the way to old-timey Appalachian music near Asheville, family-friendly beaches at the coast, where to fish in the Smoky Mountains or how to find fresh North Carolina oysters.

Spring 2017 Survey Results

Apr 21, 2017

Here are the top-line results from our recent Listener Survey. Thanks to all who participated. Some observations:

  1. The Total is a product of the number of people voting for a given program and the average score (1-9, low to high). As in past years, All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and NPR Hourly Newscasts are the top vote-getters.
  2. 417 respondents is considerably more than the last couple of years. There is reason for confidence in this data set. That said, there is reason for caution...

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

An American Rivers Report recently identified the Cape Fear and Neuse Rivers as in the top ten Most Endangered in the United States.  A 2016 study of the presence of hexavalent chromium in drinking water by the Environmental Working Group found levels higher than it considers safe in the tap water of more than 200 million Americans.  This is the same toxin that first landed on the national radar in the early 1990s when Erin Brockovich

Vince Winkel

PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect Tregembo Animal Park on Carolina Beach Road in Wilmington. This week’s request from PETA comes after the organization saw video footage of several animals apparently in distress. 

Julie Kozlow didn’t set out to be the first woman anything.  She has known for years about a penchant for the spiritual world, and that understanding crystallized during a deeply personal experience that we’ll hear about later. 

Brunswick County and Wilmington Business Development now have a formal agreement outlining opportunities for cooperation on the economic development front.  The board of directors of The Southeastern Partnership, another regional economic development entity that is, like WBD, a public-private partnership, has approved requests by three counties to become part of their organization’s geography and marketing.   Craven, Lenoir, and Moore Counties.  The brings the number to 18 of counties marketed by the Southeastern Partnership – which is based in Elizabethtown.  That’s in Bladen County. 

On Tuesday a Wilmington-based technology company will take the stage at the “End Violence Against Women  International" conference in Orlando. Ten8Tech will introduce Victim Link, a new product which makes reporting a sexual assault less unpleasant for victims.  

Vince Winkel

There is a new bill in the state senate from Republican Michael Lee of New Hanover County that requires anyone driving a car to use a hands-free device for cell calls. The aim is to reduce the number of accidents – and deaths – caused by distracted drivers. However some believe such a law may not be enough.

Vince Winkel

Some of the world’s best golfers will descend on Wilmington in just under three weeks for the Wells Fargo Golf Championship. The event at Eagle Point Golf Club is projected to drive millions of dollars into the local economy and millions of TV viewers for the tournament. It’s prompted a new marketing initiative for the Cape Fear Region, but its focus is not on tourism. It's economic development. 

Ocean Isle Beach in Brunswick County is the second North Carolina municipality to receive a permit for a terminal groin since a long-standing ban was lifted in 2011. 

Vince Winkel

Starting Monday night, traffic at the intersection of Carolina Beach Road, Front Street and South Third Street is going to change. That's because the Greenfield Lake culvert project is shifting into high gear.  

Vince Winkel

Property owners of 14 acres along Battleship Road would like to build up to 15 homes between that road and the Cape Fear River.  New Hanover County’s Planning Board has not yet voted on the request, although it had been on Thursday night's agenda.

Creative Commons

It was almost exactly two years ago that two North Carolina Representatives – both Democrats – filed a bill in the House that would legalize physician-assisted suicide in the state.

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