U.S. Department of Justice

On this edition of CoastLine, we shine a light on a criminal enterprise that has overtaken illegal gun trafficking as the second-most prolific crime around the globe for making money.  Human trafficking, which can include sex trafficking, is on the rise around the world and here in southeastern North Carolina. 


Broilers, fryers, roasters, turkey, chicken – and eggs – those are the products of the poultry industry in North Carolina.   The Poultry Federation claims that it contributes more than $34 billion to North Carolina’s economy.   Statistics from the North Carolina Poultry Jubilee are a bit more moderate:  they claim an economic impact to the state of $12.8 billion.  They don’t disagree so much, however, on the number of jobs this business creates:  between 109,000 and 110,000 people make their living bringing birds and eggs to the table.     

To fuel North Carolina’s pork industry, the state is host to more than 9 million pigs.  Turns out, that hog waste is a fuel of its own, and it’s becoming a bigger part of North Carolina’s energy portfolio.  Duke Energy announced its second swine waste-to-power project in North Carolina earlier today. 

Summer Saunders / Interfaith Refugee Ministry - Wilmington

Since October 2015, 71 people have arrived in Wilmington as refugees -- most of them from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  Another 20% are from Colombia, and half a dozen have fled Burma.  Over the previous fiscal year (October - September), nearly 100 people resettled in the Wilmington area.  Most of that group came from Burma; about a quarter arrived from Colombia. 

Bob Nichols, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

North Carolina is host to more than 9 million hogs.  According to the North Carolina Pork Council, the industry generates about $11 billion a year and supports about 46,000 full-time jobs. 

Kenneth C. Zirkel / Wikimedia Commons

One more high-profile performer has cancelled plans to appear in North Carolina due to the controversial new HB2 law – otherwise known as the “Bathroom Bill”.

New Hanover County Board of Commissioners

When the New Hanover County Commissioners gathered for a budget work session, differences in philosophy fueled some tense debate. 

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Larry Bonney thought he would launch his professional career as a school psychologist.  But life, as it often does, had other plans -- or more specifically, the Federal Bureau of Investigation – which was doing some heavy recruiting at the time. 

The Bureau hired Larry Bonney 46 years ago; now the decades spanning 1970 to 2000 hold stories of an airplane hijacking, the siege at Waco, Texas on the Branch Davidian compound, and a stint as a youth minister in California. 

Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina is the second-largest pork producer in the United States.  The importance of the industry to the state’s economy – and by extension to the thousands of people whose livelihood it supports – is undeniable.  This is the third edition of CoastLine in our series on hog farming in the state.  In each episode, we’ve narrowed the focus to one aspect of hog production.  We’ve looked at the economics of it as well as questions around environmental justice.  We’ve explored why some scientists say Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations – or CAFOs – negatively impact water qual