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Network interruptions likely today

Mar 28, 2017
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Tuesday, March 28: Because of a re-wiring project now going on at WHQR, listeners may experience temporary interruptions to network functions such as web pages and audio streaming. We apologize for the interruptions, and thank you for your patience.

Wiki Commons / Paul Joseph

Craft Beer is booming in North Carolina – and specifically in the Cape Fear region to such a degree that an industry association has set up shop.  The Cape Fear Craft Beer Alliance formed last year and has nearly 20 members.

Vince Winkel

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein was in Wilmington Monday to discuss the opioid epidemic with the area’s state and local elected officials, law enforcement, and health care providers. There is a bipartisan effort in the works to bring a pilot project to Wilmington to treat opiate overdoses. House Bill 324 would create a quick-response team that would respond to overdoses with additional emergency support.

Vince Winkel

For the first time in nearly a decade, data from the National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. That’s a 6% increase over 2015 and a 14% increase over 2014 – the most dramatic two-year escalation in 53 years.  Cell phone usage is the main cause. 

New Hanover County recently approved revisions to its special use permit.  Duke Energy is working to close its coal ash pits at the Sutton Steam Plant site and held a public meeting last week to update stakeholders on the progress.  Also last week, and officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality, and others held a public meeting in Navassa – about the testing and clean-up project on the former Kerr-McGee chemical site across the river in Brunswick County -- which is a Superfund site. 

Makaristos / Wikimedia Commons

The revised Presidential Executive Order banning travel from six mostly-Muslim countries, called a “watered-down version” of the first by President Donald Trump, is now blocked from going into effect by two federal judges -- in Hawaii and Maryland – as of Thursday morning.    

But in light of the movement to crack down on who is coming in to the country, we’re also seeing a crackdown on people who are already here who may not be here legally.  The efforts to find those people are called Targeted Enforcement Operations. 

Vince Winkel

The Cape Fear Economic Development Council is a Wilmington-based group that advocates for sustainable economic development.  At a recent meeting, they looked at whether state or local governments are best-suited to lead development efforts. 

Take a Day Off Drive ends today

Mar 21, 2017
Beatrice Murch from Buenos Aires, Argentina - Fireworks, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3393567

Our "Take a Day Off Drive ends today.

Thanks to your generosity, we hit the $140,000 goal of this campaign today. As promised, we will end the campaign one day earlier than ever before, and resume regular programming at 7 pm Tuesday night.

Public stations face an uncertain future if we lose funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. So it’s essential that support for WHQR reach unprecedented levels from our renewing and especially NEW members.

"Take a Day Off" drives ends at 7 pm tonight!

Mar 21, 2017
By Beatrice Murch from Buenos Aires, Argentina - Fireworks, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3393567

We're taking a day off!

The Spring 2017 "Take a Day Off" campaign reached its announced goal just before 1:00 pm on Tuesday March 21 -- with a day taken off! Our previous drives have run at least 7 days, but we wanted very much to shorten this drive, and thanks to you our listeners, we did.

Day 5 of our drive -- will we end on Day 6?

Mar 20, 2017

Looking good for Day 5 of what we hope will be a 6-day drive. Thanks to all who have pledged!

We're giving away an Apple Windfall Wednesday night -- iPad Mini, Watch, Ear Pods and $100 in the iTunes store. You don't have to make a pledge to enter, and Sustainers are automatically in. 910-599-0398 or whqr.org.

The new WHQR app is here!

Mar 17, 2017

The new WHQR App is ready for action!

The WHQR app for smartphones and tablets provides super-useful features like live streaming, local news stories, your favorite programs and on-demand content. The App is free and available to download for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Android phones. Find it using the links at the bottom or by searching for “WHQR” in Apple’s App Store or Google Marketplace. Or, just click here. 

I'm not interviewed by the BBC just any day, you know

Mar 17, 2017

So this happened: I was interviewed by the BBC concerning the President's plan to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and what the impact would be on local stations like WHQR. In this story, the segment I'm in runs from c. 16'51" to 20'00".

Here is a link to my recent Op-Ed on this topic, published by the Wilmington StarNews.

ncleg.net

Susi Hamilton held the House seat in North Carolina’s 18th District for three terms and was recently elected to a fourth.  She resigned near the end of January – after new Democratic Governor Roy Cooper tapped her to lead the state’s Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. 

Vince Winkel

More than 400 business leaders packed Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station last night to hear from North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper.  The occasion:  the 150th anniversary of the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.  

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Last month, Deb Butler was sworn in to the North Carolina House of Representatives to fill Susi Hamilton’s seat. As a Democratic newcomer to the General Assembly, Representative Butler has found one issue that drives lawmakers to reach across the aisle: the opioid epidemic.

Most of us know very little about the organisms in our own backyard, bedroom, roommate or even on our bodies. Rob Dunn, a Professor of Applied Ecology at North Carolina State University, will try to change that – when he speaks tomorrow night at UNCW.  

Vince Winkel

There’s a move afoot in the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal a plastic bag ban along the Outer Banks. More than 125 municipalities in the U.S. have adopted bag bans, but several states are now reversing that trend. 

Brunswick County Sheriff's Office

One community in Virginia is looking closely at its animal ordinances.  A Wicomico County council member observes that the governing body did a good job of putting ordinances in place to protect people from dangerous dogs several years ago, but they hadn’t done much to protect dogs from people who are irresponsible or cruel.  That’s according to the Delmarva Review.  So the county is reconvening a Dog Review Committee – this time -- to look at regulations through t

Vince Winkel

The commitments from players are starting to roll in for the Wells Fargo Championship, set for May at Eagle Point Golf Club.

WHQR Announces New Full-Time Reporter, Vince Winkel

Mar 8, 2017

WHQR Public Radio is pleased to announce that Vince Winkel has been hired as a full-time Reporter, joining the staff of the HQR News team. Winkel started on March 2nd.

Vince Winkel

On Monday the New Hanover County Commissioners unanimously approved a new Special Use Permit or SUP. The permit is required of certain industries if they wish to build a facility in the county. The vote came after a year of work by county staff and the planning board, concerned citizens and business leaders.   

The Special Use Permit is on the agenda for Monday’s New Hanover County Board of Commissioners meeting. It’s comes up after a year of work by county staff and interested parties.

After almost a year of meetings, public hearings and work sessions, the New Hanover County Commissioners will discuss changes in the Special Use Permit or SUP, Monday afternoon.

Last month the county planning board voted 6 to 1 to approve the changes in the SUP and send it to the next level.

Thursday morning, North Carolina state legislators, including Representative Ted Davis, Junior (R-New Hanover County) and Senator Bill Rabon (R-Brunswick County), held a press conference to announce the introduction of the STOP Act.  It’s legislation intended to address the opioid epidemic in North Carolina by "ensuring smarter prescribing and dispensing of highly-addictive prescription drugs", according to bill sponsors.  The bill would also provide funding for treatment and recovery. 

On Friday, March 3rd the Wilmington StarNews published an editorial honoring Station Manager Cleve Callison on his decision to retire from WHQR. We here at WHQR appreciate the tribute. To read the editorial click HERE.

Alliance for Cape Fear Trees

 

How important are trees to a city’s landscape?  When you see the glorious oak trees in Carolina Heights in Wilmington, do you wonder how long it took them to grow?  Do you worry about the safety of those old trees and heavy limbs falling on roadways?  Do you think tree preservation gets in the way of development and economic growth in what is an urban area? 

As Wilmington enjoys a development boom – with hundreds of new apartment units, single-family homes, and commercial properties going up – what’s happening to the area’s trees? 

Some local activists in Wilmington and Southport are working to help municipalities do more to protect trees by advocating for rules that are clearer, more consistent, and more enforceable. 

City officials admit that Wilmington’s current development ordinance is a bit long in the tooth -- last updated in the 1980s.   And there is work underway to bring it up-to-date. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we learn about the particular challenges builders and developers face when building within city limits.  We also hear from advocates who are focused on the urgency of protecting trees in Wilmington and Southport. 

Guests: 

Bill Jayne served on the Wilmington Tree Commission, a twelve-member body, nine of them appointed by members of City Council, for six years.  He chaired the commission for two.  He is now a member of a relatively new local nonprofit Alliance for Cape Fear Trees.

Scott Len chairs the Southport Forestry Committee and is a member of the North Carolina Urban Forest Council.

Brian Chambers, Associate Planner, City of Wilmington

Cameron Moore, Executive Officer, Wilmington Cape Fear Home Builders Association

Resources: 

Wilmington Tree Commission:

New Hanover County

The five New Hanover County commissioners unveiled this year’s state of the county via a 12-minute video late yesterday afternoon, detailing their individual visions for the area.

It's the 2017 State of the County.

The overall message was one of enthusiasm and optimism.  The entire video featured a music soundtrack, as well.

“I’m so excited about the things that we’re doing from a quality of life perspective."

That's Commissioner Jonathan Barfield.

Cast Your Vote To Support WHQR!

Mar 2, 2017

As a way to involve local residents and help support other community organizations, WDI partners with area nonprofits to split the proceeds from wristbands sold each week during the Wilmington Downtown Sundown Concert Series. Cast your vote for WHQR and help support your local public radio station. 

Billy Hathorn

The decline of North Carolina’s film industry has affected the local theater community in more ways than one. Two artistic directors—Justin Smith of Cape Fear Theatre Arts and Steve Vernon of Big Dawg Productions—and John Staton, Arts & Entertainment editor for Star News, sat down with CoastLine host Rachel Lewis Hilburn. 

Rachel Lewis Hilburn: Besides the talent pool, is there any other way that the loss of the lion’s share of the film industry here has contributed to this? Steve Vernon.

Harry Taylor Photography / N.C. Arts Council

The Red Barn Theater on Third Street in downtown Wilmington, launched by Linda Lavin and Steve Bakunas, is now on the market.  It’s widely expected to cease operation as a theater.  Thalian Association, the theater company that has rented the space for the last several years, is moving out in a matter of months.

Another small Wilmington venue, the Brown Coat Theater and Pub, closed its doors in October. 

And City Stage, an iconic venue in the Masonic building on Front Street in downtown Wilmington, also recently shuttered.

Have you seen headlines in your Facebook feed or at the bottom of an article that reads, “Hillary Clinton meets Osama Bin Laden” – with a picture of the two shaking hands?  Or “President Obama’s daughter, Malia, is pregnant”?  Or “The process to impeach Donald Trump has begun”?  Just to be clear, all of those stories are false.  Hillary Clinton’s picture was photoshopped; Malia’s teen pregnancy and Donald Trump’s impeachment are both patently false.  It’s fake news. 

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