New Hanover County

Vince Winkel / WHQR

This week Gov. Roy Cooper told the EPA to get to work. In a letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Gov. Cooper asks the EPA to move quickly to finalize its health assessment and set a limit for the unregulated chemical GenX. Meanwhile the EPA earmarked more than $3 million for the NC DEQ to enforce the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act. This all happened as county and city officials held a press conference on the topic of GenX.  

Vince Winkel / WHQR

State officials are releasing the first results of water quality samples and an updated preliminary health assessment for concentrations of the unregulated compound GenX in finished, or treated, drinking water. Samples were analyzed at the U.S. EPA lab in Research Triangle Park, and at Test America, a lab in Colorado under contract to Chemours. The latest results mirror those from the Cape Fear Public Utility Authority, with levels in the 68 to 125 parts per trillion range. Is that cause for celebration? Not so fast.

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.

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

There are plans in the works for those woods you see across the river from downtown Wilmington, between the battleship and the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge. Thursday night the New Hanover County Planning Board will hear a rezoning request for that area.

Jon David and Ben David are brothers.  They also happen to be identical twins.  And they’re both district attorneys for adjacent jurisdictions in North Carolina. 

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.

On this edition of the CoastLine Candidate Interviews, we meet the two people in the race for North Carolina Senate District 9.  This district covers most of New Hanover County, with the exception of a small patch in downtown Wilmington, which is part of Brunswick County Senator Bill Rabon’s District 8. 

http://www.nhcgov.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/MAY-2-POWERPPOINT-Recommended-FY16-17_Final.pdf

New Hanover County is in the midst of budget negotiations.  Despite Cape Fear Community College’s rising operating costs, the recommended budget includes the same amount of money from the county as last year. 

New Hanover County

At this week’s meeting, New Hanover County Commissioners reviewed the recommended budget for 2016-2017.  The proposal includes a 5.5-cent property tax increase.

NCACC

All 100 counties in North Carolina belong to an organization called the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners – or the NCACC.  Founded in 1908, this coalition of local elected officials shares best practices and works together to advance county agendas at the state and federal levels.  During a recent trip to Wilmington, Executive Director Kevin Leonard came to WHQR to talk about why every county in the state chooses to participate.   

New Hanover County Commissioner Woody White, in cooperation with two other Republican candidates for the County Board, delivered a scathing criticism of Chairperson Beth Dawson, after her state of the county address Monday nightThe response, posted on YouTube, attacks Dawson, who is a Republican, for abandoning GOP principles and cooperating with the Democrats.   

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New Hanover County


U.S. Geological Survey

Storm surge, coastal flooding, and beach erosion.  Those are the likely impacts from the combination of a wet system moving up from the Gulf of Mexico and the arrival of Hurricane Joaquin – now a Category Four storm.  But New Hanover County Emergency officials say it won’t be until Friday afternoon that they’ll have any confidence in the forecast track for Joaquin.

While the North Carolina General Assembly tries to hammer out a budget in Raleigh, counties around the state are scrambling to consider what a sales tax redistribution could mean for their own bottom lines.  Members of New Hanover County’s Executive Staff are bracing for what could be a significant blow.

How often have you wondered whether to toss a soda bottle into the recycling bin with or without the cap?  Do you rinse out food containers before you recycle them?  And what do you do with all those plastic grocery bags?

Wilmington Downtown Inc.

This broadcast of CoastLine originally aired on April 29, 2015. 

There’s good economic news today: unemployment is down slightly, and Wilmington has earned another accolade:  a San Francisco-based financial planning website named it the second-best city in the nation to start a business.

The development of the Cape Fear region – which includes Pender and Brunswick Counties – is all about coordinated strategy.

Wikimedia Commons

Commissioners from Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover Counties just returned from a four-day trip to Washington, D.C.

Isabelle Shepherd, WHQR

New Hanover County is creating its Comprehensive Plan, which will determine how the community would like to see development occur over the next twenty-five years. Even the youngest citizens are offering input. 

County planners visited Castle Hayne Elementary to speak with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders in Nicole Wolf-Camplin’s gifted classes. The students represent the next generation of residents, and their goals for the future of the county were very much in line with those set forth by the adult focus groups: 

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.

One new public elementary school is going up near Porters Neck in northern New Hanover County. 

Tri-County Economic Alliance In The Works

Aug 26, 2014
Isabelle Shepherd

It has oft been said that a rising tide lifts all boats. The City of Wilmington and New Hanover County are banding together to create a marketing alliance between Brunswick, Pender, and New Hanover counties. 

New Hanover County

Local government representatives are joining with environmental advocates and business leaders to create an alternative to a controversial recommendation from the Garner economic development report. Instead of doing away with the special use permit process, they hope to cut the red tape for some industries.  

New Hanover County's Comprehensive Plan Reaches Next Phase

Aug 14, 2014
New Hanover County

New Hanover County’s Comprehensive Plan is moving forward.  After four months of work, the citizen-led theme committees completed their recommendations.

After a long battle in the primaries, the Seventh Congressional District—that stretching from Wilmington to the Raleigh suburbs--is down to one Republican contender for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Democrat Mike McIntyre. Former state senator David Rouzer of Johnston County won more than fifty-three percent of the vote last night, beating Woody White, chairman of the New Hanover County Commission, and Chris Andrade, a Fayetteville military veteran.

Danny Hefner, the Ocean Isle Beach Democrat who lost 2012’s Senate District Eight race to incumbent Bill Rabon, has thrown his hat into the same ring again. A former Marine Corps officer and truck driver, Hefner now works as a local delivery driver, an inter-faith minister, and a therapeutic foster parent to abused and troubled children. The third-time Senate candidate recently sat down with WHQR to discuss his plans for a range of social issues—but first, Hefner says he plans to address the economy.

The question of what to do with New Hanover County’s solid waste is still open. After hearing long-awaited presentations Monday from two private companies vying to haul local waste to neighboring counties, the commissioners were left dissatisfied with projected costs. While the outside companies have been invited to justify their numbers during next month’s commission board meeting, the county could simply continue to handle waste management operations on its own.

Garner Economics, LLC

New Hanover County is well-positioned to serve international markets through its port facilities, but the area doesn’t have sufficient access to national markets. 

The report, entitled Pathways to Prosperity:  New Hanover County's Plan for Jobs and Investment, contains a list of recommendations that consultant Jay Garner will present to the Board at 2 PM today.  Whether recommendations from the report will be used to develop or adjust county policy is not yet clear.
 

Today's meeting at the Courthouse in downtown Wilmington is open to the public.

Today at 2 PM, WHQR brings you a live online stream of the report announcement via NHCTV:

Home Leisure Direct

The City of Wilmington is expected to gain 60,000 citizens by the year 2040. In anticipation, city planners have launched a comprehensive plan similar to that of New Hanover County. While the Wilmington plan also asks residents to describe their ideal community attributes, its public engagement process is less orthodox. In fact, city planners have been hitting the local bar scene to collect input.

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