New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger--who was charged with a DWI in February--is likely looking at a four-month prison sentence. Following Berger’s arrest in Avery County this week for violating his parole, and possessing numerous weapons and drug paraphernalia, the commissioner made an appearance in court this afternoon—via video from the county jail.
New Hanover County could finally adopt a less stringent special use permit—or SUP—which is what industrial businesses need in order to operate. Tonight, after several months and multiple drafts, the county planning department is bringing its final version—which was unanimously approved by the planning board--before the county commission. But before they vote on it, citizens will be granted a public comment period. And, both champions and opponents of the new draft are anticipating big crowds and vehement participation.
Industrial businesses looking to call New Hanover County home may soon be required to hold public meetings as part of the special use permit -- or SUP – process. And the SUP is what they need to launch or expand operations. This is one among several changes that the county planning board unanimously recommended at last night’s public hearing on the most recent SUP draft—an update of a version that was tabled in January. And community stakeholders on both sides of the issue—business leaders and environmental advocates—say this new draft presents a compromise they can live with.
North Carolina’s public schoolteachers have a new advocate. The group Aim Higher N.C. formed last year around a single objective: Raising educators’ salaries to match the national average. On Monday, affiliated teachers and parents gathered for a rally at Wilmington’s downtown library. And the mission has already gained local legislative support.
New Hanover County Commissioner Brian Berger will spend the next year under supervised probation—or, failing that, 120 days in prison. This morning, Berger pleaded guilty to December charges, including his second DWI, and a first for drug possession. While he will have to do community service and undergo formal drug and substance abuse evaluation, Berger can no longer legally be removed from his seat on the county commission.
For the first time ever, the Wilmington Housing Authority is applying for a competitive, thirty-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD—and they want to make it a community affair. Today the Housing Authority gathered city and county leaders at the Hillcrest development to strategize on winning a Choice Neighborhood Grant. It’s part of an effort, as WHQR’s Katie O’Reilly reports, to transform housing projects into areas indistinguishable from the surrounding city.
Over the summer, New Hanover County cut WAVE Transit’s funding significantly from the previous year, resulting in the likely closures of routes serving northern New Hanover County and Pleasure Island. However, WAVE was granted slightly more state funding this year for its Rural Operating Assistance Program. But since WAVE won’t be able to use that money to help salvage the routes in question, it will likely extend their current closure date—September thirtieth—until after WAVE’s board meets with the New Hanover County Commission to make final decisions in October.